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June 11, 2012
The European Atrocity You Never Heard About
By R.M. Douglas The screams that rang throughout the darkened cattle car crammed with deportees, as it jolted across the icy Polish countryside five nights before Christmas, were Dr. Loch's only means of locating his patient. The doctor, formerly chief medical officer of a large urban hospital, now found himself clambering over piles of baggage, fellow passengers, and buckets used as toilets, only to find his path blocked by an old woman who ignored his request to move aside. On closer examination, he discovered that she had frozen to death. Finally he located the source of the screams, a pregnant woman who had gone into premature labor and was hemorrhaging profusely. When he attempted to move her from where she lay into a more comfortable position, he found that "she was frozen to the floor with her own blood." Other than temporarily stanching the bleeding, Loch was unable to do anything to help her, and he never learned whether she had lived or died. When the train made its first stop, after more than four days in transit, 16 frost-covered corpses were pulled from the wagons before the remaining deportees were put back on board to continue their journey. A further 42 passengers would later succumb to the effects of their ordeal, among them Loch's wife.
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however.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians—the overwhelming majority of whom were women. and what are today the western districts of Poland.000 people died in the course of the organized expulsions. During the Second World War. Hoover Institution Archives An estimated 500. the number of people the Allies proposed to transfer in just a few months was about the same as the total number of all the immigrants admitted to the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. beatings. seeking to reshape the demographic profile of Europe according to their own preferences.. Yugoslavia. Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration. They were deposited among the ruins of Alliedoccupied Germany to fend for themselves as best they could. What was different about the deportation of Loch and his fellow passengers. in human history. and perhaps the single greatest movement of population. http://chronicle. survivors were left in Allied-occupied Germany to fend for themselves.The Chroni. as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin moved around entire populations like pieces on a chessboard.. Between 1945 and 1950. and children under 16—were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia..com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. was that it took place by order of the United States and Britain as well as the Soviet Union. or 2 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . Hungary. old people. tragic scenes like those were commonplace. As The New York Times noted in December 1945. Romania. disease.. nearly two years after the declaration of peace. The number who died as a result of starvation.
then we. http://chronicle. formerly Winston Churchill's private secretary. Evans asserted in In Hitler's Shadow (1989) the decision to purge the continent of its German-speaking minorities remains "defensible" in light of the Holocaust and has shown itself to be a successful experiment in "defusing ethnic antagonisms through the mass transfer of populations.000 people lost their lives in the course of the operation. the postwar expulsions were a manmade disaster and one of the most significant examples of the mass violation of human rights in recent history. Most disturbingly of all. tens of thousands perished as a result of ill treatment while being used as slave labor (or. not everyone agreed. As Sir John Colville. As the historian Richard J. but conservative estimates suggest that at least 500. George Orwell... pointed out in his essay "Politics and the English Language" that the expression "transfer of population" was one of a number of euphemisms whose purpose was "largely the defense of the indefensible. they remain all but unknown outside Germany itself. the surviving Nazi leaders were being tried by the Allies in the courtroom at Nuremberg on a bill of indictment that listed "deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population" under the heading of "crimes against humanity. outright execution is unknown. as 3 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . and in the middle of the world's most densely populated continent. Yet although they occurred within living memory." The philosopher Bertrand Russell acidly inquired: "Are mass deportations crimes when committed by our enemies during war and justifiable measures of social adjustment when carried out by our allies in time of peace?" A still more uncomfortable observation was made by the left-wing publisher Victor Gollancz.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About ." By any measure. who reasoned that "if every German was indeed responsible for what happened at Belsen." Ironically.The Chroni.." Even at the time. it was clear that "concentration camps and all they stand for did not come to an end with the defeat of Germany.. they are commonly depicted as justified retribution for Nazi Germany's wartime atrocities or a painful but necessary expedient to ensure the future peace of Europe. were former German concentration camps kept in operation for years after the war. "reparations in kind") in a vast network of camps extending across central and southeastern Europe—many of which. no more than 100 or so miles away from the camps being put to this new use. in time of peace. like Auschwitz I and Theresienstadt. On the rare occasions that they rate more than a footnote in European-history textbooks. an outspoken opponent of the expulsions. in the Allies' cynical formulation. told his colleagues in the British Foreign Office in 1946.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.
