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Poland, Germany Hold Landmark Talks on Expulsion of Germans


Poland and Germany have held unprecedented talks about German plans for a museum to commemorate the expulsion of Germans from eastern Europe following World War II.

German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann discussed the plan with Poland's former Foreign Affairs Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on Tuesday in Warsaw. Bartoszewski is an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor and the Polish government's key advisor on relations with Germany.

He said Poland will not participate in the Berlin museum project, but that individual Polish historians can do so. In a statement after the meeting, the two officials stressed the importance of open historical dialogue.

Polish and German relations have long been strained over the brutal expulsion of some 12 million ethnic Germans from their their homes in central and eastern Europe following the defeat of the Nazis. Poland and other eastern European countries have objected to a museum focusing on the suffering of Germans, fearing it might obscure Germany's responsibility for the war and its horrors.

German forces invaded and subjected Poland to a brutal occupation during World War II

Neuman and Bartoszewski say they agreed on the need to create a center that would offer a comprehensive look on Europe's 20th century history.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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