This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Chronicle Review
Home Opinion & Ideas The Chronicle Review
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.
1 of 15
6/13/2012 2:18 PM
and what are today the western districts of Poland.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . Hungary. The number who died as a result of starvation.. seeking to reshape the demographic profile of Europe according to their own preferences. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians—the overwhelming majority of whom were women. They were deposited among the ruins of Alliedoccupied Germany to fend for themselves as best they could. survivors were left in Allied-occupied Germany to fend for themselves.. or 2 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . http://chronicle. Yugoslavia. disease. in human history.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. beatings. As The New York Times noted in December 1945. 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. What was different about the deportation of Loch and his fellow passengers. Hoover Institution Archives An estimated 500. however. Romania. tragic scenes like those were commonplace. nearly two years after the declaration of peace. and children under 16—were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia.The Chroni. During the Second World War. as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin moved around entire populations like pieces on a chessboard. was that it took place by order of the United States and Britain as well as the Soviet Union. and perhaps the single greatest movement of population. Between 1945 and 1950.000 people died in the course of the organized expulsions. Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration... old people.
told his colleagues in the British Foreign Office in 1946. 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. not everyone agreed. it was clear that "concentration camps and all they stand for did not come to an end with the defeat of Germany. they remain all but unknown outside Germany itself. like Auschwitz I and Theresienstadt. As Sir John Colville. no more than 100 or so miles away from the camps being put to this new use.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About ." By any measure.The Chroni." Ironically." Even at the time. http://chronicle. formerly Winston Churchill's private secretary. then we.. On the rare occasions that they rate more than a footnote in European-history textbooks.. 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. Yet although they occurred within living memory. an outspoken opponent of the expulsions. tens of thousands perished as a result of ill treatment while being used as slave labor (or. George Orwell. and in the middle of the world's most densely populated continent. who reasoned that "if every German was indeed responsible for what happened at Belsen.. but conservative estimates suggest that at least 500. as 3 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . outright execution is unknown. 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. were former German concentration camps kept in operation for years after the war.000 people lost their lives in the course of the operation. 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. in the Allies' cynical formulation." 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. Most disturbingly of all.. the postwar expulsions were a manmade disaster and one of the most significant examples of the mass violation of human rights in recent history. in time of peace. "reparations in kind") in a vast network of camps extending across central and southeastern Europe—many of which. As the historian Richard J.
consisted of gentile Poles. To a considerable extent. was "bound to cause immense suffering and dislocation. http://chronicle. 4 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM .. and only a slightly larger proportion of Czechoslovakia's. recorded. they were counting on it. "is worthwhile in the end. as the British government was warned in 1944 by its own panel of experts.) For the Soviets." And the Americans. Konrad Adenauer. or Slovaks. as Laurence Steinhardt. The Allies. 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.. hoped that by displaying an "understanding" and cooperative attitude toward the expelling countries' desire to be rid of their German populations.The Chroni. (Before 1939.. were responsible individually as well as collectively" for what was being done to noncombatants in the Allies' name. 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.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. The British viewed the widespread suffering that would inevitably attend the expulsions as a salutary form of re-education of the German population. "Everything that brings home to the Germans the completeness and irrevocability of their defeat. the United States could demonstrate its sympathy for those countries' national aspirations and prevent them from drifting into the Communist orbit. 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. less than two-thirds of Poland's population.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . members of a democratic country and not a fascist one with no free press or parliament. knowingly embarked on a course that. 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." Deputy Prime Minister Clement Richard Attlee wrote in 1943." That the expulsions did not lead to the worst consequences that could be expected from the chaotic cattle drive of millions of impoverished. then. embittered. Czechs. 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. ambassador to Prague.. drew the expellees into mainstream politics. The first was the skill with which the postwar German chancellor. and rootless deportees into a war-devastated country that had nowhere to put them was due to three main factors.