. That the expulsions would inevitably cause death and hardship on a very large scale had been fully recognized by those who set them in motion. who had "compensated" Poland for its territorial losses to the Soviet Union in 1939 by moving its western border more than 100 miles inside German territory.) For the Soviets. The British viewed the widespread suffering that would inevitably attend the expulsions as a salutary form of re-education of the German population. knowingly embarked on a course that.. was "bound to cause immense suffering and dislocation. and only a slightly larger proportion of Czechoslovakia's. embittered. hoped that by displaying an "understanding" and cooperative attitude toward the expelling countries' desire to be rid of their German populations. drew the expellees into mainstream politics. 4 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM .The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . (Before 1939. less than two-thirds of Poland's population. ambassador to Prague." And the Americans. The first was the skill with which the postwar German chancellor. then. http://chronicle.The Chroni. were responsible individually as well as collectively" for what was being done to noncombatants in the Allies' name.. and rootless deportees into a war-devastated country that had nowhere to put them was due to three main factors. the United States could demonstrate its sympathy for those countries' national aspirations and prevent them from drifting into the Communist orbit. but also as a means of triggering a mass stampede across the borders and finally achieving their governments' prewar ambition to create ethnically homogeneous nation-states. they were counting on it. as the British government was warned in 1944 by its own panel of experts. "is worthwhile in the end." Deputy Prime Minister Clement Richard Attlee wrote in 1943. recorded.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. or Slovaks." That the expulsions did not lead to the worst consequences that could be expected from the chaotic cattle drive of millions of impoverished. For the expelling countries—especially Czechoslovakia and Poland—the use of terror against their German-speaking populations was intended not simply as revenge for their wartime victimization. consisted of gentile Poles. The Allies. To a considerable extent. Czechs. as Laurence Steinhardt. members of a democratic country and not a fascist one with no free press or parliament. "Everything that brings home to the Germans the completeness and irrevocability of their defeat. Konrad Adenauer. the clearance of the newly "Polish" western lands and the dumping of their millions of displaced inhabitants amid the ruins of the former Reich served Stalin's twin goals of impeding Germany's postwar recovery and eliminating any possibility of a future Polish-German rapprochement..
The second was the readiness of most expellees—the occasionally crass or undiplomatic statements of their leaders notwithstanding—to renounce the use or threat of force as a means of redressing their grievances. the expulsions have cast a long and baleful shadow over central and southeastern Europe. was the 30-year-long "economic miracle" that made possible the housing.The Chroni. Nonetheless. In most other parts of Central Europe. and even—as Eagle Glassheim has pointed out—environmental consequences continue to be felt more than 60 years later. Their disruptive demographic. economic. The overnight transformation of some of the most heterogeneous regions of the European continent into virtual ethnic monoliths changed the trajectory of domestic politics in the expelling countries in significant and unpredicted ways. It is important to note that the expulsions are in no way to be compared to the genocidal Nazi campaign that preceded them. the fact that the standard of living for the indigenous population was already so low meant that the economic gap between it and the four million arriving expellees was more easily bridged.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . the Germans included.. even to the present day. as their name suggests. the effort to eradicate every trace of hundreds of years of German presence and to write it out of national and local histories produced among the new Polish and Czech settler communities in the cleared areas what Gregor Thum has described as a state of "amputated memory. servicemen.. and technocrats took a full part in carrying out a program that. the German city of Breslau—the challenge of confronting their hometown's difficult past is one that post-Communist Wroclawites have only recently taken up. and by far the most important. they can't be relied upon to come along where and when they are most needed. Contradicting Allied rhetoric that asserted that World War II had been fought above all to uphold the dignity and worth of all people. the Allies avoided reaping the harvest of their own recklessness.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. defusing the threat of a potentially radical and disruptive bloc. on the other hand. The third. But neither can the supreme atrocity of our time become a yardstick by which gross abuses of human rights are allowed to go unrecognized for what they are.) The downside of "economic miracles. it has hardly even begun.. and employment of the largest homeless population with which any industrial country has ever had to contend.. Culturally. Still less so in the English-speaking world. they did not hesitate to 5 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM ." As Thum shows in his groundbreaking study of postwar Wroclaw—until 1945 and the removal of its entire population." though. is that. thousands of Western officials. http://chronicle. By extraordinary good fortune. when perpetrated by their wartime enemies. feeding. (In East Germany.
