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Magda Hassan
10-16-2009, 03:07 AM
Defenestration of Prague, Number Four
2009/10/14

PRAGUE/BERLIN
(Own report) - A German EU parliamentarian is calling for impeachment proceedings against the President of the Czech Republic. Should President Václav Klaus not immediately ratify the "Lisbon Treaty" as soon as the Czech Constitutional Court hands down a positive decision, he must be forcibly removed from the country's highest constitutional body, insists the social democrat, Jo Leinen. According to reports, German diplomats have already been taking steps in Prague to find out if this is possible. Also being discussed is the disempowerment of the president through a change in the country's constitution. These interventions are directed against one of Germany's neighbors, whose constitutional bodies have on various occasions been the object of Berlin's foreign policy. The reason for Prague's skepticism toward the "Lisbon Treaty" is that it cannot forget the German expansionism that led to a world war 70 years ago. Even without consideration of the historical contexts, German policy is tearing down democratic minimum standards, which, already at various stages of the ratification process of the so-called Lisbon Treaty, have been ridiculed. The draft treaty favors the transformation of the EU into a globally operating military power and reinforces German hegemony. The massive interference attempts are being accompanied by a nationalist anti-Czech media campaign.


The Czech Republic should launch impeachment proceedings against its President Václav Klaus, if he refuses to sign the "Lisbon Treaty," after a positive Czech Constitutional Court decision, demands the German EU parliamentarian, Jo Leinen (SPD).[1] The court is currently considering a suit brought by several Czech parliamentarians, who see the treaty as being in violation of their country's constitution. Berlin, on the other hand, is applying pressure for a speedy ratification. As the British press reports, German and French diplomats, are in talks with their Czech counterparts, seeking "ways of removing the Klaus obstacle". Besides his impeachment, they are also considering changing the Czech constitution to take away his right of veto.[2] If Klaus refuses to sign the treaty, "he will need to face the consequences," threatened a German diplomat.[3]

Dictate
With the current activities against Prague, Berlin is taking, for the first time, direct measures to depose or disempower a head of an EU member state, who has not accommodated German plans. The measures, which are a mockery to Czech national sovereignty, are once again lowering EU democratic minimum standards. Already with previous steps to impose the draft treaty, the German government had renamed the document that had been rejected in popular referendums (in France and the Netherlands) and, with the same content, resubmitted it for a new decision. In addition Berlin made it clear that should a referendum be unavoidable - as was the case in Ireland - the voting can be repeated until the PR offensive achieves the desired results.[4] With the most recent interventions in Prague, even EU member nations' constitutional laws are no longer off-limits. Even before the draft treaty takes effect, an often expressed criticism of the document proves to be right: Through the so-called European integration, the sovereignty of the member nations will be subverted and they will be exposed to the dictate of the West European hegemonic powers.

Haste
Even the haste, with which Berlin wants to see the draft treaty ratified, is aimed at avoiding democratic processes. The overwhelming majority of the people of Great Britain reject this treaty, which is why the current labor government ratified the treaty without submitting it to a referendum. Now the head of the Conservative Party has announced his intentions to rescind the ratification and hold a referendum, should his party win the next parliamentary elections, if the treaty has not taken effect by that time. A conservative majority is considered assured in the elections scheduled for next spring. If Berlin wants to keep the British population from rejecting the draft treaty in this referendum, the document must - at all costs - finish the ratification process before the British elections. The German government doesn't have much time.

