Zeman Critical Of AfD Over Stance On Benes Decrees

Miloš Zeman

Berlin, Sept 21 (CTK correspondent) – Alternative for Germany (AfD) is against the Benes decrees, that sanctioned the transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of World War Two, which is not in Czech national interest, President Milos Zeman, now on a visit to Germany, told journalists today.


Zeman made it clear he was for the continuation of the German coalition of the conservative CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD).


“Of course, the AfD is against migration, which is undoubtedly a good thing in my view,” Zeman said.


“However, it is good to read its programme as a whole and one suddenly finds out that the AfD denounces the Benes decrees,” he added.


But neither the AfD’s long-term programme nor its programme for the elections to the Bundestag held last year touched upon the topic at all.


Last year, the AfD election leader, Alice Weidel, said the Benes decrees were not an important topic for her party.


Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek wrote to CTK later that during this year’s meeting of the Sudeten-German Landsmannschaft meeting in Augsburg, Bavaria, the AfD members were distributing leaflets promising Sudeten Germans that the party would see to the abolition of the Benes decrees. However, he did not answer the question whether his words should be taken as making Zeman’s statement more accurate.


On the basis of the decrees issued by then Czechoslovak president President Edvard Benes, about three million ethnic Germans, most of whom sided with the Nazi regime, were transferred from then Czechoslovakia, mainly the border regions (Sudetenland), and their property was confiscated after the war.


Zeman said he slightly preferred the SPD whose representatives he repeatedly met during his visit to Germany.


Later today, he is scheduled to see former German Social Democrat chancellor Gerhard Schroder.