Talk:German evacuation from East-Central Europe near the end of World War II

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Better Title ?[edit]

Can we get this a better title? This one is not descriptive, nor widely used. --Bejnar 18:50, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

It seems very descriptive to me. What is its problem and what would be your suggestion for a better title ? --Lysytalk 19:33, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The first problem is that this article deals with just Central and Eastern Europe (inc. Eastern Germany). The Germans evacuated from many places during WWII. The second problem is that the article is not about the evacuation of the army, but is about the evacuation of German civilians. I do not have a suggestion, I could not come up with one. I tried to research this, but evacuation turned out to be a poor indexing term. But if there were a name for the plans like "Project Baldr" that would be an appropriate title. --Bejnar 21:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I see. I don't think we could have a codename title, as the issue is quite broad. How about adding "civilians" to avoid the confusion ? Then we'd have German evacuation of civilian population during World War II or simpler German evacuation of civilians during World War II. Ideally we should have "German evacuation of German civilians during World War II" to be precise but that's of course too awkward. --Lysytalk 22:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The key here is what the intended scope of the article is. I disliked the inclusion of Western European countries to Flight and expulsion of Germans during and after WWII because, IMO, it diluted the message. In fact, I suspect that the inclusion of Western European countries was actually meant to dilute the message (i.e. to exculpate Eastern European countries by suggesting that other countries did similar things). IMO, the magnitudes were so different in scale as to make them dissimilar phenomena.

Likewise, German evacuation during World War II could refer to military and/or civilians, Eastern and/or Western Europe. I would prefer a limited scope to this article thus suggesting a title such as Evacuation of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe during WWII. The rationale for focusing on Central and Eastern Europe is that the evacuation was probably larger in scale (presumably there was no similar scale evacuation of German civilians from Western Germany or even the Sudetenland). Also, there is an important connection between the evacuations of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe and the expulsions of Germans from the same areas because the inability to determine how many Germans died during these events is a major point of controversy. --Richard 20:20, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

The proposal "German evacuation of civilians during World War II" still doesn't solve the problem of timing and location. There were German evacuations of non-Germans on a number of occasions during the war, e.g. removal of French from Alsace. This article is about removing ethnic Germans, and it is just about at the end of the war, and it is only about Central and Eastern Europe. Do you have any idea what the project names of the individual evacuation plans were?--Bejnar 20:22, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the overall plan had any significant name, as it was composed of a number of smaller plans on different levels in different location. Just for avoidance of doubt, the intended scope of the article when I create it, was "German evacuation of German civilians in the end of WW2 in Central and Eastern Europe". Of course too clumsy to make a title. I agree that adding "civilians" to the current title would make it more specific and more correct. I don't agree with you and Richard about the importance of adding "Central and Eastern Europe" as I believe this is redundant. To my knowledge Germans did not undertake any similarly significant evacuation effort elsewhere. The expulsion of French from Alsace can hardly be called evacuation. --Lysytalk 20:43, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

  1. Please note the distinction between "expulsion" of French from Alsace and "evacuation" of Germans at the end of the war. These are very different phenomena and should not be conflated.
  2. Even if we do dig up the "project names" of the evacuations, they would not be good titles for this article as this article covers multiple evacuations. Perhaps there could be articles about specific "projects" if there is sufficient material.
The key question is: Do we agree that the scope should be limited to Central and Eastern Europe? Or should we include Western and Southern Europe as well? Look, at the end of the day, we are really talking about the evacuation of Germans from Eastern Germany and Western Poland. That is where the bulk of the German civilians were. Other than those, I don't think there were other substantial evacuations. (I could be wrong, of course.)
Lysy, this points to the need for some quantitative data regarding the number of people evacuated from each region.
--Richard 20:48, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Still, don't you think that mentioning CEE in the title is redundant, as there were no significant German evacuation elsewhere during WW2 ? --Lysytalk 20:54, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, maybe. Here's the issue... if the reader is not very familiar with WWII, he/she might expect "German evacuation" to apply to all of German occupied territories from Scandinavia to northern Europe (France, Holland, Belgium) to Italy to Eastern Europe. However, as we know, significant evacuation was only necessary in Eastern Europe and even then, I think, primarily in western Poland and eastern Germany. This point needs to be brought out explicitly in the article. In particular, we need to explain why it was the case. I think the issue is primarily about fear of the Soviet Army. We need to explain why evacuation was necessary in the face of the Red Army's advance and not in the face of the advance of the Western allies. There should be some treatment of the alleged atrocities of the Red Army and the use of those atrocities by the German propaganda machine.
Whether these points are reflected in the title is not as important as long as the points are made in the article text.
--Richard 21:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

After 10 minutes searching - there was a big evacuation from Aachen in Western Germany. Xx236 11:55, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

The title misinforms. The article informs about the evacuation of Soviet Germans in 1943. It wasn't the end of the war. Xx236 (talk) 14:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I propose flight and evacuation of German civilians during the end of World War II. I think that many people fled without waiting for an official evacuation order or evacuation help. Andries (talk) 12:44, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Missing a "the"?[edit]

Shouldn't the article title be "Evacuation of German civilians at the end of World War II"? The current title doesn't read well without the "the". BrokenSphereMsg me 15:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

It may not have read well, but the article is not about "at the end", it is about "during the end". --Bejnar 17:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

during the end of World War II ?[edit]

The evacuation started in 1943, I wouldn't call that year the end.Xx236 10:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

When the evacuation plans were drawn up the "writing was on the wall", the end was in sight, people knew which way the wind was blowing, no matter how you describe it, if there were evacuations, then it was during the end, self-defining. --Bejnar 14:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The end of the war in Europe was May the 8, 1945 and calling 1943 the end doesn't help to understand the problem. It was a local end, not the global one.Xx236 07:26, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

The expulsion and the forced flight of the Germans happened at the end and after the war. Evacuation is a euphemism for ethnic cleansing or expulsion.-- (talk) 20:54, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

No it isn't - it's a different aspect of the overall topic. Having these various articles with similar titles and subject matter (which are not always in concordance anyway) certainly makes the whole thing very confused, but "evacuation", "flight", "expulsion" and "atrocities" are different things, all of which occurred.--Kotniski (talk) 08:29, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

A lot of rubbish[edit]

The destription of the evacuation of East Prussia is complete rubbish.

Any kind of preparations to evacuate the province were strictly forbidden. Even talking about any possible necessity to evacuate would have been accused as defeatism. Anybody thinking about such thing shows his doubts about the “Endsieg” ( final victory), which was a crime from Nazi POV. As a second reason Gauleiter Koch thougt that german soldiers would fight even harder knowing that the civilists are right behind the frontline, fighting for an empty country isn´t that important. Only a very few people were evacuated from a small area with direct contact to the front in Autumn 1944, but definitely not to Pomerania and Saxony, mostly only inside East Prussia. Evacuation in July 1944 didn´t happen ( defeatism) AND DEFINITELY NOT 25 % of 2.6 MILLION. Most inhabitants left their homes just hours ( or even less) before the red army occupied their hometown and a significant number of them did NOT manage to escape over the Vistula Lagoon.

The allegation that 80 % of the population had already left East Prussia is old propaganda, suggesting polish and russian people later on coming to East Prussia were resettling an uninhabited area.

