Download In War's Wake: Europe's Displaced Persons in the Postwar by Gerard Daniel Cohen PDF

By Gerard Daniel Cohen

The top of the second one global conflict in Europe gave solution to a big refugee drawback. completely ready via Allied army planners, the rapid repatriation of hundreds of thousands of former compelled workers, focus camp inmates and prisoners of conflict approximately introduced this dramatic episode most sensible a detailed. but in September 1945, the variety of displaced folks put below the guardianship of Allied armies and aid companies in occupied Germany amounted to 1.5 million. A high priced burden for the occupying powers, the Jewish, Polish, Ukrainian, Yugoslav and Baltic DPs unwilling to come back to their international locations of starting place offered a fancy overseas challenge. Massed in refugee camps stretched from Northern Germany to Sicily, the DPs had develop into long term asylum seekers. in keeping with the documents of the overseas Refugee association, this e-book describes how the eu DP main issue impinged at the form of the postwar order. The DP query without delay affected the outbreak of the chilly conflict; the transformation of the "West" right into a new geopolitical entity; the behavior of political purges and retribution; the ideology and techniques of recent humanitarian interventions; the looks of overseas organisations and non-governmental firms; the emergence of a world human rights method; the association of migration hobbies and the redistribution of "surplus populations"; the arrival of Jewish nationhood; and postwar categorizations of political and humanitarian refugees.

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

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Moreover, the widespread forgery of personal documents by refugees trying to avoid repatriation severely hindered their identification. 21 Despite these chaotic conditions, some semblance of a process was put in place. Informed by the practices of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the purge of unlawful DPs relied on various lists of collaborationist and military organizations compiled since 1945 by Allied bodies such as the Berlin Document Center. Whereas the detection of wanted war criminals was left to intelligence units such as the Counter Intelligence Corps in the US zone, military and UNRRA screeners sought out “impostors” who lied about their wartime experiences.

45 The USSR held a similar view regarding postwar refugee relief: only true “victims of Fascism” should be entitled to a special international status. The overwhelming majority of DPs did not fall within this category. Whether they were victimized or not during World War II, they remained in Soviet eyes displaced citizens to be repatriated without further ado. 47 While still wishing for the rapid closure of DP camps, the Western Allies now argued that the bulk of the displaced persons deserved humanitarian assistance until a solution could be found for them.

56 The DP talks allowed Eastern European countries to publicly spell out the numerous political scores they sought to settle with nationals framed as collaborators. The Soviet Union harbored vindictive designs against Balts and Ukrainians who had joined the German army, compulsorily or voluntarily. At least half a million men from the Soviet Union alone, many of them turncoat Soviet POWs who had joined General Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army or other anti-Soviet units, served in German uniform on the 24 i n wa r’s wa k e Eastern Front prior to joining other civilians fleeing the advance of the Red Army.

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