Letter to US Commission - John Tschinkel

Letter to US Commission - John Tschinkel

Beitragvon Forum 2002 - 2013 » Do 24. Apr 2014, 18:28

Abgeschickt von John Tschinkel am 03 April, 2004 um 18:46:19:

John Tschinkel
5730 Turnberry Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32967,

February 20, 2004

Hon. Lee Seeman, Commissioner
US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad
20 Laurel Drive
Great Neck, NY 11021

Dear Lee,

Congratulations on your re-appointment by President Bush as member of the Commission. I only recently discovered the news on the Internet since we now live in Florida and no longer get the Great Neck Record which carried the story on Nov. 22, 2002.

On the Internet I also discovered the announcement by Steve Paul Johnson of June 11, 2003 which gives notice that the Commission has now fully disassociated itself from the GHGA. To quote: " No longer do they assist with fundraising and providing assistance to the Gottscheer Heritage and Genealogical Association ". I trust that the information I provided to Mr. Warren L. Miller, Chairman of the Commission, with my letter of July 10, 2002, copied to you, was helpful in this serious matter.

I say serious because the decision of the GHGA to join the Arbeitsgemeinschaft (AG) in Klagenfurt, Austria (without asking approval of its membership) has significant consequences to the descendants of the resettled Gottscheer. The GHGA went under the AG umbrella in spite of the knowledge that other organizations, already under the AG, continue to harbor SS officers and former Nazis as "Honored Members" and "Cultural Advisors", one of them an SS officer in Buchenwald after 1942. These persons, who forcefully persuaded 12,000 naïve Gottscheer to accept citizenship of Hitler's Nazi Reich and resettle in 1941 into another part of Slovenia, ethnically cleansed of 37,000 Slovene, are still influential with their ideology. They unrepentantly defend their criminal deed and to this date have failed to apologize to their victims, be they Gottscheer or Slovene. Only yesterday I received an e-mail from the son of a Gottscheer who hung himself in his orchard in 1941 because of the pressure to resettle and leave the land on which his ancestors had lived for centuries. There were many others. My own father attempted suicide and in doing so, tried to take me with him since he had lost all hope in a future. And the son of the Slovene, displaced from his house to make room for my family, told me (when I went there to apologize and seek forgiveness) that his father had died in a Nazi labor camp and that more than half of the other 37,000 Slovene never came back after the war.

About 600 Gottscheer, most of them married to Slovene, withstood the pressure of the fanatical young Nazis whom the resisting Gottscheer priests called "snotboys". But these snotboys had the full power of the SS organization behind them, a force that used and delegated any means to reach its objective. Those who stayed tried, after Slovenia became a Republic, to maintain their heritage by organizing into cultural organizations. Soon, however, the AG brought these organizations into its orbit, without the respective memberships being aware of the implications. But after they learned that their leaders were intimate with the former Nazis within the AG, a mass exodus reduced these organizations to nothing more than a shell.

Unfortunately, the GHGA does not acknowledge, for reasons of its choosing, any of this -including the distortion and rewrite of our history and does not reject the persistent brainwash perpetuated by the few. Part of this is surely because few, if any, former Gottscheer and their descendants now living in the US, retain a fluency in German and are, therefore, unable to recognize the damage this lingering ideology is perpetuating in that language.

It is of course understandable, if naïve, for the older Gottscheer to hide the fact that they had allowed themselves to be fooled into giving up their homeland and property. But this has been their burden since 1941 and surely is part of the reason for not rejecting the handy excuses provided by the AG. However, this does not serve the new generation who is now discovering the falsehoods perpetuated by their brainwashed parents and grandparents, including their lack of courage to cast out the rotten apples and thereby salvage some degree of honor. For this new generation, the opportunity to take an interest and pride in their 600 year old heritage may now be a lost cause. It could have taken root if the leaders of the GHGA (one of them a retired US Army officer) had courageously cast off the continued brainwash and rejected any connection to the former Nazis who caused our demise. And with the full weight and moral support of the US Commission that signed an agreement with the Slovene Government to preserve America's Heritage in Slovenia, it might have been possible to rekindle the lost pride.

With best wishes, John Tschinkel

CC: Elizabeth Nick, President, GHGA
Directors

PS. One of these "Honored Members" and "Cultural Advisers", an officer in the SS and the then leader of the Gottscheer Nazis (recently deceased), was discovered to have been part of an SS unit in Buchenwald KZ after 1942, according to a Professor at the University of Tübingen. Further; on 1/1/45, he was taken by Himmler directly into his headquarters in Berlin. His deputy Richard Lackner ('38-'42) is still a distinguished persona in the AG with similar titles and duties. But none of this seems to trouble the GHGA leadership (including its VP, a retired US officer in the forces of our country that lost so much blood to rid the world of the Nazis and who now attends AG policy meetings in Austria) and cause it to withdraw from the AG. And these GHGA leaders are people who were welcomed in our country as refugees !!
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