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   Posted by Robert on 07/19/01 at 6:01 PM

Subject:   Re: O Uoorzycah

Message Posted

In Reply to: O Uoorzycah posted by Robert Brytan on 07/15/01 at 5:45 AM:


Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder
Willy-Brandt Str. 1
10557 Berlin

Dear Mr Schröder,

By way of introduction my name is Robert Brytan and I am writing to you in
the hope that you might be willing to supply answers to some of the
questions that have arisen in regard to a document I recently received and
which I include in this correspondence.
The following email contains an appeal from the Rogow (Horno) Alliance.

Personally, I am well acquainted with their situation and the treatment
(past and present) of Sorbs in Germany, therefore I do not think this appeal
to be an exaggeration. It provokes in me the following question:

- What is the German Government doing to prevent blatant violations of it's
own constitutional laws and enforce the guarantees given to Sorbian people?

I thank you in advance for your time and look forward to your reply.


Robert Brytan
Vancouver, BC


Union of Lusatian Sorbs
Postowe Namesto 2
D-02625 Budysin

Tel: +49-(0)3591-550-1000355,
Fax: +49-(0)3591-42408
email: domowina@t-online.de 










Horno Alliance

Initiator/Spokesman: Michael Gromm

Dorfstrasse 41 . D-03172 Horno


Tel: (-49)(0)175-440 9534 .
Fax: (-49)(0)180-5052 58 65 14 14

e-mail: Horno-Allianz@web.de

An informal, cross-party alliance of human and minority rights activists,
environmentalists, church representatives, youth and student organizations,
artists, writers, scientists and politicians, united in support of the
people of Horno in their fight against enforced resettlement and the
destruction of their ancient Sorb village.


International Appeal for Support

Supported by associations representing the four national minorities in
Germany: DOMOWINA - Bund Lausitzer Sorben e.V. (Sorbs), Friesenrat
(Friesians), Sydslesvigsk Forening (Danes), Central Council of German Sinti
and Roma

The fight to save the Sorb village of HORNO (Sorb: Rogow) in the Lausitz
region of eastern Germany, which has been abandoned to private strip-mining
interests by the State Government of Brandenburg, has entered its final

Since 1977 - and particularly since the collapse of the GDR in 1990, that
promised an end to the wholesale sacrifice of Sorb villages to lignite
mining (73 Sorb villages were destroyed between 1945 and 1989) - the people
of Horno have fought incessantly (see Background Paper below) against
enforced resettlement and the destruction of their thousand-year-old
village, which, in 1993, was put under a preservation order by the
Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation and Protection of Historic
Monuments, because of its historic settlement structure and appearance!

A large number of legal battles have been fought by Horno, both in the
Administrative Courts against the strip-mining company LAUBAG and its mining
permits, and also at the State Constitutional Court in Potsdam against the
incompetent State Government, which, nine years after commencing planning
procedures, has still not succeeded in passing a binding lignite plan for
the Jänschwalde strip-mine that conforms with the Brandenburg State
Constitution. Twice, in 1995 and 1998, the State Constitutional Court upheld
claims by Horno and the neighbouring village of Grießen, and declared
Government lignite plans to be unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
As a result, there is still no legal basis for the enforced resettlement of
the Horno people.

The lack of a legal basis for resettlement has not however prevented LAUBAG
from continuing both its strip-mining activities and its psychological
warfare against the people of Horno. LAUBAG excavators, just 1,500 metres
from the village, are now churning away at the Horno Hill, whose fertile
earth is transported by conveyor belt some five kilometres in a southerly
direction, where it is then tipped into a disused mining site, where the
Sorb village of Weißagk once flourished.

LAUBAG sells nearly all its lignite to the electricity utility VEAG, and
this power producer is effectively bankrupt, having wasted 16 billion DM
since 1990 in the construction and modernization of lignite-burning power
plants in eastern Germany, thus only aggravating excess capacities on the
electricity market. Now VEAG and LAUBAG are currently being sold for a
combined total of only 2.9 billion DM (!) to the Hamburger
Elektrizitäts-Werke (HEW), whose controlling shareholder is the Swedish
state-owned utility VATTENFALL. Forthe cost of constructing just a single
block at the Boxberg lignite power plant, VATTENFALL is acquiring the whole
of VEAG, including "the world's most modern" lignite power plant at Schwarze
Pumpe on the Brandenburg/Saxony border, Boxberg, Lippendorf near Leipzig,
and the entire East German high-voltage distribution grid, with the mining
company LAUBAG thrown in for free.

