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Thread: Federation of Expellees (Germany)

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    Federation of Expellees

    The Federation of Expellees or Bund der Vertriebenen (BdV) is a non-profit organization formed to represent the interests of Germans who either left their homes in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, or were expelled following World War II.


    The expellees are organized in 21 regional associations (Landsmannschaften) according to the areas of origin of its members, 16 state organizations (Landesverbände) according to their current residence, and 5 associate member organizations. It is the single representative federation for the approximately 15 million Germans who after fleeing, being expelled, evacuated or emigrating, found refuge in the Federal Republic of Germany. The organizations have approximately 2 million members, and are a political force of some influence in Germany.

    The current president of the federation is the German politician Erika Steinbach (CDU), who also is a member of the German Parliament.

    The federation helps members to integrate into German society. Many of the members assist the societies of their place of birth.

    Charter of the Ethnic German Expellees

    The Charter of the Ethnic German Expellees (German: Charta der deutschen Heimatvertriebenen) 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 "unending suffering" (unendliche Leid) of the previous decade, and supporting the unified effort to rebuild Germany and Europe.

    Click to read about Historical background, German laws concerning the expellees, Recent developments and The federation today.

    Member organizations


    * Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen (East Prussia)
    * Landsmannschaft Schlesien (Silesia)
    * Deutsch-Baltische Gesellschaft (Baltic Germans)
    * Landsmannschaft der Banater Schwaben e.V. (Banat Swabians)
    * Landsmannschaft Berlin-Mark Brandenburg
    * Landsmannschaft der Bessarabiendeutschen e.V. (Bessarabia Germans)
    * Landsmannschaft der Buchenlanddeutschen (Bukowina) e.V. (Bukowina Germans)
    * Bund der Danziger e.V. (Danzig)
    * Landsmannschaft der Dobrudscha- und Bulgariendeutschen (Dobrujan Germans and Germans from Bulgaria)
    * Landsmannschaft der Donauschwaben, Bundesverband e.V. (Danube Swabians)
    * Karpatendeutsche Landsmannschaft Slowakei e.V. (Carpathian Germans from Slovakia)
    * Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Litauen e.V. (Germans from Lithuania)
    * Landsmannschaft der Oberschlesier e.V. - Bundesverband - (Upper Silesian)
    * Pommersche Landsmannschaft - Zentralverband - e.V. (Pomeranian)
    * Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland e.V. (Germans from Russia)
    * Landsmannschaft der Sathmarer Schwaben in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V. (Satu Mare Swabians)
    * Landsmannschaft der Siebenbürger Sachsen in Deutschland e.V. (Transylvanian Saxons)
    * Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft Bundesverband e.V. (Sudeten Germans)
    * Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Ungarn (Germans from Hungary)
    * Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe Bundesverband e.V.
    * Landsmannschaft Westpreußen e.V. (West Prussia)

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    Federation of Expellees (Germany)

    Federation of Expellees (Germany): Flags
    Bund der Vertriebenen, BdV

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    1. Territorial Association of the Banat Swabians (Landsmannschaft der Banater Schwaben e.V.)
    2. Territorial Association of the Danube Swabians (Landsmannschaft der Donauschwaben e.V.)
    3. Territorial Association of East Prussia (Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen e.V.)
    4. Territorial Association of the Russian Germans (Landsmannschaft der Russlanddeutschen e.V.)
    5. Territorial Association of (Lower) Silesia and Upper Silesia (Landsmannschaft Schlesien -Nieder- und Oberschlesien e.V.)
    6. Territorial Association of the Upper Silesians (Landsmannschaft der Oberschlesier e.V.)
    7. Territorial Association of the Sudeten Germans (Sudetendeutschen Landsmannschaft e.V.)
    8. Territorial Association of the Transylvanian Saxons in Germany (Landsmannschaft der Siebenbürger Sachsen in Deutschland e.V.)

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    Institute for Research of Expelled Germans

    The Institute for Research of Expelled Germans (Institut für Vertriebenenforschung) is an academic research organisation working to document the largely unknown story of more than 10,000,000 ethnic German civilians who were subjected to deportation, compulsory labour, expulsion, and in many cases starvation and ethnic violence *AFTER* World War II. This process had varying support and involvement by the governments of the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

    We are a non-political research institute. In no way do intend to sanitise German atrocities carried out during the war, to misrepresent Germany as a "victim" of the war, or undermine the genocides against other ethnic groups by the Germans or Soviets. We strongly reject any revisionist, Antisemitic, or pro-Nazi tendencies. We have no relationship with expellee groups or political lobbies whatsoever. We actively cooperate with research groups on the forced migration of Roma (Gypsies), Finns, Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, and others to better understand the largest period of forced migration in modern history.

