Merkel ally criticizes compensation from Poland

2nd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 July 2007, Hanover, Germany (dpa) - A key ally to Chancellor Angela Merkel was jeered on Sunday when he criticized moves to seek compensation from Poland by Germans expelled at the end of World War II. "I am convinced that this form of material accountability will only lead to a harding of positions between Germany and Poland," Lower Saxony state Premier Christian Wulff said. Wulff, deputy chairman of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), was addressing a rally of the Silesian Association representi

2 July 2007

Hanover, Germany (dpa) - A key ally to Chancellor Angela Merkel was jeered on Sunday when he criticized moves to seek compensation from Poland by Germans expelled at the end of World War II.

"I am convinced that this form of material accountability will only lead to a harding of positions between Germany and Poland," Lower Saxony state Premier Christian Wulff said.

Wulff, deputy chairman of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), was addressing a rally of the Silesian Association representing Germans born in a former Prussian region of what is now Poland.

The leader of the organization is Rudi Pawelka, a controversial figure who is also a member of the supervisory board of the Prussian Trust that is seeking restitution of seized property which today belongs to Poland.

Some 12-14 million ethnic Germans were victims of mass expulsions from Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries in Eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II.

Many are represented by expellees' groups with ties to the Prussian Trust, which in November lodged a compensation claim against Poland in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Merkel and her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder have repeatedly said that the German government would not make claims against Poland, but was powerless to stop individuals or organizations from taking action.

The activities of the expellees' associations have been an irritant in Germany's relations with Poland, which sees them as seeking to portray Germans as victims of the war.

DPA

Subject German news

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