MEMORANDUM OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH IN GERMANY ON THE SITUATION OF THE EXPELLED AND ON THE RELATION OF THE GERMAN NATION TO THEIR EASTERN NEIGHBOURS - REACTIONS IN EUROPE AND POLAND
The memorandum issued by the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland - EKD) is little known in Polish historiography. The prime reason for this state of things is the fact that it appeared shortly prior to the famous pastoral letter of the Polish Episcopate. addressed to the Episcopate of Germany and containing the famous words 'we forgive you and we ask to be forgiven', which caused a furious reaction of the communist authorities. Moreover, the Protestant community in Poland was small and its response did not play a role equal to that of its German counterpart. In Germany the memorandum produced an extensive debate, much greater than the one inspired by the letter of the Polish Episcopate. Leading West German dailies: the conservative 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' and 'Die Welt', as well as the leftist 'Süddeutsche Zeitung' voiced their views in the ensuing debate. The majority of the opinion-creating media opted for a favourable stand vis a vis the authors and contents of the memorandum. In certain cases, however, such periodicals as 'Berliner Morgenpost', issued in West Berlin, assessed the EKD initiative in extremely critical terms. The stand represented by the German Protestants was commented also by the media in neighbouring countries - 'Le Figaro' and 'Le Monde' (France), 'The Times' and 'Il Messaggero' (Italy). The main political forces of the Federal Republic of Germany: CDU / CSU, SPD and the Federation of the Expelled (Bund der Vertriebenen), grouping refugees from the east, also announced their opinions. Both the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats treated the published document in a rather restrained fashion in the belief that the recognition of the frontier on the Odra and the Nysa Luzycka should be resolved together with the consent for the unification of the two German states expressed by Poland and other member-states of the eastern bloc. A similar stand was represented by 'Bund der Vertriebenen'. Such a solution did not become feasible until after the fall of communism.
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