Still less so in the English-speaking world. as their name suggests. Culturally. 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. on the other hand. economic. the Allies avoided reaping the harvest of their own recklessness. and technocrats took a full part in carrying out a program that. By extraordinary good fortune. (In East Germany.. 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 Germans included... when perpetrated by their wartime enemies. they can't be relied upon to come along where and when they are most needed. http://chronicle.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. feeding.. 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. defusing the threat of a potentially radical and disruptive bloc. they did not hesitate to 5 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . 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. was the 30-year-long "economic miracle" that made possible the housing. Their disruptive demographic. is that.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . In most other parts of Central Europe. servicemen. and by far the most important. Nonetheless. thousands of Western officials. it has hardly even begun." though. It is important to note that the expulsions are in no way to be compared to the genocidal Nazi campaign that preceded them. the expulsions have cast a long and baleful shadow over central and southeastern Europe. The third. Contradicting Allied rhetoric that asserted that World War II had been fought above all to uphold the dignity and worth of all people. 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. even to the present day." As Thum shows in his groundbreaking study of postwar Wroclaw—until 1945 and the removal of its entire population. and employment of the largest homeless population with which any industrial country has ever had to contend.The Chroni. and even—as Eagle Glassheim has pointed out—environmental consequences continue to be felt more than 60 years later. 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.) The downside of "economic miracles.
. but their significance. for whom the war is an increasingly distant memory.The Chroni. The operation he had helped carry out. drew in "innocent people who had never raised so much as a word of protest against the Czechoslovak people. like T. Poles... Some notable exceptions aside. Czechs. The degree of cognitive dissonance to which this led was exemplified by the career of Colonel John Fye.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.. chief U. To this day. But neither are they valid reasons for failing to engage seriously with an episode of such obvious importance.S. http://chronicle. and politically sensitive episode. It is unnecessary to attribute this to any "taboo" or "conspiracy of silence. morally ambiguous. complex. and to integrate it within the broader 6 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . women and children had been thrown into detention facilities. the postwar decrees expropriating and denationalizing Germans remain on the statute book of the Czech Republic." To accomplish it. David Curp. By no means are all of these concerns unworthy ones. Matthew Frank. liberty. what is denied is not the fact of the expulsions themselves. "many of which were little better than the ex-German concentration camps." Rather. in which few if any of those involved appear in a creditable light. and property. and their legality has recently been reaffirmed by the Czech constitutional court. liaison officer for expulsion affairs to the Czechoslovak government. 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. 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." 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. he acknowledged.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . and David Gerlach." 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. 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. or giving rise to a self-pitying "victim" mentality among today's generation of Germans. denounce as contrary to all principles of humanity.
Innumerable questions—about the archipelago of camps and detention centers. whether within or between states. At a moment when the surviving expellees are passing away and many. http://chronicle. Andrew Bell-Fialkoff. published by Yale University Press.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About .. At present. the sexual victimization of female expellees. Elazar Barkan maintains that such proscriptions are far from absolute.. is both intellectually and pedagogically unsustainable. well-organized manner. the full part played by the Soviet and U. Despite the gruesome history. though far from all. Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the 7 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . still worse.M.." The expulsion of the ethnic Germans is thus of contemporary as well as historical relevance." John Mearsheimer. to teach—as though the expulsions had never taken place or. For historians to write—and. are of no particular significance to the societies affected by them. 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. governments in planning and executing the expulsions—remain to be fully answered. like the transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia by the Allies in 1945-47. the time has come for this painful but pivotal chapter in Europe's recent history to receive at last the scholarly attention it deserves. the study of many vital elements of this topic is still in its earliest stages. having occurred. enthusiasts continue to chase the mirage of "humane" mass deportations as a means of resolving intractable ethnic problems. the precise number and location of which are still undetermined.. Chaim Kaufmann. has advocated population transfers as a valuable tool so long as they are "conducted in a humane. Michael Mann and others have done likewise. R. of the relevant archives have been opened. which was on a scale to rival the mass rapes perpetrated by Red Army soldiers in occupied Germany.S. in a much-cited study. Douglas is an associate professor of history at Colgate University.The Chroni. This essay is adapted from his new book. though.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. And although the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has attempted to restrain this tendency by prohibiting mass deportations. narrative of modern European history. Few wars today. 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. 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.
