Talk:Beneš decrees

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Decree 115[edit]

Is there any reason, why the 'real hard' decree 115 from 8th of May 1946 is not at all mentioned? - in it all violence, torture and killing especially against Germans was justified and amnestied even if it took place after the end of WW II. 21:33, 15 May 2006 User:217.10.15.40 (Paul)

Sure. Firstly, it does not belong there, as it was not "enacted by the Czechoslovak government of exile during World War II in absence of Czechoslovak parliament". Secondly, it is not in fact a governmental decree at all, but a standard Act adopted by the Provisional Parliament. Thirdly, it does not justify "all violence, torture and killing especially against Germans", but only those activities (which would otherwise be considered criminal), whose "objective was to contribute to the fight for regaining of freedom of Czechs and Slovaks or were aimed at righteous retaliation for deeds of occupants or their collaborators" - i.e. any inappropriate violence or any other similar excesses were not amnestied and were subject to standard criminal prosecution. Whether or not particular cases were prosecuted in practice is of course another question. Regards (another Paul). 14:13, 3 August 2006 User:80.95.254.1

Another Paul, I think you will not dispute that the objective "to contribute to the fight for regaining of freedom of Czechs and Slovaks or were aimed at righteous retaliation for deeds of occupants or their collaborators" is a wording quite useful for justifying all kinds of acts, probabaly perpetrators subjectively could decide what righteous retalation was, or who a collaborator was, or what constituted the "freedom of Czechs and Slovaks". PS. Please all sign your posts. Str1977 (smile back) 14:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, certainly, there's no controversy in this matter. But frankly, it is always quite hard to find better wording when you have to deal with resistance movements and other stricto sensu "illegal" activities, isn't it? Was Heydrichs' assasination a murder, a terrorism or just and lawful act (note that those soldiers who carried out the killing were in civilian clothes)? Were such people heroes or criminals? Without such Act, many resistance combatants would be open to criminal prosecutions for their activities against Nazis. Nevertheless, I have added the above-mentioned quotation primarily to show that there were certain guidelines for assessing such situations by the police and the courts, based on criteria, which per se could hardly be called unjust - i.e. it simply is not true that "all violence, torture and killing especially against Germans was justified and amnestied". Of course there certainly were rascals and pseudoheroes who, driven by greed or sadism, "boldly" attacked anything German after the end of the War. Of course it is a shame if such people were not prosecuted and condemned. But such actions were always crimes and were always punishable as crimes and were not legalised by this Act. (another) Paul --80.95.254.1 15:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hungarians[edit]

Hungarians were also affected by the Benes decrees The article and the links focus on the treatment of ethnic Germans in the former Czechoslowakia, and that's fair as they were the group most seriously affected by the decrees. However, we should not forget about several hundred thousand civic Hungarians who also suffered due to the Benes decrees and the political debates which developed over that in recent years between Hungary on one side and the Czech Republic and Slovakia on the other side. I guess the facts of the removal of Hungarians and corresponding issues should be part of the article about the Benes decrees and perhaps a separate article would be also justified. I write this as somebody might appear in this discussion who is better prepared than me to put together the facts in the most "neutral" possible way. Probably new stages of the debate will evolve and in that case a story on the background in Wikipedia would be great help to readers to understand what will be happening and why.

Hungarians are mentioned once, Feel free to add more information or write standalone article for the topic. Also please use ~~~~ to sign your edits. Pavel Vozenilek 00:37, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

move[edit]

this page should be moved to eliminate the windows-1252 char from the title. Plugwash 13:51, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • disagree the name was written that way. there is no problem using special characters, just like in German articles Wikipedia use the "Umlaut" Antares911 21:09, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • The german wikipedia uses utf-8 so thats not really got anything to do with the topic at hand. The only reason you see a letter at that position in the name at all is because of web browsers trying to provide bug for bug compatibility with IE. it does cause problems for inbound interwikis as mentioned at http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1679
      • Move for the moment, and revisit when MediaWiki 1.5 goes live. I have just had to put a redirect from Talk:BeneÅ¡ decrees here because somone's browser blew out the original link. Susvolans (pigs can fly) 17:25, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC) No need to move. Windows-1252 is no longer an issue now 1.5 is with us. Susvolans (pigs can fly) 28 June 2005 06:08 (UTC)
        • agreed, lukilly the developers made sure that windows-1252 chars were converted to the appropriate unicode code points during conversion (something i belive didn't happen back when de was converted). Plugwash 28 June 2005 12:53 (UTC)

the term is most frequently used[edit]

By radical Germans. Xx236 07:53, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Empty link[edit]

I have removed:


Please correct the link, if possible. Xx236 10:24, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

exproriation?[edit]

Current text of the article includes this sentence...