And this is also obviously wrong for Pomerania, Silesia ( 85 % in 1945 !! nonsense ) and the New March ( 10 % german is absurd, have a look at the WIKI Neumark article: in 1924 the regional polish party got 1.900 votes out of 570.000 voters )(HerkusMonte (talk) 15:31, 6 February 2008 (UTC))

The article is based on PLANNING, it wasn´t realized!(HerkusMonte (talk) 10:21, 17 February 2008 (UTC))

HerkusMonte, why do you think that there were no evacuation plans. How many people do you think were in East Prussia after Soviet Army entered ? Davydoff (talk) 11:58, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I don´t doubt the evacuation PLANS, they were simply not realized. The source given for the evacuated population is mixing up plans and reality. The Nazi party and especially Gauleiter Erich Koch saw defeatism in every kind of preparation of an evacuation. From Nazi POV the Soviets will never manage to occupie East Prussia, the final victory was doubtlesss and the wunderwaffen will soon arrive. So evacuating East Prussia would have shown, that all this was a lie (as it was off course). Most people left their homes only hours before Red Army arrieved ( and for that reason a lot of them died, because they were just in the middle of the fightings). All this has been described in so many reports, just as an example Marion Gräfin Dönhoff "Namen, die keiner mehr nennt", that I am a little bit astonished about the version of English WP. And the fact that people left their homes does not mean they managed to escape, many were overrun by the Red Army on their way to the west( descibed by Solzhenitsyn or Lev Kopelev). I can´t give exact numbers at the moment ( I´ll try to find some) but the assertion, that East Prussia was almost uninhabited is simply wrong.(HerkusMonte (talk) 13:12, 17 February 2008 (UTC))
I'm a bit confused. You wrote that "Any kind of preparations to evacuate the province were strictly forbidden". At the same time you say "I don´t doubt the evacuation PLANS, they were simply not realized". The plans are obviously part of the preparations to evacuate. So are you saying that the evacuation plans were prepared illegally ? Davydoff (talk) 18:13, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Don´t you see a difference between making an evacuation plan somewhere in the backoffice and CONCRETE preparation? Does Nitschke (the source ) explain, who made the plans? As far as I know they were made by the Wehrmacht, based on a realistic evaluation of the war situation. When these plans were presented to Koch, he refused to accept them - and Koch was the one, who decided whats going on in East Prussia. As a part of Goebbels propaganda it was absolutely necessary, to show no doubts about the german success- and an evacuation of 80 % ( or 25 % already in 1944 ) would have shown very obviously, that the Nazis didn´t believe in their own propaganda.(HerkusMonte (talk) 09:58, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

Could someone please take a look into the source given here - obvious mistake[edit]

I cut the following paragraph from the article:

New March

The evacuation of German population from New March was performed simultaneously with the evacuation of General Government and Greater Poland. [1] The territories, although forming the largest province of the Third Reich, had only scarce German population of about 10%; the rest of the population was Polish. [2] Despite the proximity of the province to Oder, only 30-40% of the evacuated managed to cross the river in time. The evacuation orders did not concern the Polish population, which usually remained in place.

This paragraph is definitely not about New March, as New March was neither the greatest nor a "scarcely" German province. Could someone with access to the source please check what province the author actually did write about, correct and reinsert. My guess would be the areas attached to the East Prussian Gau following 1941, but I'm not sure. Skäpperöd (talk) 15:16, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Nitschke, Wysiedlenie ..., p. 54
  2. ^ Podlasek, Wypędzenie ..., p. 92

Wrong Avalon links[edit]

Xx236 (talk) 14:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Evacuation from Wrocław/Breslau should be described[edit]

Xx236 (talk) 10:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Kriegsverbrechen der alliierten Siegermächte biased[edit]

German Wikipedia quotes the book only once regarding Bucarest, not Germany. The author is an architect and the book is biased.Xx236 (talk) 07:57, 19 March 2009 (UTC) The book is unreliable according to Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard.Xx236 (talk) 08:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

"Kriegsverbrechen ..." is unreliable[edit]

According to [1] the text should not be quoted here.Xx236 (talk) 06:46, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Ilya Ehrenburg[edit]

Soviet propaganda was controlled by Soviet leaders. Selecting Ilya Ehrenburg is POV.Xx236 (talk) 06:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Merge or refactor[edit]

This article basically duplicates topics which are already discussed (generally in more detail) at Expulsion of Germans after World War II (which really covers the topics "Flight and expulsion of Germans during and after World War II", which I've proposed as a new title for it). We should either merge this article into this one, or else make this the main page for the events specifically during the later stages of the war (just summarizing them at the other article). But actually I don't see that it's particularly natural to divide this subject matter by the watershed of the end of the war, so I would suggest merging the pages (most of the info here is probably already included in the other article anyway).--Kotniski (talk) 08:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Five years have gone by since the above comment was posted by Kotniski who hasn't been active for the last three of those five years. I shouldn't be responding here but perhaps starting a new thread, but one thing needs clarification regardless. In order to avoid duplication per WP:FORK, this particular article should be devoted entirely to war years, and nothing else. The escape ahead of the front by design, including the western front, which seems to be missing. Content needs to be cut-and-pasted into here from the article Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) which (by itself) is totally out of control. Poeticbent talk 17:12, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Flight and evacuation during the end of World War II[edit]

Flight and evacuation during the end of World War II included evacustion of:

  • civilians,
  • soldiers (including SS),
  • policemen,
  • forced workers,
  • prisoners and guards of KZs known as Death marches (Holocaust).

The selection of "German civilans" only and renaming the flight and evacuation to "Expulsion" is rewriting of history.Xx236 (talk) 08:27, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Almost 5 years are gone, the POV title still exists.
inmates of the Majdanek camp were evacuated starting on April 1, 1944 (see also Death marches (Holocaust)) - not only Majdanek. Xx234 (talk) 08:12, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Dispute in another article about this subject[edit]

There is a dispute about this subject here Vistula–Oder_Offensive#Flight_of_ethnic_Germans. See Talk:Vistula–Oder_Offensive#Continue_to_disagree:_section_Flight_of_ethnic_Germans and dispute over this edit regarding flight and evacuation of Germans Because this is the main article on this subject I am hoping for more eyes. Please make comments regarding the contents there ( Talk:Vistula%E2%80%93Oder_Offensive#Continue_to_disagree:_section_Flight_of_ethnic_Germans ), not here. Andries (talk) 07:56, 17 July 2015 (UTC)


The article presents only German POV:

  • Many refugees were bilingual Slavs. There were also forced workers, e.g. French ones, among them.
  • The article doesn't inform about the evacuation of prisoners and the massacres, e.g. the Massacre of Palmnicken/Yantarny.Oskar Schindler evacuated 1200 Jews. Xx236 (talk) 09:40, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Recent moves[edit]

User:Poeticbent has moved the page twice within a few days. Don't you think a prior discussion would be extremely helpful to find an adequate name and move it after consensus has been reached? The current title ignores the improvised Flight, which was in fact a much more defining aspect of what happened compared to an organized "evacuation". HerkusMonte (talk) 09:16, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

I believe the Flight of the Germans is a better title, it matches the German sources that use "Die Flucht" --Woogie10w (talk) 14:34, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
"Evacuation" is a more general term. Unless someone wants to write only about spontaneous flight of civilians, which I don't think will find consensus. - üser:Altenmann >t 16:19, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Moving an article needs to be discussed and should be done after "consensus" was found, not vice versa. HerkusMonte (talk) 14:48, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Please cite the corresponding wikipedia guideline. - üser:Altenmann >t 17:04, 21 November 2015 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is no consensus in this RFC. The arguments are good from all points of view, but are to evenly split among keep, remove, and reduce. There is support to keep something, because keep and reduce are arguments to keep something, but there can not be said to be consensus for either. AlbinoFerret 04:47, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

I maintain that the inclusion of the Death marches (Holocaust) with the flight of the Germans is a Wikipedia:SYNTHESIS to arrive at a conclusion that is not supported by reliable sources. I object to the inclusion of the death marches in an account of the German flight in the wake of the Soviet Army,it's a tacky analogy that trivializes the Holocaust. In my opinion the Death marches (Holocaust) does not belong in the same article as the evacuation of Germans.--Woogie10w (talk) 13:25, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Keep How death marches of Nazi camps trivializes Holocaust? Evacuation of slave workforce was part of German evacuation. Or you are implying that Nazis did that to protect their inmates from brutal Soviets? - üser:Altenmann >t 15:20, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Note well that in modern day Germany the far right compares the Expulsions of the Germans to the Holocaust. That's why I find the inclusion tacky.--Woogie10w (talk) 15:40, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think the position of far rights must influence on how wikipedia is written. - üser:Altenmann >t 16:13, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is written with reliable sources, as far I know the Death Marches Holocaust and the evacuation of German civilians are not in the same chapter of written history.--Woogie10w (talk) 16:19, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
In this case please suggest renaming to "evacuation of civilians". In fact, the evacuation included not only civilians, but also industry, infrastructure, supplies, etc. As I see this general topic is overlooked in wikipedia for German side. AFAIK coverage of a similar evacuation of Japanese from Sakhalin (Karafuto) is more comprehensive in this respect. - üser:Altenmann >t 16:30, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

As much as I appreciate User:Woogie10w's contributions to our understanding of the complexities of World War II historiography, I resent his attempts at trying to use Wikipedia policies in order to form an argument in defense of his personal point of view that has nothing to do with reliable third-party sources. Below are just a few examples of historical interpretation of the incredibly complex nature of the subject of German evacuation from East-Central Europe (borrowed from the books in the reference section of this article with a single click).

