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Merkel Tabs the Vertriebene Groups to Realize European “Cohesion”

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COMMENT: It won’t shock vet­eran readers/listeners to learn that Ger­man chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel has hailed the Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV–the ver­triebene groups) as a “cohe­sive” force for Europe.

To grasp the under­ly­ing dynam­ics of this gam­bit, learn about the fun­da­men­tal links between the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many, the Under­ground Reich and the his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism cen­ter­ing on the ver­triebene groups.

The inter­ests she is laud­ing con­sti­tute an unre­con­structed political/historical ele­ment of the Third Reich. Her rhetor­i­cal embrace of the ver­triebene groups comes as indebted Euro­pean nations are increas­ingly chaf­ing under Ger­man domination.

“Cohe­sive Force for Europe”; german-foreign-policy.com; 3/13/2013.

EXCERPT: With her appear­ance at yesterday’s annual recep­tion of the Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV), the Ger­man chan­cel­lor has again demon­strated her appre­ci­a­tion of its sig­nif­i­cance for Berlin’s for­eign pol­icy. Already at last years BdV annual recep­tion, the chan­cel­lor had declared that the reset­tled Ger­mans serve as a “link” to their regions of ori­gin in East­ern and South­east­ern Europe and, along with the local Ger­man speak­ing minori­ties, as “an extra­or­di­nary cohe­sive force” in an increas­ingly inte­grated EU. Hun­gary is a cur­rent exam­ple. That coun­try improved its bilat­eral rela­tions by declar­ing a day of com­mem­o­ra­tion of the reset­tle­ment of Ger­mans. On Mon­day, Nor­bert Lam­mert, Pres­i­dent of the Ger­man Bun­destag, par­tic­i­pated in the com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­monies for the reset­tled Ger­mans held in the Hun­gar­ian par­lia­ment. Unex­pect­edly, a promi­nent Ger­man­dom func­tionary has recently been appointed deputy chair­per­son of one of the rul­ing par­ties, in Ruma­nia — in an effort to improve rela­tions to Ger­many, accord­ing to observers. At the same time, extreme right wing forces remain active in the “expellees” asso­ci­a­tions. In late 2012, one of the largest home­land asso­ci­a­tions awarded its “Cul­tural Prize for Sci­ence” to a promi­nent pub­li­cist, who denies that Ger­many bears sole respon­si­bil­ity for World War II.

A Good Tradition

The Ger­man Chancellor’s appear­ance at yesterday’s annual Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV) recep­tion has a long tra­di­tion. While still a mem­ber of the oppo­si­tion, she had paid her respects by attend­ing the event back in 2005. Last year, Merkel referred to her “par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Expellees annual recep­tion as a good tra­di­tion.” Only con­flict­ing sched­ules — “some­thing unex­pected” — could thwart her participation.[1] Not only Merkel, but also the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­is­ter was on hand at yesterday’s reception.

Eth­nic Integration

In her speech at last year’s BdV recep­tion, the chan­cel­lor under­lined the reset­tled Ger­mans’ role for Berlin’s for­eign pol­icy, a pri­mary motive for the great atten­tion paid by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment to the “expellees’” asso­ci­a­tions. The reset­tled Ger­mans serve as a “link” to their regions of ori­gin in East­ern and South­east­ern Europe, where German-speaking minori­ties are still liv­ing today. These minori­ties, while rooted in their coun­tries, have again close links to Ger­many, with the active assis­tance of the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry and var­i­ous pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2]) They are pre­des­tined to serve as “medi­a­tors (...) between the peo­ples,” accord­ing to Merkel.[3] The German-speaking East­ern and South­east­ern Euro­pean minori­ties and their “rich cul­tural her­itage” are “part of our Ger­man iden­tity” and could, in the long run, develop as “a extra­or­di­nary cohe­sive force in Europe.” With their close rela­tions to the power cen­tre on the con­ti­nent, they “con­tribute to Euro­pean integration.” . . . .

Memo­r­ial Day for the Germans

Another exam­ple of the “cohe­sive force” of German-speaking minori­ties and reset­tled Ger­mans could be observed last Mon­day in Budapest. At a memo­r­ial ser­vice in the Hun­gar­ian par­lia­ment, attended by numer­ous par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment, the reset­tle­ment of a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Hungary’s German-speaking minor­ity in the after­math of World War II was com­mem­o­rated. The pres­i­dents of the par­lia­ments of both coun­tries along with BdV Pres­i­dent Erika Stein­bach were among those, who held speeches and pre­sented mes­sages of greet­ings. Hun­gary is the first coun­try in East­ern and South­east­ern Europe to set aside a memo­r­ial day com­mem­o­rat­ing the reset­tled, which was observed Jan­u­ary 19, 2013, for the first time.[8] Accord­ing to the BdV, its asso­ci­a­tion has been work­ing “for a long time” very closely with the “top polit­i­cal level” of the Hun­gar­ian estab­lish­ment. Back in 1995, Budapest expressed “its apolo­gies for the ban­ish­ment;” by 2006, one could at least point to “the cre­ation of a national memo­r­ial and a mon­u­ment in Budapest.” Then in 2007, “a memo­r­ial con­fer­ence” was held “in the Hun­gar­ian par­lia­ment, on the ban­ish­ment of the Germans.“[9] The coop­er­a­tion with the German-speaking minor­ity and the reset­tled Ger­mans is cer­tainly ben­e­fi­cial to Hun­gary. That coun­try main­tains close rela­tions to Hungarian-speaking minori­ties in Slo­va­kia, and espe­cially in Ruma­nia, for which there is iden­ti­cal sup­port and, there­fore, iden­ti­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties for influ­ence as are being demanded for the German-speaking minority.[10]

Open-minded Reeval­u­a­tion of History

Inside the asso­ci­a­tions of reset­tled Ger­mans, being used by Berlin to cre­ate, in coop­er­a­tion with the local minori­ties, the “cohe­sive force” for the Europe of the future, there are also other forces in action. These are using Ger­man­dom pol­icy to make prop­erty claims or even openly put into ques­tion Ger­man guilt for the Sec­ond World War. For exam­ple, Rudi Pawelka is a mem­ber of the BdV National Com­mit­tee, whose annual recep­tion Chan­cel­lor Merkel hon­ored yes­ter­day. Pawelka is also the chair of the Sile­sian Home­land Asso­ci­a­tion, in which the activ­i­ties of ultra right-wingers have been tol­er­ated. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) Hans-Günther Parplies, Chair of the North Rhine-Westphalian BdV Regional Asso­ci­a­tion, is also a mem­ber of the BdV National Com­mit­tee. He, along with Pawelka, is a mem­ber of the Super­vi­sory Board of the “Pruss­ian Trust Fund,” which has ini­ti­ated law­suits to regain prop­erty rights over estates that once belonged to reset­tled Ger­mans, but, became Pol­ish prop­erty after World War II.[12] Stephan Gri­gat is Vice Pres­i­dent of the BdV and speaker of the East Pruss­ian Home­land Asso­ci­a­tion, which awarded its “Cul­tural Prize for Sci­ence” to the pub­li­cist Ret. Maj. Gen. Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof. He received the prize for his “con­tri­bu­tion toward an open-minded and truth­ful reeval­u­a­tion of the pre­ced­ing his­tory and the causes lead­ing up to the Sec­ond World War.” His most famous piece of work — eval­u­at­ing par­tic­u­larly Poland’s role before Sep­tem­ber 1, 1939 — bore the pro­gram­matic title The War, which had Many Fathers.

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