Talk:Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50)/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10


Thoughts about future directions for this article

As Lysy pointed out above, the structure and tone of this article is heavily driven by the German-Polish POV-pushing by various editors in the past. I got here via an RFC and I think I helped move the article to a more NPOV position. However, there is still the general approach that blame for the expulsions should be ascribed to one party or another. As Lysy and XX236 point out, there was no single act called "the expulsion" but rather a series of evacuations, flights and expulsions. We should revisit the German exodus from Eastern Europe article and consider how to weave a single cohesive and comprehensive narrative that gives an appropriate NPOV perspective on the whole sorry tale.

--Richard 14:58, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I apologize for boring you with my remarks, which may not seem very productive, but still my 2 cents. To me the major challenge seems to be that this is a very wide and diverse topic that we are trying to describe in a singe article. Therefore its structure is critical. I tend to see "the expulsions" as a multidimensional issue, with one of the aspects being chronological and geographic distribution of the different events, often driven by different sets of motives. Of course the assessment and legacy are also important, but first of all the article should focus on facts. Right now we have a relatively well written, but vague summary in the lead, and then immediately it goes on with the controversies, blame assignment, reasons and expellee organisations. The expulsions are being discussed but are not adequately described first, so the reader can only guess what all this is about. The facts and chronology of the events are missing. In the chaos of a series of different actions in different places at different times, a POV pusher will always find an example to support any claim. I'm not sure how we should approach this, as we need to linearise the events somehow. This can be easiest done if we describe what happened (evacuation, flight, expulsion), chronologically, perhaps. This would be challenging again, as many things could have happened simultaneously, e.g. as the Soviet Army proceeded westwards. This in turn can be fine-grained into individual distinct locations when reasonable (East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Hungary, Lithuania etc). Or maybe the other way round. Any thoughts ? --Lysytalk 21:28, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe two separate articles, one on "Evacuation and flight", and the other on "Expulsions" ? These are two different things easily recognisable, that are confused here. The problem is however, that the number of victims is usually counted together, for obvious reasons, so we would have to be careful when quoting any figures. --Lysytalk 22:39, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Dear Mr Lysy one who can not go back is victim of an Expulsion if he flight ore was evacuated, so the numbers should be counted together.


You mean that anyone who died should be considered an expellee ? --Lysytalk 21:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the above discussion with Johann risks becoming an argument about definitions that are perhaps not worth fighting about right now.

Getting back to the primary topic, I think that the overarching article should be German exodus from Eastern Europe with the discussion of flights, evacuations and expulsions being subsidiary articles.

This is sort of the case right now but if you look at the two articles German exodus from Eastern Europe and Expulson of Germans after World War II, you would think the two articles were written by two authors who never spoke to each other. This is not completely true since I did make some effort to rationalize the two articles a few months ago but I think we should revisit them and start to build a comprehensive framework on which we can hang all the material that we want to presnt.

If there is enough material to focus on individual locations such as East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Hungary, Lithuania etc, then we can create separate articles for those but, so far, I haven't seen enough material to warrant a specific article with the possible exception of the Wilhelm Gustloff (ship) article.

--Richard 21:38, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree that different phases of the exodus should be discussed in German exodus from Eastern Europe, while this article should focus on the expulsions. The problem is that it also discusses the number of overall exodus victims, and there's a tendency to assign it all the the expulsions alone (see the example short discussion just above). Since most Germans perished in the earlier phases of the exodus, I naturally oppose to writing in one sentence that Germans were expelled from Poland and to be immediately followed by the one million death-toll figure. It simply requires some discipline. What makes the situation further confusing, is that the German Expellees tend to use the word "Expulsion" to describe all the exodus and thus provide gross population figures for all the events together but under a single name.
As for focusing on individual locations, with some effort I should be able to dig information on the expulsions from individual parts of Poland, including Silesia, Pomerania, Greater Poland and Masuria. Probably also we'd be able to cover German evacuation and flight from individual major cities, like Koenigsberg or Breslau. I'm not sure about the other areas, and the events that happened in the beginning of 1945, though. But even if incomplete, the facts about individual locations could help us build the large picture, and at the same time avoid dangerous propaganda generalisations. Any thoughts ? --Lysytalk 20:13, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I basically agree with Lysy that the whole topic should be displayed in phases separated more clearly from each other in terms of time (1944, 1945, 1946, etc.) and location (Poland, Hungary, etc.) as otherwise the impression might be created that eg the Poles are responsible for 1 million overall casualties. As for the notion of "expellee", we should keep in mind that also the ones who were evacuated or fled before they could be expelled are expellees as they were NOT allowed to come back. ( 09:14, 27 October 2006 (UTC))

Yes, they would have most likely be expelled as well, if the had not been evacuated earlier. Still this may be confusing, depending on the context, as the first association is "expellees are those who were expelled" not those who would have been expelled. Maybe this could also be explained somehow neutrally in the article for clarity ? The problem with using the name is best seen when we start to talk about those who perished in the flight or evacuation, and call them expellees as well, thus counting them among the victims of later expulsions. --Lysytalk 09:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Ok, good idea. ( 09:34, 27 October 2006 (UTC))

Furthermore,in the course of a restructuring of the article, I would propose to reconsider the current order of reasons for the expulsions. It is not questionable that the "attempt to restore pre-Nazi demographics in the areas where native populations were displaced by Nazi ethnic cleansing and expansion" was one of the reasons, but I doubt that it was the main reason. In my opinion the main reason was the Potsdam Conferrence where Stalin managed to politically perpetuate the military status quo of 1944/45. Please to not misunderstand me, but I have the impression that Stalin was not very interested in what the people of Middle and Eastern Europe the territoties of which were occupied by the Red Army thought about the expulsion (like he was not in 1939 when concluding the Hitler-Stalin-Treaty). He was just interested in securing the extension of the Soviet sphere of control gained in 1945. However, I would appreciate if we could discuss this issue as well in the course of the planed restructuring of the article. ( 09:32, 27 October 2006 (UTC))

I agree that the reasons and their order should be revisited. For start I've just reordered the sections of the article, so that the facts are first and their discussion later. Hope that's OK. --Lysytalk 14:29, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

This is a very old discussion, because since 1945 some Polish and others try to convince us that the one witch fled before the Russian and Polish army overtook the area where not part of the expulsion and where anyway already in Germany. But it was refused that they could go back in their homeland so they where in fact part of the expulsion victims not physical but administrative because they lost their possessions and where refused to return.

Under your argument the Bosnians of the Serb Republica would not be part of an expulsion because they fled , like they would have fled voluntarely.

So you can not say this people are not part of the expulsion, and you can not completely make a difference between what happened while the war was still going on and after the war because in reality their are not clear cut lines like in books.


I think nobody here challenges this as a fact (please read the comments carefully). The discussion at hand is rather about the question how to reasonably divide the whole topic (=exodus or expuslion) into several phases in terms of time and locations (eg: evacuation, flight, expulsion). ( 15:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC))

Order of reasons and justifications for the expulsions

I've shuffled a bit the subsections of the "Controversy over reasons and justifications for the expulsions": Moved "An attempt to restore pre-Nazi demographics in the areas where native populations were displaced by Nazi ethnic cleansing and expansion." to the bottom and "Compensation to Poland for territories occupied by the Soviet Union". Still, I have to admit, I'm not feeling comfortable about this section and would prefer that we leave it until later. The reasons given are of various weight, some are Poland-specific, others are more general, most of them are just speculations (although often very reasonable), and all this lacks any support in sources. It's also highly controversial and we could discuss it for ages without much progress. So my suggestion is to leave it for now and focus on the more general problems of the article instead. --Lysytalk 17:09, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I was perhaps most recently responsible for this "Controversy..." section. It was part of my effort to help resolve edit-warring and POV pushing by including all POVs in the article (and in one place rather than spread all over the article). I tried to order the reasons somewhat but I wasn't sure what weight to give to the various reasons so there was a certain amount of randomness to the order. I agree that the varous reasons need to be grounded in the sources and preferably attached to citations. I am not familiar enough with the topic and the sources to do this. I assumed that, somewhere out there, there was a reliable source for each of the reasons and I repeatedly urged the warring POV-pushers to document their claims. Remember, we're not trying to say that any of the purported reasons is a "valid" reason. We're simply trying to assert that some reliable source asserted it as a reason. Ideally, this source would be one of the key decision makers: e.g. a leader such as Churchill, Stalin or Roosevelt or an act of Parliament or the U.S. Congress. Failing that, the work of a historian or politician would help. Feel free to use {{citation needed}} tags liberally throughout the section. It's time we made this section more encyclopedic. --Richard 18:19, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I see and I think you did a good job by isolating all these cases. I'm still having some problems making a clear difference between individual points, but I believe this can be discussed later. --Lysytalk 22:30, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think the discussion can be deferred. For now, I will just make the point that this section has gotten messy because every so often some POV-pushing German or Pole comes along (usually an anon IP) and insists on inserting their particular POV. This usually winds up in the "Reasons" section and, after a while, the section got messy. I kind of lost interest in keeping it neat. I guess I just got ground down from trying to fight the POV-pushing. --Richard 22:59, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Phases of the expulsions

I'd like to attempt to define the phases, but first we need to make a decision of the understanding of the "expulsion" term in this article. Do we limit it to "organised post-Potsdam population transfers" and leave all the other events to be discussed within German exodus from Eastern Europe ? Or should we rather use the "expulsion" name to call all the exodus phases ? Obviously there are good arguments for and against each of these, but until we make a decision, we cannot consistently think of the structure of the article, as it will mix different understanding of the term by different editors. Shall we make a quick survey to see if we are at any consensus about this ? --Lysytalk 17:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we should generally define the notion of an "Expellee" at the article`s very beginning and then divide the topic into its phases (eg: evacuation, flight, expulsion). Within the phases one may use the respective description of what factually happened (eg: evacuation, flight, etc.).

As for the general definition, we could eg use the definition of a displaced person ("Vertriebenen") under sec. 1 of the German Federal Displaced Person Law (§ 1 Bundesvertriebenengesetz) i.e. everyone who fulfilled the following criterias "enjoyed" the status of a displaced person:

Pursuant to sec. 1 a displaced person is a person who

1) as German citizen or a person of German ethnicity

2) had his domicile in the former German eastern territories standing under foreign administration or in the territories beyond the borders of the German Reich as of 31 December 1937, and

3) has lost such domicile in connection with the incidents of WWII due to expulsion in particular by eviction or flight.

("Vertriebener ist, wer als deutscher Staatsangehöriger oder deutscher Volkszugehöriger seinen Wohnsitz in den ehemals unter fremder Verwaltung stehenden deutschen Ostgebieten oder in den Gebieten außerhalb der Grenzen des Deutschen Reiches nach dem Gebietsstande vom 31. Dezember 1937 hatte und diesen im Zusammenhang mit den Ereignissen des Zweiten Weltkrieges infolge Vertreibung, insbesondere durch Ausweisung oder Flucht, verloren hat.")

( 17:38, 30 October 2006 (UTC))

proposal: as the Law was issued in the 50ies we should accordingly ammend no 2) of the definition as follows:...of the FRG as of 12 September 1990..." (treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany)

( 17:47, 30 October 2006 (UTC))

But, now I'm lost. The following is not meant to combative but a sincere question based on my ignorance and a desire to understand... Did the Treaty on the Final Settlement change the definition of "Vertriebener"? If so, can you provide us the specific text? Alternatively, did any law of the FRG change the definition after the first law was promulgated in the 50s? If not, we have to use the law as written in the 50s. This is problematic because I believe the borders of the German Reich on December 1937 were different from the borders in 1990 although I could not tell you "off the top of my head" exactly what the differences are. In any event, the definition of "Vertriebener" from the 1950s law is probably the best definition unless it was later amended by law or treaty. The proposal you make above seems like original research to me.
--Richard 18:09, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Comment: The difference between 1937 and 1990 in the East of Germany is that East Prussia and much of today's Western Poland belonged to Germany in 1937. --Lysytalk 18:54, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Question: The definition of Vertriebener seems strange in that it also contains those Germans that settled in Nazi occupied territories during WW2 in previously Jewish or Polish houses. Is this correct ? --Lysytalk 18:58, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I kinda knew that but I wasn't sure if there was anything else. As the old proverb goes... "Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
--Richard 19:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, my earlier point was that changing the wording from "German Reich in 1937" to "FRG in 1990" would change the definition of "Vertriebener" quite dramatically and I am not convinced that this change in definition was promulgated by any law or treaty. Once again, I say this in full awareness that I don't know much about this area. Enlighten me if I'm wrong. --Richard 19:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
My understanding is that under the original (1950) definition the people that were expelled e.g from Breslau are not the Vertriebener, is that right ? If this is indeed so, I'm afraid the definition is not useful for our purpose but we also should not amend it in order to suit any particular agenda. --Lysytalk 19:17, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Merge to German exodus from Eastern Europe ?

I've just read German exodus from Eastern Europe as Richard suggested earlier, and my conclusion is that it is in much better shape and has the structure that our article here is missing. On the other hand it's very brief on the expulsion itself and it the Expulsion of Germans after World War II as the main article on this particular topic. It also discusses the other "phases" and the background of the exodus. I'm sorry for not being consistent with myself now, but after a closer look at the "exodus" article, I would suggest to either:


Any thought on this ? --Lysytalk 18:50, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

This article is already quite long (arguably too long). I'm afraid that merging this article into that one would make it way too long. Instead of a merger, I would propose a process of "information transfer" (forgive the lame pun on "population transfer"). Both this article and the Exodus article share the same historical context and background. Let's merge those so that the information is not repeated in two articles. I would keep this article but try to scale it back significantly. It is arguable that the data about number of "expellees" and "deaths" belongs in the Exodus article because of the difficulty of determining who died from what causes.
I believe the numbers are still based primarily on "population balance" methods rather than actually totalling reported deaths. Thus, we don't know exactly how many died during the various phases of evacuation, flight and expulsion. Stuff the data in the Exodus article and document the uncertainty.
What do you think of this approach?
--Richard 19:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, it seems more reasonable. I would suggest the following sections to be renamed and bulk transferred at first:

  • The results
  • Controversy over responsibility for the expulsions
  • Legacy of the expulsions

and them both articles would need to be polished, naturally. --Lysytalk 19:10, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree on "the results" and "the legacy". We cannot separate "the results of the exodus" from "the results of the expulsions". Similarly, we cannot separate "legacy of the exodus" from "legacy of the expulsions". I have mixed feelings about the "controversy over the responsibility". Perhaps what we need to do is have the main discussion of these three topics in the "exodus" article and a short one paragraph summary of each topic in this article with references to the exodus article.
I should further comment that the idea of a merger was discussed on Talk:German exodus from Eastern Europe in April 2004 and again in September 2006. There is recognition among some of the editors of that article that there is a problem but no consensus on how to resolve it. Please read the September 2006 discussion on that Talk Page for a partial list of articles with similar scopes and then let's start a discussion (perhaps on that page) about how to resolve the various issues.
--Richard 19:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
The "Controversy over the responsibility" as it is now seems to mix the responsibility for the tragedy of evacuation, flight, pre- and post-Potsdam expulsion in a single section. Therefore I thought it belonged to the "exodus" article rather than here (after being renamed to something like "The responsibility for the evacuation, flight and expulsion"). I don't know. --Lysytalk 04:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm aware that there is a number of similar articles but I'd be a proponent of small steps approach here, and would rather limit the first effort to the two articles mentioned so far. Otherwise the complexity could scale up too high beyond any reasonable control. I need a short break now and will get back later, after I consult the "exodus" talk. --Lysytalk 19:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I very much agree with "small steps". The point I was trying to make is that we should agree what the final picture will look like (so as not to move towards something that we don't want). Also, it's important to make sure that we have involvement of any "Exodus" editors that are not watching the "Expulsions" talk page. For example, you will note that our friend "Jagder" is involved in the merge discussion on the "Exodus" page. --Richard 20:26, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've read the "merger dispute" in the "exodus" talk, but it's mostly a personal rant. I agree with the "big picture" approach as well. As for recruiting other editors, I think the most positive way to achieve it would be to do it gradually, otherwise various revert wars between them can overwhelm the whole effort (this said, I'm already surprised it's so calm here). Ideally, I would like to have a number of both German and Polish reasonable editors recruited to support this, but let's hold on just one more minute and see that those that are present here agree on this approach. As to my "big picture" it would be presenting the whole German presence in Eastern Europe in a single general article, and then having individual issues discussed in more detail in sub-articles. This would eventually involve all the other articles, including not only the "expulsion" but also "colonisation" (Historical Eastern Germany), "evacuation and flight" and more. This is why I appreciate the "exodus" article as it already has most of the framework that we need. It should probably eventually be renamed to something like History of Germans in Eastern Europe. This may seem simple, yet I'm afraid it'll prove to be challenging enough. Would this be any similar to your final picture ? --Lysytalk 22:26, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I like this idea. Right now there are too many articles providing glimpses of the overall narrative from the "Drang nach Osten" to the Exodus/Expulsions. We need a big picture, broad overview article that integrates the narrative that is then threaded through the articles on various detailed aspects of the story. I can't remember if you were involved in the debate over the naming of the Historical Eastern Germany article. The problem with that title is that it is considered to be POV. By comparison, History of Germans in Eastern Europe is very close to the title that I proposed which was History of German settlement in Eastern Europe. I think our titles are likely to be considered POV. In a nutshell, the problem is that calling a piece of land "Historical Eastern Germany" is too reminiscent of the Third Reich's claim to those lands on the grounds that they were part of "historical Germany". Check out Talk:Historical Eastern Germany for that debate.
--Richard 22:56, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Correction: I meant to say "I think our titles are LESS likely to be considered POV than Historical Eastern Germany."
Yes, I've been there and opposed the "HED" title for that reason. So the article tree could be something like:
--Lysytalk 04:03, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I like the above outline with two modifications. First of all, I believe that some of the "emigration" was due to negotiated "population transfers". If possible, that title should be changed to reflect that. Secondly, I dislike the title "Post-war emigration" because it doesn't leave much room to discuss the Germans who stayed. Admittedly, these residual German populations are small and perhaps dwindling but they are still there and so I would prefer that the title be something like "History of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe after World War II". This title can cover both emigration and the residual German populations.
Finally, while History of Germans in Eastern Europe is OK with me, what do you think of History of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe? This uses the distinction in German between Deutsche and Volksdeutsche. English readers who are unfamiliar with this distinction won't really focus that much on the "ethnic German" bit but people who are familiar with the distinction will understand what is being referenced and why.
--Richard 04:19, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I should have explained that I was not sure about their names of some articles and therefore I've left them unlinked, unlike the more obvious ones. Therefore I agreed with your comment on the "emigration" already before you wrote it ...
On the second note, Germans make the largest ethnic minority of modern Poland, so you are right that this was missing here.
Finally, could you elaborate a bit more on the importance of "ethnic" word ? BTW: Volksdeutsche in Poland and Germany have quite different connotations. --Lysytalk 04:34, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

All right, if nobody objects soon, I'm going to be bold and will be soon moving most of the contents of "The results" and "Legacy of the expulsions" sections to German exodus from Eastern Europe. I understand that these too had been agreed upon so far. --Lysytalk 19:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Done. Probably some cleanup will be now required. --Lysytalk 08:11, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... I was a bit surprised to see the "Legacy" stuff moved over to the "Exodus..." article. I hadn't remembered agreeing to that but, when I re-read the above discussion, it's obvious that Lysy asked and no one objected so I guess it's a reasonable first step. I guess I hadn't really focused on what the proposal really meant.
Here's the problem that I have with the move now that I've actually seen it "in the flesh". Throughout the "Legacy" stuff, the text keeps talking about the "expulsions". I think we need to review the text in the context of the new location (i.e. in the Exodus article rather than the Expulsions article). Should the word "expulsions" be changed in some places? I think we need to evaluate the word "expulsions" in each place where it is used. For example, the title of the section should be "Legacy of the Exodus" not "Legacy of the Expulsions". On the other hand, I'm sure there are many places where "expulsions" is the right word and should not be replaced by anything else.
Also, I'm concerned about the "Federation of Expellees" and "Centre against Expulsions" being in the Exodus article. I understand how those topics got there but I wonder if they are not more appropriate in the Expulsions article.
I'm not committed to any of the points that I make above. This is just a gut feeling. Let's all re-read both articles and see what changes need to be made.
--Richard 08:31, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, probably we misunderstood each other. You wrote I agree on "the results" and "the legacy" and I thought you only objected moving the "controversy over the responsibility" section. Anyway, luckily, all can be undone and we can either expand the sections here or move relevant parts of the content back. Let's consider this a step towards the "big picture"... --Lysytalk 22:02, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

History of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe

Let me start by saying that I am far from an expert on these kinds of questions. Most of what I know about this topic I either learned from Wikipedia or from Google searching for material to add to Wikipedia articles. So I might be wrong in part of what follows:
A good definition of ethnic German can be found in the article on the topic.
I also note that. in the discussion earlier on this page about the German legal definition of "expellee", the text quoted from the German law says "Vertriebener ist, wer als deutscher Staatsangehöriger oder deutscher Volkszugehöriger ...". I don't know how good your German is. Mine is pretty weak but I think the quoted text says something like "An expellee is someone who as a German citizen (deutscher Staatsangehöriger) or an ethnic German (deutscher Volkszugehöriger) lost their homes due to WWII". The point is that German law makes a distinction between German citizens and ethnic Germans who are not citizens but are Germans nevertheless. When people say "Germans" in English, it's unclear whether we are talking about just German citizens, just non-citizens who are German in ethnicity or both. You can say the same thing about Chinese people. Are we talking about citizens of the PRC or "overseas Chinese"? "Ethnic German" is the term used in Wikipedia (and presumably elsewhere) to talk about these "Volksdeutsche" (literally German people) who are not German citizens

per se but are nevertheless considered Germans rather than being considered Poles, Czechs or Slovaks. Does that help?

P.S. How great it is to just say that I am an American without having to say that I am an "ethnic Chinese" who happens to have been born in America. How great that China cannot claim California because of the many Chinese who live here. Of course, the Mexicans outnumber the Chinese so we're more likely to become Mexican than Chinese. ;^)

--Richard 05:06, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi! As for Volksdeutsche, I know that this notion sounds fairly odd and I have not invented it but it was presumably necessary to include all the people of German ancestery living outside the boarders of the German Reich of 1937 into the scope and the protection of the Law (for historical backround please refer to ( 08:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC))

Thanks. It seems that again we have found two sister articles: Volksdeutsche and Ethnic German, one with a German and the other with an English title. Still, the term seems to be pretty new, originating from 20th century, while the history of Germans in Eastern Europe is much, much longer than this. On the other hand I see it would be more accurate, so I have rather mixed feeling about History of Germans in Eastern Europe vs History of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe for the framework article. BTW, there is a word ""folksdojcz" (Polish spelling of Volksdeutsch) in Polish, which generally meant a traitor, a person not loyal to his country (Poland), who signed a Nazi Volksliste during WW2, probably for material gains or some other benefits. No need to discuss it here, I only mentioned it to illustrate how the same word can have very different flavour in different cultures. --Lysytalk 09:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC) P.S. To Richard: I always thought CA was Japanese, not Mexican :-P. Isn't it that the US had to intern ethnic Japanese Americans during WW2 for that ?
RE: the Japanese in California... not anymore... the Japanese in California have been way outnumbered by Mexicans, Chinese and Indians. (Don't quote me on that. I don't have any statistics to prove it but Japanese-Americans are not growing as a group because Japanese immigration to California is limited compared to immigration by Mexicans, Chinese and Indians. All of this is, of course, gross generalization.
Yes, the Volksdeutsche article was quite helpful. I will point out that the Volksdeutsche article emphasizes Germans in Eastern Europe whereas the Ethnic German article covers ethnic Germans in countries around the world (notably in South America).
I am fine with calling the article History of Germans in Eastern Europe for now. I just wanted to raise the issue of "ethnic Germans" because it will surely be raised by somebody eventually.
I think, by the way, that the Polish word "folksdojcz" is actually very important because it explains why there was such strong Polish enmity against the Germans and why they were willing to accede to and facilitate their expulsion. The exodus and expulsions article needs to document reasons like these because they were real (in the sense that significant numbers of people held them). We should either reserve judgment on whether these reasons were "valid" and "justified" or we should make sure to put any judgment in the words of a reliable source.
--Richard 09:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate the comment on judgement reservation. I believe these articles suffer most from judgemental attitude of individual editors (from either "side"), so if we could maintain some discipline wrt judgement, it would be very beneficial. I understood this is what you tried to achieve by isolating the "controversy" sections. From de discussion above it seems that most correct title would be The history of Volksdeutsche in Eastern Europe but this would be really awkward. I'd go with simply History of Germans in Eastern Europe for now, and later it can (and most probably will) be renamed if a need arises. --Lysytalk 09:54, 31 October 2006 (UTC) P.S. I was of course joking about the Japanese in CA, but the fact that they were interned during WW2 shows that the mechanism of ethnic distrust is not strange to Americans as well. And who know how would this feeling develop if Japanese somehow managed to murder 1/5th of the US population ? --Lysytalk 09:54, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Comment to the recent note (reverted) of User: I think that our objective is to focus on the expulsion (maybe exodus) and the discussion above is only because Richard thought it would be good to sketch a wider picture first, so that we better understand where the expulsion fits, what it is and what it is not. We can slowly move towards achieving this more strategic framework (with all possible modifications disputed, including Drang nach Osten, naturally, which I used as a short name for the 19th century colonization) but for now I think we all agree that the focus is the expulsion/exodus. Now I think it would be good to recruit reasonable German and Polish editors to discuss and hopefully support this motion. --Lysytalk 10:24, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation. To be honest, I had not read the discussion above carefully before inserted the comment, sorry. When I discovered the comment was nonsence I canceled it in order to prevent a needless discussion about it. ( 10:45, 31 October 2006 (UTC)) ps: Sorry, Richard, I do not want to start a discussion about that topic but also the treatment of Afro-Americans in the 18th, 19th and in the south of the USA even in the 20th century (just think of seats in buses for white and black people) shows that the "idea" of ethnicity was not unknown in the USA ( 10:51, 31 October 2006 (UTC))

The founding of the USA isn`t the topic here, but I ve read your little chat here and I`m really surprised that you didn`t mention the perspective of the indigenous peoples - I guess they might have a different opinion about that! What do we learn? In order to gain objectivity, we need to approach the topic from different angles and start a intersubjective dialogue. When you decide to feature the "Drang nach Oste" idea, you have to mention it`s "counterparts" Pan-Slavism, Austroslavism or even the All-Polish Youth etc. as well. Im pretty sure this would lead to pointless disputes and far away from the core of the topic. The questions are: What do you what to express here? What is the point which should be made? --Sushi Leone 11:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


The ODER- Neisse border can not be called historic at all. The Piasten Dynasty controlled it only very short time like 30 to 50 years and then it was not a border in the sense of nowadays borders, because the regional dukes where much more powerful than the king of Poland.( read the Enlish history of this time) It was more a loose federation of Regions, in those days, with the king on the top. The most of the polish Kings spoke German and where neutral about their ethnical background. You can not compare the middle age with the 20 century. So this border is a fiction of the school atlases for history made by unhonest man.

Till 1200 Europe was nearly not inhabited, their where mostly woods and marches, especially in this areas. It where the Germans witch made out of the no-man’s-land agriculture that is the fact, and not only in Poland.

1945 the Polish had no historical rights on this lands. Not on Silesia witch was original a part of Bohemia. Not at Pomerania because its dukes joined the German empire voluntarily to be protected against the Polish aggression. Not at Prussia witch spoke originally a Lithuanian Dialect.



My 2 Pfennige's worth

Lysy has again asked me to comment on this discussion, as he did a couple months ago.

Again, I think the existing approaches are overly detailed and polemical. To my mind, what would make sense (to the reader, for whom we're supposedly doing this) would be an essentially chronological approach.

It's true that there wasn't just one expulsion, but the expulsions, or if you prefer the German "exodus" from central-eastern Europe, all were the result of one historical event: Germany's defeat in WWII.

The Oder-Neisse border between Germany and Poland had been decided upon (by the Soviets) long before Germany was defeated. This border had nothing to do with ethnographic considerations. The Soviet military victory on the Eastern Front made imposition of the border possible as an act of power politics by Stalin and the Soviet colossus, which occupied the entire region militarily. This act of Realpolitik was presented for public consumption as a justifiable retribution against Nazi Germany, as follows:

The annexations by Poland were justified in Soviet rhetoric at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam as "compensation" to Poland for the Soviet annexations of prewar eastern Poland. The obvious implication, though it was never stated in so many words by the Allies, was that this was the territorial price Germany was to pay for her aggression and horrendous crimes against the Eastern nations. Nothing was said about the moral or ethical character of the Soviet annexations in '39; they were treated as an accomplished and irreversible fact.
The annexation of Stettin (now Szczecin) by Poland, which appears to have been decided upon somewhat later than the Oder-Neisse line, was justified by the argument of economic and military necessity, as Stettin supposedly would guarantee Poland the ability to export from the Silesian industrial area via the Oder.
The annexation of northern East Prussia by the Soviet Union was justified by the mendacious assertion that the USSR needed the allegedly "ice-free" port of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) for access to the Baltic.

The expulsions of the Germans from Czechoslovakia (3.5 million) and other central-eastern European nations, including prewar Poland, were generally justified on the grounds that German minorities had engendered pan-German expansionism in previous years and aggression by Nazi Germany. As is usual in central-European history, the matter is a good deal more complex than this, but the details are not really germane to this story. The article or articles should be limited to what actually happen in the context of the historical framework, which should include mention in summary form of the precedents set by the Nazis in expelling Poles from the so-called Wartheland and beginning to replace them with Baltic Germans. (The Baltic transfers, BTW, were a result of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact, which should be explained high in the "story" to prepare the reader for the "compensation" theme.)

Oh, I see, and the redrawing of Germany's borders, with loss of territory to France and Poland in the WWI was not the basis for Nazi's getting the idea of explusions. This is rich. One additional challenge with Poland, is Polish Slavs were defined in areas related to Poland of today, but prior to that, German populations defined before the Slavs had come. How far back can we go in this game? Nonprof. Frinkus 23:29, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Acts of revenge and retribution against the German population of the affected areas also should be mentioned, but not in a manner that attributes any peculiar degree of moral or cultural depravity, as these acts of revenge were set in motion by the horrible savagery of the Nazi-German occupation. Violence begets violence. What should be explained, however, is that in large measure this revenge fell upon ordinary human beings rather than, for the most part, upon those who have been labeled Hitler's "willing executioners." Due to wartime dislocations, the objects of this revenge included a disproportionate number of women, children and elderly people. This is factual. The narrative should stick to factual events rather than attempt to ascribe or condemn motivations beyond the obvious phenomenon of ethnically based revenge.

Oh, I see, savagery done to German populations by WWI allies does not count, but what Hitler does, does count. Makes lots of sense.  :-) And your next comment here is that genocide and ethnic cleansing killing 1.5 to 3 million, cleansing 15 million is justified in a scientific sense (evolutionary ethics). Hmmm, I do not think so. Just because humans have been out of touch with nature for a while, does not excuse any acts they commit; it is those humans who are indeed out of touch with reality. Nonprof. Frinkus 23:31, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

In an encyclopedia entry, the ideal is to let the reader decide for himself whether this or that occurrence was right or wrong, good or bad, justified or unjust, etc. The emotional problem posed by this topic — and the reason it arouses such strong nationalistic feelings — is its moral complexity and ambiguity. Nazi-German aggression and atrocities were wrong. Did that make the annexations, expulsions and acts of retribution right? A Kantian or Christian idealist may think not; those who view themselves as realists may say the idealists are out of touch with reality. (Said Stalin at Potsdam: "We cannot abstract ourselves from the results of war.") This discussion goes on forever. But none of that is relevant to this article, which should simply present a concise summary of what happened within the political/historical context, without trying to reach a final judgment on its character. Leave that to historians.

The difficulty, of course, is distilling the story into a reasonably concise narrative.

