Displaced person (Federal Expellees Act)
As expellees are following the legal definition in of the Federal Law of 1953 displaced persons referred to on December 31, 1937 or earlier had already been residing in the law certain expulsion area. This includes people with German citizenship and ethnic Germans who had to leave the eastern areas of the German Reich , the Sudetenland and old settlement areas in eastern and south- eastern Europe after the Second World War and who were within the scope of theBasic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany .
Legal position in Germany
The official population statistics counted as expellees who lived on September 1, 1939 in the eastern German territories ( territorial status December 31, 1937 ), in the Saar area or abroad , the latter only with a German mother tongue. Because the nationality of ethnic German expellees was an unreliable criterion at the time of the 1946 and 1950 censuses, their mother tongue was used as a criterion instead. The allocation for children born after September 1, 1939 was usually based on the father's place of residence (in the Free State of Bavaria, however, based on the mother's refugee status).
The Burden Equalization Act of August 1952 made no distinction between who is considered a “displaced person” and which is a “displaced person”. The definition of the term from the Burden Equalization Act was reformulated for the first time in the Federal Expellees Act (BVFG) of May 19, 1953. The concept of the expellee and his legal status were regulated therein. It contains a legal definition of the term “expellee”, the distinguishing feature of which was the domicile of the expellee on December 31, 1937. Only those who lived in the displaced areas before 1938 could now claim to have been expelled from their homeland .
§ 2 BVFG in the originally applicable version read:
- A displaced person is a displaced person who was resident on December 31, 1937 or once before in the area of the country from which he was expelled (area of displacement); The entirety of the areas that belonged to the German Reich or the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy on January 1, 1914 or, at a later date, to Poland , Estonia , Latvia or Lithuania ( Memel area ) are considered to be a uniform expulsion area.
- A displaced person is also an expelled spouse or a descendant born after December 31, if the spouse or, in the case of descendants, one of the parents as a German citizen or ethnic German resident on December 31, 1937, or once before, was resident in the area of displacement.
This definition differs from that of the displaced person inBVFG, which includes people who were not already resident in the area of displacement on the reference date December 31, 1937.
Rights and privileges under the BVFG in its original version could only be used by expellees who had their permanent residence in the area of application of the Basic Law or in West Berlin , as well as refugees from the Soviet zone .
Older official terminology
While the legal terms, first introduced in 1953, have a relatively clear legal meaning, which is reflected in the refugee ID cards A, B or C , for example , the terms "refugee" or "expellee" are mostly used synonymously and for all persons in older official files. who were affected by resettlement, evacuation, flight and displacement. Also included after the completion of the expulsions are repatriates, often evacuees, foreign workers, foreigners and displaced persons . While the censuses of 1946 and 1950 use the place of residence from September 1, 1939, i.e. at the beginning of the war, as a criterion, the range of terms with designations such as “east returnees”, “returnees” or “returnees” shows that the issue of flight and displacement is closely related to the resettlement of German population groups in Eastern and Southeastern Europe carried out by the German Reich during the war. In the simplistic pair of terms “flight and displacement”, which is mostly used today, the variety of reasons for immigration is no longer visible.
Flight and displacement
Even before the forced migration of the German population from the areas east of the Oder-Neisse border , Czechoslovakia , Hungary and other settlement areas in Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe, hundreds of thousands fled to the west at the end of the Second World War.
As early as autumn 1944, large streams of refugees from East Prussia , Pomerania , Silesia , East Brandenburg and , since 1945, also from the annexed Sudetenland began to move. The escape was ordered by German authorities or was carried out out of fear of the dangers of the approaching war front such as bombing or artillery shelling. Reports and rumors of massacres, mass rape and looting in areas already reached by the Red Army or partisan organizations did the rest.
In October 1944, so-called wild expulsions began by the local non-German population, especially in areas with German minorities such as the Balkans or Slovakia. New settlers arrived who had previously often been driven out themselves. The Potsdam Agreement of August 1945 finally stipulated that the expulsion of the Germans had to take place “in an orderly and humane manner”. It marks the time of the official transition from individual and wild flight to organized and planned displacement and forced relocation . Official estimates at the time assumed 13-14 million refugees from the area east of the Oder and Neisse rivers in the period from January 1945 to July 1946.