English-speaking historians—out of either understandable sympathy for Germany's victims or reluctance to complicate the narrative of what is still justifiably considered a "good war"—have also not been overeager to delve into the history of a messy. David Curp. drew in "innocent people who had never raised so much as a word of protest against the Czechoslovak people. Some notable exceptions aside. chief U. like T. for whom the war is an increasingly distant memory. and their legality has recently been reaffirmed by the Czech constitutional court. liberty. and property. and David Gerlach. Many European commentators have maintained that to draw attention to them runs the risk of diminishing the horror that ought properly to be reserved for the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities. and politically sensitive episode.S. but their significance. The operation he had helped carry out. liaison officer for expulsion affairs to the Czechoslovak government. But neither are they valid reasons for failing to engage seriously with an episode of such obvious importance. By no means are all of these concerns unworthy ones. and citizens of other expelling states fear the legal ramifications of a re-examination of the means by which millions of erstwhile citizens of those countries were deprived of their nationality. complex.. morally ambiguous. and to integrate it within the broader 6 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . To this day. Matthew Frank. the postwar decrees expropriating and denationalizing Germans remain on the statute book of the Czech Republic." Rather. Poles.." Today we have come not much further than Fye did in acknowledging the pivotal role played by the Allies in conceiving and executing an operation that exceeded in both scale and lethality the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. "many of which were little better than the ex-German concentration camps." To accomplish it. denounce as contrary to all principles of humanity.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.. It is unnecessary to attribute this to any "taboo" or "conspiracy of silence. or giving rise to a self-pitying "victim" mentality among today's generation of Germans. what is denied is not the fact of the expulsions themselves.The Chroni.." Yet these stirrings of unease did not prevent Fye from accepting a decoration from the Prague government for what the official citation candidly described as his valuable services "in expelling Germans from Czechoslovakia. in which few if any of those involved appear in a creditable light. http://chronicle. Czechs.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . he acknowledged. The degree of cognitive dissonance to which this led was exemplified by the career of Colonel John Fye. women and children had been thrown into detention facilities.