Sca 18:14, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Many thanks, Sca. You're the obvious choice for being asked to comment here for two reasons. Firstly, because you can be neutral to it, but more importantly because of your previous knowledge of the subject. I believe it is really difficult for both Poles and Germans to be truly neutral and not emotional about this. Thanks for being patient with me and still responding to my requests for comments on this. One more question came to me while reading your comment. You wrote that "the revenge fell upon ordinary human beings" rather than Hitler's supporters. Do you know how many Germans actually supported Nazism in the "Historical Eastern German" territories ? Was it 10% ? 50/50 ? or maybe 99% ? What struck me once was that Marek Edelman, who was usually considered to be a moral authority, said once something like why is it that I've never met a single "good German" during the occupation. I wonder, why would he say that... --Lysytalk 19:54, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I saw some unneutral stuff with Sca's above comments. Why is it so hard to call governments on all sides "evil", Nazi's and Communist alike? There is no justification for that war, and nor was there any justifications for any of the outcomes of that war. That is neutral. Nonprof. Frinkus 23:42, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
The extent to which the German people supported the Nazis, acquiesced in Nazi dominance, or "inwardly emigrated" during the Nazi period — and secondly, which Germans supported, acquiesced, or turned the other way — is an extremely complex one involving varying degrees of support or acceptance for varying reasons (personal, ideological, political, economic, religious, etc.). These questions will occupy historians literally for ages. The answers, to the extent they can be given, are significant for everyone because these are questions about human nature, not just about "Germans."
Some observations based on years of reading:
1. Contrary to the sometime myth, the Germans did not "elect Hitler." Hitler was appointed as a result of a cabal by conservative political leaders who thought they could control him in a right-wing coalition. Nationally, the Nazis' highwater mark in free elections was 37.4 percent in July 1932, and it declined to 33.1 percent in November.
I don't know what proportion of votes the Nazis obtained in Silesia, Pomerania or East Prussia. The election results would be readily available with a little research. I have seen a map in a German historical atlas indicating the Nazis achieved a dominant position in southern East Prussia, i.e. Masuria, in 1932. Previously, most of East Prussia favored a conservative party, the DNVP, except Kõnigsberg, where the SPD had been No. 1, and the Ermland (Warmia), which favored the Catholic Center Party.
In Danzig, the Nazis achieved just over 50 percent of the vote in the last free election there, in May 1933, but it should be noted that this was four months after the seizure of power in Germany, and the Danzig Nazis were riding on Hitler's coattails; many of the votes they attracted were because Nazism held out the real promise of returning Danzig to Germany, which was favored by the vast majority of Danzigers, not only for ethnic-nationalistic reasons, but also on economic grounds.
2. Hitler and his crew of political gangsters were able, with acquiescence of centers of authority, to quickly consolidate their power, eliminate opponents and dethrone the rule of law (in what had been a Rechtstaat) because of an almost universal German desire to overturn the results of WWI and Versailles (including the economic results). Many who would not otherwise have supported the brownshirts did so initially because the Nazis promised to fulfill these nationalistic aspirations, and in the mistaken assumption that the Nazi "excesses" could be controlled, curtailed and overcome.
3. It's certainly true the Hitler and the Nazis came to enjoy the support and even enthusiasm of a majority of Germans after achieving a series of surprising political and economic successes before the war: The abrogation of the Versailles Treaty, reoccupation of the Rhineland, return of the Saar (which voted 90 percent for Germany), virtual elimination of unemployment through public-works programs, the Anschluss with Austria, the acquisition of the Sudeten territories. But it's also true that the German people by and large didn't want war. While some of Hitler's political opponents realized his policies and mentality would lead inevitably to war, many ordinary Germans took comfort in the fact that he had achieved all those successes without war, and believed his professions of peace. (Of course, all the time he was plotting war.)
During the war, the initial period of military triumphs reinforced Hitler's popularity among a majority of Germans, many of whom were duped into a naive nationalistic faith in the Führer's supposed infallibility. If there were "excesses" in the East, that was war; if the Jews were disappearing in "the East," many Germans didn't know — and didn't want to know — the details. Many of those who did know something of the atrocities kept silent and worried among themselves. But, Daniel Goldhagen notwithstanding, I have to conclude from all I've read over a period of four decades that comparatively few Germans knew the extent and enormity of the crimes. Remember, this was a different era; there was no CNN reporting from Auschwitz, or from Warsaw either.
Those Germans who, in the final months of the war and thereafter, experienced the wrath of the Soviets, Poles and Czechs would have reflected the broad attitudes of German society alluded to above. But for the most part, they would not have included the "willing executioners" of the Einsatzgruppen, who apparently (I haven't studied this subject thoroughly) were mostly policemen from other parts of Germany. Nor would they have included the Nazi Party Bonzen (bigwigs), many of whom effected their escape in the last hectic evacuations.
Another point is that those eastern Germans who were able to flee in 1945 seem often to have been relatively prosperous and mobile residents of cities who had the means and opportunity to flee by car, train or ship. Many of those caught up in and overwhelmed by the Soviet juggernaut were rural people fleeing on horseback, in horse-drawn carts or on foot. And as mentioned above, those who experienced the revenge of the East first-hand were largely women, children and old people because nearly all able-bodied males over 15, and some who weren't, long since had been taken into military service.
None of the above should be taken as an apology for the German cause in WWII, but one must understand what actually happened in this most savage chapter of modern history.
Okay, I've spouted off long enough. It's a big topic. Sca 23:42, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but most interesting. And would deserve at least a wikipedia article of its own one day. But so far it's probably too controversial and difficult. --Lysytalk 20:52, 3 November 2006 (UTC) said a mouthful there, pardner. I agree with Lysy that what you wrote should be in Wikipedia somewhere. Unfortunately, most of it is only tangential to this article. However, I do think the last two paragraphs could be put into this article or the Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe article. Can you source these two paragraphs to a reliable source?
Those Germans who, in the final months of the war and thereafter, experienced the wrath of the Soviets, Poles and Czechs would have reflected the broad attitudes of German society alluded to above. But for the most part, they would not have included the "willing executioners" of the Einsatzgruppen, who apparently (I haven't studied this subject thoroughly) were mostly policemen from other parts of Germany. Nor would they have included the Nazi Party Bonzen (bigwigs), many of whom effected their escape in the last hectic evacuations.
Another point is that those eastern Germans who were able to flee in 1945 seem often to have been relatively prosperous and mobile residents of cities who had the means and opportunity to flee by car, train or ship. Many of those caught up in and overwhelmed by the Soviet juggernaut were rural people fleeing on horseback, in horse-drawn carts or on foot. And as mentioned above, those who experienced the revenge of the East first-hand were largely women, children and old people because nearly all able-bodied males over 15, and some who weren't, long since had been taken into military service.
--Richard 03:04, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
With the spouting above, I do completely concur with that all. It is such a challenge to produce an easy to read NPOV article, that leaves the reader with the correct ideas of what happened when they finish the article, and do so in a short and concise manner. I know I severely lack eloquence in my words, and I do need to do something about air in my head, or as we prefer to call it in the PC world, the empty-space over-enhanced; c’est la vie. Nonprof. Frinkus 23:54, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate that Sca is considered to be biased both by "German" and "Polish" editors. You're my hero! :-) --Lysytalk 07:54, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I second :-) Das ist sehr gut. Który jest wielki. Nonprof. Frinkus 08:43, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I third (can you say that? :) Its good to have a non-biased outside view. Thanks Sca --Splette :) Talk 20:32, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Aw, shucks, fellas ... dziękuję bardzo, danke sehr. Sca 16:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Moving of Legacy section to the German exodus from Eastern Europe article

OK, I reviewed the text that was moved to the German exodus from Eastern Europe article.

I think the problem is that some topics should be discussed in this article, some in that article and some in both articles. Here is my first cut

6.1 Cold War assessments of the expulsions (here definitely, maybe in the Exodus article also)

6.2 Expelled Germans in postwar Germany (mostly in the Exodus article)

6.2.1 Federation of Expellees (both)

6.2.2 Centre Against Expulsions (both)

6.3 Polish-German relations (mostly in the Exodus article)

6.4 Czech-German relations (mostly in the Exodus article)

6.5 The German minority in Hungary (mostly in the Exodus article)

6.6 Russia (mostly in the Exodus article)

6.7 Re-examination of the expulsions in the 1990s (mostly here, mention in the Exodus article)

--Richard 08:55, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Let me get back to this later. I appreciate your patience. Feel free to edit the article as you feel is appropriate. I can always complain later ;-) --Lysytalk 22:24, 5 November 2006 (UTC)


After re-reading parts of Isaac Deutscher's biography of Stalin, I have to correct one thing I said above. Poland's western border (the Oder-Neisse Line) had not been determined at the time of Teheran, in November '43. At Teheran, Stalin secured Western agreement only to eastern border, generally the "Curzon Line" — although Roosevelt apparently argued for inclusion of L'wów/L'vov/L/viv (Lemberg) in postwar PL. But at Teheran the Big Three already were discussing "compensation" for Poland through annexations of Germany territory.

Sca 14:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Expanding the "Legacy" section

Cold War assessments of the expulsions

What and why would we like to have it here ? The first passage about the Churchill speech seems to be related to territorial changes, not the expulsion (and still remains unreferenced).

The second part (Reece's speech) is relevant, but I'm not sure if we should not rather base the assessment on historic research, and not politicians.

Finally, Solzhenitsyn and Kopelev objecting during their military service is a little vague. Did they object to expulsion ? How exactly did they object ? How is it related to "cold war assessment" ?

--Lysytalk 08:58, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we need to menton Reece quite so explicitly and provide that level of detail. It was just interesting to me because it was something I found on Google. It's one of the few Internet citations that provides an estimate (awfully high at 3million) of deaths.
A replacement sentence could be..
During the Cold War, anti-Communists in the U.S. used the expulsions to excoriate the Soviet Union for alleged cruelty and inhumanity of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Because of the polemic nature of these allegations, estimates of deaths due to the expulsions tended to run higher than subsequent assessments by historians. [cite Congressman Reece's speech]
What do you think?
--Richard 16:37, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, thanks. I just would not like to risk confusing the obviously political facts with scholarly research, so it's better to be very clear about what and why is being cited. --Lysytalk 21:04, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Re-examination of the expulsions in the 1990s

I don't know what to do with these sentences:

In November and December 1993, an exhibit on the Ethnic Cleansing 1944-1948 was held at Stuart Center of De Paul University, in Chicago, where it[citation needed] was called an unknown holocaust, which had been forgotten about.
Reports have surfaced of both Czech nationalist as well as Soviet massacres of German civilians (see the book A Terrible Revenge). Also, some of the former German concentration camps were used as temporary camps for German civilians.

Where do they belong ? --Lysytalk 09:10, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

It appears that you dropped these two sentences during the reorganization.
I understand that they seem to disrupt the flow and appear to be non sequiturs but I think they make important points and we need to find a way to include them. I think the problem is that they are singleton sentences where a fuller discussion of paragraph length would be more appropriate. Otherwise, they seem to be non sequiturs.

The first sentence about the De Paul University exhibition needs to be built on a foundation that sets up the idea that the whole sorry episode was almost deliberately suppressed from popular consciousness because it was considered unimportant or inconvenient. If this idea is "set up" first, then the sentence about the exhibition will make sense.
I admit that I was not really aware of this episode in history until I ran across this article via an RFC six months ago. I would wager that most Americans are not aware of it either.
The second sentence makes sense if it is set up with an introduction that says something like "Attempts to cast all the blame on the Soviets have been called into question by the revelation of involvement by Polish and Czech nationals."
--Richard 16:54, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

My problem was that they seemed to be more general ("1944-1948", "holocaust", "concentration camps") and therefore relevant to the exodus events in the wider sense not only the expulsion. So I suppose they should go to the "Exodus" article back. Am I right here ? --Lysytalk 17:17, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Solzhenitsyn note

I personally don't recall anything about Solzhenitsyn objecting "during his military service" to Red Army conduct in eastern Germany. I bvelieve he got in trouble for a letter to a friend criticizing Stalin.

However: Solzhenitsyn, who had been a Red Army captain in East Prussia, recorded in Volume One of The Gulag Archipelago that "all of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction." (P. 21 of U.S. paperback ed., 1973.) Sca 14:00, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Still, this does not seem to be related to "cold war assessment", and in fact does not seem very encyclopaedic at all. --Lysytalk 21:23, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Re-examination of the expulsions in the 1990s

Many re-examiners don't remember WWII (Erika Steinbach, Peter Glotz). Many recent German books are written by such people, who present idealized image of Nazi Germany, where any town had a working camp. Erika Steinach lived near Piaśnica execution place, not far from Stutthof. Xx236 11:52, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, what's your point ? --Lysytalk 12:05, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

"who present idealized image of Nazi Germany" => Sorry, Xx236, but to allege that Peter Glotz idealized the image of Nazi Germany is simply not true and discredits a man who during all his lifetime as a politician, social scientist and journalist tried to mediate between Czechs and Germans! ( 13:49, 10 November 2006 (UTC))

Anyway, what part of the article do you relate this to ? --Lysytalk 17:21, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Peter Glotz' father managed a Jewish business in Nazi Prague, so he preferred to run away after the war. Legally he was able to stay because his wife was Czech (I don't know if the law was respected). Glotz' mother wanted to join her husband, she wasn't exactly expelled, the same for Peter. His book about the expulsion doesn't exactly "mediate" according to Eva Hahn. Xx236 08:40, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Actively pursued by the Polish government in Exile ?

The border on Oder-Neisse line which historically had been a border of the Polish Piast dynasty, was actively pursued by the Polish government in Exile

It's not obvious. The statement should be removed. Xx236 12:00, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Which part of the sentence do you find dubious ? --Lysytalk 12:09, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

See the title of the paragraph.

The government in exile wanted originally Upper Silesia (maybe till Opole), not Lower Silesia. Arciszewski declared he preferred Lwów and Wilno. The Western allies disn't care about any opinion of the Polish government since 1944 or even 1943. Western historians erroneously translate "Śląsk" as "Silesia". "Śląsk" meant Upper Silesia, even today there is Województwo Śląskie. Xx236 08:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Polish positions

In late ’44 or early ’45, after the Soviet-sponsored (Communist) "Lublin Poles" had announced their demand for the Oder-Neisse frontier, the Polish government-in-exile, in London, said it wanted "neither Breslau nor Stettin." Tomasz Arciszewski, its prime minister, told Churchill that Poland had no desire to push her border so far west as to include 8 million to 10 million Germans.

However, when the "Lublin Poles" were invited to the Potsdam conference in July 1945, their president, Bolesław Beirut, argued for the Oder-Neisse border by saying the Poles would get less territory from Germany than they were losing to Russia. At his point, even Stanisław Mikołajczyk, who in 1943 became prime minister of the (London) Polish government-in-exile after Władysław Sikorski was killed in a suspicious plane crash – and who earlier had opposed the Oder-Neisse Line – now supported it with the argument that Silesia had been an arsenal of German militarism and that Polish control of the Oder would prevent German arms exports.

"The Poles ... gulping down immense chunks of German territory, had obviously become ... ardent puppets" of the Soviets, Churchill commented in his memoirs.


Churchill, Winston. Triumph and Tragedy. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1953, p. 661.
Mee, Charles L. Meeting at Potsdam. New York: McEvan & Co. Inc., 1975, pp. 141-42.
Roos, Hans. A History of Modern Poland. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966, p. 214.
Sowden, J.K. The German Question. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1975, pp. 233-237.
Szaz, Zoltan Michael. Germany's Eastern Frontiers: The Problem of the Oder-Neisse Line. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1960, p. 81p.

Sca 18:13, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

How can the sentence in the article be rephrased then, to reflect this ? --Lysytalk 21:48, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

My view is that this entire sentence ...
The border on Oder-Neisse line which historically had been a border of the Polish Piast dynasty, was actively pursued by the Polish government in Exile, which, under the pressure from the Soviet Union and its western allies, was looking for possible compensation for the Soviet-occupied eastern regions which Stalin was not willing to give back.
... takes a misleading tack — misleading in that it leads the reader to believe that the Oder-Neisse border was, at least primarily, a result of Polish initiatives and aspirations. Viewed in historical perspective, the Oder-Neisse Line (ONL) was a result primarily of Stalin's geopolitics, as was the Soviet acquisition of eastern Poland in '39. The "compensation" rationale was for public, mainly western-Allied, consumption as an act of retributive retaliation against Germany for the Nazis & WWII. This argument obscured the fact that it was, ethnographically, wholly unjustified. "Compensation" also presumably made the ONL more broadly acceptable to Poles both in Poland and Polish-American voters in the U.S., who were loathe to renounce claims to Wilno/Vilnius and L'wòw/L'vov, which had been (from the Polish POV) stolen in '39.
A basic logical fallacy in Stalin's rationale: If the Soviet acquisition of eastern Poland was unjust ethnographically, then eastern Poland should have been returned in '45; if it was just ethnographically, as Stalin presumably would have asserted, then Poland (now the USSR's client state) had no complaint and did not deserve "compensation." So what Stalin, that master manipulator, did at Yalta and Potsdam was to turn his '39 venture in cooperative aggression, partitioning Poland with Hitler, into an act of retroactive retribution against Germany, which was made to pay for Soviet aggression in '39 by forfeiting a fourth of its pre-Nazi territory to Poland in '45.
In all of this, I'm afraid, the Poles were pawns in the game of their more powerful neighbors. I don't view the demand by the "Lublin Poles" for the ONL as anything beyond a ploy by Stalin, who by 1939 exercised dictatorial control over the Soviet politburo, the Comintern and, I have no doubt, the Soviet-sponsored "Union of Polish Patriots" (the "Lublin Poles").
As far as the ONL having been "a border of the Polish Piast dynasty," I have to reiterate my view that this is a red herring, as it reaches back to an era vastly different from modern times and predating the gradual eastward expansion of German settlement and civilization. I believe this argument was repeated so many times by Polish Communist propagandists in 1945-89 that it has become widely accepted among Poles even though it ignores the ethnographic realities of that part of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. By the same logic, the southwestern U.S. should be returned to Mexico, Alaska should go back to Russia, and so on.
What does seem to be true, based on the reading I've done, is that during WWII various Poles, including some in the London government in exile, thought and argued that Poland should receive Danzig and East Prussia after the war, not due to ethnographic considerations, but because they felt Poland deserved these areas as compensatory rewards for Nazi-Germany's horrendously savage occupation and for geopolitical and economic reasons. Whether one would accept this argument in the context of conditions in 1945 depends on one's POV or basic beliefs.
Sorry again for being so wordy.
Sca 22:38, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Polish western frontiers have been typically further east (Germans were originally sourced west of the Vistula … but their migrations elsewhere caused Slav so go eastward to the point they at one point occupied much of what East Germany's borders were in Germany … only to have the Germans slowly migrate got it all back and then some [then some being anything east of the Vistua, like Prussia proper). I completely a Sca's comments here … I do not think this was much of a Polish initiative ... but more of Stalin wanting to ensure he could keep the territory he bargained with Hitler for. Nonprof. Frinkus 05:36, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Unrelated and thoroughly off-topic note: Mexico could indeed get back Northern Mexico again (Texas and California and everything in between) if demographic trends continue and protections for culture become more of an issue (other North American situations like this has been the province Quebec in Canada). Nonprof. Frinkus 05:39, 11 November 2006 (UTC)\
We shouldn't carry off-topic discussions too far but I would like to comment that the above comment presumes that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Texas and California WANT Mexican government. Much of the reason that they are in the U.S. is because the Mexican economy is in the toilet as a result of decades of mismanagement and corruption.
A more accurate statement of the situation is that the United States is rapidly becoming a Hispanic country. In fact, according to one editorial I read in a Latin American newspaper, the U.S. already IS a Hispanic country if you consider the total number of Hispanics living there vis-a-vis in other Hispanic countries. Los Angeles has the second largest population of Mexicans outside of Mexico City.
Feel free to continue this off-topic discussion on my Talk Page.
--Richard 07:42, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, all analogies break down somewhere because every historical situation is different, but the Mexican/U.S. situation is the closest parallel I could think of, even though it took place over a much shorter period of time than the German eastward expansion — which if you go back to when the Germans were west of the Elbe, not just the Oder, went on for something like 800 years.

But as an aside, the thought that the Mexicans are, demographically speaking, "reclaiming" the Southwest has crossed my mind — though again it's more complex than that.

Another problem with the analogy is that the West Slavs dwelling east of the Elbe back at the start of the second millenium weren't really Polish in the modern sense, but more like proto-Polish, as I understand it. (I'm told the Kashubes are a similar group.) As most of us know, a few remnants of West-Slavdom remain in Saxony to this day — the Sorbs (or Wends).

Sca 15:12, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

The "Poles" were also proto-Polish. I'm not an expert, but Western Slavs weren't cetrainly divided linguistically about 1000. Czech Hussite preachers of sermons were understood in Poland (i.e. even after 1414). The same probably for Sorbs. The division was made only by the rulers. Xx236 08:56, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

"Lublin Poles" were nominet and controlled by Stalin. Osóbka-Morawski claimed later, that he opposed Stalin once, when he asked for a part of Białowieża Forest. Did any Lublin-Pole opposed Stalin regarding the Western border? Who and when? Did he survive? Xx236 08:59, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Not that I know of. Forgot to mention that the western annexations also, presumably, made the idea of renouncing pre-'39 eastern Poland more acceptable to Poles in general. Not that they had a say in the matter.
I do understand that the west-Slavic languages have a lot of commonality. Many words are the same — like pivo! :-) Sca 22:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality dispution

Please make sure that all facts in this highly controversial article have appropriate citations otherwise it fails "Nationalist:bias" wikipedia policy. For example "German civilian casualties are estimated to number in the millions during the whole process of evacuation" as obvious nonsense without any citation, fact or qualified academic history research should not be there. Tulkolahten 12:25, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Wow, this does come as a surprise. After all the influence exerted by Richard and Lysy, is an allegation of recent German nationalist bias really tenable? You've given a total number of one example, writing that it was wrong to maintain the statement "German civilian casualties are estimated to number in the millions during the whole process of evacuation". There are many documents (my former history schoolbook being one of them, and more were cited, I believe, by an anon one or more talk:archives ago) saying - whether right or wrong - that over 2 million died, which in itself would verify the sentence. Moreover, a casualty is not limited to someone killed. Anyway, regardless of whether the sentence is acceptable or not - you've even deleted it already - please be careful not to jump to conclusions about the article's neutrality. It is understandable to be critical of an article's background but, in this case, you might have been to quick to draw a conclusion. Sciurinæ 13:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
You're right I was too fast. But it was just an example. I reviewed that article several times including history and there are some more facts requiring citations where neutrality is a point of discussion. Tulkolahten 19:42, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Sciurinae, thank you for the compliment. I have worked hard to push this article towards NPOV. However, I'm always open to hearing why people might think it's not neutral and unbiased. This is a difficult topic but I have learned a lot and am still learning. --Richard 22:44, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

It's possible that two million died during the evacuation, Soviet-German fights AND expulsion. Naming "evacuation, Soviet-German fights AND expulsion" - expulsion - is German nationalistic propaganda.

Question to a native speaker - is "two millions" "in the millions"? Xx236 13:44, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, sort of. If it really is only two million and not 3 million, we would say "a couple of million" or just "more than two million". --Richard 22:44, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

There is Estimates of number of deaths in connection with expulsion of Germans after WWII in this Wiki. It says that 1 300 000 German civilians died. It's not "in the millions". Should the discussion go to Estimates of number of deaths in connection with expulsion of Germans after WWII discussion? Xx236 13:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I know we discussed the 1.3 million number a few months ago when we were debating the creation of the "Estimates..." article but I don't see that number anywhere in the article. It probably should be mentioned if there is a reliable source to attribute it to. I personally think the "real" number is between 1.2 and 2.3 million. Numbers like 500,000 and 3 million are probably out of the range of reasonability but it is not our job to determine reasonability. We should mention the full range (oops, maybe the intro to this article should be changed to reflect the 500,000 number) and provide some indication of what the mainstream opinion is. I think the mainstream is 1.3-2.3 million.
--Richard 22:44, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I just found the 1.3 million number. It's buried in the table at the beginning of the "Example statistical computation" section. I think it's misleading to say that the "Estimates..." article says "1.3 million". That's just one of the numbers cited and the whole point of the article is that the range of estimates is pretty wide. --Richard 22:53, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
(You're distinguishing between the words evacuation and expulsion, like their difference was the difference as between flight and deportation. But the word evacuation can include both flight and deportation, can it not? And the word expulsion can include both flight and deportation. Or was the expulsion of Polish people by the Soviets a deportation? They were indirectly forced. And so were the Germans fleeing from the Red Army.
You're absolutely right that one or two million are hardly "in the millions". But maybe casualty is to you a killed person, while it wasn't to the author of the sentence. And even if the author was meaning a killed person, maybe he or she just couldn't summarise the range of estimates better than by saying "in the millions".)
All I'm trying to say with the two paragraphs above is that you shouldn't assume the wrong faith about the sentence. And the sentence is most unlikely proof that the article has now been hijacked by German nationalists. And the scrutiny by users like you support my argument. Please stick to the point I was trying to make in my response to Tulkolahten, which was, like I said, that regardless of whether the sentence is acceptable or not - it was even deleted already - please be careful not to jump to conclusions about the article's neutrality. It is understandable to be critical of an article's background but, in this case, you might have been to quick to draw a conclusion. Sciurinæ 14:32, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
So this was the (very recent) edit you think is inappropriate. Why not just correct or remove it, rather than doubt the whole neutrality of the article? Sciurinæ 15:04, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The point of view of many Poles is that the whole "expulsionist culture" growing recently is German revisonism. The war meant death, only the happy ones survived. It's hard to understand that the survivors complain, especially those living in Western Germany. Neither Erika Steinbach nor Peter Glotz would have succeded in Communist Poland, Czechoslovakia nor in GDR).

DOes the article include the tragedy of Germans expelled from France or Belgium? Why not? It's not only bias, it's racism. Xx236 15:38, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

"three million German civilians lost their lives" - no comments. Xx236 15:40, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

"It's not only bias, it's racism." Xx236, please calm down a little bit and return to a more unemotional way to discuss - thank you. ( 15:50, 14 November 2006 (UTC))

In reference to Xx236's post, please keep politics out of here or put it unto another headline. No real connection to the talk subject anyway.
The expulsion of Germans after WW2 is universally understood to refer that in the east. The article makes the subject clear as early as in the first sentence.
That's picking it out of context. "Estimates vary by source, but it is generally accepted that between one and three million German civilians lost their lives" is the sentence in the article. And yes, three million is occasionally cited, like here. Sca has just written between one and a half and two million had lost their lives. It would be good if the discussion about the number was continued there, not under this headline.
I'm not sure whether you read what I write. You didn't seem to have clicked on the link to casualty in your first post under this headline and none of your three paragraphs is referring to my post above. On the contrary, I feel we're drifting off again. Sciurinæ 16:23, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for confirming my opinion about Western stereotypes -cultural imperialism or orientalism. Eastern under-people do terrible things, the West is pure. Why Anni-Frid Lyngstad isn't an expelee, Erika Steinbach is one? The other method isto put me out of the discussion as a crazy nationalist. Your stereotypes are better than my knowledge. Xx236 12:24, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

also the "DTV Atlas zur Weltgeschichte" (Atlas of World History) in its edition 2006 cites number of 3 Mio. overall German civilian casualties ( 16:45, 14 November 2006 (UTC)) "overall" doesn't mean "during the expulsions". Xx236 12:24, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I would say that this depends on the definition of expulsion. As for me, this notion comprises as well those who had flet before they could have been expelled and those who were not allowed to come back. By the way, please do not take it personnaly, but your comments are partly very aggressive and offending. Why don`t you try to discuss in a more unemotional way. ( 13:02, 15 November 2006 (UTC))

Human cost

For those who are interested in this topic, I offer the following excerpt from an academic paper I wrote nearly 20 years ago, relying on sources available to me at the time:

Official German estimates of the German population of German and Polish territories east of the Oder-Neisse Line in 1944, before the Soviet advance, amount to about 11.9 million, including nearly 9.8 million in the territories themselves (borders of 1937). Figures cited by Hans Roos total about 10.1 million. This total includes 8.4 million in the Oder-Neisse territories, 400,000 in the former Free City of Danzig and 1.3 million in Poland, but does not include northern East Prussia, annexed by the Soviet Union (now the Kaliningrad Oblast).
The official German history estimates that about 7.5 million Germans fled from territories east of the Oder-Neisse in 1944-45, but says about 1.1 million later returned, and puts the number subsequently subject to expulsion at 5.6 million. The total expelled in 1945-50, according to the official history, was 3.5 million. This figure also is cited by Zoltan Szaz.
Germans remaining after 1950 in the Oder-Neisse territories and prewar Poland are put officially at 835,000 and 75,000 respectively, or 910,000 altogether. Roos, however, estimates 1,190,000 Germans remaining in the Oder-Neisse territories, 30,000 in Danzig and 430,000 in Poland. These do not include about 1 million "autochthons" – Polish-speaking or bilingual German citizens – in Upper Silesia, Masuria and West Prussia. Szaz says about 1.1 million Germans remained. Thus, it would appear that about 1 million, and possibly more, Germans remained after 1950.
(Note: A significant proportion of Germans remaining in postwar Poland were allowed to emigrate in the 1970s and '80s as a result of Brandt's Ostpolitik and other factors. Sca)
The official history, using prewar population figures, wartime estimates and postwar figures from both German states and Poland, concludes that 2,167,000 people from the Oder-Neisse territories died as a result of the war and the subsequent expulsions, but estimates that about 500,000 of these were military casualties, reducing the number of civilian deaths to about 1.6 million. To this it adds the deaths of 100,000 Danzigers and 217,000 German residents of Poland, for a total of about 1.9 million civilian deaths.
No breakdown is given in the official history of the proportion who died in the flight from the Red Army, during the occupation or during the expulsions, but an analysis of the figures indicates that about a third of the casualties must have occurred among those who fled during the conquest; the balance apparently occurred during the period of expropriation and expulsion.
Roos says approximately 7.2 million fled or were expelled from the Oder-Neisse territories put under Polish control, along with 380,000 Danzigers and 880,000 German-Poles. "Of these," he says, death claimed about 1.2 million from the territories, 90,000 Danzigers and 200,000 German-Poles, for a total of nearly 1.5 million civilian fatalities, not including those in northern East Prussia.
Walther Hubatsch says about 1.4 million Germans from the Oder-Neisse territories and 600,000 from other areas died, for total of about 2 million. Szaz mentions the 2.16 million cited by the official history, which includes military casualties, but elsewhere says "over 1 million" of the 3.5 million expelled from the territories lost their lives.
From these estimates it is evident that 1.5 million to 2 million German civilians lost their lives in the Soviet conquest of eastern Germany and subsequent expulsions.
Sources for this excerpt:
Hubatsch, Walther, ed.: The German Question, New York: Herder Book Center, 1967.
Roos, Hans: A History of Modern Poland, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966, pp. 213, 215-16.
Schieder, Theodor, ed.: Documents on the Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern-Central Europe, Bonn (no date).pp. 62, 120, 122-23,.
Szaz, Zoltan Michael: Germany's Eastern Frontiers: The Problem of the Oder-Neisse Line, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1960, pp. 96, 126, 130.

Sca 16:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

All the sources are 39 years or more old, based on German accusation written by former Nazi intelectuals. Xx236 12:26, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

The above comment by Xx236 seems to betray an extremist mentality in which the simplest way to dismiss inconvenient information is to malign someone's reputation or character. Hitler and the Nazis were past masters at this technique, labeling everyone they didn't like as "Jewish," "Marxist," "godless" or "degenerate." The Soviets were good at it, too, and had all sorts of labels for those who opposed their ideas and ideology.
As to the sources being "old," historians generally consider age to be a endorsement of the authenticity of a document or account. For the modern era, contemporaneous newspaper reports often are considered a primary source, and eyewitness descriptions, obviously, are highly valued.
Every event in history must be considered in its historical context, and this context includes the attitudes and prejudices of the individuals involved. That's why in history, as in journalism, it's best to have multiple sources, if possible from both sides of a conflict, or from disinterested observers. Such balanced sources can be difficult to locate when describing wartime events.
While the books cited may reflect a German POV, that obviously doesn't make them ipso facto wrong, anymore than sources could be dismissed merely because they were Russian or Polish. I don't accept that the death-toll estimates in these sources can be dismissed as "propaganda," because:
— The entire history of Soviet (and to some extent, Polish and Czech) vengeful reprisals against the German population in the Oder-Neisse territories and Czechosolvakia is voluminously documented.
— The books cited were published well after the war and not subject to politically motivated censorship.
— Their authors were professional historians or journalists, and each book is a serious attempt to address an issue, based in part on demographic data.
Sca 16:48, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

See above, you do exactly the same you criticize.

A number of former Nazis were involved in the Documentation..., some of them involed in designing Nazi expulsions in the III Reich. Is there any rule that writing about facts is wrong in the English Wiki?

Some German authors criticize the Documentation... as biased. It's legal to criticize the Documentation.... I don't criticize the crimes but the bias of some German authors, working during the Cold war.

