Erika Steinbach is the head of the German Federation for Expellees, and for years she is ruining German relations to our Polish neighbours.
Her confrontative course regarding the representation of interests of Germans (and their children) who were expelled from what would become Poland at the end and after World War II is a disgrace for us Germans who are working for a united Europe with where nobody needs to be afraid of neighbouring countries.
Steinbach has now repeated her claim that she wants to sit in the Board of the new Polish-German Foundation for Expellees that will try to retrace the fate of expellees at the end of World War II, in a way that doesn't put the emphasis on blaming each other or bringing up the idea of restitution but that focuses on the tragic stories in order to allow a proper culture of remembrance.
Yet, somebody like Steinbach who is not interested in good relations but in confrontation is embarrassing, and I can only hope that our new government will manage to keep her out of the new foundation in order to show to our Polish neighbours that in the European Union of the 21st century we Germans don't support those who live in the past but that we look ahead and look forward in expanding good relation to Poland - something foreign minister Westerwelle has made clear when he spent his first visit in office to Poland.
I am glad that although Erika Steinbach is often presented in Poland as the voice of Germans, she doesn't have much room in our own media - and I hope that our government will make clear that she would be the wrong choice for the new foundation and against the whole idea of the creating such an organisation!
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