though. the full part played by the Soviet and U. the study of many vital elements of this topic is still in its earliest stages. Despite the gruesome history. of the relevant archives have been opened. the sexual victimization of female expellees. though far from all. narrative of modern European history. is both intellectually and pedagogically unsustainable. Andrew Bell-Fialkoff.M. Few wars today. which was on a scale to rival the mass rapes perpetrated by Red Army soldiers in occupied Germany. Douglas is an associate professor of history at Colgate University. do not feature an attempt by one or both sides to create facts on the ground by forcibly displacing minority populations perceived as alien to the national community. whether within or between states. like the transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia by the Allies in 1945-47. enthusiasts continue to chase the mirage of "humane" mass deportations as a means of resolving intractable ethnic problems.. Innumerable questions—about the archipelago of camps and detention centers. still worse.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . And although the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has attempted to restrain this tendency by prohibiting mass deportations. to teach—as though the expulsions had never taken place or. and that "today there is no single code of international law that explicitly outlaws population transfers either in terms of group or individual rights protections." The expulsion of the ethnic Germans is thus of contemporary as well as historical relevance..com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the 7 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . having occurred. At present. the precise number and location of which are still undetermined. The fact that population transfers are currently making a comeback on the scholarly and policy agenda also suggests that we should scrutinize with particular care the most extensive experiment made with them to date. published by Yale University Press. the time has come for this painful but pivotal chapter in Europe's recent history to receive at last the scholarly attention it deserves... For historians to write—and. in a much-cited study. has advocated population transfers as a valuable tool so long as they are "conducted in a humane. This essay is adapted from his new book. At a moment when the surviving expellees are passing away and many. Chaim Kaufmann.S. Elazar Barkan maintains that such proscriptions are far from absolute.The Chroni. are of no particular significance to the societies affected by them. http://chronicle. R." John Mearsheimer. Michael Mann and others have done likewise. well-organized manner. governments in planning and executing the expulsions—remain to be fully answered.
I suspect that most who were peripherally aware at the time simply chose not to think very much on it.The Chroni.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . Or log in using one of these alternatives: Showing 40 of 81 comments Sort by Follow comments: by e-mail by RSS Real-time updating is paused. 6 people liked this. hlsimmons 2 days ago A very enlightening article! 18 people liked this. Tens of thousands who were involuntarily returned were shipped off to Soviet labor camps never to be heard of again. are those who. especially the individual stories which for me have the most emotional impact . but who were forcibly repatriated due to the demands of the Soviet Union. Comments Powered by DISQUS Add a comment Log in to post with your Chronicle account: Don't have an account? Create one now. camillameek 2 days ago Fascinating and tragic. There's only so much horror the mind can take in.which I learned was true many years later. The thousands who died in the process of replacing the Germans in Silesia should also be noted. due to the war.and have received even less attention than Dresden. 30 people liked this.com/LastDay.. It's a fascinating piece of history that's tragically overlooked. was the most important factor. but displaced Germans are the focus of the article. at the time. Likewise this is all true . I remember.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. (Resume) elsaiselsa 2 days ago Thank you for this article.. http://chronicle. Germans After the Second World War. as a child. thank you. Here's more information if anyone is interested in learning more < http://www. 8 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . Allied troops were not dying as a result of it and that. Thank you for publishing this. _The Last Days of World War II_. 32 people liked this. >. So. jfb1138 2 days ago Unfamiliarity with these facts can be attributed to either a profound lack of curiosity--how did Poland's borders shift so radically?--or a lack of interest.. or only in passing. Chronicle editor. The displacement of Poles from what is now western Ukraine is mentioned.and horrifying.. found themselves in territories occupied by the western Allies. Not mentioned.. outskiing 2 days ago I was unaware of this until I watched an engrossing documentary on the History Channel.. unable to believe my father's story about Dresden .amazon. again. just the ultimate in the string of horrors that had encompassed Europe for the previous five to ten years.
