Sládek's Bavarian Ally
Thumping his chest and beating the Sudeten German drum, Chairman of the Bavarian CSU Theo Waigel last week declared that the naming of Sudeten Germans to the new Discussion Forum was proof positive that his party was keeping his promises as regards the Sudeten German lobby in Bavaria.
The world was supposed to forget that one of those new members was the widely despised Franz Neubauer. The world was also supposed to forget that the very same Neubauer was highly critical of the Declaration that created the Discussion Forum and the CSU which had let him and the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft down.
Of course, Waigel did not stop there. He felt it necessary to continue in his pathetically pro-revanchist tirade and blast the Czech authorities for not acting more firmly against Czech Republican leader Sladek in the case of Sladek's hate speech trial and associated contempt of court.
Independent voices might say that the fact that the Czech authorities completely ignore Sladek, a political leader with a backing of 9% of the seats in Parliament and the fact that they locked up Sladek during the critical election for the Czech presidency could give one the impression that the Czech authorities are acting more firmly against Sladek than is necessary. Theo Waigel, desperate for Sudeten support, can conveniently ignore these realities, however.
By presenting him as some kind of politically persecuted outcast, the Czech establishment has done much to encourage the fascist Sladek in his obscene manipulation of the democratic system. With his recent words, Waigel seems to have done even more.
It is pretty obvious to most that Waigel is more concerned with mustering Sudeten German support in Bavaria and only secondarily with the internal politics of a neighbouring state, but still, this seasoned German politician ought to watch his words. With outbursts such as these, he can seriously increase the prestige of Sladek.
In the first place, such statements give Sladek international recognition, and thus like Neubauer, Sladek becomes a kind of powerful figure in the neighbouring land. Sladek and Neubauer thrive on their ability to disturb and upset people living next door: their status as a hate-figure gives them legitimacy among those who are opposed to peace and reconciliation. A serious politician like Waigel ought to realise this.
True to form and as if the whole thing had been scripted by Czech and German radicals, the Chairman of the Czech Republican Party Miroslav Sladek officially protested Waigel's words on the floor of the Czech Parliament. With some justification, Sladek was able to claim that Germany was interfering in the Czech justice system. Seemingly wronged by the Germans, Sladek wins support at home. Thank you Mr. Waigel, but next time try thinking of the consequences of your words before you pander to the Sudeten Germans.