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Czechs probe massacre of Sudeten Germans
Archaeologists and police excavate a mass grave near Dobronin. Photo: DPA

Czechs probe massacre of Sudeten Germans

Published: 18 Aug 2010 17:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Aug 2010 17:15 GMT+02:00

Czech police have launched an investigation into the May 1945 killing of more than a dozen German-speaking civilians, after the discovery of a World War II-era grave, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Investigator Michal Laska was quoted as telling Hospodarske Noviny that the remains of at least four individuals had so far been found at the burial pit uncovered last week in the central Czech village of Dobronin.

He said DNA from the remains was set to be compared with that of individuals now living in Germany, to help confirm the identity of the victims. The remains are believed to be those of a group of German-speaking farmers who lived in and around Dobronin, and who are thought to have been shot by a hit squad on May 19, 1945.

Laska noted that the names of the alleged perpetrators had been mentioned in a book about Dobronin by a German writer, as well as on several German websites.

"One of them is still alive," Hospodarske Noviny quoted Laska as saying. "But to launch a formal criminal probe, we need proof. And after 65 years, there isn't a lot. We can't accuse a man of something simply because someone else says that he did it," he said.

The farmers had been detained and were due to be expelled to Germany and Austria, as the Czechs drove out three million ethnic Germans in the wake of World War II as collective punishment for their perceived role in the conflict.

The country's German minority was clustered in the Sudetenland, a region bordering Germany and Austria, which Nazi Germany took over in 1938 under the Munich Agreement with France, Britain and Italy.

Germany went on to seize the remainder of the country in 1939, launching a brutal occupation that only ended with the Nazis' defeat six years later.

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Your comments about this article

20:38 August 18, 2010 by DanielAl
" alleged perpetrators had been mentioned in a book about Dobronin by a German writer, as well as on several German websites."

Hang on. Tell me more about the killers.
22:58 August 18, 2010 by wxman
Ethnic cleansing is wrong, no matter who does it to whom.
10:57 August 19, 2010 by trottercarriagehorse
we only have to remember our policy of 'non fraternatization' set up by General Eisenhower after the war which forbade Americans from having contact with Germans because as a people, Germans, by their own actions cast themselves outside of norms of general humanity. Eisenhower and other American Generals were of the opinion that the Germans had shown themselves to be a 'criminal race' of the lowest order, that said the idea that Germans now want to see themselves as victims of their own war seems entirely absurd.

-non fraternatization-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buchenwald_Samuelson_62779.jpg
12:54 August 19, 2010 by saucymugwump
I can't wait for Erika Steinbach and the League of Expellees to declare that these atrocities make up for everything the Nazis did in WWII, and that they now have justification for all expelled Germans to reclaim their homes in the Czech Republic.

http://saucymugwump.blogspot.com/2009/11/ghouls-just-want-to-have-fun.html
15:29 August 19, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I dunno what you guys are so grumpy about; I think this is great news.

What this essentially means is, that the Czech Republic feels secure enough in its own existence, and in its relationship with the BRD, to be introspective and self-critical, and is willing to acknowledge it's own mistakes without feeling the need to reiterate the sins of others. This is a huge barrier to get past for a modern nation, and shows true civilization.
15:01 August 20, 2010 by Tom Bender
What trottercarriagehorse states about the non-fraternization policy is true, but, it is the offical reason and it lasted only until September 1945. Several authors have concluded that Eisenhower and the military were freightened by how the common soldier accepted the Germans. I believe Stephen Ambrose in his book The Victors...Eisenhower and his Boys: The Men of World War II sums it up best when talking about how the common GI felt towards those people they encountered during WWII.."...He (The American GI), felt the Arbs were despicable, lying stealing dirty, awful, without a redeeming feature. The Italians were lying, stealing, dirty, wonderful, with many redeeming features, but never to be trusted. The rural French were sullen, slow, and ungrateful while the Parisians were rapacious, cunning, indifferent to whether they were cheating Germans or Americans. The British people were brave, resourceful, quaint, reserved, dull. The Dutch were regarded as simply wonderful in every way..." "...the average GI found that the people he liked best, identified most closely with, enjoyed being with, were the Germans. Clean, hard-working, disciplined, educated, middle-class in their tastes and life styles, the Germans seemed to many American soldiers as "just like us". I guess that is true as I was stationed in Berlin and married a German girl. We've been married 34 years.
17:18 August 20, 2010 by Major B
Will someone PLEASE enlighten me as to how the Eisenhower "nonfraternization" policy after WWII is related to the death of Sudetenland Germans by Czech partisans at the end of the war. The allies had just undergone a brutal campaign and were naturally edgy. Soldiers will be soldiers, as there are hundreds of thousands of examples like Mr Bender's above. And, since about 60% of European Americans were/are of direct German heritage(and much more aware of their heritage in 1945), with a corresponding percentage or higher of American GI's with German ancestry, is it any wonder they felt comfortable with their cousins?
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