Tens of thousands who were involuntarily returned were shipped off to Soviet labor camps never to be heard of again. unable to believe my father's story about Dresden . It's a fascinating piece of history that's tragically overlooked... camillameek 2 days ago Fascinating and tragic. Thank you for publishing this. 32 people liked this. So. The displacement of Poles from what is now western Ukraine is mentioned. 6 people liked this. I suspect that most who were peripherally aware at the time simply chose not to think very much on it. I remember.The Chroni. especially the individual stories which for me have the most emotional impact .which I learned was true many years later.. >. Not mentioned. just the ultimate in the string of horrors that had encompassed Europe for the previous five to ten years.com/LastDay.amazon. There's only so much horror the mind can take in.. Chronicle editor. Likewise this is all true . 8 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . outskiing 2 days ago I was unaware of this until I watched an engrossing documentary on the History Channel. The thousands who died in the process of replacing the Germans in Silesia should also be noted. 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. found themselves in territories occupied by the western Allies. Comments Powered by DISQUS Add a comment Log in to post with your Chronicle account: Don't have an account? Create one now. hlsimmons 2 days ago A very enlightening article! 18 people liked this. 30 people liked this. was the most important factor. due to the war.and horrifying. 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.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.. _The Last Days of World War II_. again. thank you. are those who. but who were forcibly repatriated due to the demands of the Soviet Union. http://chronicle. Here's more information if anyone is interested in learning more < http://www. but displaced Germans are the focus of the article. or only in passing.and have received even less attention than Dresden. (Resume) elsaiselsa 2 days ago Thank you for this article. at the time. Germans After the Second World War. Allied troops were not dying as a result of it and that.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . as a child..
in striving to clarify the the wrongs of policy and in an attempt to prevent it from happening again. But I have two critical clarifications to make: language does not equal ethnicity. History is full of such acts which usually just fall short of "ethnic cleansing". Mr. with only a tenuous link to "German-ness" or really no link at all. as one singular ethnicity based on their language. 9 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . Excuses. Douglass for presenting the horrors of the expulsions. and also the lack of attention it has received in histories of. the Holocaust.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . in another place." But historical analysis.. it is easy to set one group against a recognizable "other. and. Hank Stevens 2 days ago thank you. horrors that attend all forced migrations.. and should never be condoned in a modern world. http://chronicle. Many citizens. That is the only possibility we have for ensuring that the same excuses will not be used again. 4 people liked this. by the "righteous" victors of war. 15 people liked this. ebrabec 2 days ago Having grown up with this story. Lives are always the battering chips of the high stakes poker game of diplomacy. We always have choice. German-speaking is also conflated with being sympathetic to the political cause of the state of Germany during the war.. so by characterizing a group of individuals based on their language. graylibrary 2 days ago War is hell. and ethnicity is rarely homogeneous. 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. hair color. 5 people liked this. or any other aspect is a slippery slope. Still. and the aftermath as well. should strive for clarity. and discussions 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. from a less passionate perspective. as DNA testing is increasingly showing. 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. Douglas refers to the deportees as "German-speaking" but then conflates that with being ethnically German or just German. I thank Mr. the end of World War II. The labelling of any group of individuals. while primarily German-speaking (family members spoke both German and Czech) genealogy traced back to the 15th century shows both Slavic and Germanic heritage. This makes Longfellow's indictment of the British in his saccharine poem "Evangeline" seem tame. But I would ask for clarity in describing the excuses for the expulsions . along with a variety of other ethnicities. Politics loves simplicity. 11 people liked this. Taking my own family as an example.for that is what they were. mpowley 2 days ago Also.. In some points of the article. janssen86 5 hours ago War is hell if we make it. particularly in a heterogeneous country such as the former Czechoslovakia. Neither characterization is true. I am fully aware both of the horrors of that period. by association. 53 people liked this. -Brian Cowan 16 people liked this. It seems indeed that language is the backbone of culture and culture is the mother of identification.The Chroni. 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. differentiation and even race.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.
com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. And no. 17 people liked this. in another instance of avoiding culpability in our own history. 26 people liked this. although we continue to use that term today in this case. The German government started the war. gwern0 1 day ago > was just punishment for the crime committed by the German Peoples. 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. 28 people liked this..The European Atrocity You Never Heard About .. May the German People never forget the horrors of war such that they do not inflict their horrors on other in the future.. 88 people liked this. the "British" in Longfellow's poem were neither fictional nor British in today's terms. from Massachusetts colony. Paul Bonneau 1 day ago It's collectivist thinking like this that gives rise to so many atrocities under discussion. which the Americans wanted from pure greed. 13 people liked this. it was not just in any sense of the word. And the German peoples were just as guilty as their leadership for perpetrating countless horrors on the innocent peoples of other lands. dmutchler 2 days ago I believe you miss the point completely. 46 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. dmutchler. lawilson 2 days ago Absolutely correct. proftowanda 2 days ago To be clear.The Chroni.. That is far from saying the German people started the war. And those were my ancestors in lovely. NO ONE ASKED THE GERMANS TO START THE WAR. who conducted what historian John Mack Faragher in his fine recent work calls the first genocide. Those were British Americans. 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 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. So that. and concisely stated. http://chronicle.
