Chapters VIII and IX
of the "Statute issued in Košice" [Kaschau], Slovakia, April 5, 1945
(Program of the new Czechoslovak Government, the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks, adopted by the cabinet council on April 5, 1945)
Collection of Documents, issued by
the Ministry of Information, Publication No. 2/45
The bitter experiences of the Czechs and Slovaks with the German and Hungarian minorities - who, for the most part, became compliant instruments of a policy of conquest against the Republic and of whom the Germans especially led a war of extermination against the Czech and Slovak nation - compel the restored Czechoslovakia to take a definitive action against those guilty. Loyal German and Hungarian citizens and above all those who proved their faithfulness to the Republic in the difficult times will not be affected, but the culprits will be severely and pitilessly punished as the conscience of our people demands, remembering our unnumbered martyrs and for the peace and security of the generations to come. The Government, therefore, will be guided in its decisions by these principles.
As to the Czechoslovak citizens of German and Hungarian nationality, who were Czechoslovak citizens prior to the Munich Pact in 1938, their citizenship will be confirmed and their eventual return to the Republic may be permitted only in the following categories: for anti-Nazis and anti-Fascists who fought against Henlein and Hungarian irredentism, who fought for Czechoslovakia, and who after the Munich Pact and after March 15 were persecuted for their loyalty to Czechoslovakia and imprisoned in jails and concentration camps or those who fled abroad, where they participated in the struggle for the restoration of Czechoslovakia.
The Czechoslovak citizenship of the other Czechoslovak German and Hungarian citizens will be cancelled. Although they may again express a choice for Czechoslovakia, public authorities will retain the right of individual decision. Those German and Hungarian transgressors who are under indictment for crimes against the Republic and the Czech and Slovak nations and who are condemned, will lose their citizenship and will be expelled from the Republic for ever - if not under sentence of death.
Germans and Hungarians who immigrated into Czechoslovak territories after the Munich Pact in 1938 will, if not sentenced to capital punishment, be expelled from the Republic at once, except those persons who worked on behalf of Czechoslovakia.
The government considers it its highest moral duty to turn over to the courts and to punish all war criminals, traitors and active helpers of the German and Hungarian oppressors. The Government will carry out its task without delay and will spare no one.
As to the German and Hungarian War Criminals, the Government will see to their immediate removal, arrest and delivery to Special People's Courts. Those [German and Hungarian] persons guilty of war crimes will be tried and punished not only for crimes committed against the [peoples] of Czechoslovakia or Czechoslovak territory, but also for crimes committed against other [peoples], especially against the allied Soviet Union. The German and Hungarian culprits convicted will be handed over to Soviet organs. Camps for the detention of German and Hungarian individuals who were connected with Nazi or Fascist organizations will be established.
The Government will take special steps to secure the punishment of traitors, collaborators and fascist elements of Czech and Slovak nationality. In connection with the National Committees, Special People's Courts will be set up whose [jurisdiction] will be limited to the localities and to the prosecution of the minor offenders. A National Court will be established in the Bohemian territories and one in Slovakia for the cases of notorious offenders and those responsible for major crimes. The regulations of the edict concerning the punishment of war criminals, issued by the President of the Republic, will be considered as a general basis for criminal proceedings against traitors and collaborators.
Persons guilty of high treason, like Hácha, all members of the Beran Government who confirmed Hácha's so-called Berlin Pact of March 15, 1939, and those who welcomed Hitler when he arrived in Prague, will be brought before the National Court. The Government will take care that all members of the "Protectorate" Government of March 16, 1939, [as well as] Tiso and the members of the so-called Slovak Government of March 14, 1939 and members of the so-called Slovak Parliament, shall be brought before the National Court. And furthermore all of Hácha's political and official helpers, and the responsible leading authorities and officials of the Protectorate Administration. The country will also be cleared of treacherous journalists, who sold themselves to the Germans and served them. Legal proceedings will be instituted against the following organizations, their functionaries and members etc.: the functionaries of the "Curatorship for the education of Czech youth," against the members of the "Vlajka," the members of the Committee and the functionaries of the "National Association of Employees" (Nationale Fachzentrale der Angestellten), of the "Union of Agriculture and Forestry" and other organizations which helped the Germans; in addition, functionaries who handed over Czechs and Slovaks to the Gestapo, who participated actively in the displacement of Slovaks and Czechs in order to send them to Germany as slave labourers and who rendered assistance in the evacuation of the Czechoslovak population. In Slovakia, the helpers of Tiso and his treacherous regime, the spies of the "Hlinka-Garde", that is the Slovak Gestapo, the tools of Gašpar's Nazi propaganda, will be tried, but especially those who were active against the Slovak uprising and who participated in the atrocities and bestialities of the Germans against the Slovaks.
Bankers, industrialists and big land owners who [used their positions in banking, industry, agriculture, and other economic organisations to] help the Germans to plunder the land and wage war will also be punished without mercy.
However, even if an employment with the administration of the former treacherous and occupational regime is not considered as punishable, a thorough examination of the activities of every single individual will be carried out under democratic conditions; a number of steps will be taken by the Government so that the new administration of the State shall be cleared of all elements who sinned against the Republic and the nation - of the fascist and pro-fascist elements who showed disloyalty, unreliability and cowardice towards the [people] and the state during the critical years of 1938 and 1939 and during the period of the German and Hungarian occupation. The conduct of all those Czechoslovak citizens abroad who became disloyal to the Republic and who helped the enemy by their undermining activities, as well as that of persons who failed to remain loyal citizens even though they were not under the pressure of Nazi terror, will also be examined and prosecuted by the court.
Being resolved to root out fascism politically and morally, the Government herewith declares that all fascist parties and organizations will be banned and that a renewal of those political parties which worked against the interests of the nation and the Republic (the Agrarian party and its branches, the Gewerbepartei [Trade party], the National Union and those parties which in 1938 fused with the Slovak Hlinka party) will not be permitted. No harm will come to former members of the parties mentioned above as concerns their moral or political honour - if they remained loyal to the Republic. Any political activity or participation in organizations of democratic parties, however, will be forbidden to the politically responsible functionaries of the parties aforementioned, who compromised themselves and whose activities were damaging to the interests of the [people] and the Republic.
Signed by the members of the cabinet as given in the edict mentioned:
Zdenek FierlingerJosef David, Klement Gottwald, Viliam Siroký, Dr. Jan Sramek, Jan Ursiny, Jan Masaryk, Ludwig Svoboda, Dr. Hubert Ripka, Václav Nosek, Dr. Vávro Srobár, Dr. Zdenek Nejedlý, Dr. Jaroslav Stránský, Václav Kopecký, Bohumil Lausman, Julius Duris, Dr. Jan Pietor, Antonín Hasal, Frantisek Hala, Dr. Josef Soltész, Dr. Adolf Prochaska, Václav Majer, Dr. Vladimir Clementis, Dr. Mikulas Ferencik, Jan Lichner.
Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans
Survivors speak out