I don't have the book but US historian Naimark (The fires of hatred) selected the Holocaust and the expulsion of Germans as parallel subjects [2]. Not the Nazi organised "transfers" of Slavs, not the extermination of Poles in Volhynia.
Gustloff transported civilians and soldiers. Xx236 (talk) 11:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

The Germans from the Eastern territories were certainly neither the first nor the last group to face mass expulsions from their homelands. In the past decade, the topic of forced migration has been in the news regularly... the Nazis' removal and subsequent extermination of the Jews from Central Europe during World War II, the expulsion of the Poles from Eastern Poland at the end of World War II due to the Soviet absorption of that territory, [are] among many other examples. -- Amy A. Alrich, Expulsions in the past and present, 2003

considering the last phase of war on the eastern front exclusively from the viewpoint of the German troops, which ... resisted ... to save the German population from the Red Army's wrath ... amount[s] to apologetic interpretations of the Third Reich ... -- Wulf Kansteiner 2006

the Holocaust has to be interpreted within the overall context of state-of-the-art population policies that entailed large-scale ... relocations as part of wide-ranging plans to reform the political, economic, and ethnic map of eastern "Europe. The attempt to realize these plans set off an chain reaction of failed social engineering that led to ethnic cleansing and genocide. -- the Hamburg School (in) Wulf Kansteiner 2006

For most commentators, these defense mechanisms -- for instance, the self stylization as victims, the projection of all responsibility on Hitler and his henchmen, and the neutralization of Nazism as a natural catastrophe -- were dishonest, self-serving myths that the population and its elected leaders constructed in mutually reinforcing and mutually comforting cycles of collective make-believe. -- Wulf Kansteiner 2006

Poeticbent talk 16:03, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

None of these sources link the flight of the Germans to the death marches, that is your OR--Woogie10w (talk) 16:06, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
The article uses the general term "evacuation". "Flight" refers to individual, unorganized running away from danger. Of course, fleeing civilians did not take Nazi camps with them. But the Nazi state did. - üser:Altenmann >t 16:11, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The meaning of "evacuate" (the Cambridge Dictonary, one of many) is: evacuate (verb) /ɪˈvæk.ju.eɪt/ ›› to ​move ​people from a ​dangerous ​place to ​somewhere ​safe: to leave (a dangerous place, Merriam-Webster). Examples: When ​toxic ​fumes ​began to ​drift toward ​our ​homes, we were told to evacuate. Residents evacuated the burning building. ›› evacuation (noun) /ɪˌvæk.juˈeɪ.ʃən/ --- Meanwhile, the "flight" is (and was) politically charged interpretation of the perfectly good encyclopedic description of evacuation. It was employed by the West German historiography during Cold War. Poeticbent talk 16:27, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't really care about the terms flight or evacuation. To put Germans and Jews in the same boat in 1945 is obscene--Woogie10w (talk) 16:33, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean "in the same boat"? And BTW, AFAIK Nazi camps by the end of the war contained more Russians than Jews. - üser:Altenmann >t 16:37, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Good point Altenmann --Woogie10w (talk) 16:42, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
"in the same boat", is colloquial English to compare two things--Woogie10w (talk) 16:44, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
The "boat" analogy is "obscene". Meanwhile, the history of the German evacuation included the evacuation of prisoners of forced labour camps from occupied territories as well as civilians and military personnel, on top of equipment. Poeticbent talk 16:50, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
OK then we need a separate article for the evacuation of prisoners of forced labour camps from occupied territories. The Nazis were serving hot coffee to the civilians getting on trains to Germany--Woogie10w (talk) 17:17, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Just the opposite. We don't need a separate article but instead, we can contrast the hot coffee you mentioned, with the testimonies of death march' survivors punished for picking up rotting food-scraps from garbage piles along the road: Poeticbent talk 18:09, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
The inclusion of German evacuees with the death marches trivializes the Holocaust. We need separate articles for both topics--Woogie10w (talk) 18:22, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, it shows how Holocaust was stubbornly continued even when Nazi defeat was imminent.- üser:Altenmann >t 17:08, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Remove at least reduce significantly. The death marches are part of the Holocaust and not part of the attempt to evacuate (i.e. save) German civilians from the advancing front. Unless a source describes the death marches as part of the Flight and evacuation of Germans, this is pure WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. HerkusMonte (talk) 14:45, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The death marches were part of the evacuation, part of the Holocaust, part of the extermination of Poles, Ukrainians, Russians. If you believe that only Jews were evacuated you are wrong, please quote your sources. Generally Germans know about German crimes on Jews but not so much about German crimes on Slavs.
Xx236 (talk) 13:58, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
The death marches were part of history. An event in history may be viewed from different perspectives. Holocaust is discussed in many articles which are not exclusively about Holocaust. - üser:Altenmann >t 17:08, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Re: The death marches are part of the Holocaust and not part of the attempt to evacuate (i.e. save) German civilians from the advancing front. Since the German civilians were involved in Holocaust (for example as personal staff in concentration camps) we can't separate the two. Claiming that evacuation served to "save civilians" is rather incomplete picture. For example MS Wilhelm Gustloff evacuated soldiers and Nazis, including members of Todt organization and dedicated NSDAP members who were colonists in Poland. Portraying the evacuation as "saving of civilians" would be subscribing to an old mythology in Germany that isn't really that correct or in line with modern research.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 20:00, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Please continue copy-pasting new sources from other articles if you want, but make sure to read what's written in the sources already provided in support of information featured here. WP:CHERRYPICKING and removal of facts which you find inconvenient for the German self-serving myth of humanitarian rescue, is not acceptable. Poeticbent talk 00:01, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Poeticbent did you read the USHMM article before you made your post?--Woogie10w (talk) 00:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:The Last Word? Poeticbent talk 15:17, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove - not the article topic. A link to that article could fit in the See Also list. (And I'd suggest a link about wartime settlement into the areas also be added.) Markbassett (talk) 15:42, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep, obviously. No idea what User:Markbassett wants, because s/he has never been here before. Poeticbent talk 16:00, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • User Markbassett has the right to speak here, that is why I started the Rfc--Woogie10w (talk) 16:26, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree. The whole point of a RTC is to get new eyes on the subject. To invite active, engaged editors to a page that they have not been active on to share their experience and perspective. WP:RFC says "(RFC) is an informal process for requesting outside input"--Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 03:58, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep. I don't see how mentioning this in the context of German withdrawal from Eastern-Europe is demeaning. I also think there is a correlation between some aspects of the evacuation of Germans, and the marches involved. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:09, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Question. Do we have any secondary RS telling explicitly that "Death marches are considered a part of the Holocaust"? If not, the position to include them as a part of the Holocaust can be reasonably viewed as WP:OR. My very best wishes (talk) 00:52, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove or reduce if the article is rewritten. The Holocaust death marches do not deserve their own paragraph in the intro. If this article was about the general retreat of Germany from East-Central Europe, then the Holocaust marches could be included in the particular area's subsection (e.g. Silesia's). Is this article about the retreat of Germany or the evacuation of Germans? Currently, this discusses German civilians evacuating, not the general retreat of the German state (its government, institutions, industry, etc.). This article seems to be more of a fork from Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) and therefore about the fate of German citizens, both long-time residents and WWII newcomers. The Holocaust marches started out as an organized retreats of a German military/industrial site; no other mention is made in this article of such retreats. --Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 03:58, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Comment. German evacuation from East-Central Europe was all-encompassing and involved civilian population (both native German and Volksdeutche from the east), entire administration (government, institutions, industry, etc.) and the German military-industrial complex which consisted of hundreds of concentration camps producing armaments with the use of prisoner slave labour, as in Stutthof (with 41 subcamps), KZ Majdanek, and KZ Lviv and others. Prisoner slave labour was put on death marches. The term death marches was introduced after World War II for the purpose identifying the hundreds of thousands of non-German victims of the German evacuation from East-Central Europe ahead of the Soviet advance. For all practical purposes, they were part of the same initiative. – What we can do in this article is to add specifics about the "employers" i.e. the German companies exploiting prisoner labour such as Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke for whom the death marches were nothing more but the plant production "relocation" gone bad. Poeticbent talk 14:14, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you agreeing with me or disagreeing? Your comment is not clear. I made two points: (1) the Holocaust should not be mentioned in the intro; and (2) AS WRITTEN THIS ARTICLE is about civilians only. You are right that "German evacuation from East-Central Europe was all-encompassing". THIS ARTICLE is not all-encompassing. This article does not discuss the German military-industrial complex evacuation in East Central Europe. The Holocaust marches should be included if this article includes the German military-industrial complex evacuation. Right now this article does not. Therefore the Holocaust-related marches should not be included.--Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 04:07, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Reduce - since the primary topic of the article is on the civilian evacuations. However, there is a place in the lede for a short mention of concurrent Holocaust death marches and POW death marches, and another short mention in the overview section. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 03:30, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Absolutely positively not in Bessel[edit]

