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Originally, the term diaspora (from the Greek for dispersal) referred only to the expulsion of the Jews from Egypt in 586 B.C.. The capitalized Diaspora refers specifically to Jews.

Since the late twentieth century, the term has been used to refer to any people or ethnic population) forced to leave their homelands and dispersed throughout other parts of the world, and the ensuing developments in their dispersal and culture.

The term diaspora is used interchangeably to refer to the historical movements of the dispersed ethnic population, the cultural development of that population, or the population itself.

The academic field of diaspora studies was established in the late twentieth century in regard to the expanded meaning of diaspora.

The African diaspora refers to the movements and culture of Africans taken into slavery and their descendants throughout the world.

The Irish diaspora refers to the millions of Irish refugees from Ireland due to the Irish Potato Famine and political oppression.

The Southeast Asian diaspora.

= Modern diasporas

The twentieth century has seen massive ethnic refugee crises due to war and the rise of nationalism and racism. The first half of the twentieth century saw the creation of hundreds of millions of ethnic refugees across Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Many of these refugees who did not die from starvation or war came to the Americas.

Such populations included:

  • Jews, Gypsies, and other ethnic minorities from areas under Axis control during World War II; see also Holocaust
  • Various ethnic minorities from areas under Russian and Soviet control following the Russian Revolution, continuing through the mass forced resettlements under Stalin
  • the Heimatvertriebene, ethnic German refugees from the former German Empire during and following World War II

The above list is not comprehensive or definitive. Only a few have been given much historical attention.

During the Cold War era huge populations of refugees continued to form from areas of war, especially from Third World nations, all over Africa, South and Central America, the Middle East, and east Asia.

Has anyone ever undertaken a study/count on how many millions of people have been killed or displaced by forced shifts of populations since Treaty of Versailles and Cold War power politics ?