graylibrary 2 days ago War is hell. hair color.The Chroni. should strive for clarity. the end of World War II. the Holocaust. and ethnicity is rarely homogeneous. mpowley 2 days ago Also. Excuses. Still..com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. particularly in a heterogeneous country such as the former Czechoslovakia. as one singular ethnicity based on their language. along with a variety of other ethnicities. It seems indeed that language is the backbone of culture and culture is the mother of identification. 11 people liked this. Lives are always the battering chips of the high stakes poker game of diplomacy.for that is what they were. http://chronicle. 5 people liked this. ebrabec 2 days ago Having grown up with this story. We always have choice. Deportations and executions during the periods of mass expulsion were cloaked in "German-ness" but were really an excuse for the political forces in power to rid themselves of those they felt we undesirable in one way or another. and the aftermath as well. This makes Longfellow's indictment of the British in his saccharine poem "Evangeline" seem tame. it is easy to set one group against a recognizable "other. 4 people liked this.. -Brian Cowan 16 people liked this. Mr. so by characterizing a group of individuals based on their language. German-speaking is also conflated with being sympathetic to the political cause of the state of Germany during the war. and. horrors that attend all forced migrations. Hank Stevens 2 days ago thank you. Douglas refers to the deportees as "German-speaking" but then conflates that with being ethnically German or just German. Politics loves simplicity. I am fully aware both of the horrors of that period." But historical analysis. The labelling of any group of individuals. In some points of the article. and should never be condoned in a modern world. 9 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . 53 people liked this. from a less passionate perspective. by the "righteous" victors of war. in another place. Many citizens. janssen86 5 hours ago War is hell if we make it.. Neither characterization is true. Douglass for presenting the horrors of the expulsions. differentiation and even race. and discussions about. by association. and also the lack of attention it has received in histories of. were either executed or expelled in those post-war years when combat had ceased and peace supposedly reigned. This may sound callous but over a hundred years of friction have proven we just can't get along. or any other aspect is a slippery slope. I have to wonder how many of Canada's Quebec difficulties would not exist today if a humane and equitable displacement had been properly co-ordinated. That is the only possibility we have for ensuring that the same excuses will not be used again. But I have two critical clarifications to make: language does not equal ethnicity. Taking my own family as an example. in striving to clarify the the wrongs of policy and in an attempt to prevent it from happening again. But I would ask for clarity in describing the excuses for the expulsions . History is full of such acts which usually just fall short of "ethnic cleansing".The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . let's not forget the forced repatriation of Eastern Europeans and Russian prisoners back to the clutches of Stalin's workers' paradise -on his demand.. while primarily German-speaking (family members spoke both German and Czech) genealogy traced back to the 15th century shows both Slavic and Germanic heritage. with only a tenuous link to "German-ness" or really no link at all. 15 people liked this. I thank Mr. as DNA testing is increasingly showing.
. Would you hold regular Americans guilty of the hundreds of thousands of casualties in Iraq by saying "Did anybody ask 10 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . lost Acadia.. NO ONE ASKED THE GERMANS TO START THE WAR.The Chroni. And the German peoples were just as guilty as their leadership for perpetrating countless horrors on the innocent peoples of other lands. although we continue to use that term today in this case. Paul Bonneau 1 day ago It's collectivist thinking like this that gives rise to so many atrocities under discussion. May the German People never forget the horrors of war such that they do not inflict their horrors on other in the future. it was not just in any sense of the word. the "British" in Longfellow's poem were neither fictional nor British in today's terms. 88 people liked this.. The German government started the war. So that. 28 people liked this. Those were British Americans. proftowanda 2 days ago To be clear. gwern0 1 day ago > was just punishment for the crime committed by the German Peoples. from Massachusetts colony. http://chronicle. who conducted what historian John Mack Faragher in his fine recent work calls the first genocide. That is far from saying the German people started the war. And no. And those were my ancestors in lovely.. the episode while tragic PALES in comparison to the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis and was just punishment for the crime committed by the German Peoples. 26 people liked this. 17 people liked this.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. artshell 2 days ago It is important to note that while this happened and it is well documented. findout 1 day ago This is the kind of collectivist thinking that is responsible for war.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . which the Americans wanted from pure greed. and concisely stated. 13 people liked this. Relocating hundreds of thousands of non-Germans who never voted for Hitler and likely in many cases fought against his invasion of their countries is justice to you? I pray I never be judged by your likes. 46 people liked this. in another instance of avoiding culpability in our own history. dmutchler 2 days ago I believe you miss the point completely. lawilson 2 days ago Absolutely correct. dmutchler.