The minister was Theodor Oberländer, who took part in Hitler's putsch of 1923. His student Theodor Schieder was the chief-editor, who during the war demanded Entjudung Restpolens. Werner Conze prented his antisemitic views even in 1953. More in [1]

Their authors were professional historians or journalists, and each book is a serious attempt to address an issue, based in part on demographic data. - do you mean Schieder? Xx236 13:04, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Interesting. How do you reconcile the numbers in your essay against those in Estimates of number of deaths in connection with expulsion of Germans after WWII? The "Estimates..." article suggest 13.6 to 16.8 million expelled with 1.3 to 2.3 deaths. Your numbers are much lower. What would account for the difference? --Richard 22:50, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

My paper was concerned primarily with the pre-1937 Reich territories annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union, plus the Free City of Danzig — the prewar (German) population of which totaled around 10 million. However, I did note elsewhere in the paper that altogether 16 million to 17 million Germans — either German citizens or ethnic Germans in other countries — were subject to the rigors of expropriation and expulsion in 1945-50.
The 1.5 million to 2 million casualties referred to above do not include those among ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania or Lithuania. My impression has been that most of the casualties occurred during the last months of the war in 1945 or during the mass expulsions from territories annexed by Poland and the USSR in 1945-46, and that later expulsions or so-called "repatriations" involved less arbitary violence.
Sca 23:12, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Article does not mention these casualties were caused by the conditions of expulsion under the red army. It should be mentioned. Tulkolahten 08:45, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

It does kind of mention it but I agree that the current revision does not highlight this aspect. How would you propose to change the article to address this? -- 17:14, 16 November 2006 (UTC) --Richard 03:37, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

In reference to the above query. Let's put it this way. These people would not have died if they'd been allowed to remain in their own homes and land which was rightfully German. They died as a result of the jointly agreed Allied policy of ethnic cleansing. Whether it was 100,000 or 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 dead really makes no odds. It was an utterly disgraceful policy that caused untold suffering to millions of people and will forever more be an appalling stain on the Allied leaders concerned, namely, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Andrew 18th November 2006

Just one other thing to add. Is anyone aware that Winston Chrchill stood up in the House of Commons on December 15th 1943 and said in a speech, ...the total expulsion of Germans from the Eastern territories is what is proposed. It was an official policy of the Allies to kick out all Germans from their own lands in the East. That policy cost more than a million lives. You can discuss this until the cows come home. Page after page after page. Whatever anyone thinks, this policy was a disgrace. No matter what, there was no excuse for it. All those men, all those women and all those children died as a result of Allied policy and it was wrong. In a thousand years of discussion it will still be wrong. Nothing that Hitler or anyone under him did can ever excuse Allied ethnic cleansing on that scale and death on that scale and that's that!! Andrew. 19 November 2006

Any day brings disgraceful acceptance of starvation and genocide. Churchill had much more reasons to hate the Germans when Auschwitz KZ was working than the contemporary politicians have reasons to do business as usuall.

Churchill wasn't able to fully preview in 1943 the situation in Eastern Europe under the Soviets in 1945. Quite many people aren't able to accept the truth till today - see the USSR article. Xx236 13:22, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

many of whom were expellees themselves from lands further east

Citizens of the SU (not only Russians) colonized deserted areas in the West, replaced Germans and Poles. It was kind of "Drang nach Westen". Does a Western reader understand this from the article? Xx236 15:47, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, as a german-speaking person I am able to understand the term "Drang nach Westen". But for a non-german-speaking person this term needs an explication, I presume. Perhaps the historical tendencies of polish or russian "Drang nach Westen" should be presented and explained in a special article. (user, Nov. 16th, 2006)

As far as I know Stalin wasn't under Polish influence, when he designed the post-war Europe. Xx236 13:52, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

further documentations and a forum of documentation and discussion seems to be necessary

I think this Wikipedia-forum helps to inform and to understand. But for the difficult and controversal topic of expulsions we need an independent science-center of international documentation and discussion. It is necessary, because it gives a face to those human beings who lost their lives and who suffered a lot. It is also necessary, to help us understanding the human character and the history and avoiding problems in today's international conflicts. (User, Nov. 16th, 2006)

I prefer to study mass executions first. The evacuation of prisoners from e.g. Auschwitz, too. Xx236 13:57, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Missing countries

There are missing France, Belgium, Nederland, Italy. Tulkolahten 11:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Norway. Xx236 13:50, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, let's explore this. I say the following based on personal speculation and not on the basis of knowledge so feel free to correct me (not that you needed my permission to do so).

I think the difference between "expulsion" in Eastern Europe and "expulsion" in Western Europe is the difference both in scale and in nature of the expulsions.

I don't think anyone is claiming that expulsions on the order of millions of people occurred in Western Europe. I do believe that small groups of Germans may have felt it desirable to leave but it is my sense that these were more about societal pressures rather than due to an official government policy. I suspect that the governments involved did nothing to protect German minorities within their borders and may have encouraged the societal pressures by turning a blind eye towards any actions taken to pressure German minorities to leave. (cf. the case of Anni-Frid Lyngstad's mother)

This is partly because of the difference between the Western governments and the Stalinist regimes and also because there were no major border changes in the West.. However, a major reason is that there were not large communities of Volksdeutsche in Western Europe.

I haven't hearad of any major expulsions from Western Europe. The one area that I know of in Western Europe that had a significant ethnic German minority is Alsace-Lorraine. The following text is from that article:

When Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France after the war, the fact that many young men from the area had served (in many cases by force) in the German Army, and even the Waffen SS, resulted in tensions between Alsace-Lorraine and other parts of France.
The French government pursued in line with traditional French language policy an "anti-German" policy. The German language as well as the local Germanic dialect Elsässisch were for a time banned from public life (street and city names, official administration, the educational system, etc). Largely due to this policy, Alsace-Lorraine is today very French in language and culture. Few young people speak Elsässisch today, yet the closely related Alemannisch is alive on the opposite bank of the Rhine, in Baden, and especially in Switzerland.

If you wish expulsions in the Western European countries mentioned above to be included in this article, then please document the scope and nature of those expulsions.

Note that I am not saying that there is no place in Wikipedia to document the treatment of German minorities in Western Europe after World War II. What I am saying is that the nature and scope of the two situations are so radically different that it is inappropriate to deal with them in the same article.

If there is sufficient material to document prejudice, persecution and expulsion of Germans from Western Europe after World War II, then I would propose that a separate article be created with links between the new article and this one.

--Richard 17:28, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, here's something about Operation Black Tulip, which would need to be linked with a short text.Anonytroll 10:53, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Interesting... As I said, the scale of expulsions in Western Europe was much smaller. Let's see what other material we can find on expulsions in Western Europe and determine whether we need a separate article for those or whether to have a small section on them in this article. --Richard 20:44, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

radically different

  • The same the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe was radically different, but Western writers believe that their countries were under Nazi occupation and this Wiki doesn't stress the difference (France - one burned village, Czech Republic - one, Poland - hundreds - how many names of the villages do you know?)
  • The best known expelee is Erika Steinbach. The history of her family wasn't in any way more tragic, that the history of Germans expelled from Western Europe. So either Erika isn't a typical expelee or the article Expulsion of Germans after World War II should include any part of Europe.

Xx236 12:58, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Are there parallels between the concept of racial hygiene ("legitimation" for the holocaust) and the concept of creating ethnically homogeneous states and territories ("legitimation" for the expulsions)?

Are there scientific publications or internet-articles about this topic? (User, Nov. 16th, 2006)

The following is based on personal speculation so, once again, feel free to correct me if I get this wrong.
While there are some surface similarities between racial hygiene and ethnic cleansing, I believe that the concept of racial hygiene did not play a major role in the expulsions documented in this article.
The major unique feature of racial hygiene is the concept of race and genetics (eugenics). This concept argues that you are who you are by dint of your parents race and genetics and that what you think and how you act is irrelevant to the "pollution" caused by your inferior genes. Thus, Hitler could argue for an Aryan super-race that was polluted by Jewish, Slavic and other inferior races. If you had any forebears from a non-Aryan race, you were suspect.
In contrast, ethnic cleansing is more about removing those of a different ethnicity where ethnicity is usually marked by language, religion and customs. Those considered to be a different ethnicity might be of the same race (e.g. Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda). It is hard to argue that Poles and Germans are of different races unless you are a Nazi. To most people, they are just different ethnicities of the Caucasian race. It is similarly hard to argue that the various ethnic groups (Serbs, Croats, Bosnians) in the the former Yugoslavia are of different races. As far as I know, the major differences are language and religion.
As a thought experiment, consider the case of a German woman married to a Polish man in the first half of the 20th century. If the family spoke Polish at home and raised their children as Poles (i.e. Polish-speaking Catholics), would that family have been expelled? I doubt it. If you agree, then you can see that the expulsions of ethnic Germans may have been motivated by ethnic cleansing but not by racial hygiene.
Hope that helps.
--Richard 17:44, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
A note of clarification: Please do not take what I wrote above to mean that I think ethnic cleansing is any more justified or moral than racial hygiene. I'm just commenting that they are different in their purported justifications. --Richard 18:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Purely my opinion based on my research of many ethnicities as different times in the past, "creating ethnically homogeneous states" is a form of ethnic cleansing, which ranks pretty high on the scale of crimes against humanity. I agree with Richard in that racial hygiene implies more, such as eugenic motives, etc.. Nonprof. Frinkus 20:31, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. From my point of view there are differences and parallels between the two concepts: One parallel is that both concepts are intending a territory with a homogeneous population. The difference is: the concept of racial hygiene is intending a homogeneous population regarding the criterium "race" (whatever "race" might be), the concept of ethnically homogeneous states is intending a homogeneous population regarding the criterium "ethnicity". A second difference is that the concept of racial hygiene has led to more extreme forms and methods in political practice in history (example: the holocaust - not only expulsion but also extinction of millions of people in an industrially organised process). (User, Nov. 17th, 2006)
Yes, I think I agree with what you wrote but I would also point out that this discussion seems only tangentially related to this article and so is probably not really appropriate to this Talk Page. Specifically, Wikipedia Talk Pages are not intended as general discussion forums but rather for discussions specifically about improving the article associated with the Talk Page. Thus, if your points would improve the Ethnic cleansing or Racial hygiene articles, they should be raised on the appropriate Talk Page. To the extent that those topics should be discussed in this article, we can discuss what points need to be raised in this article and where. Otherwise, this discussion, while interesting, is not appropriate for this Talk Page.
--Richard 18:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
It would be nice if "User" above were a registered user. Sca 00:38, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, please consider getting an account. --Richard 18:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I think there is another parallel. Both concepts are political (psychological) instruments to get controll about people: By dividing the people in "good people" and "bad people" I can get an effective controll about the "good people". They feel supported and they feel interested in my visions an promises. By that way I can get also controll about the "bad people", because they feel fear. If I divide the people in these people (minority) who should be expelled and those people (majoritiy) who should get the property of the expellees I shall have big support in a labile society which feels insecure. User:toto61 7 December 2006

"user" said: The difference is: the concept of racial hygiene is intending a homogeneous population regarding the criterium "race" (whatever "race" might be), the concept of ethnically homogeneous states is intending a homogeneous population regarding the criterium "ethnicity".

you were right in saying "whatever race might be", many people use race and ethnicity interchangeably, especially here on Wikipedia I have noticed. since saying "race" can often make you look racist in the current times, they have replaced it with the word ethnic. when someone says "ethnic _______" I think of the general characterization of that nationality/race/ethnicity, so for instance when someone says "ethnic Nigerian" I think of a black man, not someone resembling Saint Nicholas. these are highly complicated terms as one persons ideas about race/ethnicity are totally different than anothers. for instance, one person can see all Caucasians as one ethnic group/race, and another person can see every nationality or distinct culture within Caucasians as a different race or ethnic group. this is seen in this article well, as the term "ethnic German" is used to describe basically everyone that was expelled. but what is ethnic German? is a mennonite an ethnic German? there blood line is still 100% German since they emigrated to the new world hundreds of years ago, so what makes one German. the term is used on wikipedia to avoid using the word race and is used by many nationalists to describe us and them

--Jadger 21:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


Re the comment above that begins, "A number of former Nazis were involved in the Documentation," apparently from User Xx236 (two times three is six?) — I have an open mind regarding the sources for my paper, which as I've said is almost 20 years old and was written using the few sources that were available to me at the (pre-Internet) time. I am not a professional historian and do not claim to be presenting the last word on this complex topic.

I certainly would never endorse the Nazis' program of "ethnic hygiene," either in Germany or in the areas they conquered. I am no fan of ethnic cleansing no matter who does it. (BTW, had I been born in Germany 20 years before I was born in the U.S., it's quite likely I would have been "euthenized" due to childhood physical/medical problems.)

That said, to dismiss the events by labeling my sources as "Nazi" or to say that they have been criticized (I'm all for critical evaluation of everything) would be another example of what I objected to before: Discounting information by maligning its sources. As I've said repeatedly, the history of the events themselves should be reported without descending into ethnically or politically motivated vituperation.

I will read and evaluate the "Freitag" article linked to above. Thank you. Sca 17:14, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, I’ve read the article. I was not aware that Schieder had been a Nazi sympathizer or fellow-traveler. Whether he was actually a convinced Nazi, or merely sailed before the prevailing political winds to further his career, I do not know. I do know there was tremendous pressure on academics to at least pay lip-service to Nazi ideology.
Thus, it’s not surprising that a young German history professor would have spouted, and perhaps espoused, Nazi rhetoric in 1939-40, as the article states. Gleichschaltung was a fact of life in the Third Reich – and this sort of pressure to conform seems to have been even more pervasive and intense in Nazi Germany than it was in the Stalinist Soviet Union.
This observation is not meant to excuse anyone or anything. Nazi ideology and policies were reprehensible. The annexations and expulsions were set in motion by Nazi-German aggression and atrocities. Having said that, I see nothing in the cited article that disproves or even seriously questions the essential veracity of the eyewitness accounts collected in the Documentation. Granted, some of the statements contain language and terminology that reflect the attitudes and prejudices of those who made them. As I said above, "Those Germans who, in the final months of the war and thereafter, experienced the wrath of the Soviets, Poles and Czechs would have reflected the broad attitudes of German society…"
That does not mean that what happened to them was anything other than ethnically based expropriation and expulsion, often under brutal conditions. It does not change the fact that some millions of Germans were subject to these actions, or that 1.5 million to 2 million of them lost their lives in the process. This aspect of the whole history of Nazism, WWII and its aftermath is not generally known in the West, and in my view should be included in this massive story of humankind’s inhumanity to humankind.
Sca 18:28, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

"that 1.5 million to 2 million of them lost their lives in the process". No, they didn't. Your numbers include many processes, eg. US bombs, SU navy, Nazi terror. Even the Center against Expulsions doesn't support your numbers.

Ten of thousands of Slavic women were raped by Soviet soldiers, the majority of them never registered their accounts because of highly conservative society and Soviet rules.

The other side of the "ethnically based expropriation and expulsion" was that Germans were allowed to emigrate to the West and thousands of Slavs and Balts were deported to Siberia. Millions lost everything during collectivization and nationalization. More than one million of Poles expelled (or running away) from the SU travelled in comparable conditions as the German fugitives, in cattle cars, terrorized by criminals and police.

In 1944 all Warsaw people were expelled, many of them into Nazi camps, the city destroied. Is there one book in English~/German describing the expulsion?

"see nothing in the cited article that disproves or even seriously questions the essential veracity of the eyewitness accounts collected in the Documentation. "

We are discussing the numbers and opinions, not individual tragedies. However any source should be proessionally evaluated.

BTW - recently a group of liberal Germans wanted to publish a number of female accounts of 1945. They had to correct them because of the racist anti-Slavic language of the accounts. The Nazi rules influenced both Germans and Slavs. Their master/slave relationship inverted in January 1945 but the ideas remined. Xx236 12:44, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

There is an article Theodor Schieder in German Wiki. Xx236 15:45, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

a bitter lesson it allegedly had learned in 1938

A minority destroied a democratic state, is such lesson alleged? The conclusion was probably wrong but the problem existed. I believe that the word alleged has been added to attack Czechs rather than to explain anything. Xx236 13:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree that "any source should be professionally evaluated," although I'm not sure what "professionally" means in the context of our little discussion here.
As I've said repeatedly, in various ways, on Wiki over the last couple of years, I make no excuses whatever for the crimes, atrocities, genocide, etc., committed on a gigantic scale by Nazi Germany. But again I ask the question: Do the wrongs done by Germans to others make the wrongs done by others to Germans — mostly other Germans — right? And whatever one's answer to that question is, should not the entire story be reported, whatever it is?
The basic enabling phenomenon of all the human pathologies we're talking about — racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, violence, war, genocide, etc., etc. — is dehumanization of other people. I maintain that Germans were human, too. That is what makes the entire story of Hitler/WWII so distressing but also so crucially important.
Sca 16:22, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

The mainstream of German historiography and the radical BdV wing select certain expulsions (Germans expelled by states in the East) forgetting others - evacuation of Jews and other prizoners called Death marches (Holocaust)("Schindler's list" is about this process), expulsions from Western countries and the Soviet Union, executions of deserters. It's a kind of dehumanization under the banner of human rights. Only some leftist and Jewish authors oppose such division.

Poland cooperates with German historians publishing documents of the expulsion. I don't know about such cooperation with Kaliningrad historians.

A Wrocław theater presents a documentary play by Jan Klata. 5 German and 5 Polish old refugees speak about their expulsions in 1945.

An average Pole knows history of WWII much better than an average German. I believe that Germans should learn about their crimes in the East during WWII if they learn about their tragedies, but they don't. An explanation - we have 20 non-German children in many German classrooms. How to teach them German history? Xx236 14:18, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I doubt that Germany do need any coaching with regard to the coming to terms with its past. ( 09:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

Wow, Xx do you have any references or proof that backs up your claim that "An average Pole knows history of WWII much better than an average German". That smacks of a racial superiority complex, how can you even evaluate and place the two systems of education side by side and claim one is better than the other when they are so different. Of course, one could always cite the fact that Germany has much better, and often prestigious post-secondary institutions in Germany, whereas Poland generally isn't a place one thinks of when you say higher education.
--Jadger 21:23, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Another stereotype from the Cold War era.
Space Cadet 22:08, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Jedger, you seem to ignore what happened to Polish academicians during WWII. Thousands of them were murdered by the cultural Germans. Xx236 08:20, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

well than correct me and name a number of outstanding Polish Universities that outclass German ones, perhaps look [2] or perhaps [3] the second is from the EU, you can hardly argue with that.

but this has gone off-topic, my point was that you can't make claims about such a specific topic without quizzing every German and every polish student on WWII questions, which would bring up a dilemma, what are the questions? Western Europe or the Eastern Front?

--Jadger 00:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Jadger, do you understand what I'm writing about? Germans murdered almosty all Jewish academicians in Poland and many gentiles, too. You seem to be happy with it. Xx236 19:30, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

xx, you obviously don't understand what we are talking about, you made claims that Poles know more than Germans and learn more in school, an obvious racist and nationalistic superiority comment. I pointed out that German universities are some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Now why are you claiming that Germans killed all the professors? that was 60+ years ago, the professors would all be dead today by natural causes, so you can't possibly claim that Nazi Germany made the current educational system in Poland bad. btw, it is rather manipulative for you to post before my posts with newer comments, in order to make it look like I have been avoiding your accusations and lead the unwary readers astray
--Jadger 20:53, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Speaking German is common in Poland, Germans don't learn Polish. Poles watch tens of German TV channels, Germans don't watch the Polish ones, partially because of the technical and financial superiory of Germany. Poles learn about German history and culture at school, Germans rather don't learn about Polish history and culture at school. There are researches confirming my point of view. Which research says, that Germans know about Poland, Jadger sir?

German outstanding universities teach eventually about Russia, not about small Eastern nations. Please, learn before you teach.

Xx236 08:17, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

lol, your whole comment is a general stereotyping of all Germans.

"Poles watch tens of German TV channels, Germans don't watch the Polish ones, partially because of the technical and financial superiory of Germany." Point being? I live in Canada and most the TV we watch is American, what is your point? TV for the most part doesn't educate, we are talking about the education systems in the two countries (which is off-topic), not about the latest episode of [desperate housewives].

"There are researches confirming my point of view. Which research says, that Germans know about Poland, Jadger sir? " please cite some of these "researches" Xx, so that one can atleast read them and be enlightened.

we were not talking about whether or not they teach about German research on Poland, but the differing education systems in the two

and BTW, German is a dominant world language, being the language of Engineering and other subjects, not the least of which is cultural (Goethe's writings for example). German is 2nd most common language books are published in, so learning German may be needed for continuing education. Polish on the other hand is not nearly as prevalent. Most English speakers don't learn Polish, so are you saying that all people who don't speak Polish are ignorant of matters concerning Poles? Or is it just all Germans who don't speak Polish who are ignorant?

--Jadger 22:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Jadger, I would call you way of discussion hostile. Would you please consider that about 50% of my family was persecuted during WWII, by Germans and their Soviet allies, many of them died. How many members of your family were murdered by Poles to explain your attitude?

  • A historian of Central Europe should speak not only German and/or Russian. No historian, except Irving, writes history of the Holocaust using only non-Jewish sources. The majority of Western historians of Central Europe quote German/Russian/French sources and are happy with it.
  • German public TV presents many documentaries. Even private Sat1 has shown many popular ones. You can find listings of those broadcasts, even of those archival ones. Guido Knopp has presented many TV documentaries and written popular books. Ther are also movies - Hollywood ones (Schindler's List), German ones Downfall (film).

Xx236 19:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I would hardly call Schindler's list an authorative source for anything but how to make lots of money off of the suffering of millions. Spielberg didn't even create a sensible movie that followed any real history. for instance, the Kommandant's house was not really on top of the hill IRL, and his taking potshots at prisoners was a total fabrication. der Untergang is my favourite movie of all time, I fail to see your point. unless of course, your point was to reinforce my point that German is a world-dominant language as people around the world watch german movies, but most have never heard of a single Polish one.
none of my family were murdered by Poles, as my family was fighting to free the Poles and all the other people being forced to live under Nazi tyranny, including the freeing of the Germans as well. as for explaining my attitude, what do you mean? I am not a racist or have any superiority complex as your posts above have clearly shown you do. whereas your family being persecuted clearly shows you have an axe to grind, Wikipedia is not a place to grind your axe, i'd suggest writing a blog instead of disturbing all these other users
--Jadger 21:03, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


This is like trying to discuss religion with fundamentalists: It's futile. However, let me state for the record that I will never agree with anyone who contends that the Germans, in general, don't know the history of the Nazi occupations, expulsions, genocides, Holocaust, etc., etc. It's been done and done and done.

I'm very sorry to have to say this, but: These circular, futile discussions tend to reinforce an impression I had before but was trying to get beyond: That some Poles simply don't want the world to know about what was done to the Germans in 1945-50 — and in some cases, about the ethnographic history of the former German territories east of the Oder-Neisse Line.

I'm not trying to start another argument or offend anyone. I'm just stating what my impression — as an American who's taken a deep interest in the whole topic over a period of decades — has been.

Just once on Wiki, I'd like to hear a Polish person say: We are sorry, too, for what was done to the Germans. I heard a Polish person say something like that once when I lived in Warsaw. It's interesting to note that her family had been compelled to move from what's now Lithuania to Pomerania; perhaps that gave her some insight into what the other side experienced. At this point, as far as Wiki is concerned, I'm just tired of the whole "discussion," if it can be called that.

Sca 22:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

ditto, my thoughts exactly

--Jadger 00:52, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Dear Sca, comparing me with a fundamentalist just because I resist against (anchorless and unfounded) allegations like WWII is not subject to German history lessons or German Wiki is biased with regard to what happened in Poland under German occupation, appears quite unreflected and, hence, unfair to me. ( 15:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

Słucham? Sca

Slucham = you do not understand what I talk about? No problem: I referred to your statement "This is like trying to discuss religion with fundamentalists" => ahora comprendes la conexiòn? te saludo ( 14:52, 29 November 2006 (UTC)) ps: nonsence is of course nonsense...

I still don't get what you're trying to say about "German history lessons," etc., and at this pt. I don't care. Re the comparison with fundamentalists, I wasn't talking specifically about you, whoever you are.
PS: I don't speak Spanish. I do know of one Polish Wikipedian who does, but he has a different User signature, and his English is better, so apparently you're not him. Sca

As you, as you wrote, do actually not care at all what I tried to say I guess I do not have to waste my time by giving further explanation.

Ps: Like you do not speak Spanish I do not speak Polish and my response in Spanish was therefore a (funny) reply to your Polish "Slucham?" (it took me some time before I found out that it is Polish and what it means). Thus, suprisingly, I am not Polish (although I speak Spanish). Last but not least, please excuse my poor English which definitively requires some improvement (like your German). ( 09:44, 30 November 2006 (UTC))

True, my German grammar is pretty shabby, but I can read German quite well. As to Polish, I don't speak it — I just know a few words & phrases from when I lived in Warsaw for a while. So, I assumed you were Polish, which goes to show one should never assume anything. Sca

If you claim that I "don't want the world to know what was done to the Germans in 1945-50 — and in some cases, about the ethnographic history of the former German territories east of the Oder-Neisse Line" - prove it. How do I prevent the knowledge to be dpread? Do I censor, imprison the authors?

I claim that the world, especially Germany, doesn't want to know about German crimes against non-Jewish Poles. It's obvious that German history books , including the school textbooks, concentrate on German history, not the history of crimes against ethnic Poles. Check the German WIki, you will find hundreds biased articles. Now the German point of view comes to the English Wiki, because of you cultural stereotypes.

My position is that Germany (frequently former Nazi politicians and academicians) created the idea of "expulsion" which contains German crimes and errors in 1944, war, Soviet crimes (including the area of the future GDR, where no expulsion took place) AND expulsion. The role of the Soviet Union is being minimalized, the one of Poland and Czechoslovakia overestimated. Xx236 08:07, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

"Check the German WIki, you will find hundreds biased articles." ok, Xx236, now I really fed up with your unfounded allegations. Please quote at least five of the hundreds of biased articles in order to prove what you said. Not to mention that you presumably do not even speak German, you will not be able to quote just five. So, come on, I am looking forward to receive the list! But otherwise: please stop this nonsence! ( 09:41, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

Wir sollen uns hier kümmern nicht um was in deutsche Wiki steht oder nicht steht, sondern um was in unser englischen Wiki steht. Ich bearbeite dem englischen, nicht deutschen, Seite, weil ich kein deutscher bin. Sca

Would you please concentrate on the subject rather than on my personality? I do speak German enough to understand 99% of the German Wiki texts about Poland. This forum isn't the right place to discuss the German Wiki, I have answered you in German nationalistic bias in German Wikipedia. Would you please read German Wikipedia before you write nonsence? Xx236 11:25, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The word is nonsense. Sca

Memorandum - the situation of the Slavistic in Germany. Xx236 11:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

What? You wrote: German Wiki is full of bias. And when I ask you to please quote at least five of these hundreds and hundreds of biased articles you tell me that this is not the place to discuss German Wiki?! So why do you talk about in the first place? Sorry, but this level of discussing is simply to low for me. Either you prove your statements or please refrain from alleging - sorry - such nonsence. By the way, the quoted article is not a Wiki article. ( 11:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

Talk:German Wikipedia contains my answer. It is in Wikipedia.

Would you please be more polite, sir. Xx236 12:05, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I do not consider my statements to be unpolied. However, in case you felt offended by it I hereby beg your pardon. Your answer does merely repeat what you have alleged here but no prove is given whatsoever. Although one has actually not to prove to be not guilty, please refer (for example) to and tell me which information is missing there making the article biased. ( 13:15, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

At first, sorry. I know this isn't a discussion forum and I managed to just read and not comment anything so far. But at this point I can't help myself. Dear Xx236, I am shocked about your (unfounded) percecption of Germany. I don't know how you imagine history is being taught in school here. Erika Steinbach herself teaching us the "Bund der Vertriebenen"-version about WWII? Rather not. Believe me WWII, the Holocaust and the other shamful chapters of German history are being teached extensively and its not a chapter of our history we are particulary proud about. But at some point I feel like I want to stop apologise about what happened back then and just get the facts straight. That doesn't make me a nationalistic POV-pusher. This is wikipedia, a place for facts... To come back to the German history lessons: XX236, I am sorry, that in school we learn about the "crimes against ethnic Poles" not before, but only after the Holocaust. By the way I have learned almost nothing about the expulsions in school at all! I can only speak for that former East-German school I went to and don't know if it was taught in other schools or the West. But everything I know about the topic, is what I read later on. Now talking about biased articles: How come there is no link to this article in the Polish Wikipedia? Even the Japanese Wikipedia has it. I am sure there must be some article covering expulsions in the Polish wikipedia, no? After all its the 4th biggest Wikipedia articlewise and subjects about Polish history are especially well covered. --Splette :) How's my driving? 15:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC) P.S. unnamed editor you might consider getting an account if you edit regularly

Erika Steinbach wants to teach German children and she started in Berlin, where many schools visited the Erzwungene Wege.

I don't think that the article deserves to be linked, because it is biased. BTW War crimes of the Wehrmacht has false link to German Wiki and doesn't have one to Polish Wiki. Bombing of Wieluń doesn't have any link, the same Bombing of Frampol.

The 4th place of the Polish Wiki is the result of automatic generation of thousands of articles about nothing. You may check the lenghth of the articles, the number of pictures. Xx236 16:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Other-language versions

I see from the "in other languages" box that there are versions of this article on the German (of course), Hungarian and Romanian Wiki sites, but apparently no Russian, Polish or Czech versions. How can this be?

PS: Can someone (an administrator, perhaps) please archive this page? It's getting overlong. Thanks. Sca 18:47, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd think they are simply not linked. The German Wikipedia link for example is to an article about expulsions in general (with some specific ones, though). I'd guess it is the same for these language Wikis. Anonytroll 18:35, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

/* Expulsions of Germans in the west of the Oder-Neisse line by Poland */ Please put new posts at the bottom of the page; it makes them easier to find and more likely to be read

Poland's western borders have been determined by the allies during the Potsdam Conference in summer 1945 by the term Oder-Neisse line. This term means that the rivers of Oder and Neisse should mark the future western borders of Polish administration. But in July 1945 - regardless of the Potsdam Conference - the Soviet Union handed over territories in the west of the Oder-Neisse line (including the important city and port of Stettin) to Poland. After this transfer to Poland organised expulsions of Germans began also in these territories in the west of the Oder-Neisse line. (user, 1 December 2006)

I'm going to add this to the article. Anon user (User:, please consider getting an account. Here's some reasons why.
--Richard 16:43, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

The text about Stettin should be corrected.

BTW- which geographical names should be used - historical or current? The states are named using current names, e.g. Czech Republic and cities have historical names - Stettin. Strange. Xx236 12:28, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Was the fate of Kashubians specific in any way? Upper Silesians had exactly the same problems living between Germans and Poles and their number was bigger. Xx236 16:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


The fate of the Masurians also should be included. Sca 18:06, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Soviet-occupied ?

Czechoslovakia was quite independent 1945-1948. Xx236 12:21, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

400 000 - 473 000

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung of November 14, the total number of victims of the expulsion was estimated being 473 000 (1964) or 400 000 (1974). Do you really know the subject better than the author - Ingo Haar? Xx236 15:17, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

The Spiegel is a left wing German Newspaper founded by the britisch occupation forces. Since ever it tries to reshape the II WW history, non of the German Newspapers are realy trustworthy in such historical artikels because they want to downplay german victims in numbers. So the most historical resurge, witch you can trust is done by non Germans. Dont forget Germany was since the II WW never a free country, from occupation directly to NATO. The ruling class in Germany is seeable controlled by other than national Interests. Their is no way for only 400.000 victims. The German minority in Yugoslawia has documented allone 180.000 victims by name. This 400.000 is a political number like the 30.000 killed in Dresden it was initiated may be by western secret services to dawnplay their role in the second world war. Johann

But it gets even better! The Federation of Expellees disagrees[[4]] with his numbers. The man should be beatified alongside Ralph Giordano. Anonytroll 20:29, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Wait, my bad. Ralph Giordano may constantly bash Germany, but he's for the Centre against expulsions, thus does not qualify. Anonytroll 20:37, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Not The Federation of Expellees but Erika Steinbach. The late Peter Glotz opposed the ZgV data and was its president at the same time. Xx236 08:30, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I think them having it on their website should count for something, though. Anonytroll 12:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm old enough to rememeber people like Sartre, Joliot-Curie, Ezra Pound being on someone's Webpage. Historical research isn't based on votes and intelectuals, but rather on critics of sources. Xx236 14:33, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Good. I posted critique of Haar's numbers, which quotes different numbers from other sources. Anonytroll 16:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Here comes a German opinion about other sources: Xx236 13:00, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Nope, no relation between the numbers that the FoE uses and this article (which goes on to attack historians). The article does not even discuss numbers. Anonytroll 06:50, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

In another words - you claim there is no connection beteen the Documentation... and the vision of history propagated by the FoE. Any sources? Xx236 13:43, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Where is the article you are refering to? Do they talk about their sources? Is there a serious proof for the validity of this numbers? --Sushi Leone 20:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Süddeutsche Zeitung of November 14
  • [5]
  • Rüdiger Overmanns has quoted similar numbers in a paper in Dzieje Najnowsze.

