Final Word from Friday, April 19, 2002

One of our readers (of Czech origin) said that before the Czechs consider paying any compensation to Sudeten Germans, whether symbolic or otherwise, the Germans should atone for the suffering they caused to the Czechoslovaks during World War II. He questioned whether the Germans and Austrians would really want to reopen a discussion of their "disgusting behavior" during the war. In sharp contrast, another reader (a German) said that the posture of the Czechs towards the Beneš Decrees is outrageous because they refuse to admit that what happened was a crime, as much as the killing of the kulaks by the Soviets and the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis was a crime. He argued that paying compensation is not the issue, because everyone understands that this is difficult after nearly 60 years, if not impossible.


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