Please click on the external link to Google Books preview [p. 67] and look again. HerkusMonte produced a number 824,000 with the edit summary: 2,000,000 is not supported by the source... However, Bessel – who's quoted at the end of the sentence – never said that. If a different source is being used, it ought to be revealed. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 15:17, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Side note: I don't know if this new and conspicuously precise number speaks of the so-called "Nachumsiedler" (just guessing), because nothing is said in the edit summary about the eastern Germans from the Soviet Union, Volhynia, Bessarabia and Romania, brought into Poland during "Heim ins Reich". Either the number must be revised to include all of them, or removed altogether. Poeticbent talk 15:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

The issue of German resettlement is a numerical labyrinth. In total about 1.9 million were moved around by the Nazis , 560,000 from the territory of modern day Germany (Erika Steinbach is the poster girl for these folks) and 1.3 million who were shuffled around in Eastern Europe. Folks from Romania, Yugoslavia, the former German eastern territories, the Baltic states and the Ukraine were resettled in Poland. They had no choice in the matter, the Nazis told them to pack up and get on the train. My stats come from Reichling 1995--Woogie10w (talk) 16:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Notable fact. Poeticbent talk 16:20, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Not all Eastern Germans who planned or even tried to flee were able to do so; due to the fact that they did not anticipate the speed with which the Soviets would arrive, many Germans were literally taken by surprise. In Königsberg and in some other areas, many Germans witnessed the arrival of the Red Army because local government or party officials had refused to allow the population to flee. — Alrich 2003, page 202.

Bessel regurgitated that figure of 825,000 from Schieder, I would not use it. It would be correct to say 1.9 million were resettlers but the caveat is that 1.3 million already lived in East-Central Europe in 1939. In the eyes of German law they are also "expellees" because they lost the farm in Latvia--Woogie10w (talk) 16:30, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Le's take a closer look: "In January 1944 roughly 352,000 of these ethnic Germans from the Baltic were in occupied Poland. In adition, an even larger number of Germans from the Reich...and in January 1944 these numbered some 472,000 in occupied Poland."
352,000 + 472,000 = 824,000 Germans in pre-war Poland; Absolutely positively, that's what Bessel says. HerkusMonte (talk) 17:33, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
 Fail. User-generated sum of two numbers (352,000 + 472,000 = 824,000) supposedly counting in the 352,000 ethnic Germans from the Baltic, ignores the ethnic German splinter groups forcibly resettled from Volhynia, Galicia, Nerewdeutschland, North Bukovina and Bessarabia, Romania (South Bukovina and North Dobruja), and USSR (pre-1939 borders). Notably, the 352,000 number is not on the same page # 67 in Bessel. The preceding page # 66 is omitted in Google limited preview, that's why User:HerkusMonte wrote dot, dot, dot instead of honestly quoting the full sentence. Poeticbent talk 16:38, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Gerhard Reichling, Die deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen, Teil 1, Bonn 1995. on s. 26 has the following for the territory of pre war Poland 380,000 from former German eastern territories, 290,000 from the territory of modern day Germany and 690,000 settlers. Total pre war Poland 1,360,000 plus an additional 460,000 resettled and evacuated to the former German eastern territories and Danzig. Grand Total 1,820,000. I can forward a jpg of the pages in Reichling, my email is (talk) 18:51, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
" 352,000 of these ethnic Germans from the Baltic" is wrong, there were 127,000 Baltic Germans, 87,000 were on Polish territory and 40,000 in the former German eastern territories. --Woogie10w (talk) 19:17, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Bingo, I checked the Schieder report Vol 1 p. 7. Bessel used Schieder 's numbers. Lets just Call a spade a spade, 824,000[clarification needed] Germans in pre-war Poland originates from the 1954 Schieder report. Bessel copied Schieder 's numbers.--Woogie10w (talk) 19:26, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Woogie, in your calculations don't forget that as part of the German state plan to exterminate Poles and replace them with Germans 400,000 German officials were sent to Poland to administrate it after 1939 as per Wysiedlenia, wypędzenia i ucieczki 1939–1959: Atlas Ziem Polski: Polacy, Żydzi, Niemcy, Ukraińcy. Warszawa Demart 2008. As to the degree of Germanization of Polish territories before the war, there were circa 740.992 Germans reported in 1931 census.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 21:38, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Is there any way, we can summarize the scope of this topic to the reader, without having to rely on the original arithmetic from the Cold War era provided by the former members of the Nazi Party such as Theodor Schieder (see below), without any parallel source from Poland?
Schieder’s work referred to the Poles as ... “sadistic,” and “driven by national hatred,” whereas the language applied to Nazi crimes was more benign ... The volumes, published between 1956 and 1963 amounted to a “scholarly seal of approval” for Germany’s victimization narrative. Schieder was a former member of the NSDAP. During the Third Reich his scholarship supported the idea of a German Lebensraum and the inferiority of the Slavic populations . His work was incorporated into the General Plan Ost. — Dr. Deborah Barton (2015), University of Toronto
As far as the overall total of people affected by forced migration, I'm unable to confirm anything myself. Here's one source I'd like to see but have no access to:
Enzyklopädie Migration in Europa :vom 17. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart / hrsg. von Klaus J. Bade ... - Paderborn [u.a.] : Schöningh [u.a.], 2007. - 1156 S. : Ill., graph. Darst. ISBN 978-3-7705-4133-1 - ISBN 978-3-506-75632-9 2007 - 1494.
Below is a table copy-pasted for your convenience from the article Volksdeutsche with the overall number of people included in the Deutsche Volksliste as of 1944 across the formerly Polish territories (the settlers, I presume, because residents of the Reich had no reason to leave their homes). Thanks, Poeticbent talk 16:38, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Poeticbent, on Wikipedia we must maintain a NPOV and present both sides of the argument, in other words Wikipedia is not censored. As far as Schieder is concerned, in Germany today historians have pointed out the flaws in his account of the expulsions. However there are a stack of reliable sources in the English language that regurgitate his numbers. We need to present Schieder's figures that appear in English language historical accounts and explain why they are flawed. We have to convince people that the West German figures lack credibility using German sources like Haar, Overmans and the Hahn's. That is what I have done on Wikipedia.--Woogie10w (talk) 10:06, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Annexed area Deutsche Volksliste, early 1944
Cat. I Cat. II Cat. III Cat. IV
Warthegau 230,000 190,000 65,000 25,000
Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia
Note: In Polish Pomerania, unlike in the rest of occupied Poland, signing
of the list was mandatory for a good portion of the population
115,000 95,000 725,000 2,000
East Upper Silesia 130,000 210,000 875,000 55,000
South East Prussia 9,000 22,000 13,000 1,000
Total 484,000 517,000 1,678,000 83,000
Total 2.75 million on Volkslisten plus non-German population (whatever that means!) of 6.015 million- Grand Total 8.765 million in annexed territories.
Source: Wilhelm Deist, Bernhard R Kroener, Germany (Federal Republic). Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt, Germany and the Second World War, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 132,133, ISBN 0-19-820873-1, citing Broszat, Nationalsozialistische Polenpolitik, p. 134

This source is available online Eberhardt Piotr: Political migrations on Polish territories (1939-1950). Warszawa: PAN IGiPZ, 2011 - 225 s. (Monografie; 12) PDF file, direct download 7.78 MB. Page 64 and onwards is about Germanization, and has several tables.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 21:15, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks a lot. I didn't realize the book was digitized. The chapter relevant to this article (III.9. "Evacuation and flight of the German population to the postwar Germany") begins on page 108. — Population was aware of the approaching front, but according to book, did not realize that the expulsions were inevitable because borders were going to be redrawn.[p.110] Piotr Eberhardt quotes B. Nitschke (2000, pp.232-233) about the situation in the eastern areas of Germany as of 1944. Nitschke estimated the total German population at 12,339,400 notably, by manipulating the war losses. The German historians themselves question these numbers, since 900,000 men from the eastern territories were mobilized into the German army. Several hundred thousand of them died already before that date, therefore the Nitschke total includes both absentees as well as dead souls. Here are the numbers from Nitschke:
Arthur Greiser welcoming the millionth settler of German ethnicity during the "Heim ins Reich" action from Central and Eastern Europe to occupied Poland - March 1944
  1. German settlers from occupied countries: 900,000 ? (a picture is worth a thousand words !)
  2. German businessmen, management and bureaucracy with their families: 750,000
  3. Germans evacuated east to avoid Allied bombings: 1,134,000 (Bessel, p.67 : 825,000 !)
  4. Germans counted (absurdly !) as still living there in 1944 based on prewar German census: 8,885,400
  5. Grand total (a complete fiction): 12,339,400