2+ million are general German looses in the East during and after WWII, including German crimes. 400 000 - 500 000 are German looses during the post-war expulsion from Poland and SU. Xx236 10:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, for posting this article. It is very interesting indeed! --Sushi Leone 14:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Expelees who died in Denmark

Since most of the victims who died at the hands of the Danes in 1945 were expellee’s, (as stated in the Spiegel article), I think the subject of Danish treatment of the refugees should be inserted somewhere in the article. Der Spiegel article, Deutsche Welle article --Stor stark7 Talk 23:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Expulsion from France

A number of Germans were expelled from Alsace. A number of Kehl inhabitants were forced to leave, when the city was French (1945-1949). Xx236 11:11, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Neglected German graveyard west of Warsaw

Poland again as the wildest nation of the East. Xx236 16:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


German historian Claudia Kraft describes the whole spectrum of Polish people attitudes toward Germans in

  • Kraft, Claudia: „Wojewodschaft Allenstein. Einleitung.” in: Borodziej, Włodzimierz/Lemberg, Hans (Hrsg.) (2000): „Unsere Heimat ist uns ein fremdes Land geworden...“ Die Deutschen östlich von Oder und Neiße 1945-1950. Bd.1. Marburg. p. 465

„reichte vom Ruf nach Vergeltungsmaßnahmen, die sich an nationalsozialistischen Praktiken orientierten sollten, über Gefühle der Gleichgültigkeit und Verachtung für ein kollektiv als schuldig eingestuftes Volk bis zu Beweisen von Verständnis und Mitgefühl für das Schicksal der von Verlust der Heimat betroffenen“ My source is part of the book Das polnische Breslau als europäische Metropole - Erinnerung und Geschichtspolitik aus dem Blickwinkel der Oral History: ttp:// Xx236 12:18, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

perhaps a translation is in order so that we may understand what it says.

--Jadger 12:37, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Rough translation: "...ranged from cries of revenge that should be inspired by national socialist methods, to indifferent feelings and condemnation for a people seen as collectively guilty, to evidence of understanding and empathy for the fate of those who lost their home"
Pretty basic point: different people have different opinions.
Anonytroll 06:49, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

tense conflicts between the Soviets and the Poles

The conflicts existed on low level, between individuals. No Polish-communist structure wanted and/or was able to oppose the Soviet Army. Soviet leadership, probably Stalin himself, defined the status of Sttetin/Szczecin. This article describes the fate of millions, why does it discuss such local matter? Xx236 13:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

flight and expulsion of Germans after World War II

The first line says it's about The flight and expulsion of Germans after World War II. Why is the name of the article Expulsion of Germans after World War II? Xx236 14:53, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Good point but the problem was with the text of the introduction, not with the title of the article. See the earlier discussion between me and Lysy (talk · contribs) about reorganizing the distribution of text between this article and German exodus from Eastern Europe.

Also see Evacuation of East Prussia. Logically, we should have an article titled Evacuation of Germans from Eastern Europe which would include the information in Evacuation of East Prussia.

I have fixed the problem in the text and, while I was at it, revamped the flow of the introduction. I also reworded some sentences to discuss some of the issues that have been points of contention.
--Richard 18:02, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Now we have a problem: "Estimates vary by source, but it is generally accepted that between one and three million German civilians lost their lives" Your numbers include flight and expulsion. It's absurd to claim that 3 millions died during the expulsion. Is it allowed to include absurd data here? Xx236 11:03, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

how is it a problem? I think 3 million needs a citation, but if you look here you can plainly see that 2.25 million is a recognized number of dead from the expulsions. You try to make it seem like there is a huge difference between a people running for their lives and people being forced out on the threat of losing their life.
--Jadger 22:37, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
In answer to Xx236... yes, it is acceptable to include absurd data here PROVIDED that there is a citation to a reliable source. It may be that there is a problem that the source of the 3 million number is not cited. The 3 million number comes from U.S. Congressman Reece who made the assertion in a speech in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 21, 1957. I had a web link to the text of the speech about 6 months ago but I can't find it now. The text of the speech was read into the Congressional Record so I have no doubt that the source can be produced with sufficient effort. I just can't do it tonight using Google or Yahoo.
Now, I admit that, on re-reading my revision of the intro, I realize that there might be objections to the phrasing "it is generally accepted that...". The problem is that the range runs from 1.1 million to 3 million but it is probably the case that Reece's estimate of 3 million is too high a number. What I need is a citation that suggests that present-day historians reject that number. In the meantime, I will try to fix the phrasing so that it is more precise and less objectionable.
--Richard 07:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
In answer to Richard ... So why don't put here Stalin's statement, that there were (almost?) no Germans beyond the Oder-Neisse? I doubt very much that Wikipedia is a garbage can for any nonsence. There are thousands of politicians and they talk, talk, talk. Xx236 15:11, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

No Jadger, I expect basic precision. If the article the Sun is about the Sun, not about the Moon, even if sometimes they look similar, the same the Expulsion of Germans after World War II is the Expulsion of Germans after World War II. If you want to rewrite the article to the Flight and expulsion - change the title and modify the text. Xx236 11:54, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you understand the semantics involved in the English language. If someone is holding a gun to your head and making you write something against your will is pretty much the same as them holding your hand and forcing you to write something against your will. the expulsions and flight cannot be separated as they are intertwined and fundamentally connected. The people that took flight before the enemy arrived were expelled just as much as those who were physically forced out once the occupation started, as they were not allowed to return once the occupation had begun. Their land and property was forcefully taken from them while they were absent, and were not allowed to return to their homes, they were expelled in absentia so to speak.
let's put this in a Polish context: In 1939, when Poles fleed from the west of prewar Poland upon the German invasion. According to your reasoning, their flight was freewilling and they do not deserve the land they owned previously as they abandoned it and so the Third Reich was legally entitled to take their land, build a concentration camp on it, and murder their neighbours who had not been as fast as those that ran off to Eastern Poland. so, fundamentally, any Pole in Poland who changed their address from September 1939 to the liberation in 1944-45 gave up any right they had to land, as they were leaving it freewilling. this is according to your reasoning of course, not mine
--Jadger 14:21, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that Jadger wants put every possible garbage on Polish back including Soviet and Nazi activities results. This is why he do not want recognize flee and expelled. He just got this inclination. He says himself he is biased. As such individuals he should be considered a trouble for Wiki. We need objective people. I appealed on discussion of "Recovered territories" to discuss the Jadger activity and bias and possibly remove the trouble. A-- 15:58, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

stop your personal attacks, you have been warned multiple times, the next step is a block.
--Jadger 16:12, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines:

Avoid shouting: It undermines a reasoned argument with the appearance of force through Italic text, Bolded text, and especially CAPITAL LETTERS, which are considered SHOUTING, and RANTING!!!!! Italics, however, can be usefully employed for a key word, to distinguish quoted text from new text and, of course, book titles etc. Xx236 15:05, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you understand the semantics involved in the English language - I understand this statement as a personal attack. You want to humilate me in an open forum, because I'm not a native speaker, rather than present your arguments. You make fun of my statements, but it was the German government who was responsible for the too late evacuation of German civilians, for the death marches, for defending cities like Breslau. Soviet army cruelties in 1945 didn't belong to Expulsion, the soldiers were allowed to have fun, even the BdV doesn't claim that there existed a Soviet order to expell the Germans using terror and I don't know any such order. The Soviets deported to Siberia not only Germans but Western Ukrainians and Poles. Such crimes aren't called Expulsions in any language, except German one. The Red Army murdered East and West of the Oder-Neisse line, but Germans from the SBZ weren't expelled, so why to call the crimes expulsion?

The Polish Army was controlled by Soviet leadership, commanded by mostly Soviet officers (the Polish ones in POW camps, killed in Katyn or fighting in the West), surveilled by Smersh and its Polish subdivision Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego. Xx236 15:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

you said: I don't think you understand the semantics involved in the English language - I understand this statement as a personal attack. You want to humilate me in an open forum, because I'm not a native speaker, rather than present your arguments. you just proved my point, it was not meant as a personal attack, and in no way was it a personal attack. I have stated what it was on your usertalkpage. Correcting a mistake another user makes is not a personal attack!
Soviet army cruelties in 1945 didn't belong to Expulsion, the soldiers were allowed to have fun, Wow, have fun? so one could say that the Nazis just had fun in Poland from 1939 to 1945. By that reasoning, the Nazis had more fun than the Soviets as more innocent people died.
The title "expulsions" is an umbrella term, if you are objecting to it perhaps we should have a vote on whether change it to something more suitable. Often times in English and many other languages, a whole subject is given a title that focuses on one aspect but doesn't necessarily encompass everything in the subject, because otherwise the title would be huge. For instance, holocaust means burnt sacrifice, but not every Jew who died in the Holocaust was burnt to death or cremated. Many were simply shot then buried in shallow ditches, so perhaps you should also petition at the Holocaust talk page to have the article title changed to something like "the Holocaust, shooting, gassing and other violent acts on Jews before being buried in a shallow grave or cremated, etc. etc.". So, you said the Soviets "had fun", so one can draw the conclusion that if one wanted to deconstruct your statement, the Russians were playing shinny and the Nazis were playing in an organized league.
--Jadger 20:57, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Soviet soldiers were allowed to rape, kill, burn whole towns, like in many European wars till the 17, maybe 18, century. It was frequently the only advantage they had before they died or became disabled. Only survivors were able to bring home watches, sometimes bicycles.

German soldiers in Poland robbed food and art objects, sometimes raped. Soviet-type cruelties were allowed during the Warsaw Uprising, non-German units and German criminalists committed the crimes, but German commanders were coresponsible.

Maybe you should present your ideas about the Holocaust on the Holocaust talk page? Xx236 10:58, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I haven't committed any mistake, so don't call your statements correections. Xx236 11:05, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

those are not my ideas, that is yours, I was just extrapolating it as a universal law, what is good for the goose is good for the gander after all. why should we exclude something from this article because it does not fall explicitly under the title, but include it in others? for the Holocaust we would have to make many articles, one for each way that a victim died, if your reasoning where to be made into a wikipedia guideline.

Soviet soldiers were allowed to rape, kill, burn whole towns, like in many European wars till the 17, maybe 18, century. It was frequently the only advantage they had before they died or became disabled. Only survivors were able to bring home watches, sometimes bicycles.

German soldiers in Poland robbed food and art objects, sometimes raped. Soviet-type cruelties were allowed during the Warsaw Uprising, non-German units and German criminalists [sic] committed the crimes, but German commanders were coresponsible. ya, point being? you are going back to the 17th and 18th century to justify the Soviet actions? come on! that is pre-laws of war, pre-Geneva convention, pre-modern even. I am assuming you were trying to justify Soviet actions, otherwise I don't get your point, what are you trying to prove? that war crimes were committed in Poland? yes, that is well proven, you have beaten that into wikipedia like Joe Louis did to Max Schmeling (the rematch, not the first). I am not going to do what you are expecting me to do and point out the fact that you are using war crimes committed by others as an excuse on a article discussion page about Polish warcrimes.

I haven't committed any mistake, so don't call your statements correections. See, this is exactly what is wrong, you think that nothing you have written has ever been gramatically incorrect, so when someone edits after you, you think it is a travesty and that they are dead wrong. Please be open to what other users contribute, and be open to what others change to your latest article version. Wikipedia is a team project, assuming when someone edits after you that they are destroying your hard work is counter-productive. please, be open to change, change is good, especially when it's in your pocket.

Also, you said German commanders were co-responsible, why do you think you needed to state that? the military is the same as any workplace with a hierarchy, the jobload goes down the chain of command, and the responsibility goes up it.

--Jadger 12:12, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

The Center against Expuslions claims that Poland and Czechoslovakia are responsible for Soviet crimes. They look quite happy, you overestimate my power. Xx236 14:03, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Potsdam Conference

These edits completely miss the point of the "wild expulsions". The desperate expulsions had the aim of creating conditions from which the Polish side could benefit as much as possible at the Potsdam agreement (no Germans in an area, no possibility of a German state there) because they thought the issue of borders was still in question, not because they wanted to follow the future agreement beforehand.[6] This also validates the sentence you wanted to adorn with a {{fact}}-tag, because if it had been clear to the Polish side that they were to keep the territories for annexation anyway, they wouldn't have worried about the borders in the first place and the wild expulsion wouldn't've occured.

Apart from that, the English could be improved and is there a good reason for replacing "expel" with "move out" and deleting the quotation?

As for the sentence "Acording to the terms agreed to at the Potsdam conference, the Soviet Union transferred territories to the west of the Oder-Neisse Line to Poland in July 1945," I don't get it. How is it possible for Soviet Union to act in accordance with the Potsdam agreement or Conference or whatever, when it hasn't even be reached or held? But the sentence you replaced isn't so much better. How can the Soviet Union ignore the future terms of an agreement? Maybe something like "Instead of waiting for the Potsdam Conference" would be better, or what do you think?

I've reverted the edits and would like you to discuss further changes of that nature before making them. Your message on Richard's talk page belonged here but was a good start. Sciurinæ 21:08, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Potsdam Conference II

What says the term "Oder-Neisse line"? Doesn't it mean that the rivers Oder and Neisse are giving the line of future borders? My POV: the fact that land in the west of Oder and Neisse has been given to Poland is not acording to the Potsdam Conference negotiations and results. This shows us that negotiations and agreements with western allies have not been respected by USSR and Poland. USSR and Poland were interested in creating hard facts outside international negotiations. And they succeeded: no western ally wanted to oppose (user, Dec. 21st 2006).

Just for fun it might be intresting to read the policy the U.S. was recomended to pursue in Potsdam regarding teritorial dismemberment (Read the state department pages from here on), or go to the main page and on the bottom select page 750 onwards.--Stor stark7 Talk 16:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Memories of universal victimhood: the case of ethnic German expellees

This is a very interesting analysis of the whole expulsions/vertriebene phenomenon. I would like to capture some of the key ideas and insert them into the article although I suspect that doing so may give rise to some significant controversy. --Richard 07:54, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

"wild expulsions"?

I don't understand what is meant by the word "wild" in the subheading "Wild expulsions May - July 1945". My best guess is that "wild" is intended to mean "spontaneous and uncoordinated by civil authorities". If this is so, we need to work on a better phrasing as "wild" is not the best way choice of words in English to convey this meaning. --Richard 08:13, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Wild is here a German word in wilde Vertreibung.

Xx236 15:36, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry. My command of the German language is quite weak. Can you explain in English what is meant by wilde Vertreibung? --Richard 10:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

"Die wilde Verteibung" means the expulsion before the Potsdam conference. Xx236 13:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, I'm starting to understand. The meaning is approximately what I thought. However, the phrase "wild expulsions" does not communicate a clear meaning in English. Frankly, it provokes a head-scratching puzzlement. I could only guess at the meaning because I've been editing this article for more than 6 months.
Let's get the meaning clarified and then look for an appropriate phrase to capture the meaning in English. By "before the Potsdam conference", I think you are saying that expulsions before the Potsdam conference did not have the sanction of an international agreement between the victorious Allies. Thus, pre-Potsdam expulsions probably tended to be more grass-roots and spontaneous. Local municipal officials might have been involved (did local Polish authorities exist before Potsdam?) but, in general, there was no sanction from a national authority (when did such national authority gain control of the country?).
There is an argument that the expulsion provisions of Potsdam were motivated in part by the occurrence of these "wild" expulsions. Thus, the Allies may have taken the stance that the local populace was already implementing expulsion at the local level and so they might as well provide official sanction to a policy which had both support both at the grass-roots and highest policy-making bodies.
If the above paragraph can be sourced, it should be presented more clearly in the article. I think Churchill said something to that effect in a speech.
NB: I am NOT arguing that this is a valid justification for the expulsions. That is, I am not saying "The expulsions were justified because the people were implementing wild expulsions". I am simply saying "The conferees at Potsdam took the occurrence of wild expulsions into account when formulating the expulsion provisions of the agreement."
Pending further clarifications, I am tentatively proposing that the section title "Wild Expulsions" be changed to "Expulsions prior to the Potsdam Conference" or "Unsanctioned expulsions".
--Richard 19:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The title "expulsions" is an umbrella term

I don't know about any umbrella terms in the Wikipedia. Words mean what they mean in standard English language dictionaries. I have a long experience of using Communist double-speak, in which freadom meant slavery, democracy meant dictatorship, so I'm against any umbrellas. The German state (against many German historians) continues the Vertreibung ideology. The English Wikipedia isn't financed and/or controlled by the German government. One means here one, flight means flight, expulsion means expulsion. If I'm wrong, I won't participate in a German propaganda project.

Germany and Russia used to write the history of Central Europe during the last 250 years, they don't any more. I hope so. Xx236 10:32, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

There is Evacuation of East Prussia, but neither Evacuation of West Prussia nor Evacuation of Silesia. Xx236 11:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Again, you are confused as to basic connotations, you associate umbrella terms with Communist double-speak, which it obviously is not. an Umbrella term is something that is used as a title, but does not tell you everything that is said in the article or whatever it is. For instance, you are referred to by your name, but I bet there are other people somewhere in the world with your exact same name, but you do not here people call you "(your name), who ate his first cheeseburger on (insert date), and got his driver's licence on (insert date), and met (insert friend's name) at (insert place name)". Or for instance, the name "coffee shop" a coffee shop does not just sell coffee, they sell doughnuts and pop/soda as well as sandwiches and cakes and all sorts of things, you don't here anyone say "Hey, let's go to the coffee/cookie/cake/pop/doughnut/sandwich.... shop"
Titles are not meant to tell you everything, or all you would need is a title, as the article would be redundant as everything is already said in the title. A title is simply a concise "teaser" to draw the reader in.
If I'm wrong, I won't participate in a German propaganda project. I doubt Wikipedia needs someone that assumes such bad faith as to call it a "German propoganda project"
--Jadger 12:29, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't like your umbrella term. Xx236 11:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I was simply explaining why the title does not explain everything in the article. If you can come up with a better title, I'd be happy to hear it.
--Jadger 18:36, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The title exists already. You are the only person against it. We should inform about the Expulsion of Germans after World War II here. If you want to write an article about the Evacuation of Germans during WWII (Flucht in German) , do it - but not here. There is a number of articles about Germans in 1945, repeating some data but omitting another ones. There is a lot of work to do. Xx236 16:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

you are mistaken, I have never stated that I am against this title in the course of this very discussion, if I have, please quote it. I am simply explaining why the title is as it is, you are the one protesting against the title because it does not explain everything that is in the article.
--Jadger 18:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

There is a title and there should be the text connected to the title. If you want an umbrella, produce it elsewhere. An article about after World War II actions cannot concentrate on WWII history. Xx236 13:39, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Silesian source [7] quotes Stalin in Potsdam: German population went after the Wehrmacht so it was necessery that a local administration existed in our army rear. ... So we allowed the Poles there.

I'll check if I have a Soviet estimate of the number of Germans there. Xx236 14:21, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I have already explained what a title does, and the current version fits the "flight" and the "expulsion" both fully. When the people took flight, they were leaving "voluntarily" as you would claim, and we shall assume that in order to stop argument on another front. but when they were banned from returning to their homes after the war, they became expelled, unless you can of course prove that 100% of people who took flight did not want to return to their homes after the war.
--Jadger 23:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

If you are right, it means that someone (it's simple tio check who) manipulates the article. There is clear difference between the war and the post-war period, there is a clear difference between Flucht and Vertreibung. There are many German texts describing the history of German propaganda (see below). It's not a Polish-German discussion, but German liberals against German nationalists one. I believe that English after means after, not during. Xx236 14:03, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

the two are connected, and one resulted from another, you cannot wipe out every mention of the other in this article without making this article suffer. After all, The Potsdam Agreement was a part of WWII, so by your reasoning it should not be mentioned in this article. As for the word after, If you want to create another article titled Expulsion of Germans during WWII and describe all the expulsions of them, say by the Soviets of the Volga Germans, or during WWII when they were attacked (along with the collaborators) by the other residents of the land. Or, we could just change the title of this article to Expulsion of Germans resulting from WWII
--Jadger 20:22, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think we need less heat and more light in this discussion. I agree with Jadger that this article talks about both evacuation and expulsion although, as Xx236 points out, the emphasis is clearly on the expulsions. At first, the question seems to be whether we should change the title or change the content. This seems to be how Jadger is framing it.

However, I think the problem is not easily solved this way. There is a discussion earlier on this Talk page between Lysy and myself about "Merge with Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe". We also talked about a "master plan" for articles related to the "History of Germans in Eastern Europe". Please read these two discussions earlier on this Talk Page and weigh in with an opinion.

Some quick comments: 1) I agree that there seems to be a gap in that we have Evacuation of East Prussia but no other evacuation articles. Someone who is knowledgeable about the evacuations should create additional articles or change the article title to Evacuation of Germans from Eastern Europe at the end of World War II

2) Even if we ultimately change the title of this article, we will want to keep an "Expulsions..." title that redirects to the new title since that is clearly the way many people think about this topic.

--Richard 11:37, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Documents on the Expulsion ...

The history of the Documents on the Expulsion ... should be mentioned. Xx236 09:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

What history ? --Lysytalk 09:46, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

[8], [9] Xx236 10:26, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Really interesting documents (actually I only read the first one so far and rapidly skimmed over the second one). This should definitely be mentioned in the article as a criticism.--Caranorn 12:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
So do it!. I would but my German is not strong enough to read the documents. --Richard 11:24, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

deportations could be considered

  • Is the WIkipedia about could be or rather about facts? Generalplan Ost doesn't discuss legal opinions about the plan.
  • Who would be considered to be a criminal? Mr. President Truman? Canada was also involved as part of the Commonwealth.

Xx236 09:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm lost. What's your point? --Richard 19:47, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I feel your Canada comment is directed at me (hence why Richard is lost). Unlike you Xx, I do not feel the need to pretend my nation has never done anything wrong. in fact, I admit that my nation has done wrong, we have had our own expulsion of the Acadians, but I do not go around denying it and trying to reword it to not sound so bad.

--Jadger 04:55, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm lost as well. How is this relevant ? --Lysytalk 08:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles generally don't judge past events using contemporary law. Generalplan Ost doesn't discuss legal problems of German expulsions at all, neither using the 1944 nor contemporary. Why does this article contain the statement "deportations could be considered"?

If there is a crime, there is also a criminal. According to many German sources the criminal is the Polish nation (sometimes also the Czech one). I don't pretend anything but I write about the people and nations who designed Europe 1945 and now preach about moralty and law.

Jadger, stop your ad personam comments. I have asked you many times.

Xx236 13:56, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The way some people write

"The title wild expulsions comes from German wilde Vertreibung, and describes the manner in which the expulsions were undertaken by the Polish authorities, especially the military"

  • The above statement is obviously false, because pre-Potsdam expulsions happened in several countries, eg. in Czechoslovakia.
  • The above statement doesn't inform, which authorities were responsible. The legal Polish government existed in London, the puppet one executed Moscow policy.
  • It's not obvious that the word wild describes the manner. It may also decribe the lack of legal basis of the expulsions. In fact the most terrible time after the war was the harsh winter 1945/1946.

Xx236 14:27, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Crimes in the SBZ

The article pretends that the crimes against Germans happened only outside of post-war Germany. However the same crimes took place in Germany, especially in the SBZ, later GDR - rapes, individual and state robberies, deportations to Siberian camps. German prizoners were transferred from Soviet camps in SBZ to Soviet camps in Poland. The facts are ignored or underestimated, because they don't pass to the nationalistic model. Xx236 14:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you are absolutely right! But what do you mean with "nationalistic model"? What kind of "nationalistic model" is that and who is constructing it? What do you mean with "pretend"? Who is "pretending" / distracting here in wikipedia and what should be the motivation of the contributor? The most important thing: Should this article be about "crimes against german civilians" or the "postwar situation of poland" - or is it in the first place about the expulsion of germans after WW II? --Sushi Leone 01:16, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Many cruelties happened East and West of the Oder-Neisse Line. All numbers of victims are added and included into the Expulsion of Germans after World War II. But Germans in the SBZ were persecuted, not expelled. Germans transferred to Siberia weren't expelled. So the term expulsion isn't precise. It's a literal translation of the German Vertreibung der Deutschen. Xx236 14:10, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

How weren't those Germans sent to Siberia expelled? they don't have to be sent to Germany to be expelled, or are you telling me that they all wanted to go on working vacation in Siberia? So by that reasoning, Poles were not expelled to the General Government after the invasion, but just "transferred" or decided to go on a permanent holiday there? My travel agent has never suggested going to Siberia for vacation, maybe I ought to ask her why not?

--Jadger 03:44, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Mixed marriages

Polish-German marriages were forbidden in nazi Germany. After the war they happened both in Poland and in Western Germany (Maczków). Mixed marriages are very rare in ethnic cleansing areas. Eg. Ukrainian nationalists murdered frequently Polish-Ukrainian families during the expulsion of Poles.

The numbers of Polish-German marriages would describe the intensity of the hatred better than biased contributors. Xx236 14:45, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Death causes

Richard, I especially appreciate this edit of yours. I'm however a bit confused with this sentence "Some of these deaths were the result of direct, intentional actions of violent militias". Are we aware of any ? I'll remove part of this sentence from the article until we can explain this. --Lysytalk 06:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The phrase "violent militias" was in the article before I started the edit that you referenced. Presumably these "violent militias" deliberately targeted ethnic Germans both as part of the "wild expulsions" and the ones sanctioned by the Potsdam Conference. All I meant to say is that only some of the deaths were intentionally caused. Without evidence to back it up, I don't doubt that some Germans refused to move and were killed as a result. I even imagine that some revenge killings happened without even giving the victims the option of leaving. The real point that I wanted to make, however, is that other deaths "just happened" in the course of mass population transfer in the horrendous postwar environment of poverty, chaos, famine and disease. More importantly, we will never know how many deaths were caused intentionally and how many were "collateral damage" of the inhumane "population transfer" policies.
This uncertainty is one of the bones of contention between opposing POV-pushing editors of this article. Some want to say "Bad, evil Poles killed many ethnic Germans in violation of their human rights". Others want to say "Hey, lots of people were dying. The ethnic Germans were just some of the ones that died. And, we're not even sure how many ethnic Germans died anyway."
What I'm looking for is a middle-of-the-road NPOV presentation of both points of view. I want to say "Yes, some Germans died because some bad, evil Poles deliberately killed them. However, many Germans simply died because life in Eastern Europe and Germany was horrendous at the end of the war. And, we will never know exactly how many were in the first 'intentionally killed' group and how many were in the second 'collateral damage' group. Moreover, we'll never know how many more died as a result of being expelled than would have died anyway if they had stayed put.
What I want is for us to stop edit warring over these two opposing POVs by including both of them in the article. And I also want to see an end to the endless sniping and bickering on this Talk Page. These may be forlorn hopes but they are the motivation of my recent edits.
--Richard 07:25, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I understand this and as you can see, I do not object to "Some of these deaths were the result of senseless killings by opportunistic mobs and individuals". But "intentional actions" ? Do we have any evidence of these "direct, intentional actions of violent militias" ? Or are these only our speculations ? --Lysytalk 08:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Speculation on my part. It just seemed obvious to me that the only reason to mention "violent militias" is if they intentionally attacked ethnic Germans directly. One thing that would really help is if we could document specific killings so that we could say that some killings were intentional rather than that all of them were unfortunate byproducts of the expulsions (i.e. malnutrition and disease). Do you really mean to suggest that the Poles and other said "All you Germans... leave!" and any deaths that happened were just unfortunate byproducts of the expulsion policy? That no militias or individuals targeted the Germans for revenge killings or just for the fun of it?
Having admitted that the "intentional actions" bit was speculation on my part, I am willing to have it deleted until evidence can be provided to support the assertion. However, it strains my credulity if you are arguing that it is not true in the slightest degree.
--Richard 22:49, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm sure there were both. Many "opportunistic" killings ("Oh, I'll kill that Nazi woman, because I can", for "fun" or for profit), which in my opinion are the worst kind but also incidents of organized actions with intention to kill. Such incidents are documented and investigated upon (e.g. here: ). What I mean is that we should not make the impression that the latter prevailed, even if they could be used as a kind of the "I just obeyed the orders" excuse. I'll try to rephrase the sentence. --Lysytalk 09:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

ya sure Lysy, Polish Home Army, Armia Ludowa, Leśni ludzie, etc.etc. the list could go on and on(that is, of violent militias like u said).

--Jadger 07:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Did they participate in the expulsion ? Did they conduct any direct, intentional actions to kill German civilians after WW2 ? --Lysytalk 08:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, would you please compare your stories with this Wikipedia? If you know better - correct the errors. If you don't know, don't spread errors.

So neither of the two existed after the war.

Anticommunist guerilla existed in Polish ethnic regions. I don't know about any Polish guerilla in former German lands, controlled frequently by the Red Army. Where did it exist?

Let's take the crime in Nieszawa. Als Täter war die Militz, die durch einen Parteigenossen der PPR Partei Mateusz Pawlak dazu angetrieben worden war.[10]] - militia organized by Communist party leader Mateusz Pawlak.

Militias acted alswo in Czechoslovakia and France, where they perecuted French women. Why does this discussion concentrate on Poland? Xx236

Yes, the Home army was officially disbanded in January 1945, but we all know elements still acted after that, I am focusing on the fact that this article doesn't only deal with those that happened after the official end of the war, the war was over in East Prussia before it was in Berlin. Claiming every crime before 8 May should not be included because of some date given by politicians is ludicrous. You are free to add the information about the other militias as long as it pertains to this article, perhaps although collaborationists werent German, it could be added as a side note, that is up to you. Xx, you just proved that violent militias organized by commies existed and persecuted Germans, so I guess the sentence in question shouldn't be removed.

--Jadger 19:08, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, you misunderstood me. If there were any "direct, intentional actions of violent militias", they were incidental. They certainly are worth being mentioned, but not as if they accounted to deathtoll of thousands. Do you know otherwise ? --Lysytalk 22:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

what do you mean incidental? they did contribute to the deathtoll of thousands. Would you support the release of some Nazis because they "only" killed a few Poles? After all, sure they murdered people, but compared to others they were "small fish". We can't ignore some murderers because others killed more, all should be mentioned and their crimes revealed.
--Jadger 03:20, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course, but with due weight. Do not attribute millions of victims to organized deathsquads. I'm sure horrific things happened and each individual case deserves respect. But the lead of the article is intended as a summary, not a documentation of individual cases and we should be careful not to misinterpret the facts. --Lysytalk 09:07, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I never said I attributed millions of deaths to organized death squads. I just think it should be mentioned, I like your current version.
--Jadger 02:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Good, thanks. --Lysytalk 02:14, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

International law

From the paragraph

"Though no international judicial body has considered the issue, the deportations could be considered a crime against humanity under international law as the International Criminal Court applies it today. However on the background of Nazi German murderers, cruelty and proportion of 1:10 killings the impersonal accusation looks very uncertainly to be practical."

the last sentence should be removed (and the first rewritten in line with de Zayas). The "impersonal" "accusation" of crime against humanity would certainly not be ignored just because of crimes on the German part. The whole sentence certainly comes from no source. As Dr. Alfred de Zayas, "a prominent expert in international law" stated: "With regard to the legal aspects of the Expulsion, were such expulsions to take place today, there is no question that it would constitute the violation of various provisions of international law." Read on. Sciurinæ 21:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

that last sentence was inserted by 131, and has been routinely removed by other users.

--Jadger 03:34, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Show me one article about German crimes discussing legal status of them according to contemporary law. Because~there aren't any - prove you aren't biased putting this sentence here, not in hundreds of other articles. Xx236 14:41, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

please, do not change the topic of this discussion and divert the attention from what is being discussed. what the start of the paragraph states is that it is a crime that no one has been charged for. And also, there are no statements about the status of German crimes because you have already pre-defined them as articles about crimes. This discussion is about the last sentence in the article though, not the first, which was already discussed on the tlak page.
--Jadger 01:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm unconvinced that the Potsdam conference legalised the expulsion, contrary to what the wiki article says. Not only did they lack the rights to unlimited power but Article XIII's main aim was to stop the "wild" expulsions.[11] I've removed the notion from the article in this edit. What is more, did the Potsdam agreement permit expulsions in the territories that were German before WWII? (Btw The article should also avoid one-sentence paragraphs. I don't know which guideline says so but I'm pretty sure there was one). Sciurinæ 19:55, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The right place to discuss the Potsdam Conference is its Talk page. Xx236 09:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Direct, intentional killing

There seems to be some concern as to whether direct, intentional killing played a part in the large number of deaths associated with the evacuation, flight and expulsion of Germans. I would argue that it is not worth asserting that direct, intentional killing played a significant role in the deaths unless it accounted for at least 10% of all deaths. Assuming for now that the number of deaths was somewhere between 400,000 and 2,000,000, we are looking for evidence to support somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 deaths attributable to acts of direct, intentional killing. Whether these deaths were caused by individuals or militias is a secondary issue.

