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In War's Wake: Europe's Displaced Persons in the Postwar Order
     

In War's Wake: Europe's Displaced Persons in the Postwar Order

by Gerard Daniel Cohen
 

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After WWII, Europe was awash in refugees. Never in modern times had so many been so destitute and displaced. No longer subjects of a single nation-state, this motley group of enemies and victims consisted of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, ex-Soviet POWs, ex-forced laborers in the Third Reich, legions of people who fled the advancing Red Army, and many thousands

Overview

After WWII, Europe was awash in refugees. Never in modern times had so many been so destitute and displaced. No longer subjects of a single nation-state, this motley group of enemies and victims consisted of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, ex-Soviet POWs, ex-forced laborers in the Third Reich, legions of people who fled the advancing Red Army, and many thousands uprooted by the sheer violence of the war. This book argues that postwar international relief operations went beyond their stated goal of civilian "rehabilitation" and contributed to the rise of a new internationalism, setting the terms on which future displaced persons would be treated by nations and NGOs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The prime purpose of this excellent book is not to provide a more inclusive and integrative social history but to do something far more ambitious: namely, to write an international history that places the DP issue in the context of the emerging Cold War, and as a factor in international justice and political retribution, the emergence of the human rights movement, the rise of United Nations humanitarianism, the governance of international migration, and the advent of Jewish statehood .[It] makes clear is how important that period was in shaping contemporary views of refugees and their plight." —American Historical Review

"An insightful study of the European refugee problem created by WW II and then nurtured by the Cold War...Recommended." —CHOICE

"In War's Wake brilliantly demonstrates that refugee flows possess a logic of their own and are by their very nature complementary." —The Nation

"As Gerard Daniel Cohen persuasively argues, Allied recognition of the DPs' objections to returning, and the prevailing sense of a profound difference between the 'democratic' Allies and the Soviet bloc, were important factors in the development of the Cold War."—London Review of Books

"Written in spare prose, and on the basis of extraordinary research, In War's Wake shows how fruitful it is to blend international and social history, by bringing back into view the forgotten crucible of mass statelessness in which crucial legacies were made for contemporary humanitarianism and human rights alike."-Samuel Moyn, Columbia University, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History

"In War's Wake tells the story of the unprecedented humanitarian effort on behalf of millions of Europeans displaced by the Second World War. The postwar refugee crisis, Cohen demonstrates, gave rise to new conceptions of human rights, asylum and refugee policies, population policies, Cold War conflicts, and the emergence of the State of Israel. This provocative, well-written study is a landmark contribution to the history of human rights and to the political history of twentieth-century Europe."-Tara Zahra, author of The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II

"Based on thorough research in the archives of numerous institutions, Cohen's study of the millions of individuals left without a country after the Second World War shows how the European refugee problem was addressed by the leaders of the emerging free world, members of international organizations, legal scholars, and human rights activists. As Cohen demonstrates, the DP crisis facilitated a shift from minority rights to individual human rights and brought the issue of statelessness to the center of international politics. Enmeshed with the Cold War, this episode crucially secured the rights of individuals to a nationality and to a safe place of refuge, but also shaped new patterns of humanitarianism and international migration in the postwar era. In War's Wake is a masterpiece"-Patrick Weil, Université de Paris 1

"On the basis of meticulous research, Daniel Cohen makes important connections between the policies that emerged to manage Europe's displaced persons in 'war's wake' and the development of international humanitarian aid and population control programs, the onset of the Cold War, and the origins of the state of Israel. In the process, he shows that the very category of 'DP' shifted in response to the practical and political dimensions of resettlement."-Mary D. Lewis, author of The Boundaries of the Republic: Migrant Rights and the Limits of Universalism in France, 1918-1940

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199912216
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2011
Series:
Oxford Studies in International History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,193,504
File size:
17 MB
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Meet the Author

Gerard Daniel Cohen is Associate Professor of History, Rice University

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