(MTI) No crime can be compensated for with another crime and this is all the more true in the case of collective punishment for assumed crimes, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog said on Saturday addressing a commemoration in Solymar, outside Budapest, to remember Hungary’s ethnic Germans who were expelled from the country after the second world war.
“Politicians, politics or even certain individuals may be responsible, but nations as a whole should never be accused” he said.
“There are some even today who still insist on condemning people and ethnic groups collectively,” Balog said, adding that it is wrong to expel any individual from a nation.
Hungary’s parliament decided in December last year to mark January 19 as a day of national remembrance, commemorating the departure of the first train with ethnic German deportees on the same day in 1946.
Participants at the Potsdam Conference concluding the war agreed that ethnic Germans in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, should wholly or partly be resettled in Germany.
The Hungarian government in December 1945 issued a deportation decree concerning ethnic Germans, based on the principle of collective guilt. Under the decree, all residents that had declared themselves ethnic Germans, or said that their mother tongue was German, were supposed to leave the country. Members of the Volksbund or any others who had “supported Hitler’s organisations in any way” were to be deported, too.
Between January 1946 and June 1948 between 220,000 and 250,000 ethnic Germans were sent to Germany, while between 40,000 and 70,000 others were taken to forced labour camps in the Soviet Union.
Monument in Elek, Hungary commemorates the Germans who lived in Hungary before they were deported
Across Eastern and Central Europe monuments have appeared commemorating those who suffered in the forced migrations of 1945.
This photograph shows the monument in Elek, Hungary commemorating the Germans who lived in Hungary before they were deported by force.
Gallery: A Memorial for the Millions of Ethnic German Refugees and Expellees from Eastern Germany and across Eastern Europe, between 1944 and 1948 (You can hover your mouse over the gallery to pause it).
In the Federal Republic of Germany (the occupied vassal state), the suffering of the Ethnic Germans remains officially unacknowledged, or is even accepted as having been perfectly OK; that all Germans were (and are) guilty and that they deserved whatever happened to them.
Thus, on behalf of the German people around the world, I would like to say a sincere thank you to the government and people of Hungary, and to commend them for doing the right and honourable thing in both acknowledging and condemning these crimes against humanity, committed against innocent and defenseless Germans. I hope that other countries will follow your lead in this regard, and that in the not too distant future, such efforts will also lead to a complete re-examination of the history of the war itself, which is long overdue.
And I will now also take this opportunity to say SHAME on the FRG government and all the major political parties who have behaved so cowardly and despicably on this issue!