It looks like we are going to have to find the middle ground all by ourselves somehow. Poeticbent talk 01:38, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

to find the middle ground all by ourselves somehow is original research. Nitschke is a reliable source published in Poland--Woogie10w (talk) 10:40, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Germans counted living there in 1939 based on prewar German census was 9.5 million in prewar German territory, 400,000 in Danzig and 800,000 in Poland Total 10.7 million. Nitschke was correct she subtracted the men from the eastern territories who were mobilized into the German army.--Woogie10w (talk) 10:45, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I am going to make a copy of Nitschke today just to make sure that the facts are presented here, not a complete fiction--Woogie10w (talk) 11:12, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
German sources ie.documents generated in 1939-1945 are the sources used by historians like Schieder,Reichling, Eberhardt and Nitschke. We can't just make up our own numbers, that is original research.--Woogie10w (talk) 11:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Re: "mobilized into the German army" ... as Germans. Hello!

Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, many former citizens of the Second Polish Republic from across the Polish territories annexed by Nazi Germany were forcibly conscripted into the Wehrmacht army in Upper Silesia and in Pomerania. They were declared citizens of the Third Reich by law and therefore subject to drumhead court-martial in case of draft evasion. Professor Ryszard Kaczmarek of the University of Silesia in Katowice, author of a monograph titled Polacy w Wehrmachcie ("Poles in the Wehrmacht") noted that the scale of this phenomenon was much larger than previously assumed, because 90% of the inhabitants of these two westernmost regions of prewar Poland were ordered to register on the Nazi Deutsche Volksliste by the invader regardless of will. The number of the conscripts however, is not known. The data does not exist beyond 1943.

Poeticbent talk 14:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Overmans made this point in Warsaw in 1994, he pointed out that many of the "Germans" were of dubious German ethnicity. Nevertheless persons on the Volksliste feared reprisals and were evacuated. Some wound up in Germany after the war. They became Germans, carried a German passport.--
because 90% of the inhabitants of these two westernmost regions of prewar Poland were ordered to register on the Nazi Deutsche Volksliste This not correct, the population was 9.8 million, 2.7 million were on the Volksliste 27% not 90%. We cannot separate the true Germans from the bilingual Poles of dubious German ethnicity in the evacuation, there are no statistics.--Woogie10w (talk) 15:26, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Please do not change what Prof. Kaczmarek said ... 90% of the forcibly conscripted men according to him were non-Germans. If the 2.7 million (as you say, I don't know) were on the Volksliste, that's 90% of them. — And please do not use words like: "dubious German ethnicity" because this is offensive to victims of the Nazi pressure. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 15:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Anyway the evacuation included persons who spoke only German and some who were bilingual, the total evacuated is disputed., there is no correct figure. There was nobody with clipboard in 1945 counting the people and checking their nationality and ability to speak German. There are only rough estimates only, no exact statistics . And please do not use words like: "dubious German ethnicity" because this is offensive to victims of the Nazi pressure. Thanks, OK some of these men supported the Nazis and remained in Germany, others were rehabilitated in Poland after the war--Woogie10w (talk) 16:24, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • What makes you think that these [Polish] men "remained in Germany". They certainly did not. – Many never claimed the quote-unquote "German ethnicity" and left for the United States, Canada, and other countries once they were released from the German forcible conscription into their army ... So much for the superiority complex among some German historians. Quote: In May 1947, Canada's new immigration policy provided for the resettlement of displaced and homeless persons from Europe. Volksdeutsche refugees who were not German nationals were included from the beginning in this new policy, which enabled 21,000 of them to enter by September 1950.Manfred Prokop (2015). Canadian immigration regulations for Germans after World War II. Annotated Bibliography of the Cultural History of the German-speaking Communities in Alberta: From the 1880s to the Present. University of Alberta.  Poeticbent talk 17:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Many Poles lived in Displaced persons camps. I don't know if former Wehrmacht soldiers joined them. The best known example of such soldier is Józef Tusk, his fate remainds unclear.Xx236 (talk) 11:15, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
The history of the Expulsion of Germans is German nationalistic narration (propaganda). Wikipedia should describe rather facts (mass migrations during and after the war) than the POV of rich and powerful nations (Germany). About 30 millions people moved after the war, why the 13 millions of Germans are important to have a series of articles and the other millions obtain lines or aren't mentioned~at all?
The title of this page is German evacuation.... The German state evacuated its assets - civilians, forced workers, arms, gold and documents. German ships transported civilians, soldiers and prisoners. Describing the tragedy of civilians and ignoring the tragedy of prisoners (SS Cap Arcona (1927)) is inacceptable. Xx236 (talk) 07:06, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Bombs and the sinking of ships[edit]

