Fleeing the Red Hordes

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Conacher1941
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Fleeing the Red Hordes

Post by Conacher1941 » 19 Mar 2004 15:05

Can anyone tell me if there was the same wholesale migration by the German population in Silesia, much in the same way as in Prussia? I would imagine that there was as the bolsheviks weren't particularly looking to make friends, but I have not come across any mention of the civilian polpulation in that area reacting as the Prussians did.


Cheers,
...Conacher

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Jeremy Chan
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Post by Jeremy Chan » 20 Mar 2004 05:48

Since Silesia, as with Prussia, Pomerania and other states were to be unjustly ceded to Poland and the USSR (can't remember which part of Germany Czechoslovakia got), then yes, the German population was forced to migrate to the West. No the Commies weren't about to share vodka and chat with the innocent civilians about ho great fellow Europeans they were. In fact many East Germans would've rather got hold of a cyanide pill rather than fall into Russian hands. Don't forget they were free to run about raping the German population.

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 20 Mar 2004 13:41

I seems that about 180,000 people in Silesia consider themselves as German and a large number consider themselves as Silesian. I met a woman a few years ago who was Polish/German and considered herself Silesian. From this it would appear that many Germans stayed on probably by claiming to be Silesian, the Silesian dialect seems to be a heavily German accented Polish.

As the area was to be ceded to Poland after the war in compensation for the territory taken by the USSR the behaviour of the Red Army in terrorising the population into leaving solved a problem for the new Polish administration. After the problems with German minorities between the wars naturally the Poles would wish to be without a German minority. The areas taken from Germany would also have to take the refugees from Polands lost eastern teritory.

Germany brought about the loss of Polands eastern territory so it was fair that they paid with a territorial loss of there own also the enormous destruction and large scale murder of Poles deserved extreme compensation. The Czech frontier was returned to the 1938 line and the problem of a disaffected German minority was solved by expulsion.

It sems that on many roads crossing the frontier into Germany arches saying "There She Is - The Accursed Germany" were errected and the soldiers were allowed to go bezerk. A Polish woman told me that the memory of the Soviet soldiers she had was that they were always singing and what wonderfull voices they had, theres two sides to a coin.

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 20 Mar 2004 20:50

Colonel Steelfist writes:
Since Silesia, as with Prussia, Pomerania and other states were to be unjustly ceded to Poland and the USSR (can't remember which part of Germany Czechoslovakia got), then yes, the German population was forced to migrate to the West. No the Commies weren't about to share vodka and chat with the innocent civilians about ho great fellow Europeans they were. In fact many East Germans would've rather got hold of a cyanide pill rather than fall into Russian hands. Don't forget they were free to run about raping the German population.
Please state the legal basis on which you say that the territorial adjustments made after the war were "unjust." The International community agreed on those adjustments based on Germany's illegal aggression. Don't forget, the losers pay.

Please also state your evidence for claiming that most east Germans would rather kill themselves.

Please also state your evidence that Russian troops were "free to run about raping the German population." Please don't insult our collective intelligence by quoting neo-Nazi revisionist websites.

Also, to refresh your obviously convenient memory lapses, Czechoslovakia did not get any part of Germany. After the war the area known as the Sudetenland, which Germany seized from Czechoslovakia, was returned.

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Soviets Order Volga Population Exiled to Siberia

Post by Globalization41 » 21 Mar 2004 05:05


Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 21 Mar 2004 12:27

Globalization41 wrote:Soviets Order Volga Population Exiled to Siberia

[Globalization41]
That is related to the topic - how? The reasons for the wholesale expulsion appear to be completely different.

Quick comment regarding the Sudetenland - this was still poisoning German/Czech relations in the 1990s, because of the influence the Sudentendeutsche association could wield over one of the conservative parties then in government. It for a while created problems with EU accession as well, IIRC. The wholesale expulsion of Germans from Sudetenland under the Benes Decrees (not sure that is the official name) had created a lot of bad blood, to put it mildly.

Of course many of those expulsed were the same Germans who in 1938 had waved hello enthusiastically when the Wehrmacht rolled into the country, giving rise to some legitimate suspicion about where their loyalties lay.

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Conacher1941
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Post by Conacher1941 » 21 Mar 2004 16:19

Of course many of those expulsed were the same Germans who in 1938 had waved hello enthusiastically when the Wehrmacht rolled into the country, giving rise to some legitimate suspicion about where their loyalties lay.
I don't know if that is terribly fair to say. I'm not saying that none of the expulsed were the '38 flag wavers, but certainly it would have been another case of the 'loud minority' in my eyes.

Cheers,
...Conacher

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Post by Andreas » 22 Mar 2004 01:14

I have deliberately kept it vague (many, i.e. not most/all/the majority), but if you have any numbers, e.g. from polls or whatever other reliable source on it, I'd be keen to read them.

