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Germany

Köhler Supports Sudeten Germans

Germany's President Horst Köhler has called for the Czech Republic's government to make a "humanitarian gesture" towards members of the German minority who opposed the Nazis in the Czech Republic during World War II but were discriminated against after the war. A symbolic payment to these people, with survivors estimated at about 2,000, would be "right and proper" and would be important for the bilateral relations, Köhler was quoted as saying in the Czech press before his visit to Prague on Friday. Czech Premier Stanislav Gross has recently said the time is not "ripe" for such a step. Köhler's call comes after recent comments by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder who announced last week that the federal government would not support any individual actions for damages before European or national courts. The president hoped that the move to compensate the Sudeten Germans would come from the Czechs. "In Germany, there exists no political power which would support these claims," he added.

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