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The last remaining Germans were expelled between November  1, people and January 7. Between , around , Soviet citizens settled the oblast. After the liberation, Yugoslav Partisans exacted revenge on ethnic Germans for the wartime atrocities of Nazi Germany , in which many ethnic Germans had participated, especially in the Banat area of Serbia.
The approximately , ethnic Germans remaining in Yugoslavia suffered persecution and sustained personal and economic losses. About 7, were killed as local populations and partisans took revenge for German wartime atrocities. All furniture was removed, straw placed on the floor, and the expellees housed like animals under military guard, with minimal food and rampant, untreated disease.
Families were divided into the unfit women, old, and children, and those fit for slave labour. Smaller numbers of ethnic Germans also lived in Ljubljana and in some western villages in the Prekmurje region. In , the total number of ethnic Germans in Slovenia was around 28, In April , southern Slovenia was occupied by Italian troops. Gottschee Germans were generally unhappy about their forced transfer from their historical home region.
One reason was that the agricultural value of their new area of settlement was perceived as much lower than the Gottschee area. As German forces retreated before the Yugoslav Partisans , most ethnic Germans fled with them in fear of reprisals.
The Liberation Front of the Slovenian People expelled most of the remainder after it seized complete control in the region in May The Yugoslavs set up internment camps at Sterntal and Teharje.
The government nationalized their property on a "decision on the transition of enemy property into state ownership, on state administration over the property of absent people, and on sequestration of property forcibly appropriated by occupation authorities" of 21 November by the Presidency of the Anti-Fascist Council for the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia.
After March , ethnic Germans were placed in so-called "village camps". Most of the children under 14 were then placed in state-run homes, where conditions were better, though the German language was banned. These children were later given to Yugoslav families, and not all German parents seeking to reclaim their children in the s were successful. West German government figures from put the death toll at , civilians.
A total of 48, people had died in the camps; 7, were shot by partisans, and another 1, perished in Soviet labour camps. By , , of the Germans from Yugoslavia were classified as "expelled" in Germany, another , in Austria, 10, in the United States, and 3, in France.
The population of Kehl 12, people , on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Strasbourg , fled and was evacuated in the course of the Liberation of France , on 23 November Fearing a Nazi Fifth Column , between and the US government facilitated the expulsion of 4, German citizens from 15 Latin American countries to internment camps in Texas and Louisiana.
Subsequent investigations showed many of the internees to be harmless, and three-quarters of them were returned to Germany during the war in exchange for citizens of the Americas, while the remainder returned to their homes in Latin America.
At the start of World War II, colonists with German citizenship were rounded up by the British and sent, together with Italian and Hungarian enemy aliens, to internment camps in Waldheim and Bethlehem of Galilee. Internment continued in Tatura , Victoria, Australia , until In the State of Israel paid 54 million Deutsche Marks in compensation to property owners whose assets were nationalized.
Estimates of total deaths of German civilians in the flight and expulsions, including Forced labour of Germans in the Soviet Union , range from , to a maximum of 3. English language sources have put the death toll at 2 to 3 million based on the West German government figures from the s. The West German figure of 2 million deaths in the flight and expulsions was widely accepted by historians in the West prior to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War.
The German government continues to maintain that the figure of 2 million deaths is correct. In the German historian Rüdiger Overmans published a study of German military casualties, his research project did not investigate civilian expulsion deaths. Overmans maintains that the studies of expulsion deaths by the German government lack adequate support, he maintains that there are more arguments for the lower figures than for the higher figures.
In a interview, Overmans maintained that new research is needed to clarify the fate of those reported as missing. In particular, Overmans maintains that the figure of 1. Overmans maintains that the , deaths found by the German Federal Archives in is only a rough estimate of those killed, not a definitive figure. He pointed out that some deaths were not reported because there were no surviving eyewitnesses of the events; also there was no estimate of losses in Hungary, Romania and the USSR.
Overmans conducted a research project that studied the casualties of the German military during the war and found that the previous estimate of 4. In his study Overmans researched only military deaths, his project did not investigate civilian expulsion deaths; he merely noted the difference between the 2.
