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German exodus from Eastern Europe

From Academic Kids

The German exodus from Eastern Europe refers to the exodus of the German populations to the east of Germany's and Austria's post-World War II borders.

The phases of the process started with

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Nazi-Soviet population transfers

Following the Nazi-Soviet pact, Stalin permitted the departure of Germans from territories occupied by Soviet Union, notably Bessarabia and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, which traditionally had a large German minority. The Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) were then resettled in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, but also in Zamosc County as decided by Generalplan Ost. In most cases the they were given farms taken from Poles who were deported from the area.

Evacuation

Late towards the end of the war German authorities ordered the evacuation of areas close to the advancing front. Not only people who had been citizens of Nazi Germany (Reichsdeutsche) but also ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) were successfully evacuated (around 5 million people) before the rest were overrun by the Red Army.

Expulsion

The remaining ethnic German residents, some of whom had become German citizens during the world war, were expelled or fled from present-day Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Kaliningrad Oblast, and other East European countries. Some fled in fear of the Red Army, and others were persecuted because of their activities during the war or for other reasons. They were sent to make-shift camps or cities in western Germany, mostly according to their Landsmannschaft.

Emigration of Germans from Eastern Europe

(to be written) (5 million people)

Between 1950 and 1990, 1.4 million people emigrated from Poland to Germany claiming German ancestry (770 000 out of them in the 1980s).

(to be written)

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