  • The refugees were bombed (Dresden, Golm War Cemetery) or died with their ships, Gustloff is the icon of the evacuation.
  • A German historian wrote about the continuation of the Holocaust during the evacuation [3] Und auch der Holocaust geht weiter.
  • Two groups of women met near Breslau in 1945 - the ones who didn't protest against Nazism and KZ prisoners, Jews among them. The prisoners were glad to see that the conformists didn't win. I don't remeber my source - Die Zeit or SZ, 10 or 15 years ago. The same authorities organized all evacuations. Many German authors describe the terrible fate of poor civilians, not mentioning parallel tragedies of prisoners, forced workers and POWs.
  • Not only people were evacuated but also gold, documents, pieces of art. An alleged Golden Train is being looked for in Poland now. Xx236 (talk) 11:09, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Writing about German evacuation as "the continuation of the Holocaust" is unacceptable. We are not going to address such revisionist metaphors from the dailies in here. However, for the unique scope of this particular article in contrast to the article about the postwar expulsions, quite important is the dramatic change of attitude toward the refugees among the Reich Germans themselves. Prior to capitulation, most refugees were the actual real Germans; after the capitulation, they included splinter groups speaking local dialects. Poeticbent talk 15:15, 27 November 2015 (UTC) \
The Germans continued the Holocaust during the evacuation murdering Jews and other prisoners: Death marches (Holocaust), Yantarny#Massacre of Palmnicken, de:Endphaseverbrechen. Xx236 (talk) 06:34, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Those Germans who fled prior to the capitulation frequently encountered Nazi functionaries who generally welcomed the incoming Germans ... when they came in small numbers and were neat and tidy, the local population largely welcomed the refugees; however, when thousands of expellees arrived daily by ship, train, and on foot, and they were frequently dirty, hungry, and sick, the indigenes were often overwhelmed and hostile. On 20 February 1946 the British launched "Operation Swallow" ... from East Prussia, Pomerania, and Silesia. Between February and the end of December 1946 over 1,600,000 Germans were transferred ... Germans being transported perceived this relocation as temporary; just as swallows return when conditions have improved ... among those persons transferred out were thousands of Masurians, non-Polish Slavic people who lived in Southern East Prussia --- Alrich 2003, pp. 80-82.
Swallows and Masurians aside, the fact remains that in 1950 670,000 former citizens of Poland had been granted German nationality. We have no data on how well they spoke German. In 1945 many Poles joined the German flight out of fear of the Soviet forces, but they returned to Poland. Those are the facts that we as editors have to live with. Aside from the expellees on Oct 1,1951 102,812 Polish nationals were resident in West Germany and 17,378 were in UN Dp camps--Woogie10w (talk) 12:19, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Woogie10w, I understand; nobody could have predicted that the new Poland would become a satellite state of the Soviet Union. However, this article is about the evacuation, not about the postwar expulsions covered at Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) which (quite notably) is an improperly named article because there was no "expulsions" in 1944. The background info on the conferences at both Tehran and Yalta, resulting in the largest population transfers in Central and Eastern Europe which displaced a total of about twenty million people, should be covered there, in conjunction with the article Polish population transfers (1944–46). There should be more connection between those two entries in terms of coverage. Poeticbent talk 14:26, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Addendum: Can you please confirm whether Silke Spieler in Vertreibung und Vertreibungsverbrechen 1945–1948 quoted the total number of "resettlers" at 1,900,000 – Volksdeutsche from the east? That's almost two million. Not one million... Poeticbent talk 16:55, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
That was Reichling not Silke, includes air raid evacuees--Woogie10w (talk) 17:05, 27 November 2015 (UTC) Eberhardt and Nitschke are better sources, there will be no dispute. I have a copy of Nitschke in German--Woogie10w (talk) 17:12, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Can you please, go to Nitschke and confirm one thing for us please: our Wikipedia article states in its wp:lede (quote): The number of German speaking persons (deutschsprachige Bevölkerung) who resided in the eastern territories during the final stages of World War II is currently estimated at 10 million. – Whose estimate is that? Piotr Eberhardt (2011) on page 117 quotes Andrzej Gawryszewski 2005, page 452 from the Polish Academy of Sciences as saying that the total was 7,494,000. Gawryszewski quoted B. Nitschke, 2000, table 1. Poeticbent talk 18:15, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The Nitschke figures are in the Eberhardt article that Malobo was kind enough to post--Woogie10w (talk) 20:35, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Schieder in the footnotes to the figures in evacuations points out that he cannot guarantee their accuracy. In any case the stats were generated by Nazi officials. The total population data comes from Nazi ration card data in 1944. --Woogie10w (talk) 10:22, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
This is a valuable piece of information, but what figures are you referring to? Is it the 10 to 15 million persons in total, or the 7,494,000 persons evacuated from East-Central Europe? Also, if the data originates from the Nazi ration cards, what month in 1944 is it? The evacuation in most of the Nazi-occupied areas began in January 1945. Poeticbent talk 12:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
OMG Nitschke used statistical data from the ex Nazi Schieder. We can go to Schieder on page 5, in his footnotes he tells the reader that the ration card data is from Feb/March 1944. Schieder also maintains that the figures are for civilians ,"German citizens" (deutscher Stattsanghörigkeit) excluding foreign nationals and POW. Schieder on p.78 also tells readers that he cannot guarantee the accuracy of wartime population statistical data. This is why I always bore down and check the ultimate secondary source for a casualty statistic, we cannot rely on historians who copy numbers from another source to present the complete picture. A statistic in a reliable secondary source published by an academic is not always correct. The worst offenders are the academics who don't cite a source for their statistics, at least Nitschke led the readers to Schieder.--Woogie10w (talk) 14:03, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The further back we go, the deeper we sink. Those ration cards were a year old by the time evacuation started. Also, the families of administrators who were the first to leave (counting in the hundreds of thousands) took the cards freely because they themselves were releasing them to the public. Volksdeutsche were not the Reich Germans. They also received ration cards. – The reason why all historians, both German and Polish, use Schieder numbers is because there's no other data in existence; either take it or leave it. Presenting these numbers as facts however, seems not only unprofessional, but also unfair to the reader. We don't know how many Flüchtlinge or the refugees there were during the actual evacuation, unless of course we use comparative numbers pertaining to other events. Poeticbent talk 00:36, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Presenting these numbers as facts however, seems not only unprofessional, but also unfair to the reader. But the source is Polish, It is reliable and academic. How could it be wrong?--Woogie10w (talk) 01:53, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Eberhardt (2011, p. 118) quoted Gawryszewski (2005, p. 452), Gawryszewski quoted Nitschke (2000, tbl 1), Nitschke quoted Schieder (Die Vertreibung... 1/1984), and, the circle closes. There's only one source, Schieder. Poeticbent talk 02:46, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
In 1955, Schieder proposed a concluding volume that would place the expulsion within the long-term context of late-nineteenth-century nationalism, forced population movements after World War I, the history of German minorities in eastern Europe in the interwar period, and Nazi "population policy" and population transfers. This idea, however, was rejected by the Ministry of Expellees on the ground that comparisons would make it impossible to claim the singularity of the expulsion. Subsequently, neither Schieder nor the other editors pursued alternative means to publish the planned volume. The books that did appear contained little evidence of German misdeeds. For example, neither eyewitnesses nor the editors commented on the exploitation of other nationalities as forced laborers by Germans. Indeed, when foreign workers appeared in testimonies, they were often depicted as the gracious recipients of instruction from their German masters, no less eager than Germans to flee the Red Army. — Prof. Robert G Moeller, War stories
Hello, You wrote Nitschke quoted Schieder, not so Poeticbent read Nitschke's footnote, she cited Reichling not Schieder. --Woogie10w (talk) 09:52, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
On Wikipedia I try my best to use reliable sources. My edits reflect what the sources are saying, when a topic is disputed I present both sides of the argument with a NPOV. I leave my comments and OR off Wiki. Re:ethnic idenity in Poland my POV is simple. There were German speakers in Poland in 1939, they were Polish citizens and choose to live there, if they wanted to be Germans they could have emigrated to Germany. In fact up to 1 million left Poland between 1919-39, the grandfather of Angela Merkel is a perfect example. During the war the Nazis pressured Polish citizens to sign the Volkslist, they were Polish up until the time they were granted German nationality after the war. And please don't forget just because a person speaks German does not make them German. Many Polish nationals who spoke German remained loyal to Poland during the war. German was a widely spoken language in Poland in 1939, many of these people were bilinguals, not all of these people were supporters of Germany.--Woogie10w (talk) 13:28, 2 December 2015 (UTC)


I totally understand your rationale Woogie10w, and I find your contributions essential to presenting the NPOV of the facts in this article. Unlike you, however, I have no access to Schieder. That's why I would like you to help me set the record straight. Our article needs to explain to the reader everything we have already learned. Namely, that the German ration cards were the source of data, nothing else. The ration cards originated from March 1944, not from 1945. Please find out: what is the volume and page number of that statement in Schieder. I have full confidence in your ability to provide all the required information.

  1. Theodor Schieder, Die Vertreibung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus den Gebieten östlich der Oder−Neiße, Band 1, München 1984

Schieder was quoted by Nitschke ... who was quoted by Gawryszewski ... who was quoted by Eberhardt. But who was quoted by Hahn & Hahn? Our article states that: – "The number of civilians in the eastern territories during the final stages of World War II is currently estimated at 10 million." What is the source of that number quoted by Hahn & Hahn. – Is it Schieder? If so, where did he say that (according to Hahn & Hahn). Please look into it, with the volume and page number we can use.

  1. Hans Henning Hahn & Eva Hahn (2010). Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern. Legenden, Mythos, Geschichte. Paderborn: Schöningh GmbH. p. 264 (no preview of the sources of data in Google Books)

We ought to be presenting the full description of the postwar research point by point, reveal their authors, and leave it to the reader to decide what they want to believe. It's not that difficult. Thanks in advance. Poeticbent talk 15:59, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

[4]--Woogie10w (talk) 02:49, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry but we need more. – What part of what volume is it? Please look at the editorial page. We already have one failing link to Google Book snippet in this article. Not a single number from our article can be confirmed there, I mean, absolutely nothing matches the source if you try to use the Google search box for Volume 1, Part 2. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 05:56, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Die vertreibung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus den Gebieten östlich der Oder-Neisse, Volume 1, Part 2.
I could edit the article to present to readers what the German and Polish sources are actually saying, that would not be a problem. The objection I have is the use of the term deutschsprachige Bewohner which does not appear in the German sources. The term means a resident who could speak German. Jews, Poles and nationals of other nations sometimes could speak German, they were not Germans in the eyes of the Nazis. I also have reservations about the ethnic identification of Polish nationals using the Volkslist. Scheider and modern German sources consider these people as "Germans", we need to point out to readers that these people were in fact Polish nationals that were classified "German" by the Nazi occupiers.--Woogie10w (talk) 10:21, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
I am at a loss, and I don't know what to say. We have looked at a number of books by several historians; some of these books are available in Google format; others, in huge PDF files (cover to cover) with no omissions. In most cases the authors quoted other authors meticulously, and we were able to trace them to copies available online thanks to the power of the internet. And yet, nothing matches. Not a single number attributed to Schieder can be found in Schieder. He never used the numbers quoted in our article, which makes me believe that some of the original claims might be false. Did Bessel regurgitated the figure of 825,000 from Schieder as you say? The figure 825,000 is not in Schieder, neither 1,134,000 nor 750,000 nor 86,860 nor 93,283 nor 1,200,000 and on, and on, and on. Here's another volume of his work in Google Books I have checked (using search box):
Dokumentation der Vertreibung der Deutschen aus Ost-Mitteleuropa: 1.-3. Beiheft Volume 1.
Please see what you can do, Woogie10w. Thanks in advance, Poeticbent talk 21:54, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Ok I fixed the numbers per the sources: 825,000 is in Schieder page 5; the 1,134,000 & 750,000 come from Nietschke page 274 not Schieder the 86,860 & 93,283 come from Overmans 1994 and were never attributed to Schieder. In any case I listed Schieder's figures with pages--Woogie10w (talk) 01:54, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

