A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950

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The closing phase and the aftermath of World War II saw millions of refugees and displaced persons wandering across Eastern Europe in one of the most brutal and chaotic migrations in world history.

The genocidal barbarism of the Nazi forces has been well documented. What hitherto has been little known is the fate of fifteen million German civilians who found themselves at the mercy of Soviet armies and on the wrong side of new postwar borders....
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Overview

The closing phase and the aftermath of World War II saw millions of refugees and displaced persons wandering across Eastern Europe in one of the most brutal and chaotic migrations in world history.

The genocidal barbarism of the Nazi forces has been well documented. What hitherto has been little known is the fate of fifteen million German civilians who found themselves at the mercy of Soviet armies and on the wrong side of new postwar borders. All over Eastern Europe, the inhabitants of communities that had been established for many centuries were either expelled or killed. Over two million Germans did not survive.

Many of these people had supported Hitler, and for the Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians, and surviving Jews, their fate must have seemed just. However, the great majority--East Prussian farmers, Silesian industrial workers, their wives and children--were guiltless. Their fate, sentenced purely by race, remains an appalling legacy of the period.

Alfred de Zayas's book describes this horrible retribution. On the basis of extensive research in German and American archives, he outlines the long history of these German communities, scattered from the Baltic to the Danude, and, most movingly, reproduces the testimonies of surviors from the catastrophic exodus that marked the final end to Nazi fantasies of Lebensraum.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312121594
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Official Map of the American Delegation to the Yalta Conference
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Illustrations
1 The Germans of East Central Europe 1
2 The Expulsion Prehistory: Interbellum Years and World War II 13
3 War and Flight 33
4 Allied Decisions on Resettlement 77
5 Expulsion and Deportation 85
6 The Expellees in Germany - Yesterday and Today 125
Epilogue 145
Appendix 151
Notes 153
Bibliography 163
Index 173
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2003

    ALFRED DE ZAYAZ GIVES VOICE TO THE MILLIONS OF INNOCENT VICTOMS FORGOTTEN BY HISTORIANS

    It is very difficut when members of one's family have been killed and are buried with thousands of others in unmarked mass graves in Eastern European Communist Countries, yet one does not find it in the history books. However, hundreds of thousands know it happened because they remember. They remember the fear, hunger, and pain that they experienced in Communist concentration camps. They remember walking over fields in the dark and the wet and cold seeping through ragged cothing as they escaped to the West. Suppose you were one of the many who experienced this. You were in the camps for almost three years when you were only a young child. As a teenager living in the USA in the 1950's you read in your history book about the atrocities that were committed in Wold War II by the Nazis and the Japanese. Eagerly you search to see what is written about the horrifying experiences that remain so vividly in your mind, but you find nothing. In your senior year in English class the teacher asks you to write a true story - so you write about your childhood for the first time. It is very painful for you to put the words on paper for the memories hurt. The paper comes back marked with a D and THIS IS NOT TRUE is written across in bold red letters. Devastated, you put your paper away and decide that what you went through does not matter to the rest of the world for you are an Ethnic German. These were my experiences and this is how I felt. All this has changed since this book has come out. It contains the stories about ordinary people who were caught in the fangs of war. I was not a NAZI at age 4 - I was an innocent child - like the millions of others that had to pay for what they did not do. At last someone has brought the truth to light about what the Communists did to purge Eastern European countries of their Ethnic German population. Thank you Alfred de Zayas for this gripping book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2000

    de Zayas courage to stand up for truth

    Even teachers or historians today do not have knowledge of this ethnic cleansing or try to dismiss it as something'they had coming'. 1. Fact: A large number of Germans ,especially Prussians did n o t support the Nazis.( Hitler was put in power by big international money). The legitimate Prussian government in Berlin under Otto Braun was on July 20, 1932 ousted by military Hitler coup. 2. Fact: July 20, 1944 the attempt to regain the government from dictator Hitler failed. 3. Fact: To this day even teachers do not know that agressors against Germania came from the e a s t , the Huns, Avars, Slavs. Poles under Miezko I and Boleslaw I, who's soldiers came north to Old Prussiland with Voitech St. Adalbert to 'convert the heathens' in 997 AD . They were followed by many more sworded crusaders against the Baltic people.

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