"Some of the decrees concerned the exproriation of wartime traitors and collaborators accused of treason but also all Germans and Hungarians regardless of their degree of guilt."

What is meant by "exproriation"? Closest English word is "expropriation" but that usually means taking away of property. "Exportation"? Doesn't make sense. "Expulsion"? That makes sense but it's far from the actual text.

Help?

--Richard 22:14, 24 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's expropriation (going to fix it) - as the article says, the decrees didn't mandate the actual transfer, but "merely" loss of property and citizenship. 89.102.137.191 10:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scope of this article[edit]

I inserted information about Czech decree 76/1948 and Slovak decree 287/1948 which revoked decree No. 33/1945. JKlamo deleted the text with an edit summary indicating that this article was about the Benes decrees only. I restored the text that he deleted.

Here is my rationale...

I agree that the article should be about the Benes decrees only. However, I am assuming that decree No. 33/1945 was one of the Benes decrees. If it was not, then JKlamo is right and the information about the Czech and Slovak decrees does not belong here.

JKlamo also deleted text that asserted that "with two exceptions, 89 of the Benes decreess are still in force". This seems clearly germane to the topic so I restored that text.

--Richard 17:14, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Impact on today's political relations

I must tell that this can not be without comment the problems are there because the artikels are still activ part of the checkh law it is not a law from the past nobody would care about that. It is a scandal that with the Council of Europe existing this laws where not cleansed before they came to the EU that means the human rights are only valid for non Germans. Johann

It is a shame that the Czech Republic could enter the EU with the Benes Decrees, a blatant violation of peoples´rights and a bad role model for the rest of the world. This is one of the reasons why the EU doesn´t work. Pure economic thinking will not be able to keep people together. Nothing is solved if it isn`t solved in a fair way.--Wurzeln und Flügel (talk) 18:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mixed families[edit]

The subject of mixed families should be discussed.Xx236 11:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So... tell us what the article should say. --Richard 14:47, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm sorry, I don't know legal details, but apparently many German members of mixed families weren't expelled.Xx236 07:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Liechtenstein[edit]

According to List of unrecognized countries, Liechtenstein is not recognised by, and does not recognize, the Czech Republic and Slovakia due to a feud over the applicability of the Beneš decrees to property owned by the Prince of Liechtenstein. If anyone can find out more about this, it'd fit the article well. Lejman (talk) 23:22, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Check the source - it is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. +Hexagon1 (t) 10:17, 13 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POV[edit]

There is strong POV language about the Soviet Union and its position related to expulsion of ethnic nationals after the war. This may be accurate, but I've toned down the language as a start. The postwar sections need more inline citations and accurate sources to support the statements. The Soviet Union may have had a stronger position related to expulsion of Germans because they had suffered so much from Nazi invasion/attacks. That aspect should be mentioned, so that the context is there.--Parkwells (talk) 18:00, 16 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, in fact Soviets later blocked transfer of Hungarians from Slovakia and they were the last of Allied Powers to accept transfer as a solution for Czechoslovak internal problem with German and Hungarian minorities.88.101.177.121 (talk) 14:11, 7 June 2010 (UTC)Honza73Reply[reply]

Czech suffering under Nazis[edit]