it only takes about 3 generations. janssen86 6 hours ago So. just because you choose to categorise both into the same "guilty" collective? With this moral code. 9 people liked this. small German children under the age of 10 were responsible for Germany's actions in WWII? I will need to remember that ethnic/racial theory of guilt for further use." Now there's a shallow conclusion. what 11 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . War happens because of wickedness of the few and the collective ignorance of the masses. Socratease2 18 hours ago You are wrong in many ways but I would argue the "victors" of WWI essentially did ask the Germans to (re)start war in Europe. 4 people liked this. The least we can do is acknowledge "our" own role in similar atrocities.. hence the extensive terrain in the historical museums both in Bonn and Berlin devoted to the Holocaust and other legacies of WWII (to say nothing of Berlin's separate Holocaust museum and memorials. but are you an evangelical Christian living in Mississippi? Of course people forget the horrors of war. A perfect analogy. while your quasi-biological theory of of war culpability is predictable (I am surprised it took 10 comments to get there!) it is not particulary interesting or just. 4 people liked this. maryfraser 1 day ago So well put... How many Americans actively reflect and ponder on the horrors of some of the US military adventures over the past few centuries? Look at the Civil War. anon1972 21 hours ago Hear hear. anon1972 21 hours ago The German people are actually doing a better job than most of both remembering the horrors of war and acknowledging their own role in those horrors. The German people were just as guilty as their leadership? Really. The onerous economic and political conditions forced on the Germans at the Treaty of Versailles basically insured a "war to end all wars" sequel. 16 people liked this. 8 people liked this.. the US to start the war on Iraq?" http://chronicle. And indiscriminate and arbitrary cruelty is "just punishment" for people who simply lived in the wrong place at the wrong time? I am just taking a wild stab here.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . etc.The Chroni. that conflict tore this country apart and yet today most Americans can barely guess within 50 years when the Civil War took place and most would be hard pressed to name a major battle. the gang-rape of an 11-year old and her subsequent bestial murder while trying to reach the west is justified by the like crimes of an SS guard whom the girl never even knew. Surely the rest of us can learn from atrocities committed by others? Isn't that the point of studying history? 7 people liked this.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321...). fortysomethingprof 23 hours ago "May the German People never forget the horrors of war. So.
Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia. I fail to see how your stance would achieve likewise. That is understood.. Lê Đông Phương 2 days ago In fact I have read about this in 1978 when I first arrived in the GDR (DDR) from official East German literature. was the forcible repatriation of some 50. the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. It's guilt by (centuries old) bloodline. or a communist dictatorship.000 Cossacks and Russians to the Soviet Union by the British in 1944-47.not the ones perpetrated against themselves. it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along.whom the US and British governments later chose as allies. but most focus on the brand name one prominently displayed on top of the shelf. nor in England.The Chroni. 4 people liked this. it was not just the German leadership that started the war: The attack on Poland and so WWII was started together with the Soviets . dschimme 2 days ago Somewhat better known (thanks to Nicholas Bethell and Nikolai Tolstoy) but even less edifying..do not forget that WWI and the horrors of its aftermath was still fresh in people's minds. 6 people liked this. but the ones perpetrated by Germans against other people. Ironically the Western allies kept quite about this while they talked about upset when some few criminals in the former East block were punished for criminal acts! 4 people liked this. nor for that matter in Germany. after all. Socratease2 18 hours ago Or how about what Stalin did in the Ukraine? I have read reports that Stalin enacted policies to essentially starve non-Russians in the the Ukraine which resulted in millions dying. exactly what justified hatred of the Jews. Shameful! 25 people liked this. or a parliament. As none other than Hermann Goering so aptly put it: "Why of course the people don't want war. But. Michael Price 5 hours ago How were Germans who never had the opportunity to vote for or against Hitler guilty of what Hitler did? To punish an ethic German (and who after hundreds of years who can tell if they are or aren't?) in Poland for something that not only didn't do. whether it is a democracy. pxfragonard 2 days ago The reason for taking the Sudetenland and then the whole of Czechoslovakia was precisely the fact 12 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM .The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . The German people keep the memories of the horrors alive . But if the a country's leaders are bound on warfare. the Sudetendetsche were treated just as criminals by the new inhabitants of Poland and former CSSR. war is going to happen. crimes could one not justify? http://chronicle. or a fascist dictatorship." Furthermore. And for a bit of historic background: We know from enough sources that quite a lot of Germans looked at the start of the war with a feeling of foreboding . but that he wasn't in the country to do is obscene. Voice or no voice...com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. They do so that they never again fall into the trap of collectivist amorality. 3 people liked this. There have been many holocausts.
