Expulsion of ethnic Germans – a collective silence

Former Eastern territories of Germany
Adolf Hitler Platz — unknown location 1945
The Allied zones of occupation in post-war Germany, highlighting the Soviet zone (red), the inner German border (black line) and the zone from which the Western Allies withdrew in July 1945 (purple). The German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line (Pomerania, Neumark, Silesia and East Prussia) was attached to Poland and the Soviet Union. The northern portion of Ostpreußen (East Prussia) with the ancient capital of Königsberg became the newly-formed Kaliningrad Oblast, a part of the Russian SFSR, with a small portion, Memelland, joined to the Lithuanian SSR. All territory annexed by Germany during World War II was returned or annexed by the Soviet Union. Following Germany's defeat an estimated 1.6 million ethnic Germans were deported from the Sudetenland and the rest of Czechoslovakia to the American zone. An estimated 800,000 were deported to the Soviet zone. On May 16 1945, Edvard Beneš - president of Czechoslovakia declared that “the country must be completely purged of Germans and Magyars. These German and Hungarian “colonists” had settled in the area in the 12th and 13th century. Estimates of casualties related to this expulsion alone range between 30,000 and 270,000 people, depending on source. Top image: Map: U.S. Army. Public domain. Bottom image: Screenshot showing unknown town in the spring of 1945. Public domain.

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