German anti-fascist voices on the Sudetenland question
Extracts from speeches at an anti-fascist rally, held in Munich on 29
September 1993, to commemorate the 1938 Munich Agreement, under the
title "Munich 1938 - Germany, united fatherland?"
journalist on Konkret and junge Welt and author of
Antisemitism the old face of the new Germany.
"When dealing with the foreigners ...we should make it our business to
recognise and foster as many ethnic minorities as possible...! mean that
not only do we have the greatest interest in not unifying the peoples of
the East, but also, on the contrary, in dividing them into as many parts
and splinters as possible."
This is how Hitler's SS chief Heinrich Himmler summarised the principles
of Nazi Germany's "New Order in the East".
Don't you often get the feeling that what has been going on over the
last two or three years is reminiscent of this Nazi quotation?
Doesn't one sometimes get the impression that Germany is retracing the
footsteps of its historical forebears and has the same objectives, even
if the means are different?
Doesn't the slogan "Self-determination for nations"
suggest a continuation of German foreign policy
from Stresemann in the Weimar Republic via the Nazi Ribbentrop to
Genscher and present foreign minister Klaus Kinkel?
There's more hidden behind this slogan than the normal capitalist
interest in market-economy; there's also an interest in defeating and
dominating other states.
Take the example of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic: after the
"velvet revolution" of 1989, it appeared that Czechoslovakia, of all the
Eastern Bloc countries, had the best prospects for rapid European Union
(EU) membership. Yet the Federal Republic of Germany and, in particular,
the Bavarian State Government allied themselves early-on with the Slovak
separatists. The Hanns-Seidl-Foundation, closely allied to the
Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), supported the rise of the
Slovak President Meciar financially and contributed "substantially"
towards his election victory.
"Substantially contributed": this description doesn't come from a
leftist propaganda sheet, or from Rude Pravo, but from a leading
magazine of the German business community
- Wirtschaftswoche - in fact.
Out from the chamber-of-horrors of world history, with Bavarian and
German assistance, comes Slovakia. Meciar and his followers justified
the break-up of Czechoslovakia with the assertion that the "Slovak
people" had always been oppressed by "Czechoslovakism".
So what is the "Slovak people" then? In the hunt for this chimera, the
nationalists repeatedly succeeded only in re-exposing the resounding
defeat of that previous will-o-the-wisp, the Slovak State, which existed
only once, from 1939 until the end of World War II,
as a fascist state allied to Hitler's Germany.
Without a second thought, the "new" Slovakia took on the coat of arms
of its historical predecessor and members of the governing party are
pressing for the rehabilitation of the wartime clerical-fascist dictator
The truth about the first Slovak state, which is so unpopular in the
second, looks like this: after the annexation of the Sudetenland in
October 1938, Hitler prepared the defeat of "left-over Czechoslovakia"
("Rest-Tschechei") and encouraged the formation of
an "autonomous" Slovak government in Bratislava.
In March 1939, the Wehrmacht marched into Prague and proclaimed the
"Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia". At the same time, Slovakia
declared itself an independent state. In truth, it was nothing more than
a "satellite par excellence", according to Raul Hilberg, the historian
of the Holocaust.
Only ten days after independence, the first concentration camp was
opened at Ilava; in March 1942, the round-ups and deportations of the
Jews to extermination camps began. Of the 88,000 Slovak Jews, 70,000
were transported. 65,000 never returned.
For this crime, Tiso, the President of the Nazi puppet-state, was
hanged. This was still under the democratic President Benesch, that is,
before the Stalinist takeover of the country.
Where the past is so uncritically adopted as legitimisation of the
present, it's small wonder that its renaissance
is being undertaken. The human rights situation in the new Slovakia has
worsened: The largest minority, the 600,000
people of Hungarian origin, have been shoved step by step into obscurity
by a language-ban, while open-season has been declared on Roma people by
the President His Excellency himself.
He recently declared the Roma to be a "retarded population group" while
the uncertain future for Jews is illustrated by the fate of Fedor Gal.
He survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp as a baby, hidden in a
shoe-box. In 1989, he took a prominent part in the "velvet revolution".
Yet after the political changes, he found himself
ostracised by threats and intimidation. His involvement in the democracy
movement had not helped. By 1991, he was forced to emigrate from
The sole "minority" to prosper from the independence of Slovakia, are
the 5,000 "cavemen", the so-called Carpathian Germans who are cared-for
and pampered by the Meciar government. And, so we are back to the
promotion of German interests.
The bogus slogan of "self-determination for nations" permits Germany
not only to stick its nose into other states' affairs, but to consider
direct annexation, since, if all other nations have a right to
self-determination, who should deny that right to the German nation?
This is the secret behind the instant German recognition of Slovakia.
Now I'll quote Wirtschaftswoche in full: The
CSU was active "...in order to strengthen the position and the claims of
the Sudeten Germans vis-a-vis Prague. They have played a vital role in
Bavaria since 1945, as some of the most faithful CSU voters".