In contrast to Poland and Russia Czechoslovakia did not suffer extremely under the Nazis and their war. Germans and Czechs had lived in Bohemia for 800 years, the culture in the Sudeten area was mainly formed by Germans. The expulsion of the Germans means a great loss of culture and history. What a pity for Europe`s cultural diversity and what a sad fate for the Sudeten Germans and their coming generations--Wurzeln und Flügel (talk) 18:20, 19 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is quite outrageous attempt for whitewash of Nazi crimes and "Sudeten" Germans' part in it cloaked in modern multi-culturalism. Well, it is a fact that Germans (who took direct control of Czech countries without firing a single shot in two steps during late 1938 - annexation of its border regions called Sudety or Sudetenland by Czech Germans living there - and early 1939 - occupation of remaining part of Czech countries and establishing of so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) murdered somewhat lesser number of Czechs than they killed Poles or Russians, but numbers hardly matter here, not to mention that number of Czechs executed or tortured to death by Germans was still pretty high. Germans simply needed Czech industry and Czech labor for their war efforts and so the "final solution" of "Czech question" in that what they saw as their "Lebensraum" (historically well established and documented fact) had to be postponed for the post-war period. But despite of this "merciful" and "kind" approach of Nazi masters towards their Czech subjects, the history of German occupation, in which "Sudeten" Germans (most of them familiar with Czech language) played crucial role, was a history of terror, oppression, institucionalized murdering, theft, exploitation and enslavement in proportions and magnitude unseen ever before or after here (despite of quite grim historical record of this part of old continent). The participation of Czech Germans who were usually even more radical in their treatment of Czechs than Nazis from the Reich is well-known record of history as well as the fact that so-called Sudetenland after its annexation by Germany had by far the highest ratio of card-carrying members of NSDAP from all parts of Hitler's Reich. More than 90 % of Czech Germans voted for Henlein's then quite openly pro-Nazi and arguably pro-irredentist SdP in local elections in the first half of 1938. They were used as eagerly willing Hitler's instrument for destruction of Czechoslovak parliamentary democracy and Czechoslovakia's very existence and later they were very active in running the occupation and planning the genocide. Their transfer after the war, for the first time proposed by non-communist domestic resistance groups in the summer 1939, i. e. already before the war in Europe started, was then seen as necessary step to make any Czech or Czechoslovak state viable in the future. As for the Czech-German internal relations in the Czech countries, they were mostly troubled since late 18th century germanization policy of Emperor Joseph II and appearence of both Czech and German national revivals with Czechs fighting for national emancipation and historical state rights of the Czech Kingdom within the Habsbourg Empire while Czech Germans fiercely opposed it defending privileged status of German language and Germans within the Austria but also openly preferring to be part of some then (before 1870s) only dreamed united Greater Germany (Austria was not enough German for them) which was of course unacceptable option for Czechs, who were in the 19th century usually much more loyal group to Vienna than Czech Germans (getting very little in return for that loyalty, unlike traditionally rebellious Hungarians). Czech stance towards Austria started to change only after Austro-Hungarian Settlement of 1867 which ignored all Czech aspirations and demands and gave a deadly blow to whole austro-slavist conception of then Czech political elite pushing it into uncooperative opposition towards government (Czechs for long years since then boycotted Vienna Reichstag in their "passive resistence" policy) and all later attempts for compromise (notably so-called fundamental articles of 1871) failed due to fierce opposition of Czech Germans backed by Prussia, Austrian German nationalists and also Hungarians who defended status quo of Austro-Hungarian dualism. Still all the time before WW1 Czech political aspirations were autonomist or federalist without seeking breakaway from Austro-Hungary and only in the course of war it had changed to the independence option, which was promoted by Czech and Slovak exile including Beneš and supported most notably by Masaryk's friend Woodrow Wilson. Of course, Czech Germans who were quite unhappy with old Austria, which was giving them privileged status, were even more unhappy with a new state - Czechoslovak Republic - where they became an unprivileged minority. Hungarian feelings were pretty the same. And so the clashes with reversed polarity in centre/perifery relations continued, there was even a violent German uprising subdued by new Czechoslovak army and for the first half of 1920s Czech Germans were completely boycotting Czechoslovak institutions in their "passive resistence". Later main German political parties changed their mind and started to participate in Czechoslovak political life and they were usually represented in coalition governments as well. This period of German "activist" policy was probably the best period in Czech-German relations since the birth of modern nations and respective nationalisms and it lasted only so long as the Germany (Wiemar republic then) was down after defeat in Great War, wrecked both politically and economically and militarily weak, having very little appeal for Germans living in prosperous, stable and democratic Czechoslovakia, which respected minority rights much above then usual standards. But it had changed sharply after Hitler's rise to power in Germany, when Czech Germans (quite afflicted and radicalized by Great Depression) just had gone mad. In 1936 parliamentary election German activist parties were practically erased by nationalist and Nazi-leaning Henlein's SdP (which became the strongest party in then Czechoslovak National Assembly) and (with exception of German Social Democratic party) all of them later merged with SdP. Two years later already openly Nazi SdP got over 90 % and Czechs as well as anti-SdP Germans living in border regions of Czechoslovakia (so-called Sudety or Sudetenland in German) with German majority started to be openly harrased and terrorized by SdP activists. What was following afterwards (Munich, occupation, WW2 and transfer) is quite well known history.88.101.177.121 (talk) 21:17, 7 June 2010 (UTC)Honza73Reply[reply]

The Nazis`treatment of the Czech population was of course atrocious. But it is absolutely no excuse for the ethnic cleansing of the Sudeten Germans after World War 2. This was and still is a severe violation of people`s rights and the Czechs should never have been allowed into the EU with the Benes Decrees.--92.230.65.46 (talk) 17:40, 22 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We were allowed in and should've been allowed in. Sure, innocent were expelled, but the goal was to expel Nazi's and what else could we have done? Let them stay in and worry about them rebelling again and again joining Germany?46.135.110.245 (talk) 19:47, 22 June 2017 (UTC)46.135.110.245Reply[reply]


The Nazis treatment of the Czech population during the occupation led to a definitive break with everything that was German - simply end!--Posp68 (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article[edit]

I have to say that this article is pure fiction based on the worst German propaganda and - in some cases of unsourced allegations which are apparently factually wrong - on author's personal imagination.

