Rosina T. Schmidt
Rosina T. Schmidt,
unless otherwise noted.
Charter of German
On 5th of August 1950 this "Charter of the German
Expellees" was proclaimed by the unknown expellee in Stuttgart at a large
rally in the presence of members of the Federal Government, of the Churches
and of the Parliaments. The Charter bears the signatures of the elected
spokesmen of the various fellowships (Landsmannschaften) and of the chairmen
of the Central Union of the German Expellees and its Land Unions. It was
endorsed at large rallies in all parts of Germany.
Conscious of their responsibility
before God and men, conscious of their
adherence to the Christian
Community of the Occident, conscious of their German origin, and realizing the
common task of all the nations of Europe,
the elected representatives
of millions of expellees, having carefully deliberated and searched their
conscience, have resolved to make public a Solemn Declaration to the German
people and to the entire world, in which are defined both the duties and the
rights which the German expellees consider their basic law, and an absolute
indispensable condition for the establishment of a free and united Europe.
1.We, the expellees, renounce
all thought of revenge and retaliation. Our resolution is a solemn and
sacred one, in memory of the infinite suffering brought
upon mankind, particularly during the past decade
2.We shall support with all our
strength every Endeavour directed towards the
establishment of a united Europe, in which the nations may live in freedom
fear and coercion.
3..We shall contribute, by hard
and indefatigable work, to the reconstruction of
Germany and Europe.
We have lost our homeland. The
homeless are strangers on the face of the earth. Almighty God himself placed
men in their native land. To separate a man from his native land by force,
means to kill his soul.
We have suffered and experienced
We, therefore, feel competent to
demand that the right to our native land be recognized and be realized, as one
of the basic rights of man, granted to him by the grace of God. We do not,
however, wish to stand aside and be doomed to inactivity, as long as this
right is not realized, but want, rather to strive and toil with every member
of our nation in a new spirit of Community life, in a manner purified
by a spirit of brotherly
consideration. For this reason, we claim and demand, today as in the past:
1.Equal rights as citizens, not
merely before the law, but also in the hard realities
of every day's life.
2.Just and reasonable
repartition of the burdens of the last war among the entire
German people, and an honest execution of this principle.
groups of expellees into the life of
the German people.
4.An active part of the German
expellees in the reconstruction of Europe.
The nations of the world shall be
conscious of their share of the responsibility for the fate of the expellees,
who have suffered more than all others from the hardship of our times. The
nations shall act according to their Christian duty and conscience.
The nations must realize that the
fate of the German expellees, just as that of all refugees, is a world
problem, the solution of which calls for the highest sense of moral
responsibility and the stern necessity of making a tremendous effort.
We, therefore, call upon all
nations and men of good will, to join in the mutual task of finding a way out
of guilt, misfortune, suffering, poverty and misery, which will lead us all to
a better future.
Stuttgart, August 5, 1950.
Translated from the Original:
Signed by the following representatives of ethnic German
groups of expellees:
Linus Kather, (Zentralverband
der vertriebenen Deutschen,
(Landesverband [LV] der Heimatvertriebenen in Hessen),
Hellmut Gossing, (LV
Niedersachsen im ZvD),
Karl Mocker, (LvD
Alexander Eschenbach, (LvD,
Stuttgart), Wilhelm Zeisberger, (Neubürgerbund,
Alfred Gille, (LvD
Schleswig-Holstein), Bernhard Geisler, (LV der
Ostvertriebenen Nordrhein-Westfalen), Erwin
Engelbrecht, (LvD Bayern), Anton Deichmann,
(LvD Rheinland-Pfalz), Roman
Herlinger, (Hauptausschuß der Flüchtlinge und
Ausgewiesenen in Bayern),
Rudolf Lodgman von Auen, (Sudetendeutsche
Erwin Tittes, (LM
der Siebenbürger Sachsen),
Rudolf Wagner, (LM
der Umsiedler aus der
(Berliner LV der Heimatvertriebenen),
Walter von Keudell, (LM
Konrad Winkler, (Interessengemeinschaft der
Heimatvertriebenen in Süd-Baden)Axel
de Vries, (Deutsch-Baltische
LM), Franz Hamm, (LM
Deutschen aus Jugoslawien),
Erich Luft, (LvD Bayern),
Karl Bartunek, (LvD
Ottomar Schreiber, (LM
Erik von Witzleben, (LM
Walter Rinke, (LM
Anton Birkner, (Karpatendeutsche
Herbert von Bismarck, (Pommersche
Waldemar Kraft, (LM
Gottlieb Leibbrandt, (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der
Fritz Kimme, (LvD Bremen),
Alfred Kautzor, (Verband der Heimatvertriebenen
in Württemberg, Hohenzollern und Lindau).