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Jeremy Chan
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Post by Jeremy Chan » 22 Mar 2004 08:21

Walter, I might be risking a banning in saying this, but I don't think you should be demanding evidence as you're neither a moderator nor Forum 'veteran'. As a semi-offtopic question, has your family ever been harmed by the Reich, or Germans in general?
When I say many Germans would've rather killed themselves than fall into Russian hands, I mean those German civilians fleeing the Soviet advance, and those Germans from those said ceded states. They'd after all, heard many stories of rape and wanton brutality on the Eastern Front. My source is Anthony Beevor's Berlin: The Downfall.

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Post by JariL » 22 Mar 2004 10:22

Hi,

WalterS wrote:

<Please state the legal basis on which you say that the territorial <adjustments made after the war were "unjust." The International <community agreed on those adjustments based on Germany's illegal <aggression. Don't forget, the losers pay.

Wars hardly ever follow principles of justice. Outcome of WWII was different from many previous wars in Europa in one aspect: ethnic cleansing. Previously in almost all wars the ruler of the land had changed but the population remained. In WWII this pattern was changed because all combattants were ready to either move by force vast populations from the areas they occupied or to allow their allies to do so. Many people also rather fled than remained under foreign rule. This was the case for example in Finland where the whole Karelian population moved into what was left of Finland after the Winter War. Finnish government initially expected the population to go back home after the war and made some preparations to discuss the matter with Soviet Union. This never happened because the people had already voted with their feet.

WWII ment significant brutalization of warfare in Europe and loosers indeed had to pay. The fact that international community approved it in its desire for vengeance, does not mean that it was right though, not with Germans, not with Poles nor any other nationality. We are seeing the fruits of this acceptance for example in the Balkans still today...

Regards,

Jari

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Mar 2004 10:25

From the interrogation record of colonel Gans Freidrich Janus ( I probably butchered the spelling but I am translating German name from Russian report to English language- Oleg -) –CO of Deutsche Krone regiment -3.17.45
Question: Do they believe in Germany in so called Russian atrocities?
Answer: Prior to the Russian offensive almost everybody believed it. Now, despite the huge propaganda effort, this faith begin to shake. Occasional refugees and soldiers make it through and they are telling that it was not as bad as they thought it would be.
I understood that there were occurrences and that Russian soldiers pillage everything if they don’t see the owners – but that is would any soldier would do, but it seems to me that if population would not run it would not be as bad as it is now. I talked to many exhausted refugees and the general theme is “why did the forced as to live –we did not want to.. now we have to suffer..” . That made me conclude that at least part of the population does not buy into atrocities propaganda..
- just something to think about

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Post by Qvist » 22 Mar 2004 11:01

Steelfist:
Walter, I might be risking a banning in saying this, but I don't think you should be demanding evidence as you're neither a moderator nor Forum 'veteran'. As a semi-offtopic question, has your family ever been harmed by the Reich, or Germans in general?
When I say many Germans would've rather killed themselves than fall into Russian hands, I mean those German civilians fleeing the Soviet advance, and those Germans from those said ceded states. They'd after all, heard many stories of rape and wanton brutality on the Eastern Front. My source is Anthony Beevor's Berlin: The Downfall.
Anyone has a perfect right top ask legitimate questions and enquire after sources, veteran or no veteran.


cheers

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Post by Andreas » 22 Mar 2004 12:53

When the German forces invaded France and Belgium, massive refugee columns appeared, and there are claims that these were deliberately targeted by the German airforce to hinder operational movement by the Allied armies. Refugees getting in the way of a rapidly advancing army are always getting the sh*tty end of the stick. At least in the Belgian/French case they were fleeing in summer, reducing the misery somewhat.

German units (e.g. Leibstandarte) engaged in plundering empty homes as well (when reaching the Aa canal, there was an order by Dietrich to abandon plundered items, and to stop wearing civilian business suits - source is Weingarten 'Leibstandarte', I have no idea how reliable he is). So did western allied units when they closed in on the Reich in 1945 (there are some excellent pictures of Shermans that look like Gypsy vans in 'The South Albertas').

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Post by Andreas » 22 Mar 2004 12:56

Qvist wrote:
Anyone has a perfect right top ask legitimate questions and enquire after sources, veteran or no veteran.


cheers
Indeed - if you can't back up what you are saying, don't say it.

Steelfist has still not told us which part of Germany Czechoslovakia got, or why the settlement was unjust for the Germans. Without having read Beevor's book, I am fairly confident in assuming that he will not be the source of these claims.

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Post by Michate » 22 Mar 2004 13:27

Hi,
So did western allied units when they closed in on the Reich in 1945 (there are some excellent pictures of Shermans that look like Gypsy vans in 'The South Albertas').
Nevertheless there seems to have been some difference at least in scale between such incidents between the Western Allied and Soviet forces.

In Western Germany there was nothing like the exodus in the (then) Eastern German areas nor have the many accounts of the behaviour of some of the Soviet soldiers a similar complement in the behaviour of the Western Allies.

The question of the behaviour of the Soviet forces in Eastern Germany is a sensitive one and requires careful examination by historians beyond the stereotypical answers established in the East and the West during the Cold war period.

Best regards,
Michael

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