Here is an example:

"The Czechoslovak government-in-exile adopted plans to deport the Germans and Hungarians in 1943 and sought the support of the Allies for this plan, which agreed to it at the Potsdam conference.

Among the four Allies, the Soviet Union urged their British and US allies to agree to the expulsions of ethnic German citizens and of allegedly German-speaking Poles, Czechoslovaks, Hungarians, Yugoslavs and Romanians into their zones of occupation."

Well, in fact forced transfer of German minorities began to be discussed and was agreed long before Potsdam conference, which only finalized and confirmed plans for its realization. It also urged to stop "wild" transfer, which was occuring by that time in some countries including Czechoslovakia but which was unauthorized by the government and conducted by irregular forces and/or local "revolutionary" authorities during or in the chaotic aftermath of war. (Most of crimes associated with post-war forced transfer of Germans occured in this phase and it can be rightfully described as "expulsion". There were many really nasty incidents and excesses including revenge killings and even mass executions of POWs and German civilians by partisans and members of "revolutionary guards" but unlike Nazi terror it was not systematic deliberate state policy and reported numbers of victims cited in the article - quoted from brazenly propagandist source - are nowhere near the reality. Estimate of Czech-German joint commision of historians gives an interval from 19 to 30 thousands but it includes suicide cases and those people who died from natural causes during the internment, transportation or shortly after it. Number of docummented killings is somewhere around 5600 and it can be higher as the record is not complete and in post-war chaos many lesser incidents could have been unreported but no serious estimate puts this toll over 10 thousands).

Also the allegation that "among the four Allies, the Soviet Union urged their British and US allies to agree to the expulsions" is quite curious. In fact, Brits were independently on Beneš or any other Czechs considering forced transfer of German minority from Poland and Czechoslovakia already in late 1939 and Beneš's own thoughts and argumentation related to transfer was largely based on these initial British considerations. Polish government-in-exile was openly declaring such an intention back in 1939 too. The idea was also widely circulated among domestic non-communist resistance groups in 1939. Brits definitely agreed with the idea since 1942, though they conditioned their backing with approval from Americans and Soviets as principal Allied powers. Beneš managed persuade Roosevelt to back the plan in the summer of 1943 rather easily (Not surprisingly if one takes into consideration U.S. treatment of Japanees and other potential fifth columnists). Stalin was last one who supported the idea in December 1943 and (despite of above cited allegation) was least eager to do so. (Later he blocked transfer of Hungarians from Slovakia to Hungary.) Of course, his motivation for that was hardly the care for well-being of Czechoslovak Germans and Hungarians. He was clearly concerned by troubles arising from arrival of so many people into Soviet occupational zone.88.101.177.121 (talk) 03:36, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Honza73Reply[reply]

"For the Soviet Union the atrocities and mass expropriation along ethnic alignments were just a beginning for later so-called class actions. The perpetrators and profiteers blundered into the situation, that they became dependent on a perpetuation of the Soviet rule in their countries in order not to be dispossessed again of their booty and to stay unpunished. Furthermore the mass expropriations loosened legal standards as to property rights of other Czechoslovaks, which was clearly intended for the future of Czechoslovakia as a state under Soviet influence."

This is pure speculation which is quite at odds with some basic facts. In fact, forced transfer was a matter of broad consensus of Czech resistance and allied powers and Soviets as well as Czechoslovak communists were the last to join it. (Btw, Czechoskovak Communist Party was the only major political party within the First Republic's party system which managed to abridge national divisions and had a significant section of Czech Germans in its ranks.) Also expropriated property of Germans was from the beginning considered as part of German war reparations when dispossesed Germans were supposed to be compensated by German government.88.101.177.121 (talk) 04:14, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Honza73Reply[reply]

"In Czechoslovakia, the Germans and Hungarians were subject to a policy of assimilation and discrimination; in particular their languages were discriminated against and they were ousted from the civil service."

