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KSČM rebuke Czech vice-PM for honouring post-war transfer victims

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Prague, July 19 (CTK) – The Czech opposition Communists (KSCM) rebuked yesterday Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) for having honoured the victims of the post-war transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia, while the rightist opposition TOP 09 praised it as a gesture of reconciliation.
If Belobradek, on a visit to Munich earlier this week, paid homage to the transferred Sudeten Germans, it means disrespect for and a mockery of World War Two victims, KSCM chairman Vojtech Filip said in a statement sent to CTK.
Belobradek “should rather pay homage to those who laid their lives for our nation’s liberty, instead of those who eagerly welcomed Hitler [in the Czech Lands],” Filip wrote.
Belobradek is reportedly the first member of the Czech government to have visited the Sudeten German House in Munich, the seat of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft (SdL) and other institutions of the post-war deportees from Czechoslovakia, where he laid a wreath in commemoration of the transfer victims.
The local press hailed his gesture as “a milestone” in mutual relations between Czechs and their former compatriots Sudeten Germans.
“Deputy PM Belobradek…should realise that his breakthrough step deeply offends those whose relatives laid their lives in WWII as a result of German fascists’ atrocities, and whom the Germans expelled from their homes,” KSCM deputies’ group chairman Pavel Kovacik has written on Facebook.
Kalousek, on his part, told CTK that he considers Belobradek’s step a gesture of reconciliation, which he supports.
“This gesture by the deputy PM was appropriate. I think we should seek a path towards mutual communication and definitive reconciliation,” Kalousek said, referring to the relations between Czechs and the Germans who were transferred from then Czechoslovakia, mainly its border regions (Sudetenland) after the war, most of them settling down in Bavaria and Austria.
Filip said he wants to know whether Belobradek acted with the consent from Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD).
Jan Zahradil, Czech MEP for the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), too, said it should be explained whether Belobradek had talks with the SdL, a non-governmental organisation based on his private initiative or whether it was a part of his official visit on the government level, approved by the Czech cabinet.
Belobradek visited the Sudeten German House during his two-day tour of Bavaria the main goal of which was to enhance Czech-Bavarian cooperation in science and research, the areas he is in charge of as deputy prime minister.

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