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.
- 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
- 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 from
fear and coercion.
- 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 this fate.
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:
- Equal rights as citizens, not merely before the law, but also in the hard realities
of every day’s life.
- Just and reasonable repartition of the burdens of the last war among the entire
German people, and an honest execution of this principle.
- Integration professional groups of expellees into the life of
the German people.
- 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, ZvD), Josef Walter, (Landesverband [LV] der Heimatvertriebenen in Hessen), Hellmut Gossing, (LV Niedersachsen im ZvD), Karl Mocker, (LvD Württemberg), Alexander Eschenbach, (LvD, Stuttgart), Wilhelm Zeisberger, (Neubürgerbund, Bayern), 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 Landsmannschaft [LM]), Erwin Tittes, (LM der Siebenbürger Sachsen), Rudolf Wagner, (LM der Umsiedler aus der Bukowina), Alfred Rojek, (Berliner LV der Heimatvertriebenen), Walter von Keudell, (LM Berlin-Brandenburg), Konrad Winkler, (Interessengemeinschaft der Heimatvertriebenen in Süd-Baden)Axel de Vries, (Deutsch-Baltische LM), Franz Hamm, (LM der Deutschen aus Jugoslawien), Erich Luft, (LvD Bayern), Karl Bartunek, (LvD Nord-Baden), Ottomar Schreiber, (LM Ostpreußen), Erik von Witzleben, (LM Westpreußen), Walter Rinke, (LM Schlesien), Anton Birkner, (Karpatendeutsche LM Slowakei), Herbert von Bismarck, (Pommersche LM), Waldemar Kraft, (LM Weichsel-Warthe), Gottlieb Leibbrandt, (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Ostumsiedler, i.e. Rußlanddeutsche), Fritz Kimme, (LvD Bremen), Alfred Kautzor, (Verband der Heimatvertriebenen in Württemberg, Hohenzollern und Lindau).