Czech govt apologizes to victimized anti-Nazi Germans





The Czech Republic's government apologized to anti-Nazi Czechoslovaks of German ethnicity who, after World War II, were either expelled from the country or were not treated as equal citizens.

The government today in Prague unanimously passed a resolution apologizing for the first time to all Czechoslovak citizens of German ethnicity who ``actively fought fascism or suffered under Nazi rule'' in World War II.

About 3.5 million ethnic Germans were deported from the border regions of Czechoslovakia after the war and about 200,000 temporarily lost Czechoslovak citizenship. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. The expulsion has strained ties between the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria.

``We are correcting an injustice committed against our German co-citizens,'' Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said. The apology is for ``the opponents of Nazism who were affected by measures taken by former Czechoslovakia against its so-called enemy citizens after WWII.''

Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes in 1945 issued decrees that allowed the expulsion of ethnic Germans and Hungarians and the confiscation of their property. Legislation passed in 1946 exempted those who had committed crimes against the two minorities from prosecution.



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