German expellee group to hold internal inquiry

21st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2006, BERLIN - The German refugee group that has angered Poland's leaders with a Berlin exhibition about the history of ethnic purges said Sunday it will investigate whether it was influenced in the past by former Nazis. Erika Steinbach, president of the Federation of Expellees, told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the inquiry would examine "to what degree guilty former Nazis occupied leadership positions in the federation and whether they influenced policies." She spoke

21 August 2006

BERLIN - The German refugee group that has angered Poland's leaders with a Berlin exhibition about the history of ethnic purges said Sunday it will investigate whether it was influenced in the past by former Nazis.

Erika Steinbach, president of the Federation of Expellees, told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the inquiry would examine "to what degree guilty former Nazis occupied leadership positions in the federation and whether they influenced policies."

She spoke a week after reports that the federation had no funds to spare for such an investigation.

The group has been in the headlines after a foundation headed by Steinbach organized a museum exhibition in Berlin on nine episodes of violent ethnic purges in the 20th century, including the persecution that forced the majority of Jews to flee 1930s Nazi Germany and the post-1945 ejection of the ethnic Germans from eastern Europe.

Polish authorities promptly demanded the return of artefacts loaned to the exhibition.

The federation, which seeks an apology from Poland and other nations for the expulsions before the last refugees die, has unsuccessfully sought to allay Polish alarm.

Steinbach said Friday that the revelation a week ago that German Nobel Literature laureate Guenter Grass had once been a member of the Waffen SS, the Nazi Party army, had harmed German-Polish relations.

DPA

Subject: German news

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