The following examples give further credence to the theory. After a
meeting with the Bavarian prime minister Streibl,
Meciar announced that the German- Czechoslovak
friendship treaty would be annulled and a new agreement signed, which
took better account of the claims of the Sudeten Germans.
Anyway, the CSU signalled, with the naming of the Speaker of the
Franz Neubauer, as Head of the semi-State-controlled Bayerischen
Landesbank, that it would use the end of the Czechoslovak Republic as
the green light for a new revanchist onslaught, and for maximising the
opportunity for economic subversion.
Joint statement of Sudetendeutsche
Landsmannschaft and fascist
Witikobund denouncing 1992 treaty with Czechoslovakia
Neubauer's Landsmannschaft announced that following the "end of the
inhumanity of Czechoslovakianism" it would ensure that the financial
strength of the bank, one of the foremost new financial
institutions in Prague, was put behind its unmistakable demands for the
right to self determination for the Sudeten Germans.
What is meant by "unmistakable demands" is, first and foremost, the
undermining of the German/Czechoslovak Treaty. The Treaty, ratified in
1992, noticeably offers two clauses open for "improvement".
- Firstly, it leaves open the question of financial compensation for
displaced "Volksdeutsche" (ethnic Germans who moved en masse from their
Sudetenland homes in 1945/46) - compensation for Czechoslovak citizens
who, were murdered by the Germans in Lidice and other places, or had
their possessions "aryanised" was never even discussed.
The Bavarian State Government is applying enormous international
pressure in this direction, by, amongst other things, having a report
prepared which not only cites the "expulsion" as a whole, but also - a
record achievement in demagogy - the dispossession which followed, as
"genocide". The sum demanded by the Sudeten Germans is approaching 130
billion DM - which if paid would bankrupt the Czech Republic.
- The second weak point of the German/CzechoslovakTreaty is that it
rules out an annexation of the "Sudeten territory" by Germany, but
leaves open the possibility of the "Sudeten Germans" themselves opting
for joining the new Germany. It thereby invites nothing less than a
rerun of the historic events of 1936-1938. This of course is not openly
stated, but hedged around. Because the Munich Agreement with Adolf
Hitler is not declared "from the outset null and void", the revanchist
interpretation is left open and the claim that territory be ceded to the
Germany under the agreement would be legitimate, because it would merely
be expressing the "right to self-determination" of the Sudeten-Germans.
Renewed resort to the "Munich Method" in the post-war period foundered
until now on the fact that though the Landsmannschaften were able to
shout their mouths off in Bavaria, there was no "German minority" in the
CSSR/CSFR (Czech Socialist Republic /
Czech Federal Republic) to make similar demands.
The "Confederation of German Cultural Associations", which was founded
in Prague in 1969, pursued a docile traditional folkloric policy,
through a mixture of Friedrich Schiller's poetry and Egerland march
music. From a Sudeten-German point of view, the
organisation had the unforgivable shortcoming that it was loyal to
Consequently, for the last few years there have been repeated attempts
to destroy the organisation. With the collapse of the CSFR, however, the
breakthrough may now have been made. On the initiative of the
Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft, within the space of a few weeks in the
autumn of 1992, a Landsmannschaft for Germans in Bohemia, Moravia and
Silesia was cobbled together. This splinter group has in most villages,
it's true, only just about one tenth of the 7,000
members of the established association, but it has far bigger financial
All over the place, propaganda centres, euphemistically called "social
centres", with a lavish infrastructure, are springing up. The high-point
was the recruitment of the former chairman of the old "Cultural
Association", who on double his original retainer, is in now charge of
one of these centres. Two German-language newspapers in Prague and a
radio station in "Egerland" are drumming-up support for the new
association, which presents itself as the domestic and foreign policy
human-rights body of the future.
There will even to be participation in the next elections.
In November 1993, the Demokratische Partei Sudetenland was
founded in Pilsen. It calls itself for short the SDP, just like its
historical predecessor, the Sudetendeutsche Partei of Hitler's governor
and stooge, Konrad Henlein.
Landsmannschaft leader Neubauer has already boasted: "I have fought
twenty election campaigns in Germany, why shouldn't I fight the
twenty-first in Czechoslovakia?"
That such revanchist events in Czechoslovakia are not just isolated
incidents, and that in other places things look even worse, can be
evidenced by this quotation from the February 1992 edition of the
business newspaper Forbes: "Following the
completion of reunification, a second German newly-created state is
intended to emerge - in the middle of Russia, 3,000 km east of Berlin:
the 'Autonomous Volga Republic'. Official language? German. Two million
Russian Germans ... are expected to move there. As an upwardly mobile
economic elite of German stock with Prussian virtues, the Volga Germans
could become the pioneering advance guard of the Kohl Empire in Russia."
The article subsequently also refers to the planned newly-created state
as "Volga Germania".
As has been said, these quotations don't come from some mouthpiece of
the exiles, but from a well-known German business paper.
On the grounds of current internal unrest in Russia, the Germans have
recently shifted their ambitions for such a "Volga Germania" to the
former East Prussia, in what is at present Kaliningrad. This area, as a
result of the independence of the Baltic republics, is now a Russian
enclave with no hinterland and is therefore in a hopeless economic
situation. Germany has promised that it will, as a Freeport and Free
Trade Zone, be associated with the European Union. Enthusiastic noises
are made about a future "Hong Kong on the Baltic".