Another question would be how many of the deaths are attributable to Soviet concentration camps. Does anybody have information on these figures?

--Richard 22:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about the Soviet camps, but it's been found that about 100 Germans were probably murdered in Aleksandrów Kujawski in spring 1945 by Polish militia. Also about 10-20 German were murdered by militia near Nieszawa and about 100 German POWs were executed by the Soviets near Osięcin in 1945. No bodies or remains of the victims of any of these crimes were found so far, despite a number of extensive excavations. --Lysytalk 09:16, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
The killing of POW's definitely doesn't belong. This was a sad practice on both sides on the East Front (though on the German side it was definitely ordered from the highest levels with the commissary orders). I expect this is already covered in relevant articles.--Caranorn 13:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Lubin - NKWD executed 500 handicapped in asylum and 150 elderly people. But NKWD wasn't any militia.

Many were senseless killings by opportunistic mobs and individuals - what is many here? Toward 2 000 000 - tens of thousands aren't many for me. Xx236 14:45, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we know. Nobody counted them. But tens of thousands definitely are many for me. --Lysytalk 15:41, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not think it was even many tens of thousands. First group would be those who were killed by run wild victims of concentration camps. There were some descriptions I read in past. Second, some of communist criminal simpletons from delegatures on Recovered Territories could make some private robberies. (You know who the opportunists were very often). The third would be Volksdeutsche, who were born in Poland got revenges from before WW II and were very effective and knowledgeable traitor. I heard they were chased and I believe could be killed in more serious number. I would guess in total it would be 20 thou. They families have a right to mourning - I mean families not the all kind of organizations. However in comparison to the scale and format what Nazi Germany did it is very very little. It would be much more correct if the families would shed their tears more privately. The public multiplication of the numbers only reminds other nations about their deaths.-- 07:27, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

WOW 131, you leave me speechless and in awe (but not the good kind). I don't know how anyone can respond to that, or whether it is actually worth a response. please, this is not a place for you to guess or idle chitchat on the subject, please cite a source that backs up your claims so we can add them to the article. Who are you to tell people how to mourn the loss of thier family? I'm sure if you lost family members to senseless murder you would also raise an outcry.

--Jadger 07:47, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Range of estimated deaths

I think we need to revisit the tone of this article. First of all, I think we need to make a good faith effort to understand whether we are talking about 400,000 or 2,000,000 deaths. This is not quite an order of magnitude difference but it is still a factor of 5x difference.

I thought the "scorecard" was ZgV 2,200,000 Overmans 1,100,000 and Haar 400,000-500,000. We should be able to give some sense of what the "distribution of credibility" is among these estimates. What I mean is "If you did a poll of historians who have some knowledge of the area, what would they say were the reasonable estimates and what would they say were less plausible estimates." I had previously been happy to say 1.1 - 2.2 million deaths with 400,000 being a new and low estimate. Does anybody have evidence to indicate how Haar's estimate of 400,000 has been received in the academic community (and in the news media)? Does everybody now say "Oh, of course, geez those ZgV guys were way over-exaggerating the numbers." Or do people say "Well, you know, Haar's methodology has its flaws and Overmans' estimates are really more reliable."

Wikipedia's NPOV policy does not require us to give equal weight to all points of view. In order to be a useful resource, we do need to give the reader some indication of the direction of mainstream thought on a topic, including mention of challenges to the mainstream doctrine and also characterizing flakier, fringe positions as such.

--Richard 15:31, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

2 200 000 and 1 100 000 are maximal and minimal estimates of looses in the east, including flight, war and expulsion. 400 000 -500 000 are looses after the war. Overmans has published an article Rueidiger Overmans, "Personelle Verluste der deutschen Bev6lkerung durch Flucht und Ver- treibung," Dzieje Najnowsze, 1994, no. 2:51-66 (400 000 -500 000 - I haven't read this). Xx236 11:44, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Causes of deaths

Related to the "range of estimated deaths" discussion above, I also think we need to come to some conclusion about the relative contributions of "direct, intentional killing" vs. "deaths due to causes associated with the hardships of forced migration". When we compare the expulsions to the Holocaust, we are suggesting that the deaths from the expulsions were just as intentional as those of the Holocaust.

Obviously, no one was suggesting that the ethnic Germans be given first-class rail tickets with free housing, jobs and other social assistance. And certainly there were those who were happy to see the Germans suffer and even die as they fled and were expelled from Eastern Europe.

However, it is likely that many (perhaps even most) didn't really care what happened to the Germans and whether they lived or died as long as they were gone.

If you agree with me on this, then it is plausible that no more than a few tens of thousands or a couple hundred thousand deaths were attributable to "direct, intentional killing". I am not minimizing this number as if to say that the deaths of tens of thousands is unimportant.

However, in the scope of a tragedy that involves 1.1 to 2.2 million deaths, even 100,000-200,000 deaths is only 10-20% of the total number of deaths. Does anybody (i.e. any reliable source) shed light on this question? If we can source this, I think this would be an important point to communicate to the reader.

Look at it from the other perspective. Are we prepared to suggest that 50% of the deaths (500,000 - 1,000,000 deaths) were caused by direct, intentional attacks and that the other half were caused by disease and malnutrition?

I certaintly doubt that anyone would suggest that 80-90% deaths were due to direct, intentional attacks and that only 10-20% died from disease and malnutrition.

I would not propose to insert any of the above text into the article at this time because it would be unverified original research. However, I do believe this is an important issue for us to wrestle with and to determine what the reliable sources think on this question.

I forget who communicated with de Zayas last year. Whoever it was, perhaps he would ask de Zayas what he thinks about this question.

--Richard 15:31, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

German Wikipedia gives the number of deaths in camps in Poland (mostly as the result of ilnesses) 60.000-80.000 . It's German, i.e. maybe overestimated, number. The other causes of deaths were:

  • Soviet executions (?)
  • Soviet deportations to the SU (tens of thousands of deaths)
  • Polish militias (?)

About de Zayas - according to some German historians he is sometimes revisionistic, eg. when describing young Germans' attitude toward the lost areas. Xx236 12:04, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It's German, i.e. maybe overestimated, number Wow, so let me get this straight, Polish references are to be whole-heartedly accepted on a matter that they clearly have a motive to push a certain POV, but German one's aren't? Just because it is German doesn't mean that it is less trustworthy than a Polish one. In fact, seeing the Polish links given previously on a number of pages, and the better reputation of German institutions, I would say they are more trustworthy than most Polish ones.
Also, all these "other causes" are still relevant, as you said "number of deaths in camps in Poland" soviet executions happened in Poland, deportations happened in Poland, and Polish militias were active in Poland, so all those still correspond to deaths in Poland
--Jadger 15:51, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, please, what do you specifically mean by the "better reputation of German institutions" ? No offence but which ones ? --Lysytalk 21:43, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I haven't quoted any general Polish estimates, because I don't know them. I quote academic German and emotional German.

It's German, i.e. maybe overestimated, number - many German sources overestimate the numbers of victims, e.g. for Łambinowice there is a German estimate about 5 000 and a Polish one 1000-1400, I don't remeber. One of the reasons was that the German author ignored the survivors living in Poland. I have written maybe to stress my doubts.

Why don't you verify the German source rather than attacking me?

Deaths in Poland should inform who was responsible - the mob, Soviet commanded army, Red Army or NKVD. Xx236 09:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Legacy of the expulsions

The sub-paragraph partially repeats the last sentence above it.

The real history in Germany was:

  • critics of the expulsion, detailed documentation of the expulsions and censoring informations about Nazi crimes
  • anti-Nazi 1960-ties, till 1990
  • return to the post-war critics

Xx236 09:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Edit war

As I can see in the history of this page it is a target of continuous edit war. One side reverts changes of the other side and vice versa. Both sides sometimes breaks NPOV by adding unreferenced biased statements. One side put there it should be considered as a crime second side removes it and add what should be done with the graves etc. etc. etc. Just people make up your minds, this is encyclopedia here is no place for anything like shall be, should be, will be, going to be or for any personal revenge against anyone, here is place just for what was or were, for the history. Support your edits with references and get out with your personal thoughts about the topic. I wanted to hold back with comments but I must react to the current regtettable situation. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 13:13, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

"could" or "was" is not the point, nor are sources. The sentence

"From a legal perspective, the expulsion of Germans violated the Hague Conventions and, applying the Nuremberg Principles, it clearly constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity.[13]"

would not be more acceptable to what you call "the other side", don't you think so too? The inconvenient legal dimension contrasts the simplistic shifting of all responsibility for the expulsion on the previous German atrocities.[14] Sciurinæ 16:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
The point is that there is an edit war. Edit war full of wrath and pain, so stop it. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 18:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't call it an edit war as much as one user ignoring consensus and adding his own POV into the article, and being reverted

--Jadger 23:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a controversial article. Some editors, especially anon IP users, come and go trying to insert their POV without attempting to determine what the consensus might be, let alone respect such consensus if it exists. These edits get reverted quickly and rightly so.

Other editors, usually with Wikipedia user accounts, are less transient and have been here for a number of months. However, due to the controversial nature of this article, there are many points on which there is no established consensus. Instead, there is a heated debate on this Talk Page. While the debate may get overly hot and overly personal at times, it is far preferable to debate here than to edit war on the article itself.

It would be good if we were all collegial and congenial to each other but, failing that, let us at least maintain civility and attempt to seek a consensus position by assuming good faith.

--Richard 18:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


The name of the article is "Expulsion of Germans after World War II". The first paragraph says "escape ... during 1945". Choose one - either after or during and after. Either expulsion or evacuation and expulsion. Is there someone serious around?Xx236 14:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The continuing discussions about the title and the estimates of deaths suggests that we should revisit the proposal to merge this article into Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe. The problem with the title is "expulsion" vs. "evacuation, flight and expulsion" and "before and after" vs. "after". The problem with the estimates is "deaths due to expulsion" vs. "deaths due to evacuation, flight and expulsion". For that matter, I think a more accurate nomenclature would be "unaccounted for" instead of "deaths". My insight here is that the result of a gap based on a population balance computation is "cannot be accounted for" not necessarily "dead". There is a bit of a leap to assert that all those who could not be accounted for are dead. And then, there is another leap to assert that those deaths are due to expulsion and yet another leap to assert that those deaths are due to intentional killing rather than the prevailing postwar conditions of chaos, privation, famine and disease.
We cannot know all these things. And yet what I wrote above constitutes original research unless we can source it to a reliable source. Are there no reliable sources who make these criticisms?
Many of the above problems can be addressed by merging this article into the Exodus of Germans... article with a redirect from this title to that article.
--Richard 14:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

There is still the Evacuation of East Prussia.

See longer response below.--Richard 05:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The name you mean is German exodus from Eastern Europe. Xx236 15:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I keep getting caught up in Expulsion of Germans from.. and German exodus from.... Seems we should regularize the two titles. --Richard 05:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Evacuation of East Prussia should be and is a subsidiary article to the German exodus from Eastern Europe article as would be all "to be created" articles about evacuation and flight from other parts of Eastern Europe. If we get much more verifiable information about expulsion from Poland, we may need to have a subsidiary article titled Expulsion of Germans from Poland after World War II.
--Richard 05:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

There are several problems with such title - part of East Prussia became later Poland, the other part didn't. There is a problem when Eastern Germany became Poland - in Spring 1945, after the Potsdam conference or after one of the Polish-German treaties. Xx236 09:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't see the problems. East Prussia was still East Prussia when the evacuations occurred and so the title Evacuation of East Prussia is appropriate. I think the bigger problem is that there are no other articles about evacuations of Germans from other parts of Eastern Europe. Is this because there was nothing notable that happened outside of East Prussia? Perhaps the evacuation of East Prussia was by far and away the largest evacuation effort undertaken? These questions need to be answered so that non-expert readers such as myself will understand better.
As for when Eastern Germany became Poland, I don't see what the problem is unless you are wanting to differentiate between expulsions from Polish Poland and Polish Eastern Germany. Was there a substantive difference between expulsions in the two areas? Or are you just wanting to indicate that expulsions happened in Polish Poland prior to Potsdam and then in Polish Eastern Germany after Potsdam?
NB: "Polish Poland" and "Polish Eastern Germany" are neologisms that I coined just now in order to create a shorthand for the two areas that Xx236 discusses. I am sure that Polish nationalists will find the phrases objectionable. Please understand that I am not trying to assert anything about Poland's rights to the territories of Eastern Germany which became Polish after Potsdam.
--Richard 18:53, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

According to a Soviet report,

The information that the report was Soviet has been removed by an anonymous author. Why the only report quoted is about Polish cruelties (there are thousands reports about other cruelties)? Why is the word Soviet illegal? Why the article was frozen at that moment, rather than reverted?Xx236 11:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The book is just a mess. The sentence is cited as it is, and has in my perception no sense. Let the others see the stupidity. Seems to me if there was nothing the "events" had to be invented. The previous sentence ending page 75 and is: "Even the Soviet expressed shock at the Poles' behavior." end of page 75. Next is the sentence in article from beginning of page 76. The book is very interesting. Actually the Soviet officers occur as angels of mercy or similar creatures. Why so? You see Soviets have petrol and are strong thus it is not economical to blame them. Poland is other matter it is small country and can be the free booty. Be economical with the true. Good day for all. AS>

You know, many Germans see here the confirmation of their opinions - the Poles were the biggest criminals. Xx236 15:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you. It should be erased but they will not do that until will find some excuse. I can not do that since only administration is now in power. The edition was my first step to press the manipulators to withdraw the "bla bla". It seems to me they could not found nothing worst except this and needed to improve the author who himself is also manipulator. The first switch with "by whatever means necessary" is a proof. AS>


OK, you guys, now User:Robdur has gone and protected the page from editing. This is not good but maybe it's what we need to cool down the edit war and move towards a productive discussion of contentious issues.

Andrew, (AS), please list your issues as succinctly as you can. Let us see if we can address your concerns.

As you have no doubt learned, just making edits without considering consensus leads to edit warring which leads to blocks and page protection. The admin in question did not protect the page to stop your POV from being included in the article. He protected the page to stop the edit warring (which, in my opinion, was mild and didn't warrant page protection yet). Nonetheless, we now have a good opportunity to force the debate away from edit warring and onto this Talk Page.

Robdur's talk page indicates that he is willing to lift page protection after about a week. Our ability to discuss and resolve the points of contention calmly and civilly will determine whether we have to wait that long. Above all, assume good faith and seek consensus. This means that, in order to get your POV included, you will probably have to accept that the opposing POV will also be included. Nobody has a lock on the truth and Wikipedia is not about truth but about verifiability. This means that you need to back up your assertions with reliable sources.

--Richard 19:13, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I really wish it hadn't come to this. I would like to point out that Andrew/131/Serafin is currently blocked for a week, but has been evading this block with numerous IPs, the last edit before block being his. I dont see a reason why he would discuss on talk page, as the current version contains his POV, and we can't change it. You may say I'm assuming bad faith, but I am not assuming anything, this is how it has been in the past. As Frederick the Great said "The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices." so please Andrew, prove me wrong and compromise.
--Jadger 00:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think edits by user breaks NPOV. Just check diff. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 06:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, I find your teachings superflous. You are biased like a hell, you attack me without any logic and you teach people how to write. Xx236 08:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I would like to quote Andrew on a user talk page (he posted this while evading block) "You can rest assured that I will be doing everything to close as many articles as I can." User_talk:Philip_Gronowski/Translation_of_Polish. As for your comment Xx, it doesn't warrant a response, as it is simply a tu quoque fallacy and a personal attack in order to damage my credibility, I will not feed the trolls. I never said I wasn't biased, no one is unbiased, what matters is verifiability.
--Jadger 19:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

TO Richard – citations & …

Hi, I understood you are particularly involved/interested in the article. In my opinion every of the Wikepedia articles should have a responsible person to edit it. Particularly the controversial articles need this two level edition. The editing person would be following the discussion and enter the conclusion from talk. Rest of the participants could complain to higher administration if the organizer would not run the business objectively.

The following are my concerns:

First my point is that the given numbers are absolutely unsure. Nobody actually knows how many Germans died in the years 1945-1948. The estimate range is from 400 thou up to 3 millions. In the article World War II casualties [15] the number of civilians deaths is 1,840,000 for all the period of WW II thus the 3 millions is something strange.

Cite 18: The 1939 Population is Germany within 1937 borders and the Free City of Danzig. Austria and the 7,100,000 million ethnic Germans of eastern Europe are not included in the German population [69]. However, the 500,000 military and 400,000 civilian deaths of ethnic Germans in eastern Europe are included with total German losses, after the war 5 million became refugees in Germany and Austria

First you should give at least proportion between cusses of death. Most above all we have to found a way to separate and evacuation casualties and the deportation casualties. If you can not we can not put the uncertain number (up to 3 million) in to one “package” and stick to it label “crime against humanity”.

2) The “by whatever means necessary” from Naimark, Russian in Germany. p. 75, I found inappropriate. There is put instead direct citation from First Secretary ofCommunist Party talk. This is the “foundation” of Naimark “expression”. He did not provide a source with the words “by whatever means necessary”. This words suggest planed cruelty and is wrong.

3) Leaving aside the Naimark accuracy I will give you some citation from the same chapter: Page 74/75: “Polish women were not spared the horrors of Silesian campaign either. Sometimes Soviet solders did not believe their protestations that they were Poles and not Germans; sometimes it didn’t matter to the rampagings soldiers.” -that how war looks, so…

Actually only last paragraph of the chapter: “Soviet Soldiers, German Women, and the Problem of the Rape” refers to Polish soldiers and Polish authorities.

I will give you the exact citation from pages 75/75:

“The Germans in Breslau,” wrote the city’s antifascist group, ”are steadily being spiritually driven into the ground [gehen langsam seelisch zu Grunde].” Even the Soviets expressed shock at the Poles’ behavior. (end the page 75). (start page 76) Polish soldiers stated one report, "relate to German women as to free booty". You judge yourself what is what and is it so important and terrible event to put it in Wikipedia article. Is this the thing which really proof: “The early phase of expulsion was often particularly brutal.” - The last sentence is Wikipedia creation.

4) The “Polish enclave in Emsland” does not provide a source and actually this was German territory under – who knows whose administration. Not under Polish one for sure. So what it has to do with deportation from Polish territory? And, there were some marriages – I do not know…

If you don't know - learn pl:Haren.

Xx236 08:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Meantime it is all, of course I will watch the article. My request is to be very careful with words and avoid irritations and provocations. It is highly political subject and only intelligent individuals are able to do the job for future good. AS>

Actually only last paragraph of the chapter: “Soviet Soldiers, German Women, and the Problem of the Rape” refers to Polish soldiers and Polish authorities. Point being? it still should be included. It is a verifiable example of what actually did happen.
If you can not we can not put the uncertain number (up to 3 million) in to one “package” and stick to it label “crime against humanity”. Who said that is what is wanted with this article, or for that matter with any article?
2) The “by whatever means necessary” from Naimark, Russian in Germany. p. 75, I found inappropriate. There is put instead direct citation from First Secretary ofCommunist Party talk. This is the “foundation” of Naimark “expression”. He did not provide a source with the words “by whatever means necessary”. This words suggest planed cruelty and is wrong. how is it wrong? please explain how it is wrong.
4) The “Polish enclave in Emsland” does not provide a source and actually this was German territory under – who knows whose administration. Not under Polish one for sure. So what it has to do with deportation from Polish territory? And, there were some marriages – I do not know… did you read the article about Haren, Germany? it describes it more there. This article is not simply about Poland, the article is about all expulsions, hence the title. The Germans were expelled temporarily from Haren.
--Jadger 00:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Truly fascinating manipulations and general POV pushing going on here. The topic is deportations in Poland. Naimark, is an expert on European ethnic cleansing[16]. In a chapter on Russian mass rapes, he thought it was relevant enough to insert half a page on the behaviour of Poles during the phase in question, I.e. during the topic of the part of the article sub-chapter.

Some comments on AS comments.

  • by whatever means necessary. Naimark is an acclaimed author and expert on the topic of central European ethnic cleansing during the time period in question. When he wrote “by whatever means necessary“, he could put huge weight of scholarly authority behind the conclusion that he drew. As a scholar it his right and duty to draw conclusions. AS provides misleading information when he states that Wladyslaw Gomulka’s speech is the foundation. It is merely provided as an example in the footnotes. "Note 31: Se, for example, Wladyslaw Gomulka’s speech to the plenum…"
  • Leaving aside the Naimark accuracy Please do, he is an acclaimed historian.
  • Raped polish women. Terrible, but hey war is war; yes? Relevance to the topic? Are you blaming the German authorities for failing to protect the Polish women from the Russians? Rather irrelevant smokescreen I would say. Besides, most of those rapes took place before the German surrender. The Wikipedia subchapter is about the peacetime occupation following the German surrender.
  • I will give you the exact citation from pages 75/75: "The Germans in Breslau,"… Again, you quote selectively, possibly in order to provide a false impression. Why do you deliberately select not to include the sentences immediately preceding the one you quoted?: "Orders went out from the Polish communists to expel Germans by whatever means necessary, to ensure incorporation as well as occupation. As a result, the Polish administration of the new territories made little effort to protect local Germans from the deprivations of Polish or Russian rapists and thieves. In a city like Breslau, the Germans fear of the Russians was quickly replaced by fear of the Poles. In fact, it was almost too much for the Germans to survive the Russian attacks only to have the Poles persecute them once again. "The Germans in Breslau," wrote the city’s antifascist group, "are steadily being spiritually being driven into the ground…""

What we have here are Polish authorities providing polish citizens with a "carte blanche" to engage in plunder and rape against Germans for the purpose of ethnically cleansing a territory that they wish to make Polish. The Poles make the most of the opportunity. It is not any more complicated than that. To have seasoned rapists such as the Soviets express shock at the Polish solidiers behaviour is highly notable, and probably explains why Naimark chose to include it.--Stor stark7 Talk 01:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Noimark writes thus: The desperate situation for German women in Silesia was in general exacerbated by the Poles, whose "desire for retribution" was often as intense--for very understandable reasons--as that of the Russians. More often than not, the incoming Polish authorities were even less concerned about the safety of German women than were the Russian officers, to whom the German population turned for protection. After all the Silesian territories had been turned over by the Allies to Polish occupation, but not yet to incorporation into the new Poland. Orders went out from the Polish communists to expel Germans by whatever means necessary, to ensure incorporation as well as occupation.(31) As a result, the Polish administration of the new territories made little effort to protect local Germans from the deprivations of Polish or Russian rapists and thieves.(32) In a city like Breslau, the Germans fear of the Russians was quickly replaced by fear of the Poles. In fact, it was almost too much for the Germans to survive the Russian attacks only to have the Poles persecute them once again. "The Germans in Breslau," wrote the city’s antifascist group, "are steadily being spiritually being driven into the ground [gehen langsam seelisch zu Grunde]."(33) Even the Soviets expressed shock at the Poles’ behaviour. Polish soldiers, stated one report, "relate to German women as to free booty."(34) Note 31: Se, for example, Wladyslaw Gomulka’s speech to the plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish Workers’ party, May 20-21, 1945, in which he notes: "We must expel all the Germans because countries are built on national lines and not on multi-national ones." Antony Polonsky and Boleslaw Drukier, eds., The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland (London: Routhledge and Kegan Paul, 1980), p. 425. Note 32: See the short history of the German expulsion from Silesia, including some striking photographs, in HIA, Sander, box2, folder4. Note 33: Report from Breslau, August 15, 1945, SAPMO-BA, ZPA, IV 2/11/228, p. viii. Note 34: Biuro Informatsii SVAG, Biulleten’, no 84/88 (November 23, 1946), RTsKhIDNI, f. 17, op. 128, d. 151, l. 81. See also Serov to Beria, March 8, 1945, GARF, f. 9401, op. 2, d. 93, l. 336.

TO Stor stark7: Regarding: It is merely provided as an example in the footnotes. "Note 31: Se, for example, Wladyslaw Gomulka’s speech to the plenum…"

It is really weak example. I doubt Naimark is a good scholar if he use so weak expression for his “by whatever means necessary”. He is not authority for me in this case.

Regarding: Please do, he is an acclaimed historian.

I do not see it. I judge his work objectively. I do not assume he is a fundamental authority as you assume. His example is highly exaggerated. Ask him for better.

Regarding: your point 3

You lost you sense. Be calm and objective.

Regarding: #4:

If somebody (the authority) gives so incorrect citation to support “by whatever means necessary” I do not consider further INSUNUATION. Though of course there could happen many wrongs unnecessary the administration should be blamed because directed so. I see no such cruel orders as Mr. N insinuate.

Hey where is the proof about "carte blanche" you are completely mad. Mr. N exaggerate and you follow. So you are offended that “Polish administration of the new territories made little effort to protect local Germans” well so, I say SORY the effort was “little” for sure German make “big” effort to make “order” in occupied Poland. We must know who did the “LITTLE“ and who did the “BIG”.-- 22:26, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Uncertainty of estimates of deaths

I think we need to discuss the various points of contention separately so as to help focus discussion. This section is intended to discuss solely the uncertainty around the estimates of deaths due to the expulsions and the causes of those deaths. Discussion of Naimark and "by any means necessary" should happen in a separate section.

First, I agree that it is very difficult to ascertain with any accuracy how many Germans died during the evacuation, flight and expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe. As the Estimates... article notes: the population balance methodology tends to yield higher numbers than the record of actual deaths methodology. It is reasonable to assume that the truth lies somewhere between the two but the two sets of numbers are so far apart that it is unclear where the true number lies (closer to one or the other or smack in between the two?)

The only NPOV approach is to mention the entire range and to suggest where the mainstream of scholarly thought is running. If German historians think 2.2 million and Poles think 400,000 then we should say that but we need to provide citations of German historians and Polish historians to back up the suggestion that the bias is based on nationality of the historian. If the numbers of the Bundes Statistischesamt and the ZgV are "old" and the numbers of Overmans and Haar are not only new but widely accepted as better, then we should say that but we need citations to indicate that the ZgV's numbers are being increasingly seen as wildly exaggerated. One or two historians coming up with new lower estimates does not prove that those historians are right. All we can comment on is the extent to which these lower estimates are being accepted by the scholarly community and by the popular media.

Second, it is even harder to attribute cause of death with any accuracy. We cannot be certain how many deaths occurred due to direct, intentional attacks and how many occurred due to exposure, privation and disease.

I agree that the article takes the general tone of "Expulsions were sanctioned by the Allies at Potsdam and implemented by Soviets, Poles, Czechs and other national authorities. As a result, 1.1-2.2 million ethnic Germans died. This was a crime against humanity."

For most of last year, the POV debate tended to center around whether the expulsions were justified and what justifications and motivations might have existed for the expulsions. Any debates about numbers tended to center around the Centre against Expulsions number of 2.2 million (based on the Bundes Statistischesamt numbers) and the Overmans number of 1.1 million.

However, the current POV debate is focused on a different question. That is, "How many Germans actually died during the period in question and what was the cause of those deaths?"

We now know that Ingo Haar has suggested that 400,000-500,000 is the maximum number that he thinks died although we have not seen the explanation in English of why that lower estimate is more reasonable than the higher estimates.

It appears from previous discussion that Overmans agrees with Haar on this lower estimate. (Did I get that right?)

However, I would wager that deZayas does not agree with the lower estimate. With whom does the mainstream agree? Or are there two factions who disagree strongly on this question? Whatever the case may be, it is our job to document the state of knowledge and opinion in the scholarly community. It is NOT our job to determine who is right and who is wrong.

However, 500,000 deaths is still a big enough number to talk about crime against humanity IF it can be asserted that most of the deaths were attributable to the expulsions as opposed to the harsh conditions in postwar Europe. What we're really looking for is an analysis of the number of excess deaths i.e. those that would not have happened if the Germans had been allowed to remain in Poland. If no reliable source has done that analysis, then we are left with saying that it is unknown what proportion of those deaths are due to the expulsions. It would be interesting to know what Haar and Overmans have to say on this question.

--Richard 08:09, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I fail to see how the method of extermination is really that relevant to the number killed. for instance, it is commonly said that the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, but the vast majority of deaths were from diseases and starvation and not direct execution. should we apply a standard to some crimes but not other crimes. I am in no way trying to minimalize the Holocaust here, I am just pointing out that mass murders and genocides should all be treated the same way.
As for crimes against humanity vs. the harsh conditions of post war Europe, is there any way we can compare the number that died in another population and compare it as say a percentage of the total population, because I don't believe that upwards of 2 million of 15 million (~15%) can be attributed to post-war lack of resources.
--Jadger 23:18, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The critical question here is one of intent. The Germans intended to kill the Jews. Some they killed right away and others they worked to death. This is different from the case of the exodus of Germans. Although there were probably some killings motivated by revenge or opportunism, it would appear that the Poles and the Czechs did not really want to kill the Germans, they just wanted them gone. Now, there were no special measures taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Germans. As I remarked, there were no first-class rail tickets for those being expelled. Most Poles and Czechs were probably struggling to survive and probably had few resources to share even if they wanted to. Yes, I think there was a certain callousness to the fate of fellow humans. But this is a far cry from the intentional mass killing as committed by the Nazis. And, if you yourself are almost drowning, it is hard to be altruistic towards another who is also drowning especially if you have reason to feel enmity towards that other person.
--Richard 08:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  • If the number of the expelled is 15 000 000, the average lifetime is 60 years, the number of deaths yearly is 250 000.

During two years - 500 000.

The question isn't - how many people died, but rather how many of them died because of the expulsion. One should compare the mortality among expelled and among Germans. Some authors (Bacque) claim that that mortality was very high.

  • If the expulsion of Germans was a genocide, the expulsion of Poles from the SU was also a genocide, the only difference is that the Polish victims don't have money to document their tragedy and ideology to be victims, when they are survivors.

If you take 2 million, you have a genocide. It's the core why you need 2 million. You add victims of allied bombings, of Nazi crimes, of Soviet camps, of Soviet crimes in the SBZ and you call it expulsion. Xx236 11:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC) As far as I know the German Wiki doesn't quote any big crimes against Germans in Poland other than the camps, in which 60.000-80.000 Germans died, mostly due to ilnesses. Poles and Ukrainians were imprisoned in many such camps, and not during months like the Germans, but till 1945. Xx236 13:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

No, you really don't want to equal genocide and holocaust with the expulsion after the war. You can double the nature cause of death due to lack of food, vitamines and war up to 1.000.000 - simply there was no food, it was not because soviets didn't give it to expelled germans. It's more simple - whole Europe was starving. Everybody knows why there was no food, because whole Europe was destroyed - by who - we all know. So really DON'T give equality between the holocaust and the expulsion. Aslo, how do you think that two nations should live together, when one of them wanted to kill and expell to Siberia the other one ? ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 12:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Allied bombings of civilians is still a war crime Xx, and the strafing of civilians by the Red Airforce should be included in that. No one has said that all those separate ideas have been added anyways, you are just pulling that out of thin air, can you reference that? And also, the German wikipedia is not in question here, please stick to the topic. I fail to see your point Tulko, can you provide any sources that back up your claim that ~1 million of the expellees starved to death? As has been done numerous times before, it has been attempted to draw this offtopic so that nothing can get accomplished. Tulko, I know I cant compare this to the Holocaust, it took the Nazis 12 years to murder 6 million jews (500 000 a year) whereas it took the Soviets and their friends just a couple of months after the war to murder 2 million Germans, that is a far more startling statistic.

--Jadger 16:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

The point is that if there are 15.000.000 expellies, mainly older people (younger died on the battlefields) - you must count with natural causes of deaths. If you have hundreds thousands of very old people (60 and more) you must count with the fact that number of natural deaths will be higher. You can't say they were killed if they died naturaly for the fact they are old. In these times a number for natural deaths was about 250.000-300.000 per year, + war time + lack of good food + lack of vitamines. It is a simple mathemathic, don't you see that, it gives you 500.000 or more deaths per year just beacues of environment ? You count deaths since 1945 to 1948. Three years. 3x natural deaths.
What wea re saying you is that you simply do not count with natural deaths - which can be in millions. Just think about that. Also many germans escaped in panic before Red Army arrives.
Also allied bombings of germany was a revenge for destroyed europian cities (as Churchill said), it is not a war crime. Never ever forget who started the worst mass killing in the mankind history, say that the defeating of Nazi was a war crime to the 62.000.000 killed people ... I don't believe you can say something like that. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 16:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Guys. This discussion is interesting but is looking more and more like a general discussion board rather than a Wikipedia Talk Page. We are trying to reach consensus and we will not reach consensus by arguing points back and forth. Me personally, I am leaning in favor of Tulkolahten's general argument although not necessarily with the specific numbers that he proposes. However, it's all original research. You can argue back and forth for a year and not arrive at something which can be inserted into the article in compliance with Wikipedia's no original research policy. What we need are reliable sources who make this argument. Somebody go dig up stuff that Haar and Overmans have written and said. Surely there have been responses and debate to their opinions in the scholarly journals and popular media. Find those and quote them here.

