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GERMANY: Permanent & Just

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Three weeks ago, East Germany’s Communist Deputy Premier Walter Ulbricht signed a treaty with Communist Poland, formally ceding German territory east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers to Poland (TIME, June 19). Last week Ulbricht signed another agreement—with Communist Czechoslovakia. The document proclaimed as “permanent and just” the postwar expulsion of 2,000,000 Germans from the Sudetenland—the border region of Czechoslovakia which Hitler seized in 1938 and which was returned to Czechoslovakia at the war’s end. Henceforth, declared the agreement, neither country would have any territorial claim on the other.

West Berlin’s anti-Communist press called the treaty “treason.” The Western Allies ignored the agreement. The U.S. did not object to the return of the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia—it did condemn the brutal expulsion of its German inhabitants, most of whom now crowd Western Germany.

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