their responsibility before God and men,
their affiliation to the Western Christian community,
their German origin, and realizing the common task of all
nations of Europe,
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 past decade.
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
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.
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.
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
reason we claim and demand, today as in the past:
Equal rights as citizens, not merely before the law
but also in every-day life;
Just and reasonable
distribution of the burdens of the last war among the
en-tire German people and an honest application of
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 Europe.
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.
should act in accordance with their duties and their
conscience as Christians.
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.
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
5th August 1950