In Bonn, it is insisted that the area would formally remain thoroughly
Russian, but such statements merely pay
lip-service to the reality: the power of economic development will soon
enough pull Kaliningrad in the direction which appeals to Forbes.
Groth, the leader of the Russian-Germans, has urged the Federal German
government not to delay the formation of this German bridgehead any
longer, or he will instruct his compatriots who have emigrated to the
Federal Republic to vote for the fascist Republikaner in the Federal
In other words, he threatens a repeat of the events which led to the
Anschluss of the German Democratic Republic. Then, too, moderate
sections of the Establishment and the business community as well, either
did not want the Anschluss or wanted it at a slower pace. They
were, however, thoroughly trounced by pro-Anschluss elements in
the East who had been incited by the Federal Chancellor's Office and the
right-wing Springer press empire.
29 September 1993 "Munich 1938 - Germany, united fatherland?"
Elsässer / Frank...
In conclusion. Five theses:
Firstly, the "Right to self-determination of nations" is another
name for the Germanisation of Europe.
The "Shared house of Europe", of which Gorbachev so naively dreamt, is
being devoured by the termites of separatism. In Eastern Europe, through
the parcelling-off of the great state-owned industries, these elements
are easing the path for German capital, which at the beginning mobilised
more investment there than all its competition put together. The most
aggressive of the nationalists in some of these countries adopt similar
tactics and have historic links with the Germans. In the Balkans and
Eastern Europe, "nation" is always interpreted as being ethnic - the
civil, democratic interpretation of the word is much weaker.
Croats, Latvians, Estonians, Slovaks, Lithuanians and Ukrainians
provided auxiliary troops for the creation of an SS-Europe and thugs for
the application of the Final Solution. Because, in a time of recession,
all this separatism is completely without economic perspective, the new
small states will soon scratch around for potential supporters. The
economic strength of Germany and the ideological
echo of historical partnership will form a gravitational field which
will affect the new nationettes and transform Europeanisation into Germanisation.
Secondly, Germanisation means the destruction of
the European Union.
The Maastricht Treaty, the "last project of the old era and not the
first of the new" as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung terms it,
no longer meets the aspirations of a united Germany. That is why the
German Bundesbank has made it redundant by torpedoing the European
Monetary System. The EU is thus thrown back to the position that existed
at the start of the 70's and, rather than continuing to develop into the
United States of Europe, it will be relegated to a German Free Trade
The EU is being moulded by a currency-block of states which are linked
to, or dependent upon, the Deutsche Mark. In other words, instead of a
Maastricht Europe, there will exist a Greater German Economic Empire
with the exception of France, but including the pro-German non-EU
countries, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland, plus one or two
German vassal-states in Eastern Europe.
Thirdly, Germanisation means further
The reunification of Germany of 3 October 1990 was not the end.
Preparations are afoot for further territorial expansion. The immediate
interest is the area of Kaliningrad, but the pressures for Anschluss
in Silesia, Austria and the Sudetenland will grow.
Fourthly, Germanisation of Europe means war.
Part of the process of creating pro-German satellite states in the
Balkans has been the Federal Republic's objective of
heating-up the internal conflict in
Yugoslavia into a war and by recognising Bosnia it has exacerbated the
Further proxy wars in the interests of Germany are conceivable, in
particular in the Greece-Albania-Macedonia triangle, but also between
Russia and the Ukraine or in the former Soviet Turk
republics, which Germany is infiltrating via its axis-partner Turkey.
Even internal imperialist wars cannot be ruled out.
In other words:
Finally, the chief enemy exists in our own country.
Once again, the consumer society, having reached the end of a long
crest, is unleashing the barbaric mechanisms which it was able to
smother during the long postwar period of stability.
It is not a question of a North-South war - we've long had those! No, it's
something rather worse: the collapse of the market economy and war
between everyone and everyone else. International capital faces death by
success and now, with the barely-expired Stalinist enemy and his
unifying influence gone, the competing economic powers are unleashing
The new Germany is freeing itself from its Western ties, and
reestablishing the alliances which led to 1914 and 1939.
The anti-militarist Karl Liebknecht, in a similar situation, resolved
to set up an opposition movement with the slogan "The chief enemy exists
in our own country". The German Left, in the period after World War
II, unfortunately never followed that example. For
them the chief enemy was always seen as being somewhere else. For one
lot, it was the USA, for others it was both the superpowers. This belief
was always false. Now, following reunification, in this bloated Germany
this belief has become a fire hazard.
Documentation Centre for Jewish Art and Culture in Munich,
an expert on the history of the Sudeten Germans: "It
seems pointless for any sensible person still to be asking today to whom
the territory of the Czech Republic belongs, because every one knows,
even the least historically knowledgeable, that the Czech state belongs
to the Czechs, Slovakia belongs to the Slovaks and the land beyond the
Oder/Neisse frontier belongs to the Poles"...