It is the intention of the Horno Alliance to ensure by concerted pressure of
international public opinion, that VATTENFALL be persuaded that the
destruction of Horno would be a fundamental violation of the minority rights
of the Sorb people, and is therefore not in its best interest; that instead
the Jänschwalde strip-mine should bypass Horno. VATTENFALL must also not be
permitted to hide behind HEW and the German operating companies. VATTENFALL
calls the tune at HEW; it must also bear the responsibility for policies

The bypassing of Horno is technically feasible, it would have a neutral
effect on employment, and - bearing in mind that VATTENFALL is buying
LAUBAG/ VEAG through HEW for a song, and that the Horno problem was known to
HEW/VATTENFALL before the contracts were formulated - it remains financially
justifiable. The LAUBAG argument, that saving Horno would immediately force
the Jänschwalde mine to close with the result of huge job losses, is
completely unfounded and just another example of the lies and deceit that
have characterized the decade-long LAUBAG campaign against Horno.

The bypassing of Horno brings with it considerable hardship over a period of
several years for the inhabitants. Yet they are willing to bear this
hardship in order to save their village.

It is the intention of the Horno Alliance to demonstrate that the cost to
VATTENFALL of the wilful and unnecessary destruction of Horno and the
enforced resettlement of its people will constitute an incalculable loss of
image and goodwill. A recent critical report on VATTENFALL on Swedish
television highlighted the company's plans for international expansion. Were
the Sorb village of Horno to be destroyed and its people forcibly resettled,
these plans would backfire into the face of Sweden's long-standing
reputation for environmental protection, social justice and human rights.

The Horno Alliance therefore launches this international appeal to
environ-mental organizations, human and minority rights groups, youth
organizations, church communities and organizations, artists, writers,
journalists, scientists and politicians, as well as bodies representing
ethnic minorities (including member organizations of the Federal Union of
European Nationalities [FUEV]):

Help save Horno!

What you can do!

Write letters of protest to VATTENFALL, demanding that Horno be saved:

Lars G. Joseffson

Chief Executive Officer

Vattenfall AB

S-162 87 Stockholm


Fax: (-46) (0)8-725 0501

Write letters of protest to the Swedish Government:

Prime Minister

Göran Persson

Rosenbad 4

S-103 33 Stockholm


Fax: (-46) (0)8-723 1171

demanding that influence be brought to bear on the state-owned VATTENFALL
Company to ensure that Horno be spared, and at the same time demanding
answers to the following questions:

1. Is the international conduct of a Swedish state-owned company a matter of
indifference to the Swedish Government and people?

2. What possible interest can the Swedish people have in the destruction of
Sorb villages in Germany for profit?

Kindly send copies of all communications, together with offers of support,
by e-mail, post or fax to the Horno Alliance.

You can also support Horno by making a badly-needed financial contribution
to the


Horno Fighting Fund

The courageous people of Horno have spent a huge amount of money over the
last seven years pursuing major law suits against both the Brandenburg State
Government and the LAUBAG mining company. Important cases are still pending
before the Administrative Court in Brandenburg, the Brandenburg
Constitutional Court and the Federal Constitutional Court, and a large
annual legal bill has to be met.

The Brandenburg State Government robbed Horno of its independent municipal
status with the "Horno Law", passed in 1997, as a result of which Horno no
longer has direct access to public funds.

In order to continue the battle in the German courts, Horno is in urgent
need of financial support. The fight to save Horno cannot be allowed to fail
because of lack of funds. The Horno Alliance therefore appeals to Horno
sympathizers - individuals and organizations - throughout Europe, to make a
contribution to the Horno Fighting Fund, in order that the fight to save
Horno can be pursued.

A registered association - Pro Horno/Rogow e.V. - has been formed for the
purpose of channelling funds and support to the Horno community.

Those individuals and organizations wishing to make a financial contribution
towards the fight to save Horno are requested to do so by international bank
transfer to:

Volks- and Raiffeisenbank e.G. Forst

Bank code: 180 627 58

Account No.: 11 36 135

"Pro Horno/Rogow e.V."

Or by cheque or international money order to:

Pro Horno/Rogow e.V.

Dorfstrasse 41

D-03172 Horno

All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and should be marked:
"Horno Fighting Fund"



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