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.. maryfraser 1 day ago So well put. fortysomethingprof 23 hours ago "May the German People never forget the horrors of war. but are you an evangelical Christian living in Mississippi? Of course people forget the horrors of war..com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321.. it only takes about 3 generations. 4 people liked this. 9 people liked this. A perfect analogy. 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.. 4 people liked this. what 11 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . The onerous economic and political conditions forced on the Germans at the Treaty of Versailles basically insured a "war to end all wars" sequel. 8 people liked this. anon1972 21 hours ago Hear hear. janssen86 6 hours ago So. 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 Chroni. So. The German people were just as guilty as their leadership? Really. War happens because of wickedness of the few and the collective ignorance of the masses. Surely the rest of us can learn from atrocities committed by others? Isn't that the point of studying history? 7 people liked this.. The least we can do is acknowledge "our" own role in similar atrocities. 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. 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. 16 people liked this. 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. 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." Now there's a shallow conclusion.). just because you choose to categorise both into the same "guilty" collective? With this moral code.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . etc. 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. the US to start the war on Iraq?" http://chronicle. 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.
..The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . 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 . whether it is a democracy.not the ones perpetrated against themselves. But. That is understood. nor in England. Shameful! 25 people liked this. But if the a country's leaders are bound on warfare. exactly what justified hatred of the Jews. nor for that matter in Germany. 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. 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. was the forcible repatriation of some 50.do not forget that WWI and the horrors of its aftermath was still fresh in people's minds." Furthermore. It's guilt by (centuries old) bloodline. 3 people liked this. I fail to see how your stance would achieve likewise. or a parliament. 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. crimes could one not justify? http://chronicle.. but that he wasn't in the country to do is obscene. or a communist dictatorship. The German people keep the memories of the horrors alive . 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 . 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. 4 people liked this.000 Cossacks and Russians to the Soviet Union by the British in 1944-47. They do so that they never again fall into the trap of collectivist amorality. dschimme 2 days ago Somewhat better known (thanks to Nicholas Bethell and Nikolai Tolstoy) but even less edifying. There have been many holocausts. the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. 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.The Chroni. it was not just the German leadership that started the war: The attack on Poland and so WWII was started together with the Soviets . 6 people liked this. or a fascist dictatorship. but the ones perpetrated by Germans against other people. Voice or no voice. war is going to happen.whom the US and British governments later chose as allies.. the Sudetendetsche were treated just as criminals by the new inhabitants of Poland and former CSSR. As none other than Hermann Goering so aptly put it: "Why of course the people don't want war.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. but most focus on the brand name one prominently displayed on top of the shelf. after all. it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along.
There was no actual reason to grab the Sudetenland. Mao announced that he was willing to "sacrifice" 5 million to nationalize the farms of China. I have an option whether to be the dog or Pavlov. He called it. Hitler and his gang cooked up false flag atrocities against Sudeten Germans to justify his actions. Last I hear they have left children and women...com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. You don't get to call the game. 7 people liked this.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About ." That was the propaganda. 6 people liked this. 17 people liked this. not the reason. 5 people liked this.. usually on planes to some unknown distant locations beside the Gitmo atrocity.. policy fails. 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. Some estimates have the death toll (don't forget the "Great Leap Forward") at 30 million murders. that ethnic Germans lived there and therefore it was part of the Third Reich. But Japanese-Americans know we are quite familiar with the techniques. pregnant or otherwise mostly alone. 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. Denise Berg 2 days ago Amazing and very disturbing. for good reason.The Chroni. But then they're just Chinese and don't offer us a purifying Augustinian confession. initiate it and make your opponents' moves as well as your own. Michael Godey 2 days ago When people are forgotten. 5 people liked this. Who knows what would have happened to the German populations left behind to live among those they had so grievously wronged. 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. "the supreme atrocity of our time" ???? Hardly. There the west refused to tolerate "ethnic cleansing" in the form of moving populations. into western occupied Germany. swygant 2 days ago Thank you for a very enlightening article. My downstairs neighbor complains about the noise of washing pots in my sink. And the situation in the former Yugoslavia also adds context. Now I just throw them in. dloewy 1 day ago 13 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM .if you want to call that a reason. He called the game: it's called Pavlov.. Instead the people took things into their own hands and slaughtered the undesirable group as a way to force them to flee. outside of Hitler's lust for lebensraum .. http://chronicle. 6 people liked this. 6 people liked this.
