Sudeten Germans drop claim to territory in Czech Republic

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An organization representing ethnic Germans who were ejected from the former Czechoslovakia after World War II has voted to drop its territorial claims.

Some 2.9 million so-called Sudeten Germans were expelled after 1945 by the Czech government, which blamed them for the Nazis' pre-war aggression against the country.

The Sudeten German Homeland Association said in a statement late Saturday that delegates meeting in Munich voted 72 percent in favor of changing its statutes to relinquish the largely symbolic claims. The group said the decision was meant to "build a bridge to the Czech people."

Sudeten Germans lived mainly in the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia from at least the 14th century. They included automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche and the industrialist Oskar Schindler, best known for saving Jews from the Holocaust.