Property Claims
But Berlin has the power to invalidate the Czech president's objections. Václav Klaus is seeking guarantees that the EU Human Rights Charter, which is tied in with the "Lisbon Treaty," not be misused to reinforce property claims raised by the resettled Germans on the Czech Republic. These claims have always been raised by the Sudeten Germans. For example, in 2008, on the occasion of "Human Rights Day", the Chairman of the "Sudeten German Homeland Association," the European parliamentarian, Bernd Posselt (CSU) reiterated that "the collective expulsion and disfranchisement of entire ethnic groups" as well as the "attempt to destroy or permanently uproot them through the liquidation of their means of existence" as a "genocide, and therefore beyond the statute of limitations."[5] To support the revisionist demands of the "Sudeten Germans," Posselt regularly makes reference to the EU's Human Rights Charter's interpretation of human rights. Germany has been systematically keeping all property claims of the resettled Germans open (german-foreign-policy.com reported [6]) regardless of difficulties that could result, not only for the president of the Czech Republic.

Almost Unaltered
The recent measures taken against the Czech President are being accompanied by scathing criticism of the Czech Republic's political elite. In the German media, for example, Klaus is described alternatively as "stubbornly" insisting on his point of view or as "erratically" changing his standpoint. The German ARD radio studio in Prague propagates that Klaus is a "populist and nationalist," a "president going through his defiant phase," who has "obstinately" maintained "his broad-brush view of the world." This president "acting out of conviction" and an "Egomaniac," is the reason why Czechia is seen "as the madhouse of Europe," claims the correspondent of the German state owned radio station about her host country and its head of state. But above all, his "the Germans" fit "his concept of the enemy."[7] In a state-run German radio station, this exceptionally evil representation is only possible, if it has been sanctioned by the political instances. Insults and derisive attacks, such as these, have accompanied Berlin's offensives against the Czech and Czechoslovak presidents, who have sought to fend off German encroachments - almost unaltered - since the days of Edward Beneš.

[1] MEPs call for Klaus's impeachment; Prague Daily Monitor 13.10.2009
[2], [3] Germans seek to oust Czech president Vaclav Klaus over EU treaty; The Sunday Times 11.10.2009
[4] see also Ireland is Everywhere (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56184?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6) and No means Yes (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56281?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6)
[5] Bernd Posselt, MdEP zum 10. Dezember; Pressemeldung der Union der Vertriebenen 08.12.2008
[6] see also Tschechische Republik: "Rückerstattungs- und Vermögensfragen nicht geklärt" (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/30036?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6), Moral Basis (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56188?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6), An Educational Venue (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56231?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6) and Days of Aggression (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56250?PHPSESSID=7iffenc6nc7r6v1gfreqs12gg6)
[7] Christina Janssen: Ein Präsident in der Trotzphase; www.tagesschau.de (http://www.tagesschau.de) 10.10.2009
http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56288

Peter Lemkin
10-16-2009, 06:04 AM
For any interested, the term 'defenestration' = being assassinated by being pushed out of a window and is a Czech term 'of art' and its sad history. Many very famous and important leaders have died this way. Of course it was reported afterwards to be suicide. None were. The last famous one was 1948 of politician Jan Masaryk, whose body was found in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry, below his bathroom window. A 2004 police investigation into his death concluded that, contrary to the initial ruling, he did not commit suicide, but was defenestrated, most likely by Czechoslovak Communists and their Soviet NKVD advisers for opposing the February 1948 Communist putsch.

As to the article above, I could say much....but....only some short thoughts.
Klaus is a very weird guy any way you slice it. He is currently finishing-up a book about how climate change is a lie [one I don't buy as an Environmental Scientist, though I know some here do also believe this - that one is not a conspiracy - but sadly real.] Next he is a bit of a megalomaniac and there are hints of his being a mole for the Communist Secret Police, unconfirmed. The history of the Czech[oslovaks] and the Germans is complex, but I have to side with the Czechs in not allowing the Germans the right to challenge their expulsion at the end of WWII. As to the entire ball of wax that is the EU, another very complex topic....it is good in a few ways, and may have been designed by SOME as a good thing for the Peoples of Europe; however, OTHERS either planned from the get-go or have since designed/steered it to be a mechanism of control and consolidation of power, not unlike that going on in the USA and elsewhere, at this time in history. IMO

Peter Lemkin
10-16-2009, 08:36 AM
Former president Vaclav Havel on Thursday came out very strongly
against his successor Vaclav Klaus for the latter's obstruction of the
Lisbon Treaty ratification process. Speaking at a press conference for
the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, Mr Havel called the
president's attitude irresponsible and dangerous, adding that his
failure to understand the constitution was damaging to the country and
its reputation. Mr Klaus fairly stunned pundits last week by announcing
for the first time that his endorsement would depend upon an exemption
from a part of the treaty. With the Czech Parliament having passed the
treaty earlier this year, President Klaus himself has become the sole
obstacle to final ratification of the EU-wide reform treaty, which
requires the endorsement of all 27 member states in order to take
effect. The treaty is currently the subject of a complaint submitted to
the Constitutional Court by a group of the president's allies;
President Klaus maintains that his endorsement is impossible so long as
that review is underway.



The Czech interim government has said it considers the EU's Lisbon
treaty wholly compatible with the Czech constitution. In his statement
on the matter for the Constitutional Court, Prime Minister Jan Fischer
said that the cabinet also considers the complaint itself to be
formally inadmissible, as it asks the court to exceed its own
authority, for example by reviewing the guarantees allowed for Ireland
in order to spur ratification in that country. For his part, Mr Klaus
on Thursday encouraged the public to read the complaint, and said that
he would soon release his own statement on it.




Prime Minister Fischer also said his cabinet was working with the
president to discuss the treaty exemption that Mr Klaus has stipulated.
Mr Fischer said that the desired guarantees would have to be worded
very precisely, and that a team had been put together to formulate
them. He also emphasized that the president was not the sole partner to
the discussion, but rather all 27 members of the EU, who will have to
reach an agreement on the matter at their October meeting.

Helen Reyes
10-16-2009, 12:36 PM
Someone remind me, is Czech Republic stil holding the presidency of the EU? Because I keep seeing people say it isn't fair for one man, i.e. Vaclav Klaus, to stand in the way of the Lisbon Treaty. Obviously Klaus doesn't just represent one man's, his own, opinion, since he was elected by the Czechs to represent them, but isn't he technically the leader of the EU right now?

I'm for Klaus and his refusal, and I think the theory man-made global warming doesn't have any evidence to back it up, although I used to think there was something to it. For the opposition view see www.iceagenow.com

Whether the human rights of the Sudetenland Germans and German colonists from the Third Reich in Czechoslovakia were violated by the post-war mass expulsion, I can't say. I have to wonder how many true Sudetenland Germans are left and how many of them really want to live in Bohemia again now. Reversing or compensating their expulsion leads to the question of East Prussian Germans being compensated or allowed to resettle in Kaliningrad and calls into question the current borders of Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus besides those of the Russian outpost. Then there's the Danzig corridor and all Polish territory from the border with Kaliningrad to Brandenberg where Germans once lived and were expelled. Half of East Prussia was also taken by Poland. And if those borders are up for grabs, then there's Karelia in Russia, or in Finland, depending on one's loyalties. And come to think of it Iceland probably still belongs in the Danish Kingdom. Why should Denmark be penalized for the Nazi aggression?

Klaus is probably very correct to adhere to the current status quo on European borders and the general outcome of World War II.

Jan Klimkowski
10-16-2009, 06:54 PM
Whether the human rights of the Sudetenland Germans and German colonists from the Third Reich in Czechoslovakia were violated by the post-war mass expulsion, I can't say. I have to wonder how many true Sudetenland Germans are left and how many of them really want to live in Bohemia again now. Reversing or compensating their expulsion leads to the question of East Prussian Germans being compensated or allowed to resettle in Kaliningrad and calls into question the current borders of Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus besides those of the Russian outpost. Then there's the Danzig corridor and all Polish territory from the border with Kaliningrad to Brandenberg where Germans once lived and were expelled. Half of East Prussia was also taken by Poland. And if those borders are up for grabs, then there's Karelia in Russia, or in Finland, depending on one's loyalties. And come to think of it Iceland probably still belongs in the Danish Kingdom. Why should Denmark be penalized for the Nazi aggression?

Klaus is probably very correct to adhere to the current status quo on European borders and the general outcome of World War II.

"Borders" in continental Europe have always been fluid.

Let's take "Poland" as an example. My father was born near Lwow, which was part of Poland in 1939. Lvov in a translation from Russian cyrillic. Lviv in Ukrainian.

The area was always ethnically mixed.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact resulted in the division of Poland between Hitler and Stalin. The Polish army fought the invading Nazis and lost. Badly.

Of course the British and the French, who had made a purely technical declaration of war on Germany, kept their militiaries at home. There was no western military help against the Nazis in 1939.

Meanwhile, after a brief vacuum of power, the Red Army invaded eastern Poland under the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ribbentrop-Molotov.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wrzesien2.jpg

The NKVD murdered tens of thousands of Poles at Katyn (and elsewhere) and ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Poles who were considered "unsound" or "bourgeois" to Siberia.

My father was seven. His grandfather was in his sixties but had dementia. Both were deported to Siberia, having been designated as sinister threats to the Soviet Union, along with my father's mother and his 20-year-old sister. My greatgrandfather died in transit. My aunt's infant daughter, Halina, also died, starving and sick, in a bitterly cold, faeces ridden, cattle truck.

In 1943, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainian: ?????????? ??????????? ????? (???), "Ukrayins’ka Povstans’ka Armiya," or "UPA"), who were primarily Ukrainian nationalists but who often collaborated with the Nazis and the SS, started ethnically cleansing the remaining Poles, mostly women, children and the infirm, in pre-WW2 eastern Poland.


On February 9, 1943, a group pretending to be Soviet partisans murdered 173 Poles in the Paro?le settlement in Sarny county. According to Polish historiography, the perpetrators were a unit of UPA, commanded by Hryhory Perehyniak.[43][44][45] The assault on Polish settlements began between late March and early April 1943, killing approximately 7,000 unarmed men, women, and children in its first days.[46] On the night of April 22–23, Ukrainian groups, commanded by Ivan Lytwynchuk (aka Dubowy), attacked the settlement of Janowa Dolina, killing 600 people and burning down the entire village. Those few who survived were mostly people that found refuge with friendly Ukrainian families.[47] In one of the massacres, in the village of Lipniki, almost the entire family of Miroslaw Hermaszewski (Poland's only astronaut) was murdered. Also, the nationalists murdered the grandparents of composer Krzesimir Debski, whose parents met each other during the Ukrainian attack on Kisielin (see Kisielin massacre). Debski's parents survived, taking refuge with a friendly Ukrainian family. In another massacre, according to an UPA report, "in the village of Kuty, in the the Szumski region, an entire Polish colony (86 farms) was liquidated for cooperation with the Gestapo and German authorities."[48] According to Polish sources, Kuty self-defense unit managed to repel the UPA assault, though 67 Poles were murdered. The rest of inhabitants decided to abandon the village and were escorted by the Germans who arrived at Kuty concerned by the glow of fire and the sound of gunfire. Nevertheless, the claims about collaboration prior to the attack seem unreliable.

The decisive Soviet offensive at Kursk acted as a prime stimulus for escalation of massacres in June and August 1943, when ethnic cleansing reached its peak.[3] In June 1943, Dmytro Klyachkivsky head-commander of UPA-North made a general decision to exterminate Poles in Volhynia. His secret directive stated: "We should make a large action of the liquidation of the Polish element. As the German armies withdraw, we should take advantage of this convenient moment for liquidating the entire male population in the age from 16 up to 60 years. We cannot lose this fight, and it is necessary at all costs to weaken Polish forces. Villages and settlements laying next to the massive forests, should disappear from the face of the earth".[49]

In mid-1943, after a wave of killings of Polish civilians, the Poles tried to initiate negotiations with the UPA. Two delegates of the Polish government in Exile,[50] Zygmunt Rumel and Krzysztof Markiewicz, together with a group of representatives from the Polish Home Army, attempted to negotiate with UPA leaders, but instead, they were captured, tortured and murdered on July 10, 1943, in the village of Kustycze.