34 people liked this. their rights denied. 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. The fact is that once unleashed. manoflamancha 1 day ago Well said! 5 people liked this. the shameful Beneš decrees are still in effect today and most Czechs believe that they were and are only fair. but 67 years after WWII it must be possible to look at ALL of the unspeakable injustice and suffering caused by it. war consumes everything in its path. raped. As you pointed out. Most of his relatives ended up in Auschwitz via Theresienstadt. It's not about comparing who suffered more or the most. But rather than resting assured that all that evil was perpetrated exclusively by a particular generation of inherently war-hungry Germans.. War is a terrible crucible in which some humans assert their humanity whereas others may lose theirs. When the Germans were sent packing and headed for the German border with meager belongings. many of them were beaten. 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. and killed. I grew up with accounts of the German occupation. The German refugees (mostly women. dloewy 1 day ago Professor Douglas. 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. hordes of Czech nationalists and--no doubt--even the occasional "ordinary" citizen took revenge on those least capable of defending themselves. Since when is it just to take revenge on the most vulnerable of noncombatants? Also. 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. thank you for this much-needed research. but also of the post-war atrocities in the Sudetenland and elsewhere that were not spontaneous acts of revenge but well-orchestrated. I was also heartened to read the comments. it's much harder to acknowledge that there is something universal in the human capacity for brutality and inhumanity. 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. It's much more disturbing to assume that unspeakable evil could happen again--anytime and possibly anywhere.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . which I will be sure to read. My father's family was Jewish-German living in the Sudetenland. Two managed to flee. In their support of the independence movement.. Even before Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent state from the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later. and old men) were hardly the slaughterers who committed the Nazi atrocities that are so well documented. Only two survived. 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. I apologize if I am telling you what you know so much better than I.. children. Thomas Woodrow Wilson and his administration apparently didn't realize or care that Czechoslovakia had a sizable German population. http://chronicle. In the article and I am sure even more so in your book. Most Czechs living today don't know this and other such unpleasant facts and few care. and becomes "messy" so that good and evil cannot always be neatly distinguished. You seem to assume collective guilt. Every night. Three million Germans were conveniently forgotten. not all Sudeten Germans were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers..The Chroni. you have described so eloquently the evils perpetrated even as the "just war" was finally over. 2 people liked this. the "fog of war" served as a convenient cloak under which the violent expulsion of the Germans could be orchestrated. the holocaust. The roots of the tragedy in the Sudetenland specifically can be traced in part back to the crumbling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. candidcamera 2 days ago The "trail of tears" on our own soil was awful too. tends to turn even good people into savages.com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. 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 . The point certainly is not to deflect attention from German atrocities or somehow try to diminish their horror. tortured. the two and others were making plans to eliminate the German population. 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.
cmorton001 1 day ago This article points out a problem with the human condition . Washington. the same crimes against humanity will repeat and repeat all the world over. N. 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. 12 people liked this.at our core there is something desperately wrong.The European Atrocity You Never Heard About . 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 must not forget. The Chronicle of Higher Education 1255 Twenty-Third St.. it is that we learn nothing.. honestly confronted their past. The tragedy is that of forgetting. We.W. All rights reserved.. They also continue to venerate both Masaryk and Beneš as if they were saints. 20037 15 of 15 6/13/2012 2:18 PM . 51 people liked this.g.The Chroni. D. Copyright 2012. like to point out these types of atrocities as isolated incidents of an individual gone wrong (e. as intellectuals. Sarah Stanton 1 day ago Nothing.C. Hitler and Stalin)..com/article/The-European-Atrocity-You/1321. Thank you for keeping the memory alive and for educating the world. The same mistakes will be made. If history proves or teaches us anything. http://chronicle.