The deutschen Heimatvertriebene (aka Heimatvertriebene, trans.: "ethnic German refugees", lit. "German homeland refugees") and 'Vertriebenen' refers to the diaspora of the approximately 15 million ethnic Germans and German citizens, who in the years surrounding World War II fled or were evicted from countries occupied by the Soviet army, particularly eastern Germany.
Over 15 million refugees and victims of expulsion were forced out of the eastern part of Germany (the provinces of Pomerania, Posen-West Prussia, East Prussia, Silesia and eastern Brandenburg) from the winter of 1944-1945 to 1950 and out of other Eastern European countries.
During the winter months 1944 to 1945 the population of eastern Germany (the German term for the political territory was Deutsches Reich, the population Reichsdeutsche) was driven out by Soviet Union and allied military forces. The population of eastern Germany at the time included both residents from before the war and refugees from surrounding countries.
Following the conclusion of World War II, many refugees returned to their homes in eastern Germany, which had become occupied by Soviet military troops. They were then expelled by the communist regimes, put in place by Soviet Union.
Charta der deutschen Heimatvertriebenen
The Charta der deutschen Heimatvertriebenen (Charter of the Ethnic German Refugees) of August 5, 1950 announced their belief in requiring that "the right to the homeland is recognized and carried out as one of the fundamental rights of mankind given by God", while renouncing revenge and retaliation in the face of the "infinite wrong" of the previous decade, and supporting the unified effort to rebuild Germany and Europe.
Bundesvertriebenengesetz , Law
Since 1953 the West German government, the Bundesregierung has passed laws dealing with the expellees. Several additions were made to these laws: [].
It is estimated that 2 1/2 million German refugees died during the forced treck, due to being bombarded, refugee boats and ships being torpedoes, of having to walk thousands of km from eastern Germany to west of the Oder/Neisse river in Germany, over the frozen Baltic Sea and heavy snow and of starvation.
A recent article by Polish writers aludes to the Autochthones, as the Germans, who managed to stay in their homes, despite Soviet Union take-overs, were called by Polish authorities. http://src-h.slav.hokudai.ac.jp/publictn/acta/16/alfred/alfred-1.html
The CDU Christian Democratic Union government has for a long time and is in support of the refugees and expellees, external link of CDU []. With the change of German government from the CDU under Helmut Kohl to the SPD, the Socialist Democratic Party, a seeming disregard for keeping the cultural values of the Vertriebenen has set in. The current Bundesregierung declared, that they are not aware of the speech by then US Presidential Candidate to the German/American Institute, where he strongly condemned the ethnic cleansings and especially pointed to the 15 to 16 million Germans, mostly women and children, expelled from Eastern Europe.
The seemingly disregard and inattention by the present German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, SPD, is causing some people to take matters into their own hands.
German right-wing revisionist author and ethnic nationalist Rolf Josef Eibicht has described what has happened to the Heimatvertriebe as "ein beispielloser Völkermord, ein Vertreibungs-Holocaust am deutschen Volk, ein unverjährbares Jahrtausendverbrechen" ("An unparalled genocide, an eviction-Holocaust of the German people, an undescribable thousand-year crime").
External Links and References
- Continuous betrayal of the human rights of the German Heimatvertriebene, Rolf Joseph Eibicht (in German) Google translation