1957

► July 26th. It was 12 years after the war has ended that the German state prohibits wearing the Iron Crosses awarded during World War II. Iron Cross for exceptional acts of bravery was awarded to more than 2 million Germans.

Iron Cross (Ger. Eisernes Kreuz, EK) awarded according to various sources from 2.3 million to 3 million times

Iron Cross (Ger. Eisernes Kreuz, EK) awarded according to various sources from 2.3 million to 3 million times

► October 27th. Establishment of the Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen BdV). The first chairman of the Federation of Expellees was Hans Krüger, a former NSDAP activist, a war criminal who participated alongside Hitler in the Beer Hall Putsch, in 1943 he was appointed to the Wehrmacht service. Hans Krüger was approving the lists of Poles to be executed in the so-called "Death Valley" in Chojnice. The German weekly news magazine "Der Spiegel" estimated that in the early years of existence one-third of approximately 200,000 BdV members belonged to the former Nazi party. Next to Hans Krüger, the Federation of Expellees was created by Werner Ventzki, awarded by Hitler Nazi Golden Party Badge, Arthur Greiser - the closest associate of the Reich governor in Wartheland, and also Erik von Witzleben, commander of the Pomeranian Selbstschutz during the attack on Poland. In the years 1949-1956 Erik von Witzleben was the East Prussia Landsmanshaft chairman.

The open air Catholic Mass during the congress of the Silesian compatriots, June 1959 (source: archive images "Prussian cultural heritage"    www.blz.bayern.de/blz/eup/01_10/2.asp   )

The open air Catholic Mass during the congress of the Silesian compatriots, June 1959 (source: archive images "Prussian cultural heritage" www.blz.bayern.de/blz/eup/01_10/2.asp)

Long-term leader of the Union - Erika Steinbach - refused to settle the controversy around National Socialist past of the organization, justifying it by a lack of resources. Currently Association of so-called "Expellees" has about 2 million members. Each year on the anniversary of the Proclamation of the Germans expelled from their homeland announcement (see year 1950) the Federation of Expellees organizes the celebration called "Day of homeland" (Tag der Heimat). Landmannschafts congress reunions are always celebrated with a motto. For example in 2003 in Nuremberg it was: "Motherland is a human right", in 2006 the Sudeten German compatriots met under a slogan "Expulsion is a genocide - the future belongs to the right of a homeland" and in 2007 during the Silesian Landsmanschaft meeting in the capital of Lower Saxony, Hanover, the motto was "We admit to Silesia". Currently in Germany there are over 20 associations of so-called Vertriebenenverband (also Landsmannschaft) associations.

In recent years the most important initiative of the Federation was to set up the "Centre Against Expulsions" based in Berlin.

At the Federation of Expellees 50th anniversary of establishment Angela Merkel hold a speech. The German Chancellor supported the idea of uilding the Centre. The Centre Against Expulsions ignores the fact that the expulsion of the Germans were not initiated by Poles and Czechs but were a result of the implementation of international agreement (Potsdam Agreement) and a consequence of war caused by the Germans and following their unconditional surrender.

Opponents of the Centre say that it would make sense to establish for example Centre against Nazism which would show crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis. It would be a logical action against the real cause of the German nation tragedy.

► Excerpt from the German history textbook from 1957 ("Geschichtliches Werden"): "Terrible were sacrifices that the German nation had to make during the Hitler's war (...) The economy lost fertile farmlands in the East (...). Millions of war prisoners remained in the hands of the conquerors."
► German lawyer Walter Hallstein became the first chief and the main architect of the newly created EEC and the first president of the European Commission until 1967. During World War II he was a prominent member of the Nazi law elite. On 23 January 1939, a few months before the start of World War II, Hallstein delivers a speech on common European law under German leadership "One of the most important laws [in occupied European countries] is the Act on the protection of German blood and honor". After the war he provided legal assistance to accused war criminals. From 1952 Walter Hallstein (see 1948) was a president or a board member of 11 well-known enterprises including the "new" BASF.

 Konrad Adenauer, Walter Hallstein and Antonio Segni signing European customs union and Euratom in 1957, Rome

 Konrad Adenauer, Walter Hallstein and Antonio Segni signing European customs union and Euratom in 1957, Rome

Today BASF SE (Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik) is the largest chemical company in the world with 385 production facilities in Europe, North and South Americas, Africa and Asia. BASF annual sales is over 50 billion euros.
In 2006 BASF together with other German company E.ON Ruhrgas and Russia's Gazprom formed a consortium Nord Stream, the operator of the North European Gas Pipeline. The pipeline is used to transport gas from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. The gas pipeline is routed through the Baltic Sea and bypassing the natural transit countries - Poland and the Baltic States. President of the Nord Stream is Matthias Warnig, a former chairman of board of directors of the Russian branch of Dresdner Bank and Chairman of the Supervisory Board is former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.