--Richard 17:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

That's right, I agree with you Richard. Discussion seems to be more and more POV just right time to stop it and return back to the original problem. Numbers which I provided are, of course, just an example of how high they can be. For 10.000.000 people in the Czech Republic that number is about 120.000 per year under good environment condition (not war or shortly after war). I just wanted to show that these numbers in the 15.000.000 population with many old people can't be lower, but probably X times higher. We can focus now for searching for some related documents. Because I think that this number should be significant. Also I am not sure if the estimation numbers counts with Paulus's army (250.000) or not. I am not against the truth but I don't like to see biased strong words like war crimes or murderers in relation to this. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I know you don't count natural deaths, but how do you know that the old people who died of "natural causes" wasn't brought about by the situation? for instance, heart attacks are natural causes, but you are at an increased risk if you are under stress, etc. etc. the expellees were under immense stress that could have caused heart attacks that otherwise wouldn't have happened. You cannot edit an article based on presumptions, that is the only point I am making. Also, you are presuming the 15 million was a large number of old people, where are your references to back that up? we need census data. Also, one would have to look into the numbers provided by the source, are they including disease in the category "natural causes", because then my point stands regarding the holocaust(Note:I am not claiming that jews weren't murdered, I am using it as a comparison), most of the Jews died of diseases, but those aren't classified as "natural causes" so you cannot support a source that does not follow the academic standard, that's like polling 6 people and claiming their opinions represent the whole of human population (through extrapolation), it is a huge fallacy.
Have you ever visit some concentration camp ? Like Theresienstadt, if not, do it. Deep experience. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 20:41, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Also allied bombings of germany was a revenge for destroyed europian cities (as Churchill said), it is not a war crime. didn't your mother ever tell you two wrongs don't make a right? the Germans terror bombed the British, it was a war crime, the British did the same thing in retaliation, it was still a war crime. Also, you have gone totally off-topic Tulko, there are many causes for WWII, you cannot simply look and say "they declared war first, they are solely to blame for everything". WWII's causes can be traced to the unfair treaty of Versailles, which can be seen as caused by French revanchism, which was caused by the Franco-Prussian war, which was caused by German Nationalism, that was awoken when Napoleon invaded and destroyed the Holy Roman Empire, etc. etc. etc. There are an infinite number of causes for WWII, Hitler all of a sudden didn't just randomly decide to declare war, if politicians really did wake up on random days and say "you know what, I'm gonna start a world war" then I doubt we would still exist, it would have been Armageddon long ago.
This discussion doesn't need to happen until they can provide sources that back up the claims made. The current article version is referenced.
--Jadger 19:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying that among these 15.000.000 people was a majority of fresh strong young men ready to serve in the army, huh ? Make up your mind and see the history - germany in 1945 - children, old men, women. And deserted soldiers, whole armies running away fearing of Red Army. In case of Poland it was not an expulsion, they simply ran away. Think about it.
We don't discuss the reasons of war, so stop it per Richard. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 20:06, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

So you're saying that among these 15.000.000 people was a majority of fresh strong young men ready to serve in the army, huh ? NO Tulko, I'm not assuming anything (unlike you), I'm saying we must have a source that explicitly states what is to be added into the article. That is all I'm saying, We must use a source and not put conjecture in the article. Stop reading whatever you want into what I write.

I will reiterate what I said before, in case you missed it, as it seems you did by rewording it and pretending it was your own This discussion doesn't need to happen until they can provide sources that back up the claims made. The current article version is referenced.

--Jadger 23:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, let's revisit Tulkolahten's argument (which, as I've said, I mostly agree with). Germans residing in Eastern Europe at the end of the war were either elderly, women, children or unfit for military service. Most of the able-bodies young men were probably in military service. So this civilian population was already likely to have a higher death rate. Add the privations of postwar Europe (famine, exposure and disease) and you have an even higher death rate. What was the "baseline" death rate (e.g. prewar?). What is the multiplier due to the factors that I've just mentioned? Is it 1.5x, 2x or 3x? If this is a "mainstream" argument, then surely some reliable source must have made it. Where's the citation?

For now, I think we should summarize Tulkolahten's argument while making it very clear that we have no way of knowing how many of the 1-2 million deaths are attributable to direct, intentional killing or, for that matter, attributable to the expulsion vs. attributable to the privations of postwar conditions in Eastern Europe.

--Richard 00:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

we have no way of knowing how many of the 1-2 million deaths are attributable to direct, intentional killing or, for that matter, attributable to the expulsion vs. attributable to the privations of postwar conditions in Eastern Europe. Which is exactly my point, so how does that change anything? The sources already stated (notably the BdV) have stated a number of people died from the expulsion (with the number varying according to source). Tulko's argument is that we should assume we know what all has or hasn't been included in the statistics given. We can't add that into the article without an actual reference that says what all types of deaths were included. He is assuming the BdV to have included all of the "natural causes" deaths, simply because it is higher than another source. we need references before adding his assumptions into the article, that is all I'm saying, this discussion should not continue until he has provided sources that back up his presumptions.
"Most of the able-bodies young men were probably in military service. note the modifier probably in there? that means in order for your conclusion to be correct, this needs to be correct, and you need census data to prove it. I'm not saying I don't believe this is the case, but we need to be absolutely sure that it is true. I believe it may indeed be the case, but we must also remember we are not just talking about Poland, but all ethnic Germans, Volga Germans and other ethnic Germans that were expelled who did not join the German army because they did not live in German controlled land. Also, you must remember that we are talking about many areas the Nazis had tried to settle German people into, you settle strong young families in new lands, not old retirees.
--Jadger 03:59, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Encyclopedia Britannica talks about 780.000 civilian deaths on German side. HarperCollins about 2.300.000, but for whole German nation [17], there is no doubt that such high numbers like 2-3 millions killed during expulsion is a clear nonsense.
Children were fighting at the days of the end to defend Berlin and Rhein line. So you argument that Germany had a strong and healthy 15.000.000 nation, full of strong men, in the east is interesting. Aslo without post-war diseases and lack of food. Hardly. Can you imagine such killings ? Can you imagine how high 3.000.000 is ? ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 09:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, you can discuss if 99% were drafted or 98%. Do it however in an another place. Xx236 11:25, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

We are not talking about Berlin, this is about Expulsion of Germans after WWII, mainly from East of what is now Germany. I specifically noted the Volga Germans as an example. but the millions of ethnic Germans who lived in Romania and were then expelled following the war is another good example, they did not have the chance to be drafted into the Wehrmacht. Is English your native language Tulko? because if so you are either misunderstanding what I say or are intentionally twisting my words. I am simply saying that it is just as likely as it having been a nation of pensioners as you claim. All I am saying is that you must cite your sources that prove what you are presuming. So please Tulko, can you provide a source that states that the East German population was composed of atleast 60% seniors? If not, this discussion is over, as you have nothing more than a conspiracy theory.
--Jadger 23:56, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

millions of ethnic Germans who lived in Romania - Jadger, learn - the time of teaching will come in the future. Xx236 08:58, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

How don't you figure Xx? according to Germans of Romania, there were 700,000 German Romanians as of 1988, most of the German population had left before 1988. Simple mathematics shows that it would require less than double that amount to be millions.
--Jadger 05:14, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Rozumět dějinám (Understanding history) ISBN 80-86010-55-4 printed in 2002 page 218: 22.247 violent deaths including 6.667 suicides in the Czechoslovakia during the expulsion 1945-1948. Allies headquarters approved it was a highly civilised expulsion (in the post-war period). ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:52, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
And the ZdV has many eyewitness reports that dispel that myth. just google it and I bet you can find one or two of them.
--Jadger 05:14, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Differences between expulsions in Poland and other countries

This is actually a very interesting point. Tulkolahten asserts that, according to Allied HQ, the postwar expulsion was "highly civilized". Jadger asserts that, according to the ZgV, it was not. NPOV policy requires that both statements should be inserted into the article along with the requisite citations.
Also, do we have any evidence that the expulsions in Poland were different from the ones in Czechoslovakia? --Richard 08:12, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

well, there is what is already in the article, "Poles considering German women as war booty", etc. etc. Also, when was this "highly civilized" statement made? when the allied HQ was still minimizing and defending Soviet atrocities, or once the Cold War had started?

--Jadger 16:49, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

So, are we saying that only Poles considered German women as war booty but not Czechs or any other country? I'm sure our Polish friends will find such a suggestion highly offensive but we do need to look at this with an objective viewpoint. Are there reliable sources who would argue that Poles were worse than other countries in their actions towards the Germans? Maybe Germans were worse towards Poles and so Poles felt a greater desire for revenge. Attribution of the motive is a secondary issue. Is there a factual basis for asserting that the behavior of the Poles was substantially different?
As for the statement of the allied HQ, it is appropriate to put a statement in context but it is better to be able to attribute the contextual interpretation to a reliable source. Otherwise, you risk making the statement original research. --Richard 17:48, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

So, are we saying that only Poles considered German women as war booty but not Czechs or any other country? No, we are saying those are the only ones that are verified and cited, whereas we do not know about those from Czechoslavakia or another expelling country. We are not saying that the Polish action was substantially different, we are simply giving an example of how it was in Poland. We do not know exactly how bad it was in other countries (until we find a suitable reference for Tulko's "highly civilized").

--Jadger 15:46, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I think, pending a better understanding of how people behaved in other countries, that it would be better to either drop these characterizations of Polish actions such as considering "German women as war booty". The quotes given to date such as "considered German women as war booty" and "shocked at the Poles behavior" suggest that the Poles stood out as being exceptionally cruel. I think we would want to provide exceptionally strong support for such an inflammatory statement as per Wikipedia's guideline on reliable sources.
--Richard 15:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree with removing a reliable source because other sections don't have a reliable source that states something. not to mention that if the expulsion from other countries was not as bad as in Poland, why would a source mention something like that? it would be like saying "I am human" to someone, it is assumed, and only mentioned usually if it is not the norm. However, If we were to add statements like "the Red Army was also abusive of the German population, raping many women..." we risk minimizing the atrocities committed against them by saying it was commonplace. However, in the article there are numerous accounts of what happened in Czechoslavakia, fully cited, So I say let the reader see it for themselves.

--Jadger 16:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

TO Richard 22Jan07

>It appears from previous discussion that Overmans agrees with Haar on this lower estimate. (Did I get that right?)

Yes, that goes from[18]
.-- 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

>It is NOT our job to determine who is right and who is wrong.

Well, I would not say so. If somebody is evidently wrong or evidently lies his point of view should not be entered into Wiki.
.-- 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but as right as what you wrote would seem to be, it is not in accordance with Wikipedia policy. Once again, truth is not the primary criterion. Verifiability and use of reliable sources are the primary criteria. Notability is a secondary criterion. We are not required to give all points of view equal weight. We should, however, give each POV weight roughly proportional to the credibility that is given it by the professional and academic experts.
If you believe that the numbers quoted in this article are wrong or wrongly represented, then it is incumbent on you to provide sources that make this argument. If it simply seems wrong because it is obvious to you based on what you "know", then that constitutes original research and is thus no more acceptable than what is obvious to me based on what I "know".
--Richard 21:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

>However, 500,000 deaths is still a big enough number to talk about crime against humanity IF it can be asserted that most of the deaths were attributable to the expulsions as opposed to the harsh conditions in postwar Europe.

And this is the point, according to my knowledge the definite majority deaths are because the escape in front of Red Army, and I believe you will not blame for this nor Polish nor even Russian. One of the reasons was simple starvation and the “human” relation between starving and panicking people. I am afraid that we can not imagine what the time was..
-- 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is that we're not interested in your knowledge (or mine either). We are interested in the knowledge expressed by reliable sources in published material. --Richard 21:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
If we can not assess any particular number of deaths resulted by expulsion and certain cases of such than only what would be justified is to say: “some unknown number of deaths could be a result of crimes..
-- 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am coming to agree with this with the exception that there are 80,000 - 100,000 documented deaths of Germans sent to concentration camps. We have to look carefully for an NPOV way to indicate that some people (e.g. ZgV) believe that 2.2 million people died as a result of the expulsion but that it is unclear how many simply died due to the extreme circumstances of postwar Europe during the same time period as the expulsions and how many "excess deaths" are the result of the expulsions. --Richard 21:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

No reasonable person will accuse other individual for murder if has no certain evidence. Why some irresponsible nosily elements found possible and appropriate to accuse nations in similar sytuation? Surpassingly it seems to be the people with strong egoistic nature. There is no way to compare expulsion with crime against humanity because how to name the Nazi Death Camps, bombing civilians on open roads (Germans actions for clarification) etc. etc. total 55-60 millions deaths in WW II. NO WAY.

>Surely there have been responses and debate to their opinions in the scholarly journals and popular media. Find those and quote them here.

I am sorry I can not provide you sources of scientific research regarding expulsion from Poland since I am not there. In my university library is only two positions “EXPULSION OF THE GERMAN POPULATION FROM CZECHOSLOVAKIA” & “The expulsion of the German population from Hungary and Rumania” - both are translations from German. I am sure there in Poland the panic escape in 1945 has some description but I do not recall titles. Here you have link [19] in Polish and German inside it. Those can give you idea how most of the 500 thou. coud die.-- 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

The only Polish monography of the subject is probably:

  • Vertreibung und Aussiedlung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus Polen 1945 bis 1949 / Bernadetta Nitschke .- München : R.Oldebourg Verlag, 2003 .- 392pp.
OK, so tell us what it says that's relevant to this article. --Richard 21:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Xx236 11:14, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Revelant is that Germans have collected accounts and demographic data and they impose their point of view. Polish historians research details. Xx236 15:32, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

So, are any of the details from that monograph worth inserting into this article? And, forgive my ignorance... is Nitschke a Polish name? --Richard 08:07, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The author works in Poland, I don't know if she has German or Upper Silesian roots.

"anderthalb Millionen Menschen verwiesen, die während der Zwangsaussiedlung und Flucht der Ost- und Sudetendeutschen ermordet oder Opfer der Entbehrungen wurden", which means that 1.5 million died during "Flight and Rxpuslion", which includes the war. Apparently 1.5 didn't die after the war. Xx236 08:33, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that's the point. They calculate with the war casualties also. That's bad. Since this we cannot assume it as a reliable source. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:33, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I have been confusing reliablity with verifiability. The source is verifiable but it may not be reliable in providing support for the assertion in the article. However, I begin to suspect that there are no reliable sources for the assertion because there are simply no sources who can separate war casualties from expulsion casualties. I suggest that we find a way to change the text of the article to indicate that X number of people died, some due to the war, some due to postwar conditions and some due to the expulsions. We should then state that significant controversy exists over how many were due to the expulsions. This is, in my opinion, the NPOV way to steer a middle course between the two opposing POVs.
--Richard 19:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
the semantics of the article title need to be changed then, as people were being expelled before May 8, and there is no way of separating them from those expelled before the capitulation, this was not organized like a train schedule where you can tell who was expelled when. I think that resulting from is what is meant when they say after in the title. so, the title should be Expulsion of Germans as a result of WWII. We have gone over this before, on the estimates subpage.
--Jadger 16:41, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Before capitulation it was not an expulsion, it was an escape, they simply run away. Also since 1946 expulsion from Czechoslovakia was organized. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 19:27, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Except for Tulko that areas inhabited by Germans was taken before the capitulation, and the people were forced from their homes (expelled) before the capitulation. Soldiers have always expelled inhabitants from their houses in times of war, that has happened for hundreds of years. That is like claiming not a single meter of French soil was under German control before the French surrender in 1940. Also, I would like to point out that those that escaped before the Red army arrived did not expect to be giving up forever the land they and their families had owned for centuries. They were expecting to return to their homes after the war was over, just like everyone in the World. But when they were not allowed to return home (They then can be described as expelled). That is like you parking your car in the parking lot and someone coming along and stealing it. then the cops saying you left it so you gave up all your rights to your car. You cannot tell me you would be perfectly fine with that happening to you, Tulko.

--Jadger 03:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

But the point is that nobody took a census to determine how many people were still in Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc. on the date of capitulation or when formal, organized expulsion began. Also, some of the "escape" was probably instigated by "wild" expulsions.
No one has provided any evidence whether 90% of Germans were gone by capitulation or if only 10% had left. I suspect that the number that left prior to capitulation was somewhere between 20% and 40% but I'm just guessing. If anyone can provide a reliable source who makes this estimate, it would be much appreciated.
As I stated above, I think the intellectually honest thing to do is to say "There is a range of estimates (400,000 to 3 million). Recently, the estimates have been lower (400,000-500,000). It is unclear how these estimates break out among evacuation, flight and expulsion. It is also unclear whether how many deaths should be attributable to postwar conditions and how many to the expulsions. This wide range of uncertainty is a major contributor to the ongoing controversy."
--Richard 19:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the intellectually honest thing to do is to say "There is a range of estimates (400,000 to 3 million) I support this, I have never been against this, what I am against is those that are being revisionist and claiming it wasnt a war crime, and minimizing it as being "minor". What I am against is the linguistic gerrymandering in order to better suit whatever they want to say e.g "those who were forced out before don't count because the title says after" (knowing that the title is meant to encompass all that were expelled, but the title is more constrictive than it should be when taken as strictly literal with no leeway)
--Jadger 03:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
According the source I provided there were at least 4.000.000 germans in the Czechoslovakia with part of refugees continuing back to the Germany immediately from the east before the capitulation and the expulsed number is 2.750.000 germans. So 22.000 with 6.000 suicides comes from 2.750.000 expulsed germans. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 20:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

If the 3 million is a honest estimate than I honestly declare, that I assume that Jadger isn't honest. Xx236 07:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Today I hear that totally expulsed germans from all countries over the Europe were 13.000.000
2.750.000 from Czechoslovakia. Just imagine number of deaths presented by center for expulsions, 3.000.000 deaths from 13.000.000 ??? It is 4.6x higher then all casualties in battle of Stalingrad ! And don't try to say there were mass killings in such dimensions as holocaust. It is a pure logic and then we can assume these sources as highly unreliable. And also think about this - who was armed in these times - red army, allies forces, few revolution guards (it is a term, it was not a militia) and police, that's all. Among people there were no guns - just a few. But hardly enough to kill 3.000.000 people. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 07:57, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Among people there were no guns - just a few. But hardly enough to kill 3.000.000 people. And I suppose no one died before the invention of gunpowder then? There are inumerable ways to murder someone without a firearm. And I'm sure no one will find a discarded weapon in a warzone, right? (that is sarcasm) You are assuming the Polish population spontaneously expelled the German population, but it was a number of organized groups who also did it, the Red Army, the new Polish gov't, etc.etc. In some areas of the "recovered territories" there was absolutely no Polish population (the farthest west for example), so how did a non-existent polish population spring up and expell them? if it was spontaneous idea of the common Poles as you imply, then it wouldn't have been so similar across the board, and it wouldn't have been so effective, many Germans would have remained.

And also think about this - who was armed in these times - red army, allies forces, few revolution guards (it is a term, it was not a militia) and police, that's all. You are assuming what I refuted above, who is to say that it wasnt the Red Army and Polish gov't that expelled them? I sure as hell didn't. It is Germans expelled from (what is now) Poland, not necessarily Germans expelled by their Polish neighbours.

--Jadger 16:04, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


>The problem here is that we're not interested in your knowledge (or mine either). We are interested in the knowledge expressed by reliable sources in published material. --Richard 21:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not think Centre Against Expulsions is reliable sources and the 3 millions are from there is not? Beside “reliable” = conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belie. Estimation = An approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth. Estimation is no a fact so it should not be shown as reliable source.
All we have are estimates Andrew, the exact numbers are not known, same with the Holocaust, do you want to blank the information on the Holocaust also? --Jadger 00:09, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you are missing the point of what a "reliable source" is. If we say "2.2 million Germans died as a result of the expulsion" and cite the ZgV as the source, we are stating this information as a fact and clearly there is room to argue that this information may not be factually true.
However, if we state "According to the ZgV, 2.2 million Germans died as a result of the expulsion. However, according to Haar and Overmans, the number of deaths could not have exceeded 500,000." then we are not stating as a fact that 2.2 million Germans died NOR are we stating as a fact that 500,000 Germans died. We are just saying "according to the ZgV, 2.2 million died" AND "according to Haar and Overmans, not more than 500,000 died". If the relevant Wikipedia articles don't communicate this to the reader, then they should be changed so that they do.
The ZgV website is a reliable source for documenting what the ZgV claims. Publications such as newspapers, magazines, journals are reliable sources for documenting what Ingo Haar and Ruediger Overmans claim. However, since I have not published anything on this topic, there is NO reliable source to document what I claim. Even if I am 100% right, I cannot be a reliable source because of the Wikipedia policies regarding verifiability.
Are Haar and Overmans more reliable sources than the ZgV and the Statistisches Bundesamt? Very possibly. However, we cannot prefer Haar and Overmans over the ZgV and the Statistisches Bundesamt on your say-so. We must look for a reliable source that suggests that their new estimates are generally agreed to be more accurate than the previous estimates. Just because Haar and Overmans have more recent studies does not mean that their estimates are better. They could represent a minority dissident opinion that is dismissed by the rest of the academic community. We cannot decide ourselves how to evaluate Haar and Overmans. We must look to the academic community and the mass media for indications of how much weight to give their estimates.
--Richard 06:36, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The 2.2 million is a black box, those people perished during and after the war. There is no slightest evidence that so many died during the expulsions as the result of the expulsions. Even German sources use the term "flight and expulsion". The title of this article is as it is. I have a deja vu feeling.Xx236 08:44, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

>Yes, I am coming to agree with this with the exception that there are 80,000 - 100,000 documented deaths of Germans sent to concentration camps.

It could be. Were they civilians, soldieries or SS? Concentration Camps you do not mean Death Camps like Auschwitz? And what was the cause of the deaths? Where the camps were? Who was the responsible supervisor of this camps? If they were solders it has nothing to do with Expulsion. And possibly the word of Concentration Camps should not be used since it equalize it with Death Camps. It should be used possibly different word if the conditions were different. Russian name some Gulag – it was “little” better then Nazi Concentration Camps.

AS 23:21, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Concentration Camp is simply defined as a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the South African war of 1899-1902; one for the internment of political prisoners, foreign nationals, etc., esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939-45 see: Internment. Many camps were set up that were full of German civilians brought there to work as slave labour for a number of years after the war. also, from the article Gulag: Literally, the word GULAG is an acronym, meaning Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or Main Camp Administration. Over time, the word "Gulag" has also come to signify not only the administration of the concentration camps but also the system of Soviet slave labor itself, in all its forms and varieties: labor camps, punishment camps, criminal and political camps, women's camps, children's camps, transit camps. (I highlighted the 2 words that are most important, concentration camp). Concentration camp is not equal to death camp, if it was the same thing, it would be called the same thing, obviously.--Jadger 00:09, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Reliable sources

I see the article is protected. Well done. I would sincerely suggest that everyone here re-reads the Wikipedia:Reliable sources. It provides most of the answers why Wikipedia favours scholarly sources like Ingo Haar over non-scholarly like Centre Against Expulsions. --Lysytalk 16:28, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

And yet, the ZgV is still a reliable source. Without trying to start a digression, compare the situation to estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq during the current war. The range of estimates runs from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Which estimate is right and which is wrong? Wikipedia should document all estimates with some attempt to characterize the reasonability of those estimates. The same philosophy applies to this article.
What we are left with is that we must try to assess the "consensus of the academic community, the popular media and popular opinion". Note these three may have different perspectives. Usually, the perspective of the academic community changes before that of the popular media or popular opinion. If there is a substantial difference between these perspectives, then we need to document that.
The question still remains: is there a respectable historian who differs in opinion from Haar and Overmans? If so, which perspective is the mainstream majority opinion and which is the minority? Note: It may very well be the case that Haar and Overmans are right but that they represent a minority opinion which is working on winning over the majority. Or is the consensus of the academic community such that we should accept Haar and Overmans as being authoritative on the subject? We need to understand the state of the academic consensus and document it.
--Richard 17:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Irak is happening now, the expulsion was 60 years ago. Xx236 08:10, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I havfe different reliable source as I posted here, where is around 22.000 killed (but including about 6000 suicides) in the territory of Czechoslovakia during 1945-1948. Printed under ministry of culture by czech historicians. Haar and Overmans calculations are simple = take germans in 1938 - germans in 1945. Centre against expulsion wants as high numbers as possible. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:05, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... That's interesting... You are saying that Haar and Overmans are still using the "population balance" methodology but obviously with different assumptions from the ones that the Statistiches Bundesamt used in the 1950's (I believe the ZgV's numbers are based on the Statistiches Bundesamt's numbers). We need to understand why Haar and Overmans numbers are so much lower then.
In the Estimates... article, there is a discussion of the difference between the "population balance" methodology and the "actual reported deaths" methodology. We say that "population balance" numbers are higher and "actual reported deaths" numbers are lower but we don't put specific numbers against the "actual reported deaths" methodology. Doing so would be a great improvement to that article.
As for this article, we need only summarize the discrepancy between the two methodologies, providing the reader with an understanding of the magnitude of the difference between the two sets of conclusions. We should also document the various controversies that we have been discussing above. I will try to take a whack at doing this in the next few days. --Richard 18:36, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Statistical data are always higher. That book is very interesting, for example so-called death march from Brno, it happened little bit differently - there is written that old and sick people were on cars and children were hold by czech guards in the arms. I started to read that book very carefully and I must say since I read a few first chapters that most of the statements in the Czechoslovakia section happened differently. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 19:53, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The Centre Against Expulsions is not reliable (worth trust) since mix in one box expulsion and flight and name it EXPULSION. (end of sentence).

Richard, you did not answer me regarding the “80,000 - 100,000 documented deaths of Germans”. I think you should start to put such documented deaths together as examples and after that we can discuss the estimates. If we can not discuss hard evidence this "estimates" looks as pure political propaganda.

For the meaning of Concentration Camp this is a definition: The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. defines concentration camp as: a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the South African war of 1899-1902; one for the internment of political prisoners, foreign nationals, etc., esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939-45.

The definition is taken from [24] anyway.

It seems the preliminary meaning is changing because tragic events. The same happen with swastika used, already in Sanskrit and by Slavs as symbol of four elements water, air, fire and soil. I will oppose naming something different then Nazi concentration camps with the same way "concentration camps" until we will clarify the difference of conditions in next sentence. There was nothing in proximity to this Hell on Earth made by Nazi.

According to Britannica: Internment centre established by a government to confine political prisoners or members of national or minority groups for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment. The prisoners are usually selected by executive decree or military order. Camps are usually built to house many people, typically in highly crowded conditions. Countries that have used such camps include Britain during the South African War, the Soviet Union (see Gulag), the U.S. (see Manzanar Relocation Center), and Japan, which interned Dutch civilians in the Dutch East Indies during World War II. A variation, called a “reeducation camp,” was used in Vietnam after 1975 and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Most notorious were the death camps of Nazi Germany, including Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Treblinka. AS>

Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau weren't typical "death camps". There is no precise term describing Nazi camps other than "concentration". German Wikipedia describes in its KZ article Bereza Kartuska, where one person died pro year and the Nazi camps. The German Wikipedia is very precise, but not there. Xx236 07:39, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Flight, evacuation and expulsion

When this page is unprotected, I would like to add the following (with some further editing to avoid issues copyright violation)

(there were) various stages of population movement that [reviewer James Bjork has] been lumping together as "the expulsions." The first mass movement of German civilians in the eastern territories, a migration that Nitschke describes as a combination of spontaneous "flight" and organized "evacuation," lasted from summer 1944 through spring 1945 and was driven by fear of the advancing Soviet army. This dislocation involved several million people, of whom several hundred thousand died of cold or hunger or in Allied bombardment, though hundreds of thousands of others soon made their way back to the area. Nitschke reserves the designation "expulsion" (the German equivalent, Vertreibung, has a more visceral ring) to the so-called "wild" expulsions conducted by the Polish military and civilian authorities in summer 1945, before the population transfers were officially sanctioned by the Allies at the Potsdam conference. These actions gave way in spring 1946 to a series of larger, better organized, and less lethal "forced resettlements" which continued through 1947. Review of Vertreibung und Aussiedlung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus Polen 1945-1949.

--Richard 16:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

your links did not work, and I feel it should still be mentioned that when the people were not allowed to return to their homes they became expelled.
--Jadger 16:32, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, on the contrary, some were driven back homes, during the wild expulsions, which might have caused even more suffering. --Lysytalk 16:49, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand what you are saying. Some Germans were driven back home... from where and by whom? --Richard 23:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Mostly by Russians, who needed German workforce. --Lysytalk 07:43, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

The link works for me but, if it helps, here's the URL

I get the gist of what you're saying but I'm a bit confused so please clarify. Also please try to fit it into the framework of the text above. According to Bjork, Nitschke identifies "flight" and "evacuation" involving several million people and several hundred thousand deaths. However, hundreds of thousands "made their way back" (presumably after the Soviet advance had turned into an occupation). Then there were "wild" expulsions followed by "forced resettlements".

Are you saying that some of the people who left during "flight" and "evacuation" were not allowed to return? I would think that these would fall into category of either "wild" expulsions or "forced resettlement".

Separately, I think a key insight is that this text asserts that several hundred thousand died during the "flight" and "evacuation". While I think we need more detail before we can arrive at a solid conclusion, this suggests to me that the 1.1-2.2 million deaths could well be supported as being the total for flight, evacuation and expulsion. This makes sense since the 2.2 million deaths comes from a "population balance" methodology and there is no way to separate flight and evacuation from expulsion using that methodology.

However, even using the lower figure of 1.1 million deaths and subtracting out several hundred thousand deaths from flight and evacuation, you still wind up with several hundred thousand deaths from expulsion.

What I think we need to understand is "what are the details behind the 400,000-500,000 estimate given by Haar and Overmans?". How did they arrive at those numbers? We need to see some tables similar to the ones that are in the current Estimates of deaths... article.

--Richard 22:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

the link works for me now, my internet was malfunctioning earlier, that's all. This makes sense since the 2.2 million deaths comes from a "population balance" methodology and there is no way to separate flight and evacuation from expulsion using that methodology. I don't see a way that flight and expulsion can be separated using any methodology, assuming your statement However, hundreds of thousands "made their way back" (presumably after the Soviet advance had turned into an occupation). is correct.
I also think that the "March Decree" alluded to in that link should be mentioned in the article. Redecker opens the book with the mild revelation that the so-called "March Decree," the 1946 law that effectively expropriated all property left by relocated Germans, was actually superseded by a new property law passed in 1985. As the Poland section of the article does not talk about actual laws that were passed to get rid of Germans.
--Jadger 23:12, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Here's a couple links that I found. You can find these by searching on "March 1946 Poland German property law". As is often the case, there are many search results that aren't relevant but there are a few that are.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to JSTOR so I can't access the full text in the first link.
Stalin's satellites in Europe (look for the section on Poland
Polish Foreign Affairs Digest : Włodzimierz Borodziej Escape, Expulsion and Forced Displacement I have purchased rights to this document. It's 12 pages long and only costs 2Euros. Provides some interesting insights.
--Richard 23:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Resurgence of interest in the fate of the expellees

From Bjork's introduction to his review of two books related to the expulsions:

Since the end of the Second World War, the German-Polish frontier has been definitively "settled" four times: by Allied fiat at the Potsdam conference in 1945 and subsequently in three Polish-German agreements, the first involving the German Democratic Republic (1950), the second the Federal Republic of Germany (1972), and the third a united Germany (1990). And yet the corollary of that massive transfer of territory--the expulsion and expropriation of millions of "ethnic German" inhabitants--appears to be generating more heated public debate today than ever before. The surge in German interest in the fate of the expellees can be seen as part of a general rehabilitation of the theme of German wartime suffering and victimization (as discussed on H-German last year in the special forum on Sebald's A Natural History of Destruction and Friedrich's Der Brand). Unlike the debate over the Allied bombing of German cities, however, which has largely remained an internal German discussion and produced only a faint echo in the United States or Great Britain (outside of Germanist circles, of course), the debate about the expulsions has engaged Polish cultural elites and, to a lesser extent, a broader Polish public, as much as their German counterparts. The high level of mutual investment in this history is both good news and bad news. With the expulsions playing such a pivotal role in so many personal and family histories on either side of the frontier, renewed scrutiny of the issue has sometimes stirred a probing, honest, and self-critical dialogue. But the revived prospect of property restitution claims by expellees has also spurred a reversion to adversarial discourses and entrenched rhetorical positions. [25]

I would like to use some of the above text in this article because I think it puts the expulsions in an appropriate context.