The following day, July 11, 1943, is regarded as one of the bloodiest days of the massacres, with many reports of UPA units marching from village to village, killing Polish civilians. On that day, UPA units surrounded and attacked Polish villages and settlements located in three counties – Kowel, Horochow, and W?odzimierz Wo?y?ski. The events began at 3:00am, with the Poles having no chance to escape. After the massacres, the Polish villages were burned to the ground. According to those few who survived, the action had been carefully prepared; a few days before the massacres there had been several meetings in Ukrainian villages, during which UPA members told the villagers that the slaughter of all Poles was necessary.[51] Within a few days an unspecified number of Polish villages were completely destroyed and their populations murdered. In the Polish village of Gurow, out of 480 inhabitants, only 70 survived; in the settlement of Orzeszyn, the UPA killed 306 out of 340 Poles; in the village of Sadowa out of 600 Polish inhabitants only 20 survived; in Zagaje out of 350 Poles only a few survived. In August 1943, the Polish village of Gaj (near Kovel) was burned and some 600 people massacred. In September in the village of Wola Ostrowiecka 529 people were killed, including 220 children under 14, and 438 people were killed, including 246 children, in Ostrowki. In September 1992 exhumations were carried out in these villages, confirming the number of dead.[51]

The atrocities were perpetrated with utmost cruelty. The victims, regardless of their age or gender, were routinely tortured to death. Norman Davies in No Simple Victory gives a short, but shocking description of the massacres. He writes: "Villages were torched. Roman Catholic priests were axed or crucified. Churches were burned with all their parishioners. Isolated farms were attacked by gangs carrying pitchforks and kitchen knives. Throats were cut. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were cut in two. Men were ambushed in the field and led away. The perpetrators could not determine the province's future. But at least they could determine that it would be a future without Poles."[52] Timothy Snyder describes the murders in the following way: "Ukrainian partisans burned homes, shot or forced back inside those who tried to flee, and used sickles and pitchforks to kill those they captured outside. In some cases, beheaded, crucified, dismembered, or disembowelled bodies were displayed, in order to encourage remaining Poles to flee".[53] Similar account has been presented by Niall Ferguson, who wrote: Whole villages were wiped out, men beaten to death, women raped and mutilated, babies bayoneted.[54] Ukrainian historian Yuryi Kirichuk from Lviv described the conflict as similar to the medieval rebellions.[55]

Altogether, in July 1943 the Ukrainians attacked 167 towns and villages.[56] This wave of massacres lasted 5 days, until July 16. The UPA continued the ethnic cleansing, particularly in rural areas, until most Poles had been deported, killed or expelled. These actions were conducted by many units, were well-coordinated and thoroughly planned.[3] Also, even though it may be an exaggeration to say that the massacres enjoyed general support of the Ukrainians, it has been suggested that without wide support from local Ukrainians they would have been impossible.[29] Those Ukrainian peasants who took part in the massacres, created their own units,[3] called Samoboronni Kushtchovi Viddily (Kushtchov Self-Defence Units). People who did not speak Polish, but were considered Poles by the perpetrators were also murdered. Ukrainians in ethnically mixed settlements were offered material incentives to join in the slaughter of their neighbours, or warned by UPA's security service (Sluzhba Bezbeky) to flee by night, while all remaining inhabitants were murdered at down. Nevertheless, many of Ukrainians risk, and in some cases, lost their lives trying to shelter or warn Poles[53][57] - such activities were treated by the UPA as collaboration with enemy and severely punished.[58] According to the Volhynian delegation to the Polish government, by October 1943 the number of Polish casualties exceeded 15,000 people.[59] Timothy Snyder estimates that in summer and spring 1943 the UPA actions resulted in deaths of 40,000 Polish civilians.[29]

