April 10

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22 Apr 2012
April 10 Hist 215
Post-War Europe
1/ Physical devastation
o Cities spared: Oxford, Prague, Paris were not to be bombed/shelled
o Destroyed: Berlin and most other German cities, Warsaw, Budapest,
o Infrastructure
Countries most affected: Yugoslavia Ukraine/SU, Greece
2/ Continuing allied co-operation: the United Nations
o Tehran conferences, Dumbarton Conference
3/ Post-War Settlement: Potsdam, July 1945
o Status quo ante
Exceptions: Poland shifted to the West,
Baltic states, territories from Finland, Czechoslovakia and
Romania to SU
Germany divided into 4 occupation zones, with plans to de-
Nazify and reunite it
“Resettlement” of German population in Czechoslovakia,
4/ The refugee crisis and forced population movements
o “A continent of displaced persons” – Merriman
spring 1945: 20m on the move
o Continuity with wartime trends
Between them, Hitler and Stalin uprooted, transplanted,
expelled, deported and dispersed some 30 million people in
the years 1939-1943. With the retreat of the Axis armies, the
process was reversed. Tony Judt, Postwar.
o Who were the refugees?
Ethnic Germans, Balts, Poles, Ukrainians, Cossacks, Hungarians,
etc escaping the Soviet army had association with the Third
Reich and had reasons to fear the army.
Survivors of the Holocaust and concentration camps
o Who took care of them?
UNRRA, IRO, under newly establish UN. Last DP (displaced
persons) camp closes in 1957 in Bavaria.
o Population exchanges and transfers/resettlement: Turks from
Bulgaria to Turkey, ethnic Hungarians from Slovakia, etc
o The largest ethnic group affected: the removal/resettlement of ethnic
Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia 3m
From Hungary 620,000
From Romania 786,000
From Yugoslavia 500,000
From Poland 6-7million
o Total: 13 million ethnic Germans refugees settled in West Germany
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