Conscious of their responsibility before God and men, conscious of their
affiliation to the Western Christian community, conscious of their German
origin, and realizing the common task of all nations of Europe, the
elected representatives of millions of expellees, after careful
deliberation and after having searched their conscience, have resolved to
make public a so-lemn declaration to the German people and to the entire
world, defining both the duties and the rights which the German expellees
consider their basic law and an indispensable pre-condition for the
establishment of a free and united Europe.
We, the expellees, renounce all thought of
revenge and retaliation. Our re-solution is solemn and sacred in memory
of the infinite suffering brought upon mankind, particularly during the
We shall support with all our strength every
endeavor 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 untiring work,
to the reconstruction of Germany and Europe.
We have lost our homeland. The homeless are strangers on
the face of the earth. God himself placed men in their native land. To
separate man forcibly from his native land means to kill him in his mind.
We have suffered and experienced this fate. We therefore
feel called upon to demand that the right to our native land be recognized
and realized as one of the basic rights of man, granted to him by God.
However, as long as this right has not been materialized
for us, we do not want to stand aside under imposed inactivity, but rather
want to strive and work with all members of our nation in new, purified
forms of brotherly and con-siderate cooperation.
For this reason we claim and demand, today as in the past:
Equal rights as citizens, not merely before the law but also in
Just and reasonable distribution of the
burdens of the last war among the en-tire German people and an honest
application of this principle;
Reasonable integration of all professional
groups of expellees into the life of the German people;
Incorporation of the German expellees into the reconstruction work for
The nations of the world should become sensitive of their
co-responsibility for the fate of the expellees who have suffered most
from the hardships of our times.
The nations should act in accordance with their duties and
their conscience as Christians.
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 moral responsibility and for a commitment
to tremendous effort.
We therefore call upon all nations and men of good will to
join in the mutual endeavor to find a way out of guilt, misfortune,
suffering, poverty and misery which will lead us all to a better future.