The title of the section is Bombs and the sinking of ships, both subject lack here.Xx236 (talk) 09:58, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
If anybody has doubts about my edits, please contact me at and I will send jpg images to support my edits. The bottom line is that I can provide support for my edits to Wikipedia--Woogie10w (talk) 12:12, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Schieder's Population Balance east of Oder-Neisse 1945

Description Pre War 1939 "German"Pop Natural Increase Air Raid Evac Settlers/Administrators In Military Pop end 1944
Pre-War Germany 9,620,000 467,000 825,000 346,000 (1,500,000) 9,758,000
Memel 129,000 5,000 134,000
Pre-War Poland 789,000 10,000 813,000 1,612,000
Danzig 394,000 16,000 10,000 420,000
Total 10,932,000 493,000 825,000 1,174,000 (1,500,000) 11,924,000

Source:Dokumentation der Vertreibung der Deutchen aus Ost-Mitteleuropa Band I/1. Die Verteibung der deutschen Bevölkerung aus den Gebieten östlich der Oder-Neisse. pp.4-8 and 78

The numbers coming out of Poland are more or less about the same total population 12 million including 2 million resettlers/air raid evac. --Woogie10w (talk) 13:25, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

23 December 2015‎ edits[edit]

  • Woogie10w → once you're finished editing please always read the entire section one more time, top to bottom, before you go, in order to see if everything is OK. For example, you wrote (quote): "This includes about 2 million German air raid evacuees" → even though the next line reads (quote): "consisting of 1.5 million bombing raid evacuees..." So, what is it: 2 or 1.5 million in Theodor Schieder's Die Verteibung der deutschen Bevölkerung? You are using Theodor Schieder after all. – You also made changes which are no longer supported by the source from before. For example, Hahn & Hahn on pages 264 & 686 say: "10 Millionen angestiegen", period. Meanwhile, you added 15 million to it. Why? And what's the source? You switched parts of the same paragraph around for no particular reason, and made the entire sequence almost illogical (no doubt by accident), i.e. "7.3 million Reichsdeutsche" in one part and "6.4 million German speaking Reichsdeutsche" in another (which are one and the same) while the Volksdeutsche are missing. I'm inclined to ask that you self-revert first, and write it again here in case you're not sure how to phrase it so we both can improve on it together. Greetings, Poeticbent talk 19:40, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Zu ihnen gehörten jene rund 8 350 000 Menschen, die nach den Schätzungen der Wehrmacht am 20. Februar 1945 unterwegs waren [635]; wenig später sollen es sogar 10 Millionen gewesen sein: »Da in Danzig sich 1 000 000 Flüchtlinge in Bewegung gesetzt haben, ist die Gesamtsumme der Flüchtlinge auf 10 000 000 angestiegen«, hieß es im Lage- buch des Wehrmachtsführungsstabs vom 6. März 1945. [636] Nach anderen Berichten sollen schon am 6. Januar 1945 ...“ — Hahn & Hahn

1.5 million bombing raid evacuees from the heartland of Nazi Germany and persons of German ancestry resettled in Poland during the war and of 1 million slave workers is given in Ludność Polski w XX wieku p. 452. This is what Ludność Polski w XX wieku tells us. Na obszarach przyznanych Polsce w wyniku decyzji trzech mocarstw na konferencji poczdamskiej (2 VIII 1945), do 1939 r. należących do Niemiec, znajdowało się w roku 1944/1945 około 7,3 mln mieszkańców stałych (w tym 6,4 mln Niemców,około 1 mln miejscowych Polaków) oraz 2,5 mln ludności napływowej (1,5 mln stanowili uchodźcy z terenów niemieckich objętych bombardowaniami aliantów i około 1 mln robotnicy przymusowi). W sumie było tutaj około 10 mln osób (Misztal,1990, s. 83). Poeticbent, I tried my best to translate the Polish and I believe it is correct. I tell readers what the source says.--Woogie10w (talk) 20:13, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
"7.3 million Reichsdeutsche" in one part and "6.4 million German speaking Reichsdeutsche" in another (which are one and the same) while the Volksdeutsche are missing. Andrzej Gawryszewski did not mention the Volksdeutsche, they are not included in his figures, only Reichsdeutsche-ie. on territory of prewar Germany, not including Poland and Danzig! --Woogie10w (talk) 20:29, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Hahn & Hahn based on Nazi documents put the number at 10 million actually being evacuated in Jan/Feb 1945, Schieder estimates the total number of "Germans" east of the Oder Neisse at 11.9 million at the end of 1944. I have read Schieder, he explained that some people refused to be evacuated, for example German nationals of Polish ancestry, Schieder also mentioned that some Poles joined the German evacuation voluntarily. The total population of 11.9 million cannot be compared to the "Flüchtlinge in Bewegung gesetzt haben" refugees on the move. We are talking about apples and oranges in this case. --Woogie10w (talk) 20:29, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
The math is simple the 10 million on pre war Germany territory in Gawryszewski plus an additional 2 million on Polish territory gives us the 12 million in Schieder and Nietschke. Andrzej Gawryszewski's figures are for pre war Germany territory only. In any case we are talking about rough estimates of people, not a census. We sould improve the wording of the article in order to simplify matters.--Woogie10w (talk) 20:56, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Polish figures do not include northern east prussia and military c.2million --Woogie10w (talk) 21:58, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Whenever we venture beyond of what has been written by others, and we sum up numbers that have never been summed up like that, we need to admit to it openly in bodytext. The real problem however, is the continued reliance of the numbers provided by a rabid Nazi ideologue advocating ethnic cleansing during World War II, with a cushy job under Adenauer in Cold War period. The article has no credibility with this amount of unreliable cruft claimed by the Nazis themselves. Poeticbent talk 05:18, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
I used Polish sources. For example Ludność Polski w XX wieku cited Schieder as a source. I have posted exactly what Ludność Polski w XX wieku and Eberhardt have as stats. We can only post what the sources say. Everyone loves to talk about Schieder but they never bother to read what he wrote. The problem with Schieder is not what he wrote but that he did not cover the wartime crimes of the Nazis.--Woogie10w (talk) 05:30, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Woogie10w, I just looked at this article again. The alleged 15 million is not (!) in the book by Hahn & Hahn (2010), Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern cited at the end of the paragraph. You failed to address my request from above, because you did not provide reliable third-party source quoting 15 million exactly. This is original research against Wikipedia's core policy guidelines. Please, don't try to explain it to me. I asked you simply to provide a written source for the 15 million, because that's how Wikipedia works. Either we quote the 10 million from Hahn & Hahn, or we don't ... but the reference needs to support what the Wikipedia article says, one way or another. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 05:00, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
I corrected the reference re Hahn & Hahn. The 10-15 million is in fact in Hahn & Hahn on page 685. I sent you a jpg of page 685 to support the figure of 15 million, you can see it in black and white. The reference supports what the Wikipedia article says. You jumped the gun when you accused me of OR. --Woogie10w (talk) 08:24, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
On 12/23/2015 I made this edit [5] to clarify the scope of the evacuations so that Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia were included. I merely forgot to change the page in Hahn & Hahn from 264 to 685. This is not OR, simply a minor oversight.--Woogie10w (talk) 12:49, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Woogie10w, you are a good researcher, but you got to watch your language. I did not "accuse" you of anything, and I did not "jump the gun". I asked for a missing citation in support of an unsupported statement. I'm glad you found the correct page in Hahn & Hahn, although I'm not sure what context to put it in. Can you please explain the (below) direct quote from Hahn & Hahn on page 706 (new chapter) regarding the 15 million. But most importantly, please try to refrain from making passive-aggressive comments in response to simple requests. Thank you for emailing a page snapshot to me; I see it clearly. However, I also have access to the online Google Book copy of Hahn & Hahn which is here. Please read, and comment on it, Poeticbent talk 16:01, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
Einblicke in die Geschichte des Zahlenlabyrinths "Vertreibung" Einblicke in die Geschichte des Zahlenlabyrinths können uns zur Orientierung im Erinnern an die Vertreibung verhelfen. Seit der Nachkriegszeit, als viele Gerüchte kursierten und mit unbelegten Zahlen in Millionenhöhe hantiert wurde, verfügten manche Deutsche über annähernd korrekte Informationen. So wusste man im Deutschen Caritasverband beispielsweise im Jahre 1948: Rund "II der insgesamt 15 Millionen deutscher Bewohner aus den ehemals preußischen Provinzen rechts der Oder und Neiße, aus der Tschechoslowakei und aus Ungarn haben die Heimat verlassen müssen oder konnten in ihre Heimatgebiete nicht mehr zurückkehren".[244] Zehn Jahre später konnte man, wie oben erwähnt, in der Schrift "Die Heimatvertriebenen im Spiegel der Statistik" von Gerhard Reichling erfahren, dass die Informationen des Caritasverbandes realistisch waren: Nach Reichlings Forschungen waren 11,6 Millionen Menschen von der Vertreibung betroffen, einschließlich der heimkehrende Kriegsgefangenen und der in "Einzelwanderung" 1946 bis 1950 im heutigen Deutschland eingetroffenen Personen.[245]