W?adys?aw Filar from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, a witness of the massacres, cites numerous statements of the Ukrainian officers, who reported their actions to the leaders of UPA-OUN. For example, in late September 1943, the commandant of the Lysoho group wrote to the OUN headquarters: "On September 29, 1943, I carried out the action in the villages of Wola Ostrowiecka (see Massacre of Wola Ostrowiecka), and Ostrówki (see Massacre of Ostrowki). I have liquidated all Poles, starting from the youngest ones. Afterwards, all buildings were burned and all goods were confiscated".[60] On that day in Wola Ostrowiecka 529 Poles were murdered (including 220 children under 14), and in Ostrówki, the Ukrainians killed 438 persons (including 246 children).[61]

In August 1943 the UPA placed notices in every Polish village stating in 48 hours leave beyond the Buh or the Sian river - otherwise Death.[62] Ukrainian nationalists limited their actions to villages and settlements, and did not attack towns or cities. Prosecutor Piotr Zaj?c from the IPN branch in Lublin stated that in 1943 the massacres were organized westwards, starting in March in Kostopol and Sarny counties, in April they moved to the area of Krzemieniec, Rivne, Dubno and Lutsk, by June 1943, the attacks had spread to the counties of Kovel, W?odzimierz Wo?y?ski, Horochów, and in August to Luboml county.[63] The slaughter did not stop after the Red Army entered the areas, with massacres taking place in 1945 in such places as Czerwonogrod (Ukrainian: Irkiv), where 60 Poles were murdered on February 2, 1945,[64][65] the day before their departure to the Recovered Territories.

According to Polish historian Piotr ?ossowski, the method used in most of the attacks was the same. At first, local Poles were assured that nothing would happen to them. Then, at dawn, a village was surrounded by armed members of the UPA, behind whom were peasants with axes, hammers, knives, and saws. All the Poles encountered were murdered; sometimes they were herded into one spot, to make it easier. After a massacre, all goods were looted, including clothes, grain, and furniture. The final part of an attack was setting fire to the village.[66] In many cases, victims were tortured and their bodies mutilated, with all vestiges of Polish existence eradicated. Even abandoned Polish settlements were still burned to the ground.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia

In 1944, when the Polish resistance rose against the Nazis in the Warsaw Uprising, the Red Army - most probably on direct orders from Stalin - refused to help. The Nazis slaughtered around 200,000 Polish partisans and civilians.

At the end of WW2, Churchill and Roosevelt sold out the Poles at Yalta. They agreed to Stalin's demand to move the borders of a Soviet-controlled Poland which meant that pre-war eastern Poland became part of the USSR, and the newly configured Poland was given formerly German territories in Silesia and Prussia.

See maps here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_changes_of_Poland_immediately_after_Wo rld_War_II
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Poland_(1945).png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_changes_of_Poland

Back in 1939, my grandfather and my father's two elder brothers had escaped across the Tatry mountains to the west. They fought in the Polish free forces against the Nazis throughout WW2. They were clear that at Yalta they had been betrayed again, this time by Churchill and Roosevelt.

The upshot is that my family was unable to return to their home near Lwow, because ethnic Poles were not allowed to move to the USSR which is where this part of pre-war Poland now was. Not that they wanted to move to the USSR.

My great uncle did go back, to Soviet-controlled newly configured Poland, and was allowed to rent a small farm in what had been German Silesia. The farmhouse had two floors and an attic. The original German owners were still living in the attic. Unsurprizingly, this relationship did not last long, and the German family soon moved to the newly created East Germany.

Currently, Germans are demanding "reparation" for their property losses in the east in 1945. Jews have long demanded "reparation" for property losses under the holocaust.

