Alfred-Maurice de Zayas:
A Terrible Revenge
The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-1950
"This is the story of the ethnic Germans who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some two million died and fifteen million were displaced - driven from their lands by those opposed to anyone and anything German.... De Zayas's moving plea is that one's home should be a human right." The Times (London).
The closing phase and the aftermath of World War II saw millions of refugees and displaced persons wandering across Eastern Europe in one of the most brutal and chaotic migrations in world history.
The genocidal barbarism of the Nazi forces has been well documented. [?] What hitherto has been little known is the fate of the fifteen million German civilians who found themselves at the mercy of the Soviet armies and on the wrong side of the new postwar borders. All over Eastern Europe, the inhabitants of communities that had been established for many centuries were either expelled or killed. Over two million Germans did not survive.
Many of these people had supported Hitler, and for the Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians, and surviving Jews, their fate must have seemed just. However, the great majority - East Prussian farmers, Silesian industrial workers, their wives and children - were guiltless. Their fate, sentenced purely by race, remains an appalling legacy to this period.
Alfred de Zayas's book describes this horrible retribution. On the basis of extensive research in German and American archives, he outlines the long history of these German communities, scattered from the Baltic to the Danube, and, most movingly, reproduces the testimonies of survivors from the catastrophic exodus that marked the final end to Nazi fantasies of Lebensraum.
(179 pages, 14 x 21 cm, paperback, 24 b/w photographs, 1 map, bibliography.)