Germany: the foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation has a new board
The board of the foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation was appointed on 8 July. The Bundestag approved its composition by the votes of the Christian Democrats and Liberals. For the government coalition politicians this means success, which in their opinion will enable the launch of essential work on the expulsions museum project. However, some candidates’ statements regarding, for example, the causes of the outbreak of World War II, have raised strong controversy among representatives of the opposition.
According to the amended law on the foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation, its board consists of 21 members (previously 13). The body supervising the institution’s work will consist of 6 representatives of the Federation of Expellees (BdV), 4 from the Bundestag, 2 each from the Catholic and Evangelical Churches and the Central Council of Jews, and one each for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the government’s plenipotentiary for culture and the media, and the president of the House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn and the German History Museum in Berlin as part of their official prerogatives.
Criticism from the opposition, whose representatives voted against the proposed composition of the board, was raised by the candidacies of deputies of two BdV representatives. Arnold Tölg and Hartmut Saenger are known for their controversial statements, for example about the causes of World War II. Last year Saenger in an article published by Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung was claiming that Poland’s “aggressive policy” in the interwar period had been the reason for Hitler’s breaking of the non-aggression pact of 1934. In turn, Tölg was a staunch opponent of paying damages to former forced labourers in Nazi Germany. <ciechan>