Steinbach offers deal over controversial expellees museum

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Steinbach offers deal over controversial expellees museum

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In Germany, a deal to end a row over the running of a controversial World War Two museum may be in sight.

Christian Democrat Union member Erika Steinbach says she’s ready to back down from heading the project.

The head of the Federation of Expellees has split the cabinet and strained relations with Poland through her drive to win a seat on the museum executive.

But she now says she is ready to give up her bid if the cabinet gives up its power to veto appointees and puts more Federation members on the board.

Angela Merkel’s new coalition partners, the Free Democrats, have blocked Steinbach’s appointment, pilling pressure on the Chancellor.

However, its leader, Guido Westerwelle, today signalled he was more open to talks, saying he wouldn’t stand in the way of reconciliation.

Other opposition leaders have been more forthright, labelling Steinbach’s demands as tantamount to blackmail.

Steinbach, an MP who was born in German-occupied Poland, is a hate figure in Poland because of her forceful backing of the interests of those forced to flee west when Germany lost territory after the Nazi defeat. But she is a darling among
conservatives at home.

The museum, which is yet to be built, is meant to pay homage to Germans forced to flee westwards from eastern Europe when Germany lost territory after the defeat of the Nazis.