--Richard 16:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I can only agree with the above text. --Lysytalk 16:55, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

As long as the obvious quips like (outside of Germanist circles, of course) are removed, I assume they would be of course. It seems mostly suitable.

--Jadger 22:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Population balance "methodology"

As far as I understand it, the "population balance" were only conducted for political reasons and the method was not used by any historian in any scholarly research. Does this method account for the German soldiers from these areas who were killed in action in other parts of Europe ? As far as I know many Germans perished in fights. --Lysytalk 07:54, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

As I read the high numbers of victims come from the equal: X = (germans living there before war) - (germans living there after war) which gives huge numbers. The other estimations use reported violent deaths. Some estimations includes natural deaths, including diseases. Its combinations lead to nonsenses, I think we need split them:
During the war over 3,000,000 germans moved frome eastern Europe (drafts, deaths, bombing, etc.)
During the expulsion XY germans died to diseases, and natural cases
During the expulstion XZ germans died violently (including XI suicides)
≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 08:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Please look at the tables in the Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe article. These tables indicate civilian losses (deaths) of somewhere between 1.3 and 2.0 million Germans. I do not think you can say that these methods were not used by "any historian in any scholarly research".
I suspect that those numbers have been used in scholarly research for 40 years (from 1950 through 1990).
If new numbers are now being floated by Haar and Overmans, then fine. Let's look at them. Unfortunately, my inability to read more than sentence or two of simple German precludes me from evaluating the sources provided in German. I have no knowledge of Polish. Someone will have to translate the sources enough to provide excerpts and citations in English.
What I would like to see is something that supports the assertion of 400,000-500,000 deaths in something like the format of the tables in the Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe article. How did Haar and Overmans come up with their downward revisions of estimated deaths? Did they total up reported deaths in each country? If not, did they make extrapolations from reported deaths? What assumptions did they use to make those extrapolations?
If you want us to change the numbers in this article, you have to provide sourcing equal to or better than the ones in the Demographic estimates... article. Otherwise, all of this discussion is hot air and much of the reasoning provided smacks of original research.
Don't get me wrong. I am perfectly open to adding in the revised estimate of 400,000-500,000 deaths. I just need to see more substantial sourcing in English.
--Richard 09:21, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Richard, I do agree with you that we really lack access to English language sources, most are in German. But why do you think that the 1.3 or 2.0 million figures were a result of scholarly research ? Are you aware of any peer-reviewed scientific publication that would yield these numbers ? Or were they only the estimates ordered by German government and produced for other cold-war era political purposes. --Lysytalk 16:29, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Caveat: I know very little about the topic as everything, I repeat EVERYTHING, I know about this topic is what I have read here on Wikipedia. While this might seem to disqualify me as a knowledgeable editor of this article, my ignorance does provide certain advantages. My primary contribution to this debate is to serve as a neutral third party who tries to evaluate all information offered without bias or preconceived notions. This is not to say that I am always able to do this but this is what I try to do.
I am assuming that the numbers of 2.2 million which are used by the ZgV were generated by the Statistiches Bundesamt based on a "population balance" methodology which, while not necessarily accurate were taken more or less seriously for some 40 years until more detailed research could be performed based on records in Warsaw Pact countries which had previously been unavailable.
While I can imagine that there are some biases in the work of the Statistiches Bundesamt, it is also possible that it was simply not possible to be more accurate given the relationship between West Germany and the Warsaw Pact prior to 1990. In other words, it is not necessary to malign the motives or the professionalism of the people who generated the estimate of 2.2 million deaths. It is very possible that they did the best work they could given the geopolitical situation of the time. And, yes, there were probably some biases arising from their German mindset and their Cold War mindset.
This is not to say that we must give equal weight to the numbers generated in the 1950's by the Statistiches Bundesamt. What we should do is quote the numbers, put them in historical context and characterize the opinion that contemporary historians have of those figures.
I thought the 1.3 million figure came from Overmans. Is this not true? If it is not, then where did it come from? I remember that, when we were debating the information in the Demographic estimates... article last year, I opposed compiling a table from disparate sources on the grounds that the total of these numbers might be one that was not mentioned by any reliable source and thus be susceptible to the charge of being original research. It appears there is such a table in that article and so the 1.3 million figure may, in fact, be original research.
I have asked before for more detailed information about the work of Overmans and Haar but there has been no response. The ZgV provides a table that provides a country-by-country analysis of how many were expelled and how many died. This table is included in the Demographic estimates... article. Is there a similar table generated by Overmans and/or Haar? I have to believe that their numbers are also based on a country-by-country analysis. I think the NPOV approach is to put tables summarizing their work in the Demographic estimates... article with appropriate text explaining why their numbers differ from the Statistiches Bundesamt.
Historians may never be able to reconcile the difference between the two sets of numbers. If they are not able to do so, then we should not even dare to think about trying to do so here. Doing so would be original research. The best we can do is to document what the mainstream majority opinion is, if there is one. If the controversy is still an open question, then the best we can do is to document the controversy and leave the question as open here as it is in the "real world".
In the end, history may never be able to say more than "At least 500,000 Germans died during the postwar period which encompassed the evacuation, flight and forced expulsions of Germans from Eastern Europe. However, up to 1.7 million more Germans are unaccounted for and are presumed dead. It is impossible to determine with any accuracy how many died due to direct, intentional attacks, how many died from the rigors of forced migration and how many would have died anyway due to the privations of postwar Europe which included famine, disease and exposure to the elements in harsh winter conditions."
--Richard 09:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Richard, you are doing very well. Thanks to you the dispute is rather civilised and not limited to yet another trench war. As you know I've not been following for the last several weeks, so I missed what led to the article being protected now. You say you know very little on the topic. I date to say we all do. You are in a better position as you do not have any significant prejudices or other biases. I feel we all lack sources here, and keep repeating the same things over an over again. The only reasonable source that I have access to (other than the Internet) is the Jankowiak book, which analyzes the Polish documents. I think it is very valuable, it is in Polish, yet as far as I can tell he does not go into detail of how many Germans died and rather focuses on procedures and organisation of the expulsions. As for the numbers: so far I have not seen a single source for any of the numbers mentioned here or in the other wikipedia article. I have read that only about 200 thousand of those missing Germans were searched for by the families. What happened to the remaining 2 million ? Did they have no families ? Or did their whole families die ? I think we need a fresh start on the number of dead. First, can we provide any number together with supporting published research that can be attributed to a name of a historian conducting it ? --Lysytalk 16:21, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The reason of the protection is that article became biased and offensive style was escalating. Edits by anons were instantly reverted for no reason, even some of us agreed with them. There were sentences calling it as a crime against humanity based on the personal feelings. It resulted in the edit war and supervising administrator protected this page. So we now discuss the content of the article to satisfy NPOV. Jadger reasonably wanted sources to hold our statements otherwise he is not going to discuss with us, we provided several sources and simple logical arguments but he still insists on his thoughts, so I think he doesn't want to discuss with us at all since he did not provide anything to hold his statements in the article. Nobody infirms the tragedy of the events, but he doesn't seem to understand that we want to find the truth and put it into the article instead of politics. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Tulko, you are living in a dream world, there are no exact numbers known as this was a chaotic time period, and autopsies were not performed on the millions of bodies. No article on Nazi atrocities in Poland bothers to differentiate between those executed by the Nazis, and those who died as a result of the situation that was forced upon them by the Nazis. I agree with Richard, if you are to claim something different than what has already been verified, you must have very good sources.

Not only that, you must remember that the Nazis moved German "settlers" into this newly conquered land in order to make it into lebensraum, So if you are using pre-war census data the numbers will be lower than what the actual population was.

--Jadger 21:47, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I provided source that is reliable enough. So you say we can say there were 5.000.000 casualties or 6.000.000 or 7.000.000 just because there are not exact numbers, interesting, huh. I provided source with 22.000 deaths including 6.000 suicides in Czechoslovakia. Doesn't sound high enough for you, huh ? You don't believe there was no terrible killing, huh ? ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 23:13, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Where did you get that from Tulko? I did not say you can make up numbers because the exact number is not known, I said exactly the opposite of that! and Haar and Overmans has been extensively criticized, as they only count those that are known to have died and not those families that were massacred in the wilderness and not heard from again. Those that have been missing for 60+ years according to Haar and Overmans are all still living somewhere without human contact, in heavily populated Europed (according to Haar and Overmans)

--Jadger 01:28, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, is this your interpretation of Overmans' research ? --Lysytalk 01:46, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
BTW: "Haar and Overmans has been extensively criticized" by who ? Their peers ? --Lysytalk 01:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
So far it seems that "Haar and Overmans has been extensively criticized" not by other historians but by a German politician only. --Lysytalk 08:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I found an interesting perspective article: "Kollektive Unschuld" by Samuel Salzborn. --Lysytalk 01:43, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

just read Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe, there are links that point to criticism of their "work". You are also fundamentally misrepresenting what they say. they do not say that only 500 000 died, they say at the least 500 000 died, as that is the known number of deaths. They do not say the number is not higher than that, they only say it cannot be lower than that (as that is the known number of verified deaths).

--Jadger 04:14, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Which links do you mean, specifically ? I hope you don't consider Christoph Bergner to be a qualified historian. So, where is your "extensive criticism" again ? Any scholarly sources criticising Haar or Overmans, or just some politicians ? --Lysytalk 07:16, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
You just said "Those that have been missing for 60+ years according to Haar and Overmans are all still living somewhere without human contact" and now you are saying I am "fundamentally misrepresenting what they say" ? Where did Overmans say what you are claiming above ? Basically what he concluded was that the high estimates of number of died in the process of the expulsion was just a theory resulting from other false estimates. The number of other German victims during WW2 were underestimated, and therefore the population balance approach resulted in 2 million of missing people which inflated the number of expulsion victims. They have more probably died in other circumstances, as it's hard to explain how could million of people just disappear from transport trains without anybody noticing this. The population balance method simply does not add up - either some of its component figures are incorrect or the equation is simply wrong. --Lysytalk 07:07, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I think we need quotes from Overmans and Haar to back up Lysy's interpretation (or Jadger's). If no English translation is available, then please provide the German text and those of us who don't read German will just have to ask for help in translating the relevant portions. (I can struggle through short passages.) --Richard 17:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The link to Rüdiger Overmans' comment: --Lysytalk 20:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Jadger, you are using circle proof, article Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe is irrelevant to proof statements here and there. That article misses references and reliable sources. It is highly biased and offensive as I posted on its talk page. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 09:00, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

perhaps you should read what I type tulko, or at least stop misrepresenting it. It is not circular reasoning, I said the links on that page, notably [26] for example.

--Jadger 03:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

As I already explained above, Christoph Bergner is not a qualified historian but a politician. With all the respect to politicians, I don't think we should be basing an encyclopaedic article on historical events on their statements. I'd prefer if for the purpose of accuracy and brevity we could limit our discussion to historic research and not the politically-sponsored one. --Lysytalk 05:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

one can always say that any historian has a political agenda, wether it be leftist or rightist or pro-German vs. pro-Polish. Bergner is not making his own claims on the number of victims, he is simply stating the faulty reasoning in Haar and Overmans research. Your statement is like saying that one cannot correct another person for saying 2+2=5 unless they have a mathematics diploma or are trained to professionally teach mathematics (or in general are recognized as an expert in the field). I do not need to work for NASA to be able to say that stars are far away.

--Jadger 05:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Nobody is challenging that 2+2=4 here, but the number of victims of the expulsions is apparently not that obvious issue. As long as there are controversies around this, we should better refine our sources to those by historians, and avoid citing the opinions of amateurs. --Lysytalk 07:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I disagree. I think that it is important to report what the historians think but, since this topic is controversial in the realm of politics and public opinion, it is also imporant to report what has been said in that realm as well. What we need to do is to differentiate between the various sources allowing the user to understand who is a historian and what methodologies he/she used as well as who is not a historian and what motivations, biases or perspectives he/she may have.
This leads us to mention Congressman Reece and his estimate of 3 million deaths, the figures of the Statistiches Bundesamt of 2.2 million deaths and the figures of Overmans and Haar (which were what?). Bergner's opinion can be mentioned but it should be made clear that he is a politician and not a historian. Also, it should be suggested what Bergner's motivations and biases might be. Thus, the reader can give Bergner's opinion adequate weight when making up his own mind --Richard 09:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, the discussion here is a lengthy one at it certainly is difficult to focus it. What I objected was claiming that Haar or Overmans had been "extensively criticised" as such statement might lead to discrediting them. While in fact they were criticized by a German politician, so this is not a scientific critique but rather can be taken a comment or a statement of the organisation represented by the politician. This is of course a political dispute on a whole different level and should not be confused with researching for historical facts. I may be repeating myself, but I'm sure you know that per WP:RS, wikipedia prefers scholarly research over political statements, which seems quite reasonable for me. --Lysytalk 10:39, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "extensively criticized" is probably hyperbole. Moreover, I think it is important to realize that the exodus in general and the expulsions in particular can be described on at least two levels. One level is in terms of historical fact. At this level, everything is about trying to document what we know about what happened and documenting the uncertainties.
However, there is another level that is important to describe to the reader and that is the development of the controversy over this thing that happened sixty years ago. Why is it not just "dry as dust on ancient historical archives in a file cabinet in a forgotten basement"? Why were the numbers higher in the 1950s and 60s and readjusted in the 90s? On what basis were they adjusted downwards? What is the impact of this downward adjustment on the public discourse? Are people accepting the downward adjustments or are some rejecting it?
IMHO, it is a MAJOR MISTAKE to seek to present THE TRUTH in this article. The fact is: no one really knows the truth and, in all probability, no one will ever know the truth. However, in addition to the many Wikipedians who have an opinion about the truth vis-a-vis this topic, there are plenty of people in the real world who will assert what they want the truth to be. It is NOT OUR JOB to determine what the truth is. Trying to do that is liable to get us into the ORIGINAL RESEARCH trap. What we should do is describe the "lay of the land" to the reader so he/she knows what the range of opinions is, who holds what opinion and then provide ample sources so that the reader can get as much information on the topic as he/she desires.
--Richard 07:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)]
Just to connect the dots in case the implications of my argument above aren't obvious: "telling the story of the development of the current controversy" suggests that we should mention the opinions of Steinbach, Bergner, deZayas et al. Some may not be historians and some may not have conducted their own research. Nonetheless, if they can be considered to have played a notable part in the public discourse, their statements should be described and placed into context for the reader.
--Richard 07:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

One more attempt to drive my point home. Consider the Vietnam war. Did the U.S. Army actually defeat the Viet Cong in 1971? Did the U.S. Congress hand victory to the North Vietnamese Army by refusing to provide support to the South Vietnamese in 1974/75? Was the war actually lost by the American left-wing? Is the way to avoid future Vietnams to follow the Powell doctrine of overwhelming force? Will anybody ever be able to answer these questions definitively?

What is most important here is not that Wikipedia answer these questions but rather that Wikipedia inform the reader that 30 years after the fall of Saigon, people in the United States are still debating these questions. We should let the reader know what conservatives think, what liberals and progressives think and we should ABSOLUTELY NOT TRY TO DECIDE who is right.

A similar approach could be used for the topic of this and related articles.

--Richard 07:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no reason to quote Congressman Reece. Eventually as a cold war propaganda example, but it's not the right article. Congressman Reece is noone outside the USA. The article B. Carroll Reece doesn't prove his expertise in European matters. No Reece here, if you don't have rational reasons. Xx236 09:46, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

From the standpoint of "THE TRUTH", you are right. From the standpoint of describing the development of the controversy over 60 years, it is worthwhile to mention what people thought in the 1950s and 1960s.
Thus it is worthwhile to mention Reece because he represents one point in the spectrum of opinions held on this topic. It is admittedly one extreme but it is worth mentioning anyway. --Richard 07:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

If US propaganda is quoted, why not the Communist one about deserted Eastern Germany or good conditions of the deportations? Xx236 08:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

How much is US propaganda? That is, what other than Congressman Reece's charge of 3million deaths is US propaganda?
I'm happy to document Communist propaganda if it is sourced and also put in appropriate context. If it's patently false, then I have no problem in saying "This is what the Communists said but no one believes it." I'm also OK to contextualizing Reece's charge and saying "Reece claimed 3 million deaths but no one really believes the number was that high."
--Richard 08:49, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Why the word expulsion is being used? It's pro-German bias. Xx236 08:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

What word would you prefer? "evacuation, flight and expulsion"? or just "exodus"? --Richard 08:49, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

you missed my point, he is not criticizing the number these historians have created, but how they got the number, he is criticizing their methodology. the mistake in their methodology is so glaring it can be corrected by anyone, not just someone who writes books on history.

--Jadger 14:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Polish chauvinism and lies have won. A sad fact

Very sad that this article is blocked now and that Polish and Soviet crimes are done away with. Nowhere is historical eastern Germany mentioned. Nowhere the established number of 2.5 million casualties after May, 1945, due to the expulsion brutalities. Nothing about the destruction of German culture and buildings and monuments. It is very sad that wikipedia offers the opportunity to spread Polish-imperialist propaganda and does not recognize what Alfred de Zayas wrote on the mass murder against the eastern Germans and the ethnic Germans in other European countries. And I am not even a German. It is very sad to read I can no longer edit this article which totally denies historical facts incovenient to Polish populism and Russian mass opinion.Smith2006 20:36, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't be ridiculous. Nobody was mass-killing Germans in Czechoslovakia after 1945, there died violently 22.000 germans including 6.000 suicides. There are sources confirming that. These estimates in zillions are not reliable. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 20:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that things are as bad as User:Smith2006 portrays them. If anything, our Polish friends are still unhappy about a number of points made in the article and we are still discussing those.
Many of the items listed by Smith2006 should be addressed in the article. I think that there could be a mention of historical eastern Germany if done in an NPOV way. I agree that there is little mention of the destruction of German culture (except for discussions about teaching German language). There is no mention of the destruction of German buldings and monuments.
I expect that this article will be unprotected in the next few days as we come closer to resolving disputes. When that happens, I invite Smith2006 to add the points that he/she feels appropriate. To avoid edit warring, it might be good to outline the proposed text here on the Talk Page first.
--Richard 21:16, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I would only suggest to pay attention to staying within the scope of the topic of the article. Do you think it should include sections about German culture and buildings and monuments ? Or should this be rather hinted somewhere in other specific places within the article ? I'm not quite sure if this discussion belongs to the article at all. Anyway, an interesting topic. --Lysytalk 21:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Good point. To the extent that any destruction of buildings and monuments occurred during the period of the expulsions (1945-48?) because of association with Germans, that destruction should be mentioned. Otherwise, mention of anything happening after 1948 should be mentioned in passing in the Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe article. Issues of German language and culture should probably be discussed in the Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe article as well.
--Richard 05:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I may be wrong but I'm afraid that we might not find uniform information about the destruction of German monuments etc. just individual examples, so we will need to be careful not to generalize. For example, in Breslau, most of the town was not destroyed by allied bombing, but by the Germans themselves, in preparation for the defence. Quarters of the city were razed in order to obtain clear shooting sight and the others was destroyed when Germans decided to build a military airbase there. Then of course the town was severely damaged during the fights and finally burned and plundered by Soviet Army for weeks after its capitulation. Eventually, the Poles got only ruins. I'm sure we could find many examples of different scenarios as well. --Lysytalk 07:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that there was mass destroying of german's buildings, just because it was a valuable property. And monuments - that's clear - most of them or maybe all of them were Adolf Hitler's bust, statues or monuments. Which could hardly be left alive. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 21:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, there was. E.g. the Red Army continued destruction of Breslau ruins even after the city was captured. Similarly they destroyed the industry in Stettin. On the other hand, they were destroying not German, but now Polish towns but I don't suppose they cared. --Lysytalk 21:53, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
It was an attacking army group thousands miles away from home continuing in the offensive in the war. They had to think about possible counter-attack and re-capture of the city and its industry. There was a war, terrible war, millions casualties, victory was far. We can hardly say it was destroying of the german culture. Under the fate of Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kharkov and Warsaw and many others the enemy who caused that simply cannot cry for lost cities. If Smith calls it crime what Stalingrad was then - the hell ? ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 22:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Breslau was destroyed in a somehow similar way to Warsaw. Less systematic perhaps, but still completely useless destruction, or "vandalism" by the organized occupation army, if you please. The Soviets started burning the remains of Breslau after May 7, so this was effectively after the war. Anyway, I don't think if this is directly relevant to the expulsion topic. Neither is Stalingrad. --Lysytalk 04:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Tulko, stop deflecting the attention from the actual thing at hand, all of your comments reak of tu quoque fallacy. This article is about the Former Eastern Germany, not about Stalingrad, go bitch about Stalingrad on its own article. (sorry for the language, that is the best way to sum it up though) Two wrongs don't make a right Tulko, stop trying to minimize what happened to the Germans. What happened to others is no justification for the severe mistreatment and murder of civilians in the former Eastern Germany.

--Jadger 04:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, you are a nativ speaker, so your responsibility for the languge is much higher than mine (and maybe Lysy's). You use your superiority to attack us, rather than to write a good article. Xx236 09:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

If people understand de Zayas' books the way Mr Smith does, it proves that de Zayas is a hate monger. It's interesting that mr Smith ignores the British and US participation in the 2.5 million - direct by bombs and indirect by accepting Stalin's conditions in Yalta and Potsdam. Xx236 09:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, stop maximize what happened to the Germans. You can't twist the history by the simple fact you want to make victims from aggressors. You can't whip out things from the context, you must take under advisement what marching red army saw in their homes - burned villages, hundres of thousands brutally killed civilians, burned whole cities to the ground. All consequences of the actions are on the attacker not on the defender. And Jadger, we all want to hold discussion about the number of deaths and as you can see this paragraph was started by Smith, whom attacking words cannot be left wihtout reaction. And Jadger are you always so disrespectful to the opinions of others ? If yes, then it must be a good discussion with you... ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 09:44, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
you make no sense Tulko, you are blaming your own actions upon someone else. You remind me of small children when you use that "he started it first" logic, it doesn't work, it doesn't was the blood off of anyone's hands. Yes, the Nazis invaded and started the war, but they did not force anyone on the opposing side to shoot innocent civilians. If we were to actually apply your logic to real life, it would be total chaos, your logic is a total reversal of Kant's categorical imperative. He robbed a bank first, and since he did, that means I should do it also.
--Jadger 14:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
So you agree with the Smith's title Polish chauvinism and lies. You agree with 3,000,000 deaths provided by Centre against expulsions in the face of we provided sources which prooves different numbers. Tell us what actually do you want. Also let me remind you I connived your previous personal attack, so I am warning you stop being disrespectful and assume good faith. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 15:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Again, you are assuming, where did I say that I agree with that? I would like you to quote me please, and provide a specific link to the edit version that I did it in. these sources didn't prove anything, they give another estimate, but they do not quantifiably say "this is how many people died, and there is no way a single more person could have died." what they do say is that atleast this many died, not that only this many died. And pointing out a fallacious argument is not a personal attack, I'm sorry, but please don't take offense to me correcting you. Haar and Overmans say that only those with documented deaths can be included in the official number of dead, they do not say that no more died. that is like saying all those soldiers who are MIA from WWI and WWII did not die. Of course, there are no (or very few) missing soldiers from the First World War still alive somewhere that haven't contacted their families in 90 years. Again, I would like to reiterate that Haar and Overmans estimate the number of dead, as with everyone else that has weighed in on the subject. what Haar and Overmans say is that we know atleast this many died as there deaths are recorded, they do not say that only the number they give could have died

--Jadger 18:07, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Now it's time for you to take no offence, Jadger :-) but I think you misunderstand the Overmans argument. What he said is not that the "missing" Germans are still alive somewhere, but that (1) the number of those "missing" is much lower than claimed by politicians, and (2) many more of the died in front or in result of military operations than claimed before. Overmans is a specialist on military losses and he first found out that the number of Germans killed in military actions was much higher then reported by Nazi propaganda, and only this led him to the later conclusion on the inflated number of the expulsion victims. --Lysytalk 19:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I also saw the "Overmans argument" the way Jadger did. Where do you base (1) and (2) on, Lysy? Sciurinæ 01:12, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

yes, I think a direct citation is in order please Lysy. and how does he know point 1)? has he found them? and 2) of course it was higher than stated, the Brits did the same thing during the battle of Britain, but how can he be certain that all are accounted for then? and we are not talking about propoganda films here, but official records, the federation of expellees did not rely on wartime newsreels to gather numbers, but official records, they would have known who had died at the front, and discounted them from the list.

--Jadger 04:21, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Steps to final consensus

We stalled in the local minimum. So I propose to summarize what we already have here. How many deaths is our final conclusion ? What Haar and Overmans said and is Centre against expulsions reliable source or not ? ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Read my most recent comment above. I am sure that we will never resolve this month or maybe even this year what the "final conclusion" is. It is not clear to me that the academic and political communities have arrived at this number and, if that is so, then it is inappropriate for us to try to do so. I believe we must provide a range of estimates characterizing when these estimates were developed and what biases may have been introduced by geopolitics and lack of data. The Statistiches Bundesamt/ZgV numbers are verifiable. Are they reliable? I think the question is still open. I prefer the text that I wrote in one of my recent comments which suggests that "There were at least 500,000 deaths with 1.7 million unaccounted for. It is unclear how many of these deaths are due to the expulsions as opposed to other factors in postwar Europe." --Richard 10:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Just wanted to note that ZgV did not conduct its own research on the matter. So again, this is only a political statement, not a source. --Lysytalk 10:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
To be precise, it is a secondary source not a primary source. I think the primary source is cited in the Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe article so the ZgV is not needed as a secondary source except that one of the tables is lifted straight from the ZgV website (I was the one who did that). If anyone has read and can verify the primary source, we could consider dropping the ZgV as a source. I have taken to typing "Statistiches Bundesamt/ZgV" in my comments here to indicate that the SB is the primary source and the ZgV is the convenient source with data presented in English on the web.
--Richard 17:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
To be precise it's neither a primary nor a secondary source. Primary sources in this case would be the German census data. Secondary source would be a research paper using the primary source to make the conclusions. ZgV figures are neither. Actually, it's preferred that wikipedia uses secondary sources, such as peer reviewed scholarly publications. We should avoid using primary sources, as this could result in original research. As I said in my opinion ZgV does not qualify neither as a primary or secondary source. You can call it "tertiary" if you like, but for me it remains only a statement of a biased political organisation. So to sum up, we do not agree on this one. --Lysytalk 19:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
No, actually I agree with you. I was being sloppy. Your definitions of primary, secondary and tertiary sources are right. The ZgV is a tertiary source. The question is: Do they quote numbers accurately from a reliable secondary source (e.g. the Statistiches Bundesamt) or do they do their own "original research"?
More importantly, I think the ZgV is a reliable source for documenting what the ZgV claims and what they claim is important because they are a key participant in the debate. The fact that their numbers may be exaggerated is not something that we should state based on our POV, judgment or original research. To really hew to Wikipedia policy, we must strive to put those words in the mouth of a reliable source (e.g. Overmans, Haar or even a Polish newspaper). You can use one politician to discredit the statements of another politician. Or you can use the popular media or a historian. What we should not do is dismiss a politician simply because he/she is a politician. Ultimately, politicians affect world affairs more than historians. --Richard 07:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I have quoted an answer to Haar - counting victims of the expulsion is arithmetics, the German government prefers the general numbers. The German government doesn't write the English Wikipedia.Xx236 10:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

1.7 unaccounted but not in "post-war" but during the last months of the war and after the war. Xx236 10:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Richard that's true. I agree with the range. We should include there it includes natural causes of deaths and suicides. So "There were at least 500,000 deaths with 1.7 million unaccounted for, including natural causes of deaths and suicides. It is unclear how many of these deaths are due to the expulsions as opposed to other factors in postwar Europe." But in cases where we have exact numbers - like in Czechoslovakia region we should include an exact numbers with sources. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Tulkolahten wrote "where we have exact numbers..." I disagree. In this article, we should avoid any long, detailed discussion about numbers. We should provide a summary of the reasons for uncertainty and then point the reader to the Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe. Any detailed discussion about methodologies and other factors causing uncertainty should be left to that article.
--Richard 17:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Not postwar. Even German sources admit that the big numbers relate to "flight and expulsion", the "flight" was organised by Germans during WWII.Xx236 10:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

So the big problem seems to be a lack of precision when we write. We currently say things like "2.2 million died during the expulsion" when we should say "2.2 million died during the exodus from Eastern Europe". Note that we have to be careful not to say "2.2 million died as a result of (or "because of") the exodus" because we don't know how many would have died anyway due to the privations of postwar Europe. --Richard 17:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

2.2 million died during the exodus from Eastern Europe, of which the expulsions are a major part of or something like that.

--Jadger 18:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

So are we ready to agree on this text and ask for protection to be lifted? Or do we need to address the other issues such as "Naimark" and "by any means necessary" before lifting protection?

Why would we want to have this "of which the expulsion was a major part" addition ? This could mislead the reader to believe that most of the 2.2 million died during the expulsion. I would rather avoid such suggestions. --Lysytalk 22:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Also (sorry, I feel like running in circles, too), where did we get the 2.2 mio number from ? Is this the number resulting from the "population balance" method again ? --Lysytalk 23:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

but saying 2.2 million died during the exodus from Eastern Europe will confuse the reader more, as they will think "woah, what is this exodus from eastern Europe? I thought this was an article on the expulsions". And the word I used was major, not most, H&O state 400 000-500 000 as the minimum number of dead, that is almost 25% of 2.2 million, I would classify that as major. and Exodus includes both flight and expulsion, what other parts of it was there? if it is just flight and expulsion that make up exodus, then of course it was a major part.

--Jadger 04:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Can someone translate this into English for me?

The text below comes from a link provided by Xx236 some time ago.

I more or less understood the opening paragraphs of the article but my command of German is too weak to understand the whole article. I understand just enough to feel like it's important to understand what is being said but not enough to actually understand it.

Im Jahre 1995 kam der Kirchliche Suchdienst zu dem Ergebnis: „Der statistische Zahlenbericht der „Gesamterhebung zur Klärung des Schicksals der deutschen Bevölkerung in den Vertreibungsgebieten“ (1965) hat die Ergebnisse des Statistischen Bundesamtes über eine Bevölkerungsbilanz für die deutschen Vertreibungsgebiete – veröffentlicht im Buch „Die deutschen Vertreibungsverluste“ – Wiesbaden 1958 – weitgehend bestätigt“.
Haar reduziert seine Zahl auf die unmittelbar Ermordeten. Das geht auch aus dem von ihm falsch zitierten Bericht des Bundesarchivs aus dem Jahr 1974 eindeutig hervor. Alle anderen Opfer z.B. als Folge von unmenschlicher Zwangsarbeit, Deportation in Viehwaggons - sowohl in Richtung Osten als auch Westen -, oder von Vergewaltigungen, gezielter Mangelernährung und Erschöpfung nach tage- oder wochenlangen Märschen unterwegs oder in Lagern sind für Haar offenbar keine Opfer, sondern eines natürlichen Todes gestorben.
Mit Sicherheit liegen die Opferzahlen noch höher als in den bisher vorliegenden Erhebungen. Denn bislang völlig unerforscht ist die Zahl derjenigen Vertriebenen, die nach ihrer Ankunft in West- und Mitteldeutschland an den oben genannten Vertreibungsfolgen verstorben sind. Nicht enthalten sind auch die über 300.000 Todesopfer der nach Osten deportierten Russlanddeutschen.
Eine solche unwissenschaftliche Zahlenklitterung ist im wahrsten Sinne Haar-sträubend.

--Richard 10:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not fit to translate from German to English, but briefly, the above is Erika Steinbach (a politician again!) criticizing Haar's methodology. She claims that Haar reduced the victims to directly murdered only and then goes on producing more or less graphic examples of other victims which she thinks he ignored. She also states that she is sure that the number of victims is higher. To me this is yet another non-professional opinion that is not useful for the purpose of the wikipedia article. --Lysytalk 10:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

The last comment by Overmans [27]. Xx236 10:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

German chauvinism and lies have won. A sad fact

Is such language acceptable? Xx236 10:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Xx236 please don't go to the same level as Smith ... ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm only asking the experts - is such language acceptable? Why noone has protested or changed the title? Xx236 10:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Various editors have protested the title a number of times. The title remains what it is because it is a "meme". That is, this is a phrase that people use when they think about the period. Yes, in German, they say "flight and expulsion" but that is really two things: first a series of "flights" and then a series of "expulsions".
This article SHOULD be primarily about the "expulsions". To the extent that it is not (e.g. when we confuse flight + expulsion numbers and call them just expulsion numbers), this is a mistake. Lysy moved quite a bit of information out of this article into the Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe article. If further regularization between the two articles is needed then please indicate the places where this is so. --Richard 18:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Xx236 meant to complain about the title of the section in the talk page, not the title of the article ... --Lysytalk 19:08, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps he did. However, the point remains that there have been people who have raised issues about the title and specifically the disconnect between the title and the numbers. I would suggest that the title of this article be changed to Expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe thus getting rid of the May 1945 separation between "during World War II" and "after World War II". I would also urge that most numbers be characterized as being related to exodus (i.e. evacuation, flight AND expulsion) rather than just expulsion. I think this will go a long way to defusing some of the criticisms that have been levelled at the content of this article. --Richard 07:05, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The Flight wasn't an Expulsion. Eventually an Exodus. There is a basic difference - who was responsible for the people at given time - German, Soviet or Polish/Czech authorities. I know, but the article is adressed to readers without basic knowldge. Xx236 08:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I warned him on his talk page. If he will continue with personal attacks he will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

he never personally attacked anyone, he created a severely biased title for a discussion, but no one said that is illegal. unless of course there is a user:Polish that has been editing this article but I have somehow missed it. He only personally attacks someone if that person themself believes their own comments are chauvanistic or outright lies. It is simply a title on a discussion thread, judge him for his statements and his critiques of others, not for creating an eye-catching header. that being said, I do not support the title at all.