Overmans believes this will reduce the number of civilian deaths in the expulsions. Overmans further pointed out that the 2. In , Haar called into question the validity of the official government figure of 2 million expulsion deaths in an article in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Haar maintains that all reasonable estimates of deaths from expulsions lie between around , and ,, based on the information of Red Cross Search Service and German Federal Archives.
Harr pointed out that some members of the Schieder commission and officials of the Statistisches Bundesamt involved in the study of the expulsions were involved in the Nazi plan to colonize Eastern Europe.
Haar posits that figures have been inflated in Germany due to the Cold War and domestic German politics, and he maintains that the 2. Haar questions the validity of population balances in general. He rejects the statement by the German government that the figure of —, deaths omitted those people who died of disease and hunger, and has stated that this is a "mistaken interpretation" of the data.
He maintains that deaths due to disease, hunger and other conditions are already included in the lower numbers. According to Haar the numbers were set too high for decades, for postwar political reasons. In , Polish researcher Bernadetta Nitschke puts total losses for Poland at , the same figure as the German Federal Archive study , she noted that historians in Poland have maintained that most of the deaths occurred during the flight and evacuation during the war, the deportation to the USSR for forced labour and after the resettlement due to the harsh conditions in the Soviet occupation zone in postwar Germany.
For example, Eberhardt points out that "the total number of Germans in Poland is given as equal 1,, According to the Polish census of , there were altogether only , Germans in the entire territory of Poland. German historians Hans Henning Hahn and Eva Hahn published a detailed study of the flight and expulsions that is sharply critical of German accounts of the Cold War era. The Hahns regard the official German figure of 2 million deaths as an historical myth, lacking foundation. They place the ultimate blame for the mass flight and expulsion on the wartime policy of the Nazis in Eastern Europe.
The Hahns maintain that most of the reported , deaths occurred during the Nazi organized flight and evacuation during the war, and the forced labour of Germans in the Soviet Union; they point out that there are 80, confirmed deaths in the postwar internment camps. They put the postwar losses in eastern Europe at a fraction of the total losses: Poland, deaths from to in internment camps; Czechoslovakia- 15,—30, dead, including 4,—5, in internment camps and ca.
The Hahns point out that the official figure of , deaths for Czechoslovakia was prepared by Alfred Bohmann, a former Nazi Party member who had served in the wartime SS. Bohmann was a journalist for an ultra-nationalist Sudeten-Deutsch newspaper in postwar West Germany. The Hahns believe the population figures of ethnic Germans for eastern Europe include German-speaking Jews killed in the Holocaust.
In , research by a joint German and Czech commission of historians found that the previous demographic estimates of , to , deaths in Czechoslovakia to be overstated and based on faulty information. They concluded that the death toll was at least 15, people and that it could range up to a maximum of 30, dead, assuming that not all deaths were reported. The German government still maintains that the figure of In the German Red Cross Search Service put the death toll at 2,, but did not provide details for this estimate.
On 29 November , State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of the Interior , Christoph Bergner , outlined the stance of the respective governmental institutions on Deutschlandfunk saying that the numbers presented by the German government and others are not contradictory to the numbers cited by Haar, and that the below , estimate comprises the deaths directly caused by atrocities during the expulsion measures and thus only includes people who on the spot were raped, beaten, or else brought to death, while the above two millions estimate includes people who on their way to postwar Germany died of epidemics, hunger, cold, air raids and the like.
In , Rudolph Rummel examined the data by only English-language authors published before and found a range from , to 3,, deaths due to the expulsions.
In his own analysis of these sources, he calculated the total postwar expulsion deaths to be 1,, In , German historian Martin Broszat former head of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich described Nawratil's writings as "polemics with a nationalist-rightist point of view and exaggerates in an absurd manner the scale of 'expulsion crimes'. Fischer calls the book "problematic". Those who arrived were in bad condition—particularly during the harsh winter of —46, when arriving trains carried "the dead and dying in each carriage other dead had been thrown from the train along the way ".