Between 1944 and 1948, 11,900,000 Germans had to leave their homeland:
|Area of origin||Refugees and displaced persons|
|Poznan , West Prussia , Gdansk , Baltic States||1,160,000|
|Yugoslavia , Romania , Hungary||760,000|
Refugees and displaced persons in the west
The Allied plans were based on the Potsdam Agreement and provided admission quotas for the individual zones of occupation . They were mainly assigned to the British and American zones . France was not allowed to take part in the Potsdam Conference and refused to accept organized transports into its zone until 1948.
In 1946 the Western Allies banned politically oriented associations of refugees and only allowed cultural associations. When the communists took control of Czechoslovakia in 1948 , they gradually relaxed the ban on coalitions, because assimilation of the refugees was no longer a priority, but the anti-communist attitudes of most of the displaced was highly valued in the East-West conflict . For a short time there was an emergency parliament for the displaced in West Germany . The Federation of Displaced Persons and Disenfranchised Persons , as a lobby group, pursued economic and socio-political goals and ran for state and federal elections .
In the national teams of the expellees, the common origin formed the connecting and supporting element. In Germany, the Federation of Expellees was founded as the umbrella organization for those who have been expelled from their homeland . It comprises 21 Landsmannschaft, of which the strongest members are the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft and the Silesian Landsmannschaft . After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany , annual federal meetings of the associations of expellees took place. Their big Whitsun meetings are known . In the Charter of German Expellees from 1950, they renounced revenge and retribution.
About 430,000 displaced persons were accepted in Austria. The Association of Volksdeutsche Landsmannschaften of Austria was established here as early as 1945 . At the end of the 1940s, the compensation of lost property through the so-called equalization of burdens was at the fore of the political commitment of the organizations in which refugees and displaced persons had come together. Germany and Austria passed burden-sharing laws in 1952 and 1956, respectively.
Admission in Germany
Admission of the 11,935,000 displaced persons in the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR (1950):
|number||part of the|
|Baden-Württemberg||FBZ / ABZ||862,000||7.2%||13.5%|
|West Berlin||ABZ / FBZ / BBZ||148,000||1.2%||6.9%|
In 1950 that totaled 11,935,000, of which 3,911,000 were in the GDR and 8,024,000 in the Federal Republic
(displaced persons who came later than 1950 and refugees from the Soviet Occupation Zone / GDR are not included).
The low numbers in the French-occupied territories are due to the fact that initially no displaced persons were accepted into the French-occupied zone ; that only changed in 1949 with the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany .
- Church tracing service
- Late repatriates
- Refugee settlement
- Expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia
- Mathias Beer : Flight and expulsion of the Germans. Requirements, course, consequences. CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61406-4 .
- Detlef Brandes : The way to expulsion 1938-1945. Plans and decisions to “transfer” Germans from Czechoslovakia and Poland. 2., revised. and exp. Ed., Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-56731-4 .
- Detlef Brandes, Holm Sundhaussen, Stefan Troebst (ed.): Lexicon of expulsions. Deportation, Forced Relocation, and Ethnic Cleansing in 20th Century Europe. Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2010, ISBN 978-3-205-78407-4 .
- Dieter Blumenwitz : Flight and Expulsion. Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne 1987.
- Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims (Ed.): Documentation of the expulsion of Germans from East Central Europe
- The expulsion of the German population from the areas east of the Oder-Neisse. 2 volumes in 3 sub-volumes Bonn (1954);
- The fate of the Germans in Hungary. Bonn 1956;
- The fate of the Germans in Romania. Bonn 1957;
- The expulsion of the German population from Czechoslovakia. 2 volumes, Bonn 1957;
- The fate of the Germans in Yugoslavia. Bonn 1961;
- Location register, 1963.