--Jadger 18:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

All this said, I'm sure we do not need to discuss this one any more. --Lysytalk 19:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Number of Germans expelled from Poland

Some numbers that I found:

  • 2612 thousand Germans left Poland in 02.1946 - 12.1949 according to S. Jankowiak (p. 207), after B. Nitschke.
  • During the pre-Potsdam expulsions, many Germans were forced to march over 100 and sometimes even 200 kilometres - Jankowiak (p. 91), after H. Szczegóła: "Die Aussiedlung der Deutschen aus Polen vor der Potsdamer Konferenz", 1994.

Different estimates of the number of Germans expelled by Polish army alone during pre-Potsdam deportations (all numbers after Jankowiak, p. 93):

  • 1200 thousand, according to K.Kersten, 1964
  • 300 thousand, according to S.Banasiak
  • 400 thousand, K.Skubiszewski
  • 500 thousand, A.Ogrodowczyk
  • 300-400 thousand, S.Chojnecki, 1980
  • 350-450 thousand, A.Magierska, 1978
  • 200-250 thousand, T.Białecki, 1970
  • 620-630 thousand, S.Zwoniński, 1983
  • 230-250 thousand, Cz. Osękowski
  • 500-550 thousand, Z. Romanow
  • 400 thousand, B.Nitschke
  • 400 thousand, M.Wille, 1996
  • S.Jankowiak himself estimates 600-700 thousand (p. 95)

On top of that 365 - 1200 thousand Germans were deported by Polish administration (Jankowiak, p.119) --Lysytalk 17:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Now a bit of original research: based on the above numbers, the number of Germans deported from Poland (1945-1949) could range from 3 to 5 million. --Lysytalk 17:07, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, we shouldn't encourage original research but can you explain in what ways your numbers differ from those in the tables provided in the Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe article?
Specifically, since Poland's borders changed from 1945 to 1949, it is important to be clear what is meant by "Poland" in this discussion. If you look at the ZgV table, you will find that distinctions are made as to which territory the Germans were expelled from.
Can you provide an "apples-to-apples" comparison between the numbers provided above and those provided in the ZgV table? That is, which numbers in the ZgV table correspond to the numbers that you are providing above?
--Richard 18:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
No, there is no one-to-one correspondence, unfortunately. Mostly because the table compiled by ZgV mixes "Poland" with "Soviet Union" in several rows. Basically, according to the above numbers, if you take all the rows from the ZgV table that have "Poland" in its fourth column, somehow filter out "Soviet Union" and add all the numbers from second column ("number of expellees") then the result should fall between 3 and 5 million. --Lysytalk 18:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
So if we now take numbers provided by Centre against expulsions (at least 3,000,000) then some more Germans had to come from Germany to be killed in Poland. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

the Centre Against Expeulsions says 2.2 million, it is Reece who said 3 million, you are either misrepresenting those you oppose, or are severely mistaken and need to research the matter, or at the very least read the article you are commenting on.

--Jadger 18:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

and notice where in Lysy's statement number of Germans expelled by Polish army alone this does not take into account the other non Polish Military forces that participated. So no, more Germans did not have to come from Germany to be killed. and it is unclear as to whether all sources refer to prewar borders when speaking of the expelled being "expelled from Poland" or post war boundaries.

--Jadger 18:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Most estimates are around 300-400 thousands (violent death, natural causes, diseases, suicides) so I think this is relevant number. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 18:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

No, no, guys, these are not numbers of deaths but the number of Germans expelled from post-war Poland territories both by Polish army (0.2 - 1.2 m) and other Polish administration (0.37 - 1.2 m) before Potsdam plus 2.6 mio expelled after Potsdam, where we have more firm numbers. And my original research is summing these three numbers and claiming that the number of Germans expelled by Poles from post-war Poland territory in 1945-1949 would be something not lower than 0.2+0.37+2.6 = 3.17 million and not higher than 1.2+1.2+2.6 = 5 million. --Lysytalk 19:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


  • The Richard sentence:

“At least 500,000 Germans died during the postwar period which encompassed the evacuation, flight and forced expulsions of Germans from Eastern Europe.” Looks reasonable, it says all what can be said with dose of science and neutrality. However this is all. When no more exact number or death causes can be specified further “estimations” over the “At least..” are speculations and provocations.

  • Regarding the link provided by Lysy [28] I would like to pay ALL disputants attentions to the last paragraph of the appeal:

“Above all, we clearly see two dangers. First, in the historical dimension, there is the danger of de-contexualizing the past, thus breaking the causal relationship between the Nazi policies of radical nationalism and racial extermination on one hand and the flight and expulsion of ethnic Germans on the other hand. Secondly, in the political dimension, there lies the danger of an ethnification of social conflicts, that is, the habit of interpreting political and social controversies in ethnic terms - and by that, in cementing the specific German völkisch ethno-nationalist tradition of viewing past, present and the future in ethnic terms. We therefore propose that a common European examination of the past based on a pluralistic, critical and enlightened discourse is much more useful than a debate on one or another variation of a "Centre against Expulsions".”

  • I am not sure if anybody followed the Smith2006 link. There is a fragment which I think is much more balanced than the “Expulsion of Germans after World War II”. It exactly is: [29]. Cite:
The majority of the German-speaking population east of the Oder–Neisse line that had not already been evacuated by Nazi authorities or fled from the advancing Red Army in the winter of 1944–1945 (following massacres such as Nemmersdorf) was expelled without compensation, and with no consideration as to whether their families had lived in the region for centuries or were recent settlers who moved there during the Second World War, leaving the territories virtually deserted. In the following months, several milion Poles similarly expelled from former Polish land annexed by the USSR were settled in the formerly German provinces. Although in the post-war period German sources often cited the number of German expellees at 16 million people and the death toll at between 1.7[1] and 2.5 million[2], the numbers are considered by some writers to be "exaggerated"[3]. Some present-day German estimates place the numbers at 14 million expelled and about 500 thousand killed[4][3]. The exact number of civilian casualties therefore remains disputed.
  • I will tell you what Mr. Jadger wants. Go to: [30] there is the accusation of Polish people for crime against humanity. See last paragraph of the section. Cite:
P.S. you said: "Please be careful the decision was USSR, USA and UK and was done for the sake of future peace anyway. Ask them to compensate Germany the “loses”" The potsdam agreement was not a binding agreement, and it never gave the land to Poland, it gave them temporary administration over the lands, and using that administration they expelled and murdered millions of Germans, then claimed the land for themselves with Soviet backing later on. stop trying to blame others for the crimes that your nation committed, the blame lands squarely on your shoulders
  • The 3 million Germans expelled from Recovered Territories calculated by Lysy from ZgV is with accordance with the statement from [31] unfortunately there is no information where come from the numbers were taken. At least German and Polish are in some agreement. This 3-4 or 5 million is a good start to think about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Uf, Jadger really said that [32]. These words are terrible, serious and dangerous, I have no more words in my mouth to say anything to comment this. I am shocked and maybe now I understand. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 22:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow, Andrew/Serafin/131 rears his ugly head again and evades the block yet again. I'm glad we both have the same taste in our mouths now Tulko (that is, if you are disgusted with me as I am with you, but I think denial is far worse than losing your cool when a vandal personally attacks you and vandalizes a page, as that quote is taken out of context).

--Jadger 04:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC) "500 thousand killed" - one more example of cheating. 500 000 died as a result of the expulsions, mostly because of infectious diseases. The number of killed after the war is much lower. Xx236 08:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

cheating? lol, you can't be serious. most of the people who died in the Holocaust died of diseases like Typhus that were pandemic in the camps, but they are still all referred to as murdered. don't try to apply a double standard. the people wouldn't have contracted those infectious diseases if they hadn't of been forced from there homes. And you don't understand the semantics of killed. it is common to say "_____ was/were killed by ___(insert favourite disease)" it is the word murdered that you don't want anyone using.

--Jadger 00:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC) "most of the people who died in the Holocaust died of diseases like Typhus " - name your source. Xx236 09:40, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Heh Jadger, you can't be serious. Have you ever seen some concentration camp ? In Treblinka they killed 2000 people in one hour in the gas room [33]. As I said before, never ever try to compare expulsion with the holocaust. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 09:57, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Jadger, I agree with Xx236 although I think we would all do better if we dropped such inflammatory words such as "cheating". When I first read this article a year ago, I had the impression that the Soviets, Poles, Czechs, etc. expelled 16.5 million Germans and 2.2 million of them died in transit of disease, famine, exposure and violence by militia and local civilians.
My perspective now is that 2.2 million Germans died between 1945-1948 (I'm not even sure of the years, whatever the years of the population balance). Unless someone explains the population balance methodology in greater detail, it is very plausible that some of those 2.2 million died as a result of atrocities by Soviet troops and Allied bombing as well as the aforementioned causes. We will never know exactly what proportions to attribute to each cause. We will also never know how many would have died anyway even if there had been no expulsions (although we could estimate this by looking at death rates for non-Germans). Many died, some were killed. We're not sure how many were killed and how many just died. But the key point here is: Not all who died were "killed" in the common meaning of the word. Some just died. Some of the "not killed" deaths were caused by the expulsions. Some were not. It is a complex nuance to communicate but it is, IMHO, the most intellectually honest NPOV perspective to adopt.
--Richard 14:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Richard, you hit the point. I think it is one of the things breaking NPOV, they simply address 2.2-3.0 millions death to the mass killing, which is simply unacceptable. Even child on the elementary school must be able to count natural causes of death during the 1945-1948 in 16.500.000 nation using calculator and statistical records. What they think there was - death camps ? Second is calling it a war crime - nobody was charged, that's the fact. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 15:19, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I am not an expert in war crimes law. I'm sure that some of the Soviet troops were guilty of war crimes such as murder and rape of civilians. Many people would classify the Soviet detention camps (gulag) were also war crimes. It's plausible that some of the Polish militias were also guilty of war crimes. The real point here, however, is that nowadays we consider "forced migrations" to be a crime against humanity. It may very well be that one reason we consider "forced migration" to be a crime against humanity because of the results of experiences like this one and the one after the partition of India and Pakistan. Many people died as "collateral damage" and the benefits of ethnic homogeneity are perhaps considered less valuable than respecting the property rights and human rights of ethnic minorities. --Richard 17:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
That's true as always. You must split crimes of Red Army and nations in the Central Europe area. That's just not fair enough to add them - it was a marching army. Now it sounds like Polish, Slovak, Czech and other people killed 2.2-3.0 millions of germans. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

no it doesn't, as the article specifically states that it was the Soviets as well as those mentioned above by you who did the expelling. how can you split them? when in many instances the Poles, Czechs et al aided the Soviets in the expulsion, pointing the finger at their German neighbours, or in some cases, pointing at their rich neighbours (Polish or German) so that they could loot their belongings once they were expelled. I would like to know how Tulko proposes to clearly differentiate between those expelled by the Soviets, those expelled by the Soviets with the aid of local Poles/Czechs/whoever, those expelled by the Polish government, and those forced from their homes by angry anti-German mobs of Polish/Czech citizens. And remember Tulko, we need you to cite a source that gives us exact numbers for each group, not a source like Haar and Overmans that say atleast this many were killed.

--Jadger 20:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it has taken me a while to come to this understanding partly because it was not well explained. I think there is an emerging consensus to portray "the whole picture". I am OK with this revision provided that it is not changed to say that "most of the deaths were due to the Soviet troops and Allied bombing" and the expulsion caused few deaths. I don't think we can know how large or how small a part each played. --Richard 17:51, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems we are getting closer to the consensus. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 18:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

again, Tulko misrepresents/misinterprets what his opposition has said. If an elementary school child can count the number of natural deaths, how come none of us can Tulko? OMG, your reasoning is so bad it would make me laugh if it wasn't defending atrocities "Second is calling it a war crime - nobody was charged, that's the fact." so you're saying because no one was charged, it wasn't a crime! that is pure hogwash, nobody was charged from the Armenian Genocide, and no one was convicted of Nicole Simpson's murder, so according to you she was not murdered. or perhaps Jon-Benet Ramsey wasn't murdered, as no one has been charged with her murder yet. That is your reasoning, and it is atrocious. Again, you make up stuff to misrepresent your opposition, when did anyone say there were deathcamps set up? there were holding camps were people were murdered, but not death camps.

And 2000 people were killed in one hour in Treblinka, but then they had to clean up the bodies and get more gas. it was not a conveyor belt of jews going into a gas chamber, although it certainly was atrocious. citing the time it took for them to die is misleading, that is like counting how long it takes one round to be fired from a gun, and then dividing 60 by that number and saying that is how many rounds per minute you can fire, but you don't count in the reload time. Treblinka did not have the supply of gas to kill 2000 jews an hour for all the time of its operation. But again, you are taking us off-topic Tulko, we are not talking about the atrocities in Treblinka, but the atrocities committed against Germans after WWII.

--Jadger 16:30, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Treblinka did not have the supply of gas to kill 2000 jews an hour for all the time of its operation - so, Jadger, you are saying holocaust did not happen ? :-O I am not a native speaker so maybe I understand wrongly. Please explain it. You are twisting my words - this is encyclopedia a place for facts. Is there some reliable institution claiming it as a war crime according to the international law ? It is not a place for your personal feelings or research. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 17:35, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

yes, the Centre against Expulsions, Federation of Expellees et al all claim it was a crime against humanity. If it wasn't a crime against humanity, what was it? Don't tell me Poland and the rest of eastern europe went on vacation from 1945-1948 (see here to understand what I am saying). As for your attempts to paint me as a holocaust denier, your insults do not warrant a response. I am not here to feed a troll, but to discuss the issue so we can get this page out of protection. And you are sounding an aweful lot like user:Serafin with that last response, I'd be careful not to get blocked if I were you.

--Jadger 19:46, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

And I claim that the Centre against Expulsions is higly biased. It's interesting that the late President of the ZgV gave much lower numbers of victims in his book than the Centre. Split personality? Xx236 08:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

You want me to be blocked, hmmmm. Interesting. Maybe because different opinions ? Who knows ... I don't say you're holocaust denier, I just want an explanation of the sentence I quoted - that's all. Actually you're the only one here who did not provide any source as far as I remember. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 20:23, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Did you actually read what I wrote? I never said I wanted you blocked, I said if you continue making comments and editing like user:Serafin did, you will be blocked for violating wikipedia policy. Blocking someone is the last resort, and I hope it can be avoided in all cases. so you claim you wanted an explanation of a sentence I wrote, that doesn't mean you have to imply I am a holocaust denier in your question. And also, your questioning is non-sequitur, I said that Treblinka did not have the constant supply of gas that required it to kill that number of people every hour for every hour from the time the camp was built to its liberation. Let's disect my sentence: a) I accepted that Treblinka exists b)I accepted the number of people murdered per hour that you gave, assuming good faith, although you didn't cite a source (thus, I am clearly not a holocaust denier). now, how does your asking if I thought the holocaust never happened follow from me saying that Treblinka was a horrible place where jews were gassed? That is a loaded question, with an implied negative connotation to the person who replies. You certainly would not support someone asking you "when did you stop beating your wife?" or "when did you tell your parents you are gay" when neither of those are known as a fact. these are of course examples and I am not asking you them, but please, have some common courtesy.

--Jadger 05:57, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Jadger, I believe you don't have any right to judge other people activities here, because you do evil things yourself. Xx236 08:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

To support my words I am providing source [34] where is par: Treblinka byla skutečná továrna na smrt - ihned po výstupu z vlaku šli lidé do plynové komory. Žádné tetování, žádné baráky s dřevěnými palandami, žádné vši, ani těžká práce. Od začátku byly v provozu tři plynové komory, které měly rozměry 4 x 4 metry a kapacitu 300 až 500 lidí za hodinu. V září 1942 přibylo dalších deset komor s mnohem větší kapacitou. V nich mohlo být během hodiny usmrceno 1000 až 2000 osob.
Translated: Treblinka was a real factory for death - people went to gas rooms immediately after leaving the train. No tattoos, no barracks with wooden beds, nor hard work. At the beginning there were three gas rooms in service, 4x4 metres and capacity 300-500 people per hour. In the semptember 1942 new 10 gas rooms with much higher capacity were build. In these gas rooms was possible to kill 1000-2000 people per hour.
You are the only one who did not provide any source in this discussion. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Since this has already gone off topic, I might as well finish it off by proving my point exactly with common sense. As your reference states, the people were killed as soon as they arrived. But, a new train did not arrive every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for ithe camps entire time in operation. also, notice in your reference: In these gas rooms was possible to kill 1000-2000 people per hour. that does not mean that they actually murdered 2000 people every hour, only that they were capable of it, if they had the supply of prisoners and gas. The rails the trains arrived on would not be able to bear the load of a train every hour, the tracks would need replacing very often, and that would prevent the people from arriving to be gassed every hour.
let's do some simple mathematics:
September 1942-October 1943=~395 days (from when the larger gas chambers were installed to camp shutdown)
395*24(hours)=9480 hours of operation (at 2000 people killed per hour)
2000*9480=189,600,000 people gassed at Treblinka
the Treblinka article cites that over 780,000 people were murdered there, but according to the mathematics, if Treblinka was murdering 2000 people 24 hours a day as you claim, then the number should be 189.6 MILLION. WOW! and the commonly accepted number of dead in the Holocaust is 6 million Jews. If we were to calculate for one month at Treblinka running 24 hours a day as you state, the death toll would be 1,488,000 per month.
--Jadger 21:50, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The edit war

What was the edit war, that led to the article being protected. Was it over the Naimark ? Can we revisit this reference again and see if it was properly used ? Was this:

Polish soldiers, stated one report, "relate to German women as to free booty"

the controversial part ? Whose opinion was that ? --Lysytalk 23:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I think those edits are/were:

[35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 23:24, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. From the edit history I understood that one of the anonymous editors contested the Naimark references, suggesting that they were misinterpreted. Can anyone present the exact citations from the book for reference ? --Lysytalk 23:45, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

The edit war resulted from Andrew/Serafin/131 being blocked but he evaded the block and kept vandalizing pages. I reverted him, but because he seemed to have inumerable random IPs the pages he was editing were all protected.
--Jadger 03:56, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't blame it to Serafin. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:01, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

he was blocked, but evaded the block, and I reverted him. ask anyone on here, I was reverting to consensus, and everyone but Serafin agreed with me, they had also been reverting him, I was the only person online when he was vandalizing the pages, so I was the only one of us available to stop his vandalism. BTW, he has been blocked permanently from editting both the German and Polish wikipedias for his actions, so I wouldn't defend a known and proven vandal if I were you.

--Jadger 00:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Unprotect ?

Are we able to agree on a single version and consider it as a "consensus state" ? How about this one ? I mean, I know nobody is happy with it but would we be able to accept this version of a fresh start, and starting from it, try to avoid making any edits to it unless a consensus on the edits is reached first ? What do you say ? --Lysytalk 23:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Although there seldom was unanimity, it worked okay as things were before. If you really want to prevent what caused the protection and not just get the "right" version, then s-protection would prevent it just as effectively as not editing until a consensus on the edits is reached - perhaps even more effectively. Sciurinæ 01:12, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the Wikipedia spirit is; be bold, be civil and assume good faith.
There's nothing wrong with making bold edits. However, if anyone reverts your edit, your reflex should be to go to the Talk Page. In fact, if you have any suspicion that your edit might be controversial, then you should explain your edit on the Talk Page either before or concurrent with your edit. Edit warring leads to protection which forces us to talk out our issues as we should have done. --Richard 01:25, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

what is going to be added then? I think a list of things to be added should be created here before unprotection, as the discussion has been awfully confusing and we have discussed the same things over and over.

--Jadger 04:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposed new text

As Jagder says, there has been so much back and forth argument that it is hard to tell what has been agreed to. While I would like to change the intro to capture the meaning of the text proposed below, I am really proposing the text with an intent of capturing the general consensus. We will have to express this consensus in different places in this article and in the Demographic estimates related to the expulsions of Germans after World War II article.

According to population balance studies conducted in the 1950s by the Statistiches Bundesamt, some 2.2 million of the 16 million Germans who lived in Eastern Europe and the Eastern German territories were unaccounted for after the end of the war and presumed dead. Although some participants in the public discourse such as the ZgV characterize these 2.2 million as deaths resulting from the expulsions, recent analyses by historians such as Overmans and Ruediger suggest that some the estimate of 2.2 million Germans whose status could not be verified was exaggerated due to an underestimation of ....(what?)
Recent analyses by German and Polish historians suggest that at least 500,000 Germans died during the postwar period which encompassed the evacuation, flight and forced expulsions of Germans from Eastern Europe. However, up to 1.7 million more Germans are unaccounted for and are presumed dead. It is impossible to determine with any accuracy how many died due to direct, intentional attacks, how many died from the rigors of forced migration and how many would have died anyway due to the privations of postwar Europe which included famine, disease and exposure to the elements in harsh winter conditions.
German politicians such as Steinbach and Bergner criticize these recent analyses, charging that the analyses have inappropriately restricted the deaths considered without including deaths due to (what?).

Your comments, criticisms and suggestions for improving this text are, of course, welcomed.

--Richard 09:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

"Recent"? 1994, the year in which Overmans's "Personelle Verluste der deutschen Bevölkerung durch Flucht und Vertreibung" ("Personal losses of the German population through flight and expulsion") was published in the Polish periodical Dzieje najnowsze[45] is hardly recent. In this piece of writing, "Overmans estimates that the entire number of "victims of expulsion" was approximately 600000" (said another source, please check google). Overmans wrote in 1999 that "in recent years, however, these statements [about the official estimates] have been increasingly questioned as the studies about the sum of reported deaths showed that the number of victims can hardly have been higher than 500,000 persons"(according to Demographic estimates of the German exodus from Eastern Europe) without mentioning his (sole?) part in that. Did Haar publish anything or is the interview (in which he may or may not be just referring to Overmans) a most notable work by a historian? And when Overmans then analysed the two numbers and decided for "Haar's", I guess he was also impartial and didn't need to mention his works. 2 million is the common number, also in this century - Overmans's and "Haar's" 500,000 proven and 500,000-600,000 likely is the exotic one. This is not to say that Overmans is wrong, but his number should not be portrayed as recent and the "perspective of the historians" (as opposed to the expellees and politicians). Sciurinæ 15:40, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
"Recent" is a relative term. Compared to 60 years, 13 years is relatively recent. I am trying to contrast studies of the last 25 years against studies that were done 50 years ago. However, if you wish to change it to say "over the last couple decades", I am amenable to that. Even better might be to provide wording that doesn't obsolete over time. Something like "a number of studies performed since the 1970s have indicated..." and then cite the studies. --Richard 17:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to rewrite my text in a way that fits your POV. I myself have been making the journey over the last year from 2.2 million (ZgV) to 1.2 million (Overmans). I would much appreciate a succinct description of the evolution of how the world understands these numbers. My poor command of Germand and total inability to read Polish has hampered me greatly in this discourse.
--Richard 17:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Do you claim that 2 000 000 died after the war? Where exactly? Name the places of the mass killings and the numbers. We have discussed here a number of cases from the rather biased German Wikipedia. Do you know more than the German Wiki does? Xx236 16:09, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Apparently, some people (Statistiches Bundesamt + ZgV) have claimed this. I think Overmans and Haar are claiming that there are other factors responsible for the discrepancy in the "population balance" but, as far as I know, they have not argued that fewer people died. (NB: I don't claim to fully understand what Overmans and Haar have said.) If there is reason to doubt that 2.2 million people died, then let us document the reliable source that asserts this and present a range.
That's not what I claimed at all. (And it's not about knowledge - it's about lack of knowledge.) Sciurinæ 16:27, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know exactly what Sciurinae means by "lack of knowledge" but here's how I would use the phrase...
Whatever the range of deaths might be, the point still remains that we don't know exactly how to attribute the cause of death. One of the major valid criticisms that I am trying to address is that whether the number is 1 million, 2 million or 3 million, we will never know how many died due to expulsion and how many died due to other factors such as Soviet atrocities, US/UK bombing, disease, famine, exposure, opportunistic crime, etc. --Richard 17:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
--Richard 17:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I want to add that number of violent deaths in the territory of Czechoslovakia was around 22.000 including 6.000 suicides and that expulsion in that territory was civilized and organized without massive killings per source I provided. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 10:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm OK with including this information provided that it is placed in the appropriate context. As far as I can tell, that is only one source and therefore we cannot tell if it represents a mainstream opinion or if it is accurate. However, let us assume that, even if the source is not accurate, the total number of violent deaths might not be much higher than, say, 50,000.
What I mean by putting it in the appropriate context is that we shouldn't take information from a single source and build a case that overreaches what the source says. I would guess that there are other sources who would argue that the total number of German deaths during the evacuation, flight and expulsion was higher. The 22,000 violent deaths should be cast in the context of the larger number. As has been argued, deaths due to the expulsions are not solely nor even primarily due to direct, intentional violence. Forced migration under threat of violence can cause hardship and death. --Richard 17:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

civilized and organized without massive killings

  • So you claim that the other expulsions were uncivilized and with massive killings. Where exactly in Poland the alleged massive killings took place?
  • The German Wiki presents another point of view de:Brünner Todesmarsch 5200 died, see also Todesmarsch der Komotauer Männer in de:Chomutov. I'm pretty sure that the Germans aren't right, but can we totally ignore the German Wiki? If you have proves they aren't right - why don't you change the German articles?

Xx236 10:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC) Polish historians suggest that at least 500,000 Germans died - who does? Xx236 10:53, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

No no, that's twisting of my words. German wikipedia is unsourced in case of Brno march - Neuere Studien der 1990er Jahre führen zu einer Zahl von rund 5200 Toten. - what's that, where are these new studies ? It is completely unsourced, thus we can ignore interwiki in this case. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 11:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Xx236 11:49, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually if your read more from that article there is Podle všech dostupných historických ověřitelných zdrojů se jednalo o 1691 obětí , z toho tři zemřeli při samotném pochodu z Brna do Pohořelic, 1062 lidí zemřelo na rakouské straně, zbytek připadal na oběti z pohořelického tábora a okolních obcí v důsledku nemocí, vyčerpání i přirozených úmrtí.
Translation: According to all available confirmed historical sources there were 1691 deaths, 3 died during the march, 1062 died in the Austria and the rest was caused by the diseases (in Pohořelec), exhaustion and natural causes.
They get the numbers out of the context to show what evil was there, but I believe it is for political reasons to obtain more political support and to play a role of victims. What an arrogance.
cs:Masakr na Švédských šancích is a sad truth, but the principals were judged by the courthouse and spent years in the prison. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 12:05, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I can provide a source and direct quote a source that proves exactly the opposite of what Tulko is saying, that is that all the expulsion in Czechoslovakia was civil and humane. Also, I do not like the sentence many would have died anyway due to the privations of postwar Europe which included famine I highlighted the word I don't think is suitable

--Jadger 15:53, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't talk about it, provide it now. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 15:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not have access to the book right now, so I cannot quote it exactly. The Book is The Blonde Knight of Germany, a biography of Erich Hartmann (that article links to the ISBN number). to give you the gist of it: His unit (JG 52) surrendered to the Americans in Czechoslovakia, but was turned over to the Russians. The Russians herded them together in a meadow with ethnic German civilians, the Russians proceeded to rape the women, forcing the men to watch as their wives and daughters were repeatedly gang-raped. during the following night, many of the people committed suicide in order to prevent this from happening to them again (suicides where thus a consequence of the harsh treatment by the expellers, and no one can claim that the suicides should not be counted in the number of dead from the expellation). After a period of time, the people were either sent to occupied Germany, or as in the case of Erich Hartmann, sent to a Soviet Gulag.

--Jadger 00:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Review 30Jan07

  • Can I request someone to restrict Mr. Jadger language? I totally ignore his biased “POV” and I hope others will do the same soon; however this is personal direct offence. Cite:
”Wow, Andrew/Serafin/131 rears his ugly head again and evades the block yet again. …”
  • For Lysy. The exact Naimark citation was presented already above. Please read the whole section [46]
  • Regarding the introduction for the article – but only the introduction – proposed by Lysy [47] I agree it is quite OK. Nevertheless the section Poland [48] needs to be revised against provocative suggestions and switches. Mainly I refer to Naimark interpretations and interpretations of his interpretations.
  • I strongly suggest to change the title of the article from: “Expulsion of Germans after World War II” to “Flight and Expulsion of Germans after World War II”. Since there is a talk about two different events which seems to be difficult to separate.
The title change is a reasonable proposal but not likely to gain consensus. There has previously been a proposal to merge this article with Exodus of Germans from Eastern Europe. That proposal did not gain consensus. I think the Exodus article covers evacuation, flight and expulsion. This article covers expulsion. We should consider an article on evacuation and flight but no one seems to know enough or care enough to start one. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • There was an discussion if the Haar's and Overmans' work can be consider as recent. At this place [49] you have the Overmans’ book reference, it is 2004. Is it not a recent book? Look below.
Rüdiger Overmans (2004). Deutsche militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg (German Military Losses in WWII). Munich: Oldenbourg, 298-300. ISBN 3-486-56531-1.
  • I found a book in my library: Haar, Ingo. (2005) "German scholars and ethnic cleansing, 1919-1945." It is also recent, or not? And it is in English.
Great. So tell us what the books say. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I find the tone of the's rant against me offensive. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
You're not the only one Richard, I have already reported him to the admin that has blocked him repeatedly before, so he should be stopped from personally attacking people again soon. This is still 131/Serafin/Andrew/AS> evading his block, as is obvious.
--Jadger 06:32, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I am tracing Richard’s editions, and I must say, in my opinion you show distinct tendency to increase numbers and suggest tragic causes of death.
I do not "increase numbers". I cite the numbers that others have put forth, putting them into context as appropriate.

I think by some reason you can not believe that Russians and other nations displayed less cruelty then Germans.

Of course, I believe that Russians and other nations displayed less cruelty than Germans. However, with the exception of noting that some people seem to think that the expulsions are justifiable revenge for the cruelty of the Nazis, I do not see it as appropriate to compare the cruelty of the expulsions against that of the Holocaust. As far as evil goes, I do not see them as being in the same class. That doesn't mean that evil was not wrought when the expulsions were implemented. I just think that the evil was not the primary intent of those who sanctioned and implemented the expulsions. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, sometimes I do not believe myself. After the savagery of German Nazis the other people show, in total, human attitude. I think, maybe because the Nazis’ savagery was disclosed for many people longer time after the WW II. What is your reason Richard you can not beleave for less taragic history than the one which imagination suggests?

I'm lost as to what the above text means and as to what is being asked of me so I will not respond further. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Richard I support the Xx236 appeal to you. Cite:
“Do you claim that 2 000 000 died after the war? Where exactly? Name the places of the mass killings and the numbers.
No, I believe that the ZgV believes that 2.2 million people died as a result of the expulsions. I further believe that the 2.2 million deaths occurred during the evacuation, flight and expulsions. Moreover, I do believe that it is difficult to determine how many were killed by Soviet troops, how many by Allied bombing, how many by Polish militia and how many by famine, disease and exposure. However, I doubt that any of these causes is responsible for less than 10% of the total deaths. Moreover, I suspect that only a small fraction of the total deaths were as the result of mass killings or even direct, intentional killing. --Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I've said the above several times in the last couple of weeks. I think that Xx236 was talking to Jadger when he asked that question but I'm answering it anyway in case it isn't obvious what I believe and what the emerging consensus seems to be.
--Richard 03:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Only dead persons are as dead person, to count. So the is a way to say: From a balance occurs xxx missing people, which include yyy documented killings. Missing is the correct world in the case when the bad fortune is unknown.
Wow, a vandal who is evading his block wants me restricted, how ironic!!!
--Jadger 02:35, 31 January 2007 (UTC)