Note: I feel sorry for the Sudeten Germans. They had lived there for a thousand years. Only a century before they were kicked out, Bohemia and Moravia had been largely German areas. Granted, most of the famous Germans from there were Germanised Czechs – eg, Stamitz, Benda, Vanhal, Krommer, et al. But the Germans have every reason to feel put out by the Benes Decrees.
However, I do like the Czechs. They have the most attractive culture in all Central Europe. Their music is a fine appendage to the German tradition, and has outlived it. Their films are a continual delight. I like even the dumpier parts of Prague, and have fond memories of visits to places like Olomouc and Stary Smokovec. For this reason, I think they should keep the Sudetenland.
And that’s as good a reason as any for taking personal sides in a foreign territorial dispute. SIG
ČTK 15 November 2012
Vienna, Nov 14 (CTK) – Czech President Vaclav Klaus, saying yesterday he minds the unceasing debate on the post-war transfer of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia, told Czech journalists he is afraid that no strong protection of Czech interests will be made in the country when his term expires next year.
The transfer was a relatively marginal event in the tragic period of European history, Klaus said on the second day of his three-day state visit to Austria.
“It really annoys me to hear the unceasing debate on the post-war transfer. I must say I simply cannot accept this transfer theme. I am ready to accept a debate on the theme of Nazism, Nazism and Austria, Austria and World War Two, the transfer – but only all these together in this package, not picking up one relatively marginal event in this tragic episode of European history, Klaus said.
He said he is afraid that no one will be strongly defending the Czech interest in this issue after he leaves the presidency in March.
About three million Germans were transferred from Czechoslovakia, mainly its border regions (Sudetenland), after World War Two on the basis of then president Edvard Benes decrees, stripping them of Czechoslovak citizenship and confiscating their property.
The Austrian Sudeten German Landsmannschaft (SLOe) accused Klaus on Monday of carrying on Benes’s “chauvinist policy of genocide,” the Austrian APA news agency reported.
The SLOe criticises Klaus for insisting on the Benes decrees. It said by his previous statement that the Sudeten Germans’ transfer is “a logical consequence” of the Nazi crimes he proves that he is motivated by the idea of collective guilt and revenge where one crime is repaid with another.
Austrian President Heinz Fischer said after his meeting with Klaus on Tuesday eyes should not be closed to the crimes committed in the 20th century, including after World War Two.
Every crime must be seen as a crime and its historical context must also be perceived, Fischer said.
Klaus met Prime Minister Werner Faymann in Vienna yesterday and together with Fischer opened a Czech-Austrian economic forum.
Klaus said his talks with Austrian politicians and business representatives are very positive, but he complained about the behaviour of representatives of the Austrian Green Party during his visit to parliament on Tuesday.
Klaus said he has almost forgotten that someone can behave so aggressively as the Greens do.
“I do not think at all that any representative of a political group would talk so aggressively to the president of a foreign country in our parliament where I was receiving foreign delegations for four years,” Klaus said.
He said the Austrian Greens’ “stubbornness” over the Czech nuclear power plant in Temelin is “really unbelievable.”
The Czech Republic plans to complete the plant with building another two blocs by the year 2025. APA reported on Tuesday that several Green MPs, including their federal spokeswoman Eva Glawischnig, unfolded posters calling for the Czech republic to quit nuclear energy.
Klaus said in Vienna on Tuesday the Czech Republic is not succumbing to irrational fanaticism, it is going to use nuclear energy and it will extend Temelin.
Copyright 2011 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.