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Rat der Danziger

Charlottenstr. 17/117

D - 10117 Berlin

Berlin, September 13th, 2012

Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mr. Ban Ki-moon
405 East 42nd Street
New York, NY

Petition to the United Nations of September 2012 concerning the Free City of Danzig (US-English version)

Dear Excellency, Mr. Secretary-General,
the Danzig Council (hereinafter referred to as "Council"), the exile organisation elected after the end of World
War II by the citizens of Danzig driven from their homeland, takes the liberty of referring to its "application" of
April 1995, addressed to the United Nations (hereinafter referred to as "UN"). The application documents
were handed over and explained by a delegate of the Council to the General Secretariat of the United Nations
in New York on April 27, 1995.
I. The application under international law.

Rat der Danziger

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The application refers to the results of the transfer negotiations of the League of Nations and United Nations
that determined that the protection and guarantee of the Free City of Danzig (hereinafter referred to as "Danzig") by the League of Nations belonged among the "political functions" of the League of Nations that the UN
should concern itself with, upon application. It was clear from the discussion held on April 27, 1995 that the
UN had declared its interest in being kept informed of the respective substantial measures and problems by
the Danzig representatives. In February 1998, as no answer had come from the UN, the application was resubmitted.
Even 67 years after the end of the war, the political and international legal situation of Danzig remains unresolved and unregulated. The citizens of Danzig are astonished and bitter that, in an issue so fateful and so significant for those affected, the UN is unsupportive of the efforts made in the service of peace.
II. The Council's mission.
The Council marked its 65th year of existence on May 10, 2012. Constituted on May 10, 1947, in the years that
followed it was supported, especially by the United States of America, very effectively. Its main purpose – always democratically legitimised through elections – was to represent, under constitutional and international
law, the people in the territory of the State of Danzig occupied militarily by Poland. The "Delegation of the
Free City of Danzig" was elected from among the Council members and tasked with carrying out executive
functions. Later the Council itself took over the functions of representation, mainly for organisational reasons.
In the past 65 years numerous petitions have been filed, including with the wartime allies: the United States of
America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Soviet Union, whilst keeping afPoststelle: Charlottenstr. 17/117 D - 10117 Berlin
Konto: Schubert Nr. 807363700 BLZ 20041155

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fected countries notified, particularly the Republic of Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany. Despite a
sometimes benevolent, sympathetic attitude, however, no political force has thus far been found that would
be prepared to support the cause of the citizens of Danzig and demand a solution in accordance with international law.
Not only the displaced people of Danzig, but citizens of Poland resident in the territory of the Free City of Danzig for years now have a significant interest in improving their legal security through a contractual settlement.
III. The legal situation.
The settlement of the Danzig issue has been left open in all border issues between Germany, Poland and the
wartime allies that were addressed after 1945. This is especially true for the inattention to the issue by the
Federal Republic of Germany and by Poland, which is significantly affected. Negotiations over Danzig were not
held because, due to the Treaty of Versailles, from 1920 onwards Danzig no longer belonged to Germany and,
as a petty state independent of the German Reich, in 1945 it was placed under provisional Polish administrative occupation by the Allies. Thus, all Danzig-related issues in international law have remained unregulated
until now.
The reunification with Germany in 1939 was an annexation contrary to international law. The Polish annexation of Danzig during the war, in March 1945, was likewise illegal under international law. At the Potsdam Conference following the end of the war, in August 1945, the peace settlement for Danzig was postponed until the
peace conference. In the negotiations for the Two Plus Four Treaty of 1990, the Danzig issue was not dealt
with. Today a peace treaty is no longer expected.
IV. Methods for a resolution
One circumstance that handicaps efforts to find a legally tenable, convincing solution is that Poland combined
its conquest with a forced expulsion and irreversible refusal to readmit the city’s former inhabitants – contrary
to international law – and with large-scale re-settlements from Poland. A return displacement or repatriation
of recent Polish settlers is excluded, if only for reasons of human rights. There is hardly a citizen of Danzig or a
descendant who would seek to restore the Free City of Danzig, which at that time was already very limited in
its legal capacity to act.
From a legal perspective, the affected citizens of Danzig remain justifiably entitled, under international law, to
the return of their state territory. However, since consideration of the human rights aspect prevents the parties concerned from obtaining their entitlement, in this respect that entitlement is not available to them.
However, this cannot apply to the parts relating to the territorial concept that are not protected on the basis
of human rights, such as the return of property, compensation, and accurate historical accounts.
A solution to the issues resulting from the changes in territorial sovereignty should therefore be implemented
in an effort (1) to regulate settlement requests, property issues, and compensation as part of the European
policy of rapprochement, (2) to foster the cultural development since the founding of the German-speaking
city of Danzig in 1224/25 and also publicise it in the German language, and (3) to solve social and other issues.
It should be ensured that these proposals are sincerely implemented in consideration of the common and
peaceful European future.
V. Closing remarks
As the problems of Danzig are not yet regulated under international law, the citizens of Danzig urgently request that this obvious gap be filled as soon as possible. It is difficult to understand why these issues, that are
such a heavy burden on the people of Danzig, have not yet led to the filling – for the purpose of European
peace-building objectives – of this gap in international law. The affected citizens of Danzig are pursuing their
objectives within the meaning of the peacekeeping functions of the UN. They place their political efforts in the
framework of the European and world order for peace. The peoples' right of self-determination should be regarded as another appeal to initiate a sincere examination of this set of issues. The citizens of Danzig are convinced that they must not be left alone in their efforts, which are worthy of support.

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The Council, which has been representing the citizens of Danzig for 65 years now, invites the UN with all due
urgency to listen to their concerns and to contribute to achieving an acceptable solution for all concerned.
We ask you to confirm the receipt of this note and, as soon as possible, to give the members of the Council an
opportunity to discuss with the UN the possibilities of fulfilling the entitlements under international law.
Enclosed you will find an English version of the present petition with the same content.
I thank you in advance, appreciate your faith in me and remain respectfully yours,

Carl Narloch, MdR
President of Danzig Council

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