A German Jewish leader has asked expelled Germans to stop comparing their suffering to that of Holocaust victims.
Dieter Graumann, a vice president of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, called on the German Association for Expellees on its 50th anniversary to stop inappropriate comparisons, heal rifts with Poland and the Czech Republic, and clear its slate of nationalistic slogans.
The association of Germans expelled from the country at the end of World War II, which marked its milestone Monday with an address by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has lobbied increasingly for public attention to the suffering of Germans forcibly expelled from Nazi-occupied lands. The association, which at its inception represented some 15 million Germans, has created an exhibit on the subject that has caused tensions with neighboring countries.
Speaking with the Netzeitung Internet news agency, Graumann said that the anniversary presents a “great opportunity to make a clean slate. It would be good if the association could actually shake off all the chains of nationalistic thinking.”
Graumann urged the association to “formally and clearly end all its demands on neighboring countries” and stop demanding compensation through the Prussian Trust Fund. He also called for an end to the “unfortunate tradition of drawing parallels between the Holocaust and the expulsion of ethnic Germans.”