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T h e German History Society

mechanisms and structures upon which mass loyalties can be built. T h e future of this new ‘political regionalism’ and its relationship to the older one is a question for debate. There are examples at both Land and local level which seem to indicate that political contexts themselves can have cultural implications in the long run.
Downloaded from http://gh.oxfordjournals.org/ at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso on April 23, 2013

Occasional Seminar Programme
In the summer term 1988 the German History Society held its first Occasional Seminar Programme in London (see titles in GERMAN HISTORY 6:2). For the benefit of those unable to attend the series, we print synopses of two of the papers below. T h e paper by Rainer Schulze will appear in full in a future issue of GERMAN HISTORY. Any member of the Society wishing to organize a series of seminars in his or her own geographical area may receive assistance from the Society. T h e Society will publicize the seminars, and send a circular to all members; there may also be a certain amount of financial support, depending on the extent of other activities during the year. Members wishing to put on a seminar programme, or currently running one for which they would like Society sponsorship, are encouraged to contact the Secretary at the address on the inside of the back cover of this issue.

The Integration of Refugees and Returnees (Heirnkehrer) into Post-War German Society, 1945-1950,in East Germany (the GDR)
Jorg Roesler ( G D R Academy of Sciences) Although both groups presented great social problems in eastern Germany during the post-war period, the refugee problem was the more severe. There was a (net) influx of 4.4 million Germans from what is now Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, and other East European countries into eastern Germany (amounting to 25 per cent of the whole population), while the number of returnees (from 1946 onwards) is estimated at 1 . 2 million. There were also differences in timing. Most of the refugees (from autumn 1945, officially named ‘resettled) were accommodated within one and a half years (4.I million up to the end of 1946), while the return of former prisoners of war was more protracted, lasting from 1946 to the end of 1949. They returned from American and British captivity mostly in 1946/7, and from France and the Soviet Union in 1948/9.T h e different timetables of return can be attributed to the differing extent of war destruction in the allied states

Integration into economic life by getting a job quickly was seen as the most important route to social integration.org/ at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso on April 23. 2013 . being the most industrialized region of East Germany. with France and the Soviet Union demanding that German prisoners of war should do work to help their recovery. which were offered mostly to those refugees and returnees whose problems of having to make a new start were more difficult than average (for example. refugee craftsmen and new farmers). while the national and Soviet-owned companies in the mining.) From the middle of 1946 the refugees were directed mostly to the industrial regions of the south. Downloaded from http://gh.oxfordjournals. While the southern Land of Saxony. got only half as many refugee newcomers as rural Mecklenburg in the north between December 1945 and July 1946. The SED and the trade union organization. Strategies for the integration (which is taken here to mean the opposite to separation) of refugees and returnees had to be worked out by the Socialist Unity Party (SED) and the Lunder governments in close co-operation with the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD). by contrast less emphasis was laid on welfare schemes. (Agricultural work was found for only 8 per cent of all refugee families. in the north of eastern Germany. the FDGB. Returnees-with the exception of some elderly officials-found a job in a relatively short period in the place where their families lived. took especial care of returneeds who had been active in political and trade union life on the left before 1933. in agriculture especially. Integration into political life was seen as a precondition for full socialization. T h e recognition that the refugees would never have the chance to go back led to the decision to give them equal rights as citizens as early as summer 1946. and textile industries were queuing up for ‘homeless returnees’ (those without relatives and therefore not bound to a certain location) from summer 1946. By 1950 integration into economic life through work was nearly completed for both these troubled groups of the population. Jobs for the refugees were envisaged immediately after the war. the influx of refugees into Saxony between August 1946 and March 1949 outnumbered the newcomers in Mecklenburg more than three times. chemical. or who had done best as workers (‘activists’) while in Soviet captivity.The German History Society 299 concerned. But there was an overestimation of the number of agricultural labourers needed and of the farms which could be created by land reform.