Instead the people took things into their own hands and slaughtered the undesirable group as a way to force them to flee. Now I just throw them in. My downstairs neighbor complains about the noise of washing pots in my sink. There was no actual reason to grab the Sudetenland. that ethnic Germans lived there and therefore it was part of the Third Reich. awegweiser 2 days ago By golly the descendants of the perpetrators have now come to power here in the USA! Only now they don't use loaded cattle cars but only a few at a time. Denise Berg 2 days ago Amazing and very disturbing.. outside of Hitler's lust for lebensraum .. dloewy 1 day ago 13 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . 7 people liked this. Some estimates have the death toll (don't forget the "Great Leap Forward") at 30 million murders. into western occupied Germany.if you want to call that a reason. Who knows what would have happened to the German populations left behind to live among those they had so grievously wronged.. Mao announced that he was willing to "sacrifice" 5 million to nationalize the farms of China. initiate it and make your opponents' moves as well as your own. citizenwhy 2 days ago This tragic wrong needs to be put in the context of the millions of Germans who voluntarily fled the Soviets from the east." That was the propaganda. He called it. 6 people liked this. Hitler and his gang cooked up false flag atrocities against Sudeten Germans to justify his actions. There the west refused to tolerate "ethnic cleansing" in the form of moving populations. "the supreme atrocity of our time" ???? Hardly. for good reason. But Japanese-Americans know we are quite familiar with the techniques. 6 people liked this. Michael Godey 2 days ago When people are forgotten. usually on planes to some unknown distant locations beside the Gitmo atrocity. 5 people liked this. 17 people liked this.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About .. But then they're just Chinese and don't offer us a purifying Augustinian confession.. Last I hear they have left children and women.The Chroni. not the reason. You don't get to call the game. 6 people liked this. Paul Bonneau 1 day ago "The reason for taking the Sudetenland and then the whole of Czechoslovakia was precisely the fact that ethnic Germans lived there and therefore it was part of the Third Reich. pregnant or otherwise mostly alone. I have an option whether to be the dog or Pavlov. And the situation in the former Yugoslavia also adds context. swygant 2 days ago Thank you for a very enlightening article. 5 people liked this.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.. He called the game: it's called Pavlov. policy fails. http://chronicle.