- Felix Ermacora : The Sudeten German Questions. Legal opinion. Langen-Müller Verlag, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-7844-2412-0 . ( Entry in the German Digital Library )
- Wolfgang Fischer: Heimat politician? Self-image and political actions of displaced persons as members of the German Bundestag 1949–1974. Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2010, ISBN 978-3-7700-5300-1 .
- Hans Henning Hahn , Eva Hahn : The expulsion in German memory. Legends, myths, history. Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-77044-8 .
- Dierk Hoffmann, Marita Krauss, Michael Schwartz (eds.): Displaced persons in Germany - special issue. Interdisciplinary results and research perspectives , series of the quarterly books for contemporary history, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-486-64505-6 .
- Grzegorz Hryciuk / Małgorzata Ruchniewicz / Bożena Szaynok / Adrzej Żbikowski: Atlas of forced resettlement, flight and displacement. East Central Europe 1939–1959. Poles, Germans, Jews, Ukrainians. Warsaw 2009.
- Erika Steinbach : The power of memory . 2nd revised and supplemented edition, Universitas-Verlag , Munich / Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-8004-1495-6 .
- Tadeusz Bialecki et al. a .: Stettin / Szczecin 1945–1946, documents - memories, documenty - Wspomnienia. Hinstorff, Rostock 1994, ISBN 3-356-00528-6 .
- Ray M. Douglas : 'Proper Transfer'. The expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War. Translated from English by Martin Richter, CH Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-62294-6 .
- Christian Lotz : The interpretation of the loss. Political memory controversies in divided Germany about flight, expulsion and the Eastern Territories (1948–1972). Cologne 2007.
- Brunnhilde Scheuringer: 30 years later. The integration of ethnic German refugees and expellees in Austria , Braumüller, 1983, ISBN 3-7003-0507-9 .
- Norman M. Naimark : Fires of Hatred. Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2001.
- Alfred-Maurice de Zayas : The nemesis of Potsdam . Herbig Verlag, Munich 2005.
- Alfred M. de Zayas: Right of home is a human right. Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8004-1416-3 .
- Steffen Prauser, Arfon Rees: The Expulsion of the “German” Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of the 2nd World War. European University Institute, Florence 2004.
- Documentation from the Federal Agency for Civic Education
- Documentation by the German Historical Museum
- Minister of State for Culture and Media - Mediation and promotion of German culture and history in Eastern Europe
- Federal Institute for Culture and History of Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE)
- Foundation for Flight, Displacement, Reconciliation (SFVV)
- Expulsion of the Germans from the County of Glatz (Silesia)
- Michael Schwartz: Displaced persons in double Germany. Integration and Remembrance Policy in the GDR and in the Federal Republic , Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 2008, pp. 101–151
- Karl Wilhelm Fricke: The Myth of Integration? German-German policy on expellees in comparison , FAZ , June 7, 2005
- Literature on arrival experiences, integration processes and memories of German refugees and displaced persons after the Second World War , Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation , accessed on January 30, 2017
- Walter Ziegler : Refugees and Displaced Persons , Historisches Lexikon Bayerns , 6 September 2011.
- Mathias Beer: Refugees and Expellees in the German Southwest after 1945. An overview of the archival material in the state and municipal archives of the state of Baden-Württemberg , Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1994, ISBN 3-7995-2502-5 , p. 16.
- Cf. Arnd Bauerkämper: German refugees and expellees from Eastern, Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe in Germany and Austria since the end of the Second World War. In: Encyclopedia Migration in Europe. From the 17th Century to the Present , ed. v. Klaus J. Bade, Pieter C. Emmer, Leo Lucassen, Jochen Oltmer. Paderborn / Munich 2007, 2nd, ext. Edition 2008, pp. 477-485.
- Authority or self-help . In: The time . No. 34 , October 10, 1946, ISSN 0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed October 25, 2017]).
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , September 20, 2015, No. 38, p. 26.
- Jochen Oltmer: Forced migrations after the Second World War , in: Germany Archive Online , ed. from the Federal Agency for Civic Education , March 15, 2005.
- For the composition of the group of authors, cf. Bernd Faulenbach : Introduction to the documentation. ( Memento from February 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive )