New Book on Brutal Post-WWII Expulsions of Germans


Yale University Press will soon be releasing Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War. The author, R. M. Douglas, had an excerpt essay in last week’s Chronicles of Higher Education that is stunning:

Between 1945 and 1950, Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians -the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16 -”were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland. As The New York Times noted in December 1945, the number of people the Allies proposed to transfer in just a few months was about the same as the total number of all the immigrants admitted to the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. They were deposited among the ruins of Allied-occupied Germany to fend for themselves as best they could. The number who died as a result of starvation, disease, beatings, or outright execution is unknown, but conservative estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people lost their lives in
the course of the operation.

Most disturbingly of all, tens of thousands perished as a result of ill treatment while being used as slave labor (or, in the Allies’ cynical formulation, “reparations in kind”) in a vast network of camps extending across central and southeastern Europe – many of which, like Auschwitz I and Theresienstadt, were former German concentration camps kept in operation for years after the war. Ironically, no more than 100 or so miles away from the camps being put to this new use, the surviving Nazi leaders were being tried by the Allies in the courtroom at Nuremberg on a bill of indictment that listed “deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population” under the heading of “crimes against humanity.”

By any measure, the postwar expulsions were a manmade disaster and one of the most significant examples of the mass violation of human rights in recent history. Yet although they occurred within living memory, in time of peace, and in the middle of the world’s most densely populated continent, they remain all but unknown outside Germany itself.

Douglas clearly states that the post-war German “expulsions are in no way to be compared to the genocidal Nazi campaign that preceded them.” But the crimes of the Third Reich did not absolve the post-war abuses by the Allied governments and East European regimes.

Jon Utley’s mother, Frida Utley, did some of the first and most piercing writing on the post-World War Two abuses in Germany. Her pathbreaking work is archived here.

I will write more on this subject in the coming months. [hat tip to Walter Grinder]

62 thoughts on “New Book on Brutal Post-WWII Expulsions of Germans”

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  1. It's amazing that something this big is completely buried while the post-WWII follies of Nazis in Paraguay is so over hyped.

  2. These same innocent civilians committed treason against their countries of birth by supporting German aggression against these countries, expelled local people of non-German nationality who were only able to take what they could carry on their backs and informed gestapo on local people, leading to millions of really innocent civilians in their home countries to perish in concentration camps and German torture chambers or just summarily executed when rounded up by Gestapo and SS. Almost none of them stoond up against Nazi terror in those countries. If allies wanted to follow a legal process, they would have been sent to prisons for decades. Instead, they did spent couple years in Germany in tent camps but with enough food and good treatment by their own post-nazi government. In the end, they ended up in US-induced economic boom and became part of the richest European nation while those bad Eastern Europeans were left for Stalin to terrorize again, even though many of these people fought with and helped Allies win the war. Talk about injustice.

    1. It is blowback from the holocaust and German occupations for sure. War with have endless blowback until the whole world is blind and toothless. And if you are gassing people in concentration camps that's a whole other level of evil and it is quite likely you will invite the same degree of blowback. But as the article above states even children were ejected, no doubt some innocent people were ejected, and they died. Yes the figure is less than 1/10th the number of jews supposed to have been killed in the holocaust. It can still be a human tragedy.

    2. I agree basically with ll you say Pete but;
      Stalin is scapegoat for many neo-NAZI, to make revisionism of WWII NAZI and depicting of German WWII (PRO-NAZI) population as "victims".
      It is well known fact that, just handful of Germans were not pro-NAZI in those days.
      Evil of Stalin does NOT belittle evil of Hitler and vice versa.
      Putting blame on Hitler doesn't belittle responsability of the Germans either!
      As an example; Soviets did not "exterminate" Germans even though they were considered and treated as sub-humans (by NAZI) just one step above Jews!
      Specially when they were Slavic and comynist in the same time, they would be simply executed just like any Jew or Roma-Gipsy.
      They were treated as an animals!
      Again, majority of Germans have supported that NAZI ideology.
      So for me, this book is just another attempt of revisionism.
      Presenting (among others) Germans from Yougoslavia (I'm from ex-Yougoslavia) as "victims", even though it is well known fact that HUGE majority of them have served in "Prinz Eugen" Waffen SS division which have commited great number of war crimes in Balkans.
      "Printz Eugen" SS was created only from local Germans from ex-Yougoslavia.(There was no Slavic-origin or any kind of non-Germans in "Printz Eugen"! Just LOCAL GERMANS.)
      Not to forget that SS – were considered as criminals in post war Europe by everybody!
      So deportation of their families is linked directly to their (SS – members of families) crimes!
      Those crimes and suffering inflicted (NOT ONLY to the Jews) is by far greater than anything innocent (whan that was the case) Germans might have suffered in deportation!
      Number of of killed in WW-II by NAZI (if we count only USSR and Jews) is over 30 MILLION ! And Germans? Not even close to that number!!!
      Not to mention evil of SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION doctrine of Jews and Roma (Gyipsies) inclooding their children as an ultimate crime.
      Any WAR IS TRAGEDY, but asking Justice for the agressors is another spit in the face of the VICTIMS!
      ANTl-w@r , that makes publicity to this kind of book, should look for some other name maybe?

      If there was crime in deportation in Yougoslavia, than that was deportation of Italians from Croatia's Adriatic Coast (who (unlike Germans) lived there for the centuries), ordered by (Croat) dictator Tito.
      Italin Fascists did much less crimes in Balkans than Germans, so deporting Italian population was well over the top, post-war reaction…

    3. The assertion that internees were victims of … "gassing ….in concentration camps is indicative of just how empty your brain box is. It has almost 70 years that propagandist blanket of femis tauri was laid on the most mentally , morally and culturally bankrupt of the advanced nation of the the world. he's a point to ponder…. To the apothegm "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," should be added "No knowledge is a farggin catastrophe."

    4. Most of the 15 million or so people expelled or ethnically cleansed were expelled from Germany (that is pre-war Germany circa 1937) and so cannot be regarded as "traitors to their country of birth". Those unfortunate enough to live in Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia were mainly born at a time when those countries were part of Austria, so can be forgiven for having mixed views about their homeland. The economic miracle that revived Germany after 1945 came about through the hard work and creativity of the German people, despite the many serious obstacles put in their way by the allies including Britain and the USA. To claim it was a US-induced boom is outright nonsense. Finally, at least 17 million Germans, citizens of the old DDR had to suffer Stalin's terror, along with the Poles and all those other victims of Soviet Communism.

  3. A terrible and convoniently forgotten part of history. There were two people that masterminded these crimes. Both still celebrated in their respective countries: Edvard Benes and Joseph Stalin. Stalin wanted to regain territory from Western Poland lost in WW II and it was easier to sell a westward movement of Poland than Polish territorial losses without compensation to te rest of the allies. Benes on the other hand did all he can in the interwar period to loose German support for Czechoslovakia through ongoing centralization, channeling financial means to Czech speaking regions and settling Czechs in German speaking areas. Then he used 1945 as an opportunity to achieve a “German free” Czechoslovakia. These crimes remain unpunished to this day. The victims were mostly innocent chess figures that stood between the Nazis and the Benes-Stalin pan Slavic alliance.

  4. The East German Genocide is One of the Worst Acts of Genocide in the 20th Century
    and the Brutality of the National Socialist Regime towards Jews Gypsies the Sick and
    Disabled does Not Justify the Bigotry and Cruelty Involved in the East German Genocide

    There was No Justification for the Mass Murder and Uprooting of Local Germans from
    East Prussia Silesia and Pomerania

    Stalin was a Genocidial Tyrant just like Hitler

    1. Not only was it completely deserved, it wasn't merely enough after what the Germans did during the war. Was there a justification for the mass murder and uprooting of the Jews and the rest of Europe? No. Stalingrad!!!!

  5. Well in Petes world of judgement then every US Citizen and British Citizen is fully responsible for every single death in Iraq and Afghanistan inflicted by their military machine and so any reprisal against British and American civilians is going to be fully justified. So under International law its ok pete for Cornwall to be ethnically cleansed of all English and be repopulated by Arabs and same rule will apply to South Carolina in the USA as punishment for their military machine invading other countries for whatever agenda. Ohhhh!! But thats different isnt it? We can't do that now can we?

    I think some people here need to do some serious historical searching of facts from fiction. History is never black and white and victors history is smothered in bias so do your own proper research if you are interested in actual truth that is non biased.

    Genocide is genocide no matter who is doing it to whom ever.

    Collective guilt is what has been imposed on all the Germans since WW2 and it was this very collective guilt that was used as the excuse to mass murder innocent women and children at the end and especially in the years after the war. Where are these mass murderers today in their old age whom think they have gotten away with rape pillage and theft of so many innocent people. The Anglo Americans and their Bolshevik Allies have worked hard since the war to hide this mass genocide of German civilian women and children at the end of WW2 and its aftermath. Did they really think they would stop the truth from breaking out? Shame on them all for it is plain disgusting to even think they would ever get away with it. The numbers actually murdered is actually much higher than what this book is suggesting and if you dig deep enough this you will learn is further truth to this genocide.

  6. The assertion that internees were victims of … "gassing ….in concentration camps is indicative of just how empty your brain box is. It has been almost 70 years that a propagandist blanket of femis tauri was laid on the most mentally , morally and culturally bankrupt of the advanced nation of the the world. Here's a point to ponder…. To the apothegm "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," should be added "No knowledge is a farggin catastrophe."

    Are you on psychedelic drugs?

    Pete – you , j.j .and Fur Deutschland (see below ) remind me of the tugboats in New York Harbor. They. too, make their loudest noise when in the deepest fog.

    I have neither time nor the inclination to provide you with the re-educating you three so desperately need. Moreover, I am am too old to engage in exercises in futility. Trying to re-educated you would be like trying to blow out a light bulb

    I will briefly list what I consider a few of your assertions and implications and which I’m sure the more knowledgeable on the site will agree are no better than untreated sewage.

    "… they did spent couple years in Germany in tent camps but with enough food and good treatment by their own post-Nazi government…"

    "…These same innocent civilians committed treason against their countries of birth by supporting German aggression against these countries, …"

    " gassing people in concentration camps that's a whole other level…"

    "…SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION doctrine of Jews…."

    "… Soviets did not "exterminate" Germans even though they were considered and treated as sub-humans (by NAZI) just one step above Jews…"

    Where did you guys go to school? The Walt Disney Ding Dong School for the Dim, Dull, And Delusional.

    Did you graduate with B.S.:, M.S.; and PhD"

    Bat Sh*t
    More Sh*t and Piled higher and Deeper
    Have you no shame?

  7. They were just young boys and girls who had been exposed to a war instead of going to school, women of all ages who had been subjected to the most terrible ordeals, old men who could only run from a tide of terror that was unleashed upon them and the remains of their families. That's what it is a about!

  8. there is nothing brutal about what was done to these Nazis!

    Every German in Europe should have been put to death to teach the scum of the World they have the Right to keep their mouths shut for eternity!

    All those that think every one in the World should look the same and act the same NEED to taken out and shot in front of their children so they know that stupidity and a big mouth are NOT tolerable by Humans!
    The idea that some fools belief is more important then any other belief is the cause of ALL forms of trouble on this planet

  9. So many people from modern day, Germany, Poland, and Russia suffered terribly in the East, the people slaughtered, displaced, raped, country abolished, and for what, take a good look in the history books though there may have been many Prussians/East Germans whom were indeed nazis, though its through fear that they were, fear for the lives of their families, their lives, futures, what would you say if someone had a gun to your head, and now what if it was a gun to your mothers? would you not act different? When all that is loved is threatened, people can do grave things. Hitler was actually Austrian in case the world seems to forget, and the East Germans/ Prussians actually tried to kill him and stop what was taking place in Europe. The bombing planned by them failed, later not even being taken into consideration by people of modern times. I find it pitiful for people to be so judgmental when they truly need to learn a little more history, or stop following the boasted hatred the world has had for Germany since the Austrian Hitler was in power.

    All through history, NOT JUST IN GERMANY!

    All in all, im assuming your either a pole or a Jew, no offense for I am not racist, just simply stating they seem to be the most adamant to hate modern Germans yet preach for peace then say Germans are disgusting and should be destroyed, hmmmm hippocritical I think so.

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