I am out with family will answer tonight--Woogie10w (talk) 16:13, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

When you say "the 15 million" the two numbers are not related. On page 685 the Hahn's refer to 10-15 million civilians- Germans as well as non Germans who were evacuated by March 1945. The 15 million from Deutschen Caritasverband in 1948 refers to an estimate of expelled Germans. The Hahn's contrast that to the official West German figure cited by Gerhard Reichling of 11.6 million. The Hahn's were pointing out an example of an West German statistical inconsistency. The chapter Einblicke in die Geschichte des Zahlenlabyrinths "Vertreibung" cites numerous examples of West German statistical flip-flops. I have done OR off Wiki and believe the official German figures are as soft as shit, unfortunately I can't post my OR on Wiki. We must cite all reliable sources on Wikipedia including the German government as well as the Hahn's. All of the reliable English language sources regurgitate the figure of 2-3 million dead. The Hahn's are excellent historians but not great accountants, the West German deception was merely outlined in vague terms. They never tied it all out. (Tie Out Slang; in auditing, to check source documents to ensure that the statements on the balance sheet are correct (or to check the balance sheet against the source documents). In other words, to tie out means to implement the means of auditing the accuracy of documents.) --Woogie10w (talk) 00:21, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Something is wrong here[edit]

"including 7.3 million permanent residents ie.Reichsdeutsche, (including million ethnic Poles spared the expulsions, and 6.4 million German speaking Reichsdeutsche)"Xx236 (talk) 14:01, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

This is per source Na obszarach przyznanych Polsce w wyniku decyzji trzech mocarstw na konferencjipoczdamskiej (2 VIII 1945), do 1939 r. należących do Niemiec, znajdowało się w roku 1944/1945 około 7,3 mln mieszkańców stałych (w tym 6,4 mln Niemców, około 1 mln miejscowych Polaków) oraz 2,5 mln ludności napływowej (1,5 mln stanowili uchodźcy z terenów niemieckich objętych bombardowaniami aliantówi około 1 mln robotnicy przymusowi) Andrzej Gawryszewski (2005). Ludność Polski w XX wieku [The People of Poland in the 20th Century] (PDF). Warsaw: Polish Academy of Sciences PAN. p. 452. ISBN 8387954667. OCLC 66381296 – via direct download, PDF file 38.5 MB, 627 pages. '; and Jan Misztal, PWN 1990, page 83. --Woogie10w (talk) 14:08, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Gawryszewski uses rather nationalistic clasification. The 7.3 million should be divided into monolingual (Germans) plus bilingual (Mazurs, Warmiaks, Kashubians, Silesians). Some of the bilingual people were expelled, some declared to be Polish (the autochtones, many of them later emigrated to Germany or joined the German minority), some were really Polish. There existed also bilingual non-Polish Slavs. All Sorben were expelled. A small number of bilingual Czechs run away or were expelled, they probably settled in deserted Czech Sudeten. Xx236 (talk) 14:29, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
On Wikipedia we enter what the source says, not our OR. For example in news sources, Donald Tusk is a Pole not a Kashubian. --Woogie10w (talk) 14:38, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
There are pleanty of data about ethnicities in Germany, why don't you read them? "Pytając Warmiaka i Mazura o to, kim jest lub kim się czuje, trzeba być przygotowanym na różne odpowiedzi." [6]
What does prove ethnicity of Donald Tusk? Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski had Kashubian roots, does it mean much?Xx236 (talk) 07:00, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Tusk has mixed roots [7], he comes from Danzig and bilinguals inhabitetd rather villages.Xx236 (talk) 09:31, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
"Poles" supported the Union of Poles in Germany, 32 000 members.
Only a small group of bilingual people spoke standard Polish. Those who didn't were frequently ridiculed by Poles, the same like were Poles from Kresy and many Heimatvertriebene in Germany, who spoke dialects.Xx236 (talk) 07:44, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Do you have a reliable source that mentions Masurians as a separate ethnic group in the evacuations? Everything I have ever seen considers only Germans and Poles. --Woogie10w (talk) 12:17, 19 January 2016 (UTC) - One million was a number of autochtons, the majority of whom left Poland later, I don't know the exact ratio.Xx236 (talk) 13:22, 19 January 2016 (UTC) Xx236 (talk) 13:17, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, even though the Masurians spoke a dialect of Polish, they suffered the same fate as the Germans in the hands of the Soviet and Polish communists. The local people of Prussia among themselves spoke a real thick Plattdeutsch dialect of German that is Greek to me. People who went to German schools spoke standard German to outsiders.--Woogie10w (talk) 14:04, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
The fate of the local people in 1945 who spoke Polish deserves attention. I am curiousXx236, have you ever heard Masurian spoken? How close is this dialect to Polish? Do people in Poland still speak Masurian today? --Woogie10w (talk) 14:47, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't know Masurian, I believe it's influenced by German and Poles didn't like German pronunciation after the war, only now German words are found to be funny in Upper-Silesian parodies. I believe no comic speaks Masurian.
Piotr Madajczyk researched the subject of former German citizens, especially in Opole region, here is a number of his text Xx236 (talk) 06:48, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
Xx236 I don't quite understand your line of reasoning. The Germans historically(1772-1945) have attempted to counter the Polish national movement and Germanize the Poles in Germany. The "Mazurians" were not Poles in the eyes of the Germans who wanted to counter Polish nationalism. The "Mazurians" were in fact Polish protestants in Prussia who opposed assimilation into the Roman Catholic church. The issue of religion played a key role here. Your line of reasoning Xx236 is that of the German nationalists (1772-1945) who wanted to counter Polish nationalism. On another note, yesterday I spoke to a Polish woman from Olsztyn who lives in Greenpoint. She never heard of "Mazurians", she said the population is Polish and speaks Polish. She said, what are "Mazurians" ? and then changed the subject to the weather.--Woogie10w (talk) 13:51, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
O.K., you are right, the "Mazurians" were in fact Polish protestants and Warmiaks were Polish Roman catholics, at the same time they were German citizens, who preferred better organised German life. Now the majority of them speak only German and live in Germany. Germany was stronger and smarter, but quite many Poles persecuted the Masurians and Warmiaks after the war, first expelling them and imposing standard Polish, later buying their houses among the lakes for half of the price. Xx236 (talk) 14:14, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
pl:Erwin Kruk is a Masurian writer and Andrzej Sakson an academic expert. here is a popular description [8].Xx236 (talk) 14:17, 20 January 2016 (UTC) There is a movie about post-war Masuria. [9] Xx236 (talk) 13:34, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

—−Civilian evacuation from the provinces of Pomerania and Silesia I find the description of these evacuations limited and not up to the quality, especially the details, of those describing the evacuations of East Prussia and territories lying east of the Oder/Neisse line. For example, the comment was made that the evacuation of Breslau (Wroclaw) requires more discussion. I will place this information in their respective sections and await everyone's comments.Zweisimmen (talk) 15:56, 29 April 2016 (UTC)