    The displacement of ethnic German civilians mostly took place AFTER World War II. By 1945, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union had finalised the Potsdam Conference, in which the borders of post-war Europe were redrawn. Germany ceded nearly 30% of its official territory, leaving huge ethnic German minourities as new constituents of Czechoslovakia and Poland. The Soviet Union and the newly-independent Eastern European Communist states included large German populations that had lived there for centuries (and in the Baltic for over 800 years). Considering these civilian populations 'dangerous' regardless of their diverse political ideologies, the governments of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the USSR forced the near entirety of the German civilian populations to be force marched into labour camps or to a Germany that their ancestors had often not seen for centuries.

    The 'legal' expulsions of the Potsdam Conference accompanied the deaths of an uncertain number of civilians during the so-called 'wild expulsions' of 1944-1945. At the same time, Soviet Order #7161 planned to deport all physically-able men and women from German minourities to the Soviet Union for forced labour. Almost all of the 1,084,828 German settlers in the Soviet Union alone were shipped on trains to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Thousands starved to death in transit. In Czechoslovakia and Poland, many were suffered legal discrimination by being forced to wear white armbands to expedite their deportation and exclusion.

    The Allied and Soviet deportation programmes supplemented the previous displacement of nearly a half-million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe under diplomatic negotiation between Adolf Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the Non-Aggression Pact of 1939, as part of Hitler's 'come home to the Reich' doctrine. At the same time, 10,906 German-Americans (both citizens and resident aliens) were shipped alongside Japanese- and Italian-Americans to US internment camps.

    In total, at least 473,013 expellees may have died during the expulsions due to hypothermia, starvation, and to a lesser extent direct violence [1]. The Red Cross and the West German government cited a less verifiable 2,200,000 deaths [2].

    The experience of millions of ethnic German families from 1945-50 was an unfortunate feature of far larger European historical processes, during which most nations in Eastern Europe defined citizenship and identity along exclusive biological or ethnic lines. Post-war Poland was to be a space to be solely inhabited by Poles; Ukraine by Ukrainians; and Czechoslovakia by Czechs and Slovaks. Regardless of their national loyalty, minourities in general had no place in the new post-war states of 1945.

    Although the expelled Germans were the largest uprooted ethnicity in Europe after the war--and remain part of the largest forced migration in history--this same feature of national exclusivity led to the expulsion of millions of ethnic Poles, Ukrainians, Chechens, Ingush, Kalmyks, Koreans, Finns, Tatars, and Hungarians during the same period by their host nations. The story of the expelled Germans thus reflects the suffering of a far broader refugee and minourity experience.
    Expelled and Displaced German Civilian Population Statistics

    Baltic Germans (from 1939-45)- 150,000 displaced by Hitler and Stalin's negotiations and Soviet expulsions
    Germans of the Soviet Union (Caucasus, Black Sea, Bessarabian, etc.)- nearly all of 1,084,828 (nearly 100% expelled), as many as 300,000 may have died (or 30% total)
    Volga Germans (included within USSR stats)- over 400,000 (nearly 100%)
    Dutch Germans- 3,691, or 15% of the total German population
    Prussian, Silesian, Pomeranian Germans expelled by USSR and Poland- 5-8,000,000 (almost 100%)
    Alsace-Lorraine Germans (after World War I)- over 100,000 expelled
    Sudeten and Carpathian Germans of former Czechoslovakia- over 3,000,000 displaced and expelled (95% total)
    Germans of Hungary- over 100,000 expelled, 300,000 displaced (88% total)
    Transylvania Saxons & Banat Swabians of Romania- 700,000 displaced by Hitler, USSR, emigration (91.5%)
    Danube Swabians of Yugoslavia- over 200,000 gaoled, executed, expelled, displaced, or fled (98.5%)

    TOTAL= approximately 10-13,000,000 civilians expelled or displaced, at least 473,013 dead.

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    The largest ethnic cleansing in history

    Ethnic Germans: A Forgotten Genocide

    An Unknown Holocaust - The Genocide Against Ethnic Germans

    Years ago I met a few of these families that ended up here. These documentaries are very mild to the stories I heard them tell.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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