This claim is blatant lie. The First Czechoslovak Republic was one of the most liberal democracies ever existed. Neither Germans nor Hungarians were ever discriminated in any way in Czechoslovakia between 1919 and 1938 despite their openly hostile stance and behaving towards the new republic. Throughout the period, when Czechoslovak German political elite practised "activist" policy (after dropping its uncooperative "passive resistance" policy in mid and late 1920s) their political parties (Deutsche Christlichsoziale Volkspartei - DCV, Bund der Landwirte - BdL and Deutsche sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei in der Tschechoslowakischen Republik - DSAP) participated in every single Czechoslovak coalition government. Of course, there was no "policy of assimilation" and in fact Czechoslovakia's policy towards national and/or language minorities was fairly generous even under present standards.88.101.177.121 (talk) 16:24, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Honza73Reply[reply]

The Norwegian assassin Anders Breivik mentions the Benes Decrees in his manifesto seven times and uses them as a call for ethnic cleansing in Europe. Muslims should be expelled from Europe the same way as Sudeten Germas were. He was obviously incited by violent articles about the Benes Decrees in Wikipedia.--92.228.179.227 (talk) 10:54, 30 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you suggest? Should we delete the violent articles (WW1, WW2, medieval wars, ethnic problems etc.) on Wiki? Fakirbakir (talk) 13:05, 31 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia treated German expellees like "Untermenschen". No wonder that Breiwik in his elite megalomania took those articles as an incentive to expel or kill young socialists or Turks in Europe. The Wikipedia articles were the concept of Czech nationlists and in Germany of the far left, too. Now they have obviously been "cleaned" as the media are awake. Breivik should not be alone on the bench in the Oslo court yard.--92.228.176.129 (talk) 13:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the main problem is that there are two Slavic states who can not recognize what the problem is with the Decrees at the present time. They only defend their nationalistic point of views in the 21st century in connection with it. This pointless nationalistic attitude could give him a bad example about that what would be the "normal" behavior of European states. (?? European ??) !!!It is a Shame!!!Fakirbakir (talk) 14:14, 31 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Do you mean the Potsdam Agreement?
No Czechoslovak (Czech) legal norm (decree, law, etc.) ever existed that would have dealt with the displacement of the German population. The conclusions of the Potsdam Conference were confirmed by its signatory states in 1996. --Posp68 (talk) 21:12, 10 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Germans and Hungarians in the Czech Republic and Slovakia[edit]

Since the decrees are still in effect are people of German and Hungarian etnicity able to become naturalized citizens of the Czech Republic and Slovakia? SpeakFree (talk) 14:36, 31 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes they are able to become citizens. Actualy I belive that § 1 of decree 33/1945 Sb. have been already implicitly repealed. --BobM (talk) 13:03, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Beneš_decrees#Regaining_Czechoslovak_citizenship Cimmerian praetor (talk) 14:18, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Euphemism[edit]

The introduction states that Germans and Hungarians "in some cases even died" as a consequence of the decrees. Isn't this allegation highly euphemistic ? Violence, massacres and mutilations of Germans were very common, including the Aussig massacre, the Prague massacre or the Brünn death march for instance. The Germans were also subject to forced labour. This might also be true for the Hungarians.--Mister Jacky (talk) 23:26, 23 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Decrees concerning nationality/expulsion were adopted in September 1945. All of the massacres took place before that, mainly in time and places where there were no Czech/oslovak authorities in place, mostly due to them being dismantled by the German/Hungarian occupation forces.
Thus, those were not consequences of the Decrees themselves. The massacres were investigated and perpetrators prosecuted up until the Soviet-sponsored communist coup of 1948.
While wartime massacres were conducted by German authorities and with popular support of German electorate, the post-war were instance of illegal mob justice. In many cases, the perpetrators were Czech collaborators with German power (i.e. de facto agents of the German state) who were doing these either to get rid of witnesses to their collaboration or in order to disassociate themselves from their previous pro-German wartime actions.
Also it should be noted that at the time it was common for German soldiers to take off their uniforms. In such situation, they would not be covered by international law as prisoners of war. Given that the communist coup put a stop to investigations, in many cases we don't know whether those were illegal massacres or de facto legal summary executions of enemy combatants that took off their uniforms. Cimmerian praetor (talk) 07:27, 24 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not comfortable of the idea of Wikipedia referring to denazification as a "massacre". 46.97.170.32 (talk) 13:01, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New developments[edit]

It appears that this year Liechtenstein began new legal action against the Czech Republic and is in fact challenging their classification as German in the decrees. Perhaps we should mention this?[1]

Savetheinternets (talk) 19:24, 5 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Savetheinternets:,
Definitely!(KIENGIR (talk) 09:15, 7 January 2021 (UTC))Reply[reply]