Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Link to Document Collection on Expulsion of Sudeten Germans

I found this link recently to an English language translation of Dokumente Austreibung der Sudetendeutschen (Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans). It has 370 eyewitness accounts by survivors of this ethnic cleansing. These reports were taken shortly after the events described. I glanced at the first 40 reports and they were all given between 1945 and 1951, most of them in 1945 and 1946. They detail the various murders, robberies, internments in concentration camps and other crimes committed against the Sudeten Germans in 1945 and 1946 during the expulsions.

The Czechs made no distinction between Germans that supported the Nazis and those that did not and brutally murdered many women and children in the process of expelling more than three million people. Even German Communist Party members who had been active anti-fascists did not receive immunity from persecution. (see report number 3). Nor did the blind (see reports numbers 4 and 5) or old women (see reports 9 and 10). On 18-19 June 1945, a group of Czechs murdered 71 German men, 120 women and 74 children in the town of Prerau/Prerov. (Pykel, p. 18). Among the Sudeten Germans robbed of all their property and permanently exiled from their homeland was Righteous Gentile Oskar Schindler. (Hayden, p. 728). There can be no justification for such crimes against humanity.

Sources cited in addition to Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans

Robert M. Hayden, "Schindler's Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers," Slavic Review, Vol 55, No. 4 (Winter 1996), pp. 727-748.

Piotr Pykel, "The Expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia," in Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, eds., The Expulsion of the 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of the Second World War (Florence, Italy: European University Institute, 2004).

2 comments:

Levi9909 said...

I agree with you entirely but should not "Righteous Gentile" be in quotes?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Mark:

It probably should be in quotation marks. But, I took the term from the Hayden article and he does not use quotion marks.