Once they arrived, they found themselves in a country devastated by war. Housing shortages lasted until the s, which along with other shortages led to conflicts with the local population. France did not participate in the Potsdam Conference , so it felt free to approve some of the Potsdam Agreements and dismiss others. France maintained the position that it had not approved the expulsions and therefore was not responsible for accommodating and nourishing the destitute expellees in its zone of occupation.
While the French military government provided for the few refugees who arrived before July in the area that became the French zone, it succeeded in preventing entrance by later-arriving ethnic Germans deported from the East.
Britain and the US protested against the actions of the French military government but had no means to force France to bear the consequences of the expulsion policy agreed upon by American, British and Soviet leaders in Potsdam. France persevered with its argument to clearly differentiate between war-related refugees and post-war expellees. In December it absorbed into its zone German refugees from Denmark,  where , Germans had traveled by sea between February and May to take refuge from the Soviets.
These were refugees from the eastern parts of Germany, not expellees; Danes of German ethnicity remained untouched and Denmark did not expel them.
With this humanitarian act the French saved many lives, due to the high death toll German refugees faced in Denmark. Until mid, the Allies had not reached an agreement on how to deal with the expellees. France suggested immigration to South America and Australia and the settlement of 'productive elements' in France, while the Soviets' SMAD suggested a resettlement of millions of expellees in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The Soviets, who encouraged and partly carried out the expulsions, offered little cooperation with humanitarian efforts, thereby requiring the Americans and British to absorb the expellees in their zones of occupation. In contradiction with the Potsdam Agreements, the Soviets neglected their obligation to provide supplies for the expellees.
The Western deliveries started in , but this turned out to be a one-way street. The Soviet deliveries—desperately needed to provide the expellees with food, warmth, and basic necessities and to increase agricultural production in the remaining cultivation area—did not materialize. Consequently, the US stopped all deliveries on 3 May ,  while the expellees from the areas under Soviet rule were deported to the West until the end of In the British and US zones the supply situation worsened considerably, especially in the British zone.
Due to its location on the Baltic , the British zone already harbored a great number of refugees who had come by sea, and the already modest rations had to be further shortened by a third in March In Hamburg , for instance, the average living space per capita, reduced by air raids from The US and Britain had to import food into their zones, even as Britain was financially exhausted and dependent on food imports having fought Nazi Germany for the entire war, including as the sole opponent from June to June the period when Poland and France were defeated, the Soviet Union supported Nazi Germany, and the United States had not yet entered the war.
Consequently, Britain had to incur additional debt to the US, and the US had to spend more for the survival of its zone, while the Soviets gained applause among Eastern Europeans — many of whom were impoverished by the war and German occupation — who plundered the belongings of expellees, often before they were actually expelled.
With ever more expellees sweeping into post-war Germany, the Allies moved towards a policy of assimilation , which was believed to be the best way to stabilise Germany and ensure peace in Europe by preventing the creation of a marginalised population. When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded, a law was drafted on 24 August that was primarily intended to ease the financial situation of the expellees.
The law, termed the Lastenausgleichsgesetz, granted partial compensation and easy credit to the expellees; the loss of their civilian property had been estimated at In countries occupied by Nazi Germany during the war, sexual relations between Wehrmacht soldiers and local women resulted in the birth of significant numbers of children.
Relationships between German soldiers and local women were particularly common in countries whose population was not dubbed "inferior" Untermensch by the Nazis. After the Wehrmacht's withdrawal, these women and their children of German descent were often ill-treated. For many war children, the situation would ease only decades after the war. With at least  12 million    Germans directly involved, possibly 14 million   or more,  it was the largest movement or transfer of any single ethnic population in European history    and the largest among the post-war expulsions in Central and Eastern Europe which displaced 20 to 31 million people in total.
The exact number of Germans expelled after the war is still unknown, because most recent research provides a combined estimate which includes those who were evacuated by the German authorities, fled or were killed during the war. It is estimated that between 12 and 14 million German citizens and foreign ethnic Germans and their descendants were displaced from their homes. The exact number of casualties is still unknown and is difficult to establish due to the chaotic nature of the last months of the war.
