Friday, December 15, 2006

Right of Return

[posted by Callimachus]

The national borders were re-drawn arbitrarily, by men from other nations who would not have to endure the consequences. Nobody consulted the people who had lived in these small farms and villages for a thousand years. But suddenly their land was someone else's.

Now some of the refugees want back what was stolen from them.

A group of Germans kicked out of Poland after World War II want restitution for lost property, arguing in a complaint that their human rights were violated when Eastern Europe's boundaries were redrawn and they were driven from their homes.

... The Prussian Claims Society complaint filed with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in November stems from territorial rearrangements reached after the war by the victorious Allies — the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union — at the 1945 Potsdam conference.

The Potsdam agreement gave large parts of eastern Germany to Poland, and the Germans living there were forced to leave. Large parts of eastern Poland ultimately went to the Soviet Union.

"The expulsion of the German population, according to some international legal experts, amounted to genocide, or at least to crimes against humanity with the purpose of dispossessing them of property without any compensation," the Prussian Claims Society said Friday.

Unlike a certain other people with a similar claim of long standing, the Prussians get no sympathy anywhere in Europe. All the Euro-elites seem to agree that this is just embarrassing and they wish it would go away. But no one in the AP's story gives a reason better than that offered by Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who I think is being perfectly honest here: The legal move would "initiate some very dangerous processes."

Not because it's right. Not because it's wrong. Not because it's just. But because it could get ugly.

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