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CSU party newspaper offers holidays to 'occupied East Prussia'

The Local · 3 Nov 2010, 14:47

Published: 03 Nov 2010 14:47 GMT+01:00

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The offending flyers were distributed inside the Bayernkurier over the weekend at the CSU’s party convention, daily Die Welt reported.

“After breakfast go to Russian-occupied East Prussia,” the travel offer read. “Along the Amber Coast to Cranz in Samland and to the capital Königsberg with its 700 years of German history.”

The antiquated references to German lands divided between Russia and Poland after the Second World War would be enough to ignite a diplomatic crisis had they been published in the wrong place, the paper said.

“It’s one of the most annoying things in the world,” chief editor of the Bayernkurier Peter Hausmann told Die Welt, adding that no one at the paper had probably proofread the ad before publication.

“The producer created and printed it, then it was distributed, and that shouldn’t have happened.”

The gaffe is particularly painful because the CSU had debated whether it wanted to continue spending some €1.15 million per year to fund the weekly paper, Hausmann said.

With not a single place name in the ad reflecting its post-1945 status, it is clear that Wembacher Reisen, the Waging am See-based travel company behind the ad, was intentionally calling up WWII-era nationalist sentiments, the paper said.

“When the Bayernkurier offers a trip to ‘Russian-occupied East Prussia,' one remembers a time well before the peace and reconciliation policies of Willy Brandt,” said centre-left Social Democratic parliamentarian from the travel company's electoral district, Bärbel Kofler.

“It is conceptually linked to the darkest chapter of German history,” she added.

Meanwhile the family behind the travel company, which has worked with the CSU for 20 years on the party paper, claims it made a mistake with the ad’s wording.

“I simply forgot the word ‘former.’ I was never good in history,” said Lydia Wembacher, who is filling in for her husband while he leads a tour in Rome. “As in – Russian-occupied former East Prussia.”

Story continues below…

The family said it was sorry for the mix-up.

“We in no way want to change history,” she said.

Ironically, the blunder occurred the same weekend that CSU leader Horst Seehofer lauded the party’s modern policies following the implementation of a quota for women in the party's leadership.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:26 November 3, 2010 by jamano
There is no such thing as bad advertising they say.
16:30 November 3, 2010 by William Thirteen
those Bayrisch are on a roll!
18:38 November 3, 2010 by Landmine
19:58 November 3, 2010 by auniquecorn
CSU had debated whether it wanted to continue spending some €1.15 million per year to fund the weekly paper,

02:04 November 4, 2010 by Eagle1
Germany has the cash. It should purchase Prussia back.
04:54 November 4, 2010 by wenddiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:47 November 4, 2010 by François-Marie Arouet
Mrs. Wembacher not only "was never good in history". To refer to a part of Russia as East Prussia is like to refer to Mexico as the Aztecs or to Irak as Babilon shows a low IQ as well. Her tours refer consistently to Ostpreußen. The tour in question has not been "corrected" in her website.

15:12 November 4, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
This is the most amusing thing I've read in a while.
01:39 November 6, 2010 by aslanleon
My family was forced to flee East Prussia. It is currently occupied by the Russians. We want it back.
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