Last year, my family was finally able to make a visit to Skole, the small railway town near Lwow, where my father spent the first seven years of his life. It is now part of the Ukraine. The local people were nervous, fearing we had come to make property claims. After much searching, we identified the family home. Still there after 69 years.

Do we want monetary compensation for these historical crimes? No.

Do we want our former home back? No.

The current residents have nothing to fear from us.

The important thing is that a real history, a true history of these terrible events, is acknowledged, preserved, remembered.

Of course, there's fat chance of that happening.

The borders of Europe have always been arbitrary. However, it is totally unacceptable for aggressors, such as the Germans, to start demanding reparations for their own particular losses.

Peter Lemkin
10-17-2009, 05:08 AM
Interesting and moving personal story Jan. The Czechs quite agree with you and I that the Germans don't deserve to be able to buy-back or just win for free their homes in the old Sudetenland territory. They had collectively removed half of Europe's population [and killed/enslaved much of it] and collectively should bear the responsibility.

A new poll conducted by the Median agency for the Czech daily Lidove
noviny has suggested that 65 percent of Czechs support the country's
president, Vaclav Klaus, in his refusal to sign the Lisbon treaty. The
survey questioned 500 respondents, 63 percent of whom expressed worry
over ratification, unless the country received an opt-out on the EU's
Charter of Fundamental Rights. The president has said that without an
exemption, the treaty could allow for ethnic Germans expelled from
Bohemia and Moravia after World War II to reopen property claims cases.
The Czech Republic is the only country in the EU's 27-member bloc to
not yet have completed ratification.

Peter Presland
10-17-2009, 08:25 AM
Interesting and moving personal story Jan. The Czechs quite agree with you and I that the Germans don't deserve to be able to buy-back or just win for free their homes in the old Sudetenland territory. They had collectively removed half of Europe's population [and killed/enslaved much of it] and collectively should bear the responsibility.


Well I certainly agree the 'moving personal story' bit but I equally certainly don't go along with the rest of the above.

Alter the place names and adjust for language usage and it might be a passage lifted straight from the Versailles Treaty. Which just goes to illustrate the perennial and grossly destructive tendency in human nature to exact collective punishment for what are perceived (usually quite wrongly) to be collective crimes. The 'German People' were no more guilty of enslaving half of Europe than were the British or the American 'People'. All were victims of mendacious, deeply psychopathic leaders. The German State - and the British and US States OTOH - well that's an entirely different matter. And on that subject I suggest that the British State, ably assisted by a vindictive French State and a complicit US State were at the root of what transpired throughout Europe through the 3 decades that culminated at the 'Victors Justice' charade that was Nuremberg.

And if I were asked for a judgement of the most culpable in the whole sordid mess it would be, without a doubt, the British State. In simple terms, the intent of the British - from well before the ink was dry at Versailles - was to conjure a Fascist Germany and a Bolshevik Russia in order that they destroy each other. The Anglo/US Establishments were single-minded in that over-riding but deeply hidden Machiavellian purpose for 2 decades. They sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind - the forces detailed by Jan were unleashed all over Europe and beyond. Most galling of all - they appear to have gotten away with it scot-free with their victims still shouldering the blame and their respective populations as deeply confused and 'in the dark' as ever.

For me, the lesson of Jan's story is the absolute, unmitigated horror and futility of ALL war. Nothing more, nothing less. As for collective punishment - I can't find the words to express my contempt for the idea that it might be a valid component of any kind of justice.

Helen Reyes
10-19-2009, 05:02 PM
There's a great case for the first and second world wars being incited by financial interests. And probably every other modern war too. But the prospect of Germans suing the Czech Republic for reparations reminds me a lot of the Lithuanian prosecutor investigating Jewish partisans for allegedly combatting Lithuanian collaborators during WWII. Your side initiated the aggression, your side lost. Deal with it. Instead there are a number of initiatives coming out of Eastern Europe trying to equate the Nazi terror with the Soviet terror in order to exonerate collaborators. Unfortunately out of the Czech Republic as well.