the holocaust. 2 people liked this. and killed. It's not about comparing who suffered more or the most. In the article and I am sure even more so in your book. you have described so eloquently the evils perpetrated even as the "just war" was finally over. when crafty and ambitious politicians such as the subsequent first Czech president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his eventual successor Edvard Beneš were actively working to precipitate the Empire's demise. which I will be sure to read. the two and others were making plans to eliminate the German population.. raped. Two managed to flee. Since when is it just to take revenge on the most vulnerable of noncombatants? Also.. My father's family was Jewish-German living in the Sudetenland. the "fog of war" served as a convenient cloak under which the violent expulsion of the Germans could be orchestrated. The recent find and subsequent excavation of a mass grave containing the remains of Sudeten Germans revealed that these refugees were beaten to death with shovels and other crude agricultural implements. planned opportunities to ethnically cleanse the German population from the Czech lands--a population of roughly 3 million who had lived there for 8 centuries. When the Germans were sent packing and headed for the German border with meager belongings. manoflamancha 1 day ago Well said! 5 people liked this. many of them were beaten. 34 people liked this. their rights denied. dloewy 1 day ago Professor Douglas. http://chronicle. The point certainly is not to deflect attention from German atrocities or somehow try to diminish their horror. Three million Germans were conveniently forgotten. Only two survived. thank you for this much-needed research. I grew up with accounts of the German occupation. The German refugees (mostly women. Every night. Later. I was also heartened to read the comments. My father told me that it was common knowledge in Prague that systematic mass rapes were perpetrated on German women held captive in the Prague Strahov stadium in the aftermath of the war. candidcamera 2 days ago The "trail of tears" on our own soil was awful too. It's much more disturbing to assume that unspeakable evil could happen again--anytime and possibly anywhere. In their support of the independence movement. Most of his relatives ended up in Auschwitz via Theresienstadt. Even before Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent state from the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. not all Sudeten Germans were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. and old men) were hardly the slaughterers who committed the Nazi atrocities that are so well documented. it's much harder to acknowledge that there is something universal in the human capacity for brutality and inhumanity. war consumes everything in its path.. I apologize if I am telling you what you know so much better than I. But rather than resting assured that all that evil was perpetrated exclusively by a particular generation of inherently war-hungry Germans. As you pointed out. The roots of the tragedy in the Sudetenland specifically can be traced in part back to the crumbling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The Chroni. the shameful Beneš decrees are still in effect today and most Czechs believe that they were and are only fair. War is a terrible crucible in which some humans assert their humanity whereas others may lose theirs. The fact is that once unleashed. Thomas Woodrow Wilson and his administration apparently didn't realize or care that Czechoslovakia had a sizable German population. but also of the post-war atrocities in the Sudetenland and elsewhere that were not spontaneous acts of revenge but well-orchestrated..The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . You seem to assume collective guilt. but 67 years after WWII it must be possible to look at ALL of the unspeakable injustice and suffering caused by it. The long-overdue attention given to the post-war atrocities perpetrated against German civilians or the destruction of cities such as Dresden does not mean that we are forgetting who unleashed WWII and systematically exterminated millions of Jews and other "undesirable" people. children. however it seems to me nothing will ever equal the magnitude and level of evil perpetrated by Hitler against people who he was simply taught to hate. hordes of Czech nationalists and--no doubt--even the occasional "ordinary" citizen took revenge on those least capable of defending themselves. tends to turn even good people into savages. Most Czechs living today don't know this and other such unpleasant facts and few care. but as a Czech-born 52-year-old I regret that to this day my former compatriots have not 14 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . tortured. and becomes "messy" so that good and evil cannot always be neatly distinguished. Some Czech historians (I'm thinking of Petr Pithart and Václav Černý) were bold enough to speak out and caused a storm of outrage in their homeland. which overwhelmingly were posted by people who understood the point of this article and the underlying book.
Hitler and Stalin). 51 people liked this. N.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.g. Washington. as intellectuals. honestly confronted their past. Sarah Stanton 1 day ago Nothing. They also continue to venerate both Masaryk and Beneš as if they were saints. cmorton001 1 day ago This article points out a problem with the human condition . The same mistakes will be made. Thank you for keeping the memory alive and for educating the world. My question is what does this tell us of the human condition? What will we learn from what we have born witness? 19 people liked this. We. 20037 15 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . When in reality we see these types of events perpetrated throughout history by individuals and given assent by the populace who did little or nothing to stop them. We must not forget. Copyright 2012.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . http://chronicle.. The tragedy is that of forgetting. If history proves or teaches us anything. The Chronicle of Higher Education 1255 Twenty-Third St. like to point out these types of atrocities as isolated incidents of an individual gone wrong (e. 12 people liked this. the same crimes against humanity will repeat and repeat all the world over.C.at our core there is something desperately wrong. D. All rights reserved..The Chroni.W... it is that we learn nothing.