Census figures placed the total number of ethnic Germans still living in Eastern Europe in , after the major expulsions were complete, at approximately 2.
The events have been usually classified as population transfer   or as ethnic cleansing. Rummel has classified these events as democide ,  and a few scholars go as far as calling it a genocide. The expulsions created major social disruptions in the receiving territories, which were tasked with providing housing and employment for millions of refugees.
West Germany established a ministry dedicated to the problem, and several laws created a legal framework. The expellees established several organisations, some demanding compensation. Their grievances, while remaining controversial, were incorporated into public discourse.
International law on population transfer underwent considerable evolution during the 20th century. Before World War II, several major population transfers were the result of bilateral treaties and had the support of international bodies such as the League of Nations.
The tide started to turn when the charter of the Nuremberg trials of German Nazi leaders declared forced deportation of civilian populations to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity, and this opinion was progressively adopted and extended through the remainder of the century. Underlying the change was the trend to assign rights to individuals, thereby limiting the rights of nation-states to impose fiats which could adversely affect such individuals. There is now general consensus about the legal status of involuntary population transfers: Although the signatories to the Potsdam Agreements and the expelling countries may have considered the expulsions to be legal under international law at the time, there are historians and scholars in international law and human rights who argue that the expulsions of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe should now be considered as episodes of ethnic cleansing , and thus a violation of human rights.
For example, Timothy V. In the s and s a Harvard -trained lawyer and historian, Alfred de Zayas , published Nemesis at Potsdam and A Terrible Revenge , both of which became bestsellers in Germany. In November , a major conference on ethnic cleansing in the 20th century was held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh , along with the publication of a book containing participants' conclusions. A Centre Against Expulsions was to be set up in Berlin by the German government based on an initiative and with active participation of the German Federation of Expellees.
The Centre's creation has been criticized in Poland. Former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk restricted his comments to a recommendation that Germany pursue a neutral approach at the museum. German historian Andreas Hillgruber called the expulsions a "national catastrophe" and said in that they were as tragic as the Holocaust.
British historian Richard J. Evans wrote that although the expulsions of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe was done in an extremely brutal manner that could not be defended, the basic aim of expelling the ethnic German population of Poland and Czechoslovakia was justified by the subversive role played by the German minorities before World War II.
Historian Gerhard Weinberg wrote that the expulsions of the Sudeten Germans was justified as the Germans themselves had scrapped the Munich Agreement. In June , German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that there had been "no moral or political justification" for the post-war expulsion of ethnic Germans.
Nazi propaganda pictures produced during the Heim ins Reich and pictures of expelled Poles are sometimes published to show the flight and expulsion of Germans. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. Demographic estimates of the flight and expulsion of Germans. As postulated and made a reality". Volume of Boston studies in the philosophy of science. Nationhood in German legislation. Memory and Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past.
Retrieved 30 January Porter, The Ghosts of Europe. Polish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 28 October Gibney; Randall Hansen From to the Present. Archived from the original on 31 October Retrieved 29 August From the Nazi Era to German Unification 2 ed. Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved 28 August Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-century Europe. Population resettlement in international conflicts: Retrieved 27 August Princeton University Press, , p.
Revenge of the Periphery: The Contours of Legitimacy in Central Europe. Retrieved July 21, Statistisches Bundesamt - Wiesbaden. Historical Atlas of East Central Europe. Univ of Washington Pr, Seattle. Strukturwandel der deutschen Bevolkerung im polnischen Staats - und Verwaltungsbereich, Köln, Wissenschaft und Politik, p. Bureau of the Census , The Population of Poland. Parker Mauldin, Washington , p. History, Data, Analysis M. University of North Carolina Press , , pp. Archived from the original on 2 March Viele weitere tolle Angebote im Shop!
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In the West German government estimated, based on a demographic analysis, that by , Germans remained in Hungary; 60, had been assimilated into the Hungarian population, and there were 57, "unresolved cases" that remained to be clarified.
Die deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen , part 1, Bonn: