Friday, March 16, 2007

German refugees in wartime reparations row

Jewish refugees from Arab countries can perhaps draw inspiration from the struggle for reparations of wartime German refugees, as reported in the Daily Telegraph :

Felix Hoppe was 13 when he fled his home, one of an estimated 12 million Germans forced to abandon Eastern Europe as the Third Reich collapsed in 1945.

Then his house was on Adolf Hitler Strasse in a town called Heilsberg.

Map of areas of Poland annexed by Germany in 1939, War refugees reparation row confronts Merkel

Today that has become number six Bartoszycka street, a green stucco house in the small town of Lidzbark-Warminski in north-eastern Poland.

Nonetheless, Felix Hoppe, 75, now wants his childhood home back.

His claims for reparations, and hundreds more like them from those displaced in the turmoil of 1945 threaten to make Angela Merkel's visit to Warsaw, which begins today, her most delicate diplomatic mission as German Chancellor.

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