Transfers of Populations

November 25, 1944

Report Outline
Compulsory Transfer Vs. Self-Determination
Intra-Axis and Nazi-Soviet Transfers
Nazi Mass Transfers in Western Europe
Population Transfers After World War Ii

Compulsory Transfer Vs. Self-Determination

National Minorities as Breeders of War

Compulsory Transfer of European minorities from state to state—a policy rejected by Allied leaders after the last war—is widely accepted today as an essential part of the postwar security program. Moscow's approval of such a policy has been demonstrated by its exchange of peoples with Germany, after the Nazi-Soviet partition of Poland in 1939, and more recently by the agreements for future transfers of populations negotiated by two republics of the U. S. S. R. (White Russia and the Ukraine) with the Polish Committee of National Liberation.

At Versailles in 1919 an attempt was made to solve the problem of national minorities—congregations in one country of the nationals of another country—in accordance with President Wilson's principle of self-determination. New states were created, plebiscites were ordered, and a code was set up for the protection of minority groups. None of these measures proved adequate. With the development of radio communication, home governments were able to give constant and immediate direction to their nationals in other states, and discontented minorities continued to provide excuses for aggression.

The peace conference after World War II must find different means of dealing with minority problems. In addition it must remove new centers of infection established by the Nazis throughout Europe during the war. Three types of German minorities must be pushed back into the Reich: (1) the so-called “intruded” Germans who have been sent into occupied countries; (2) old German settlers who betrayed the countries in which they were resident into the Nazi camp; (3) Germans living in areas that may be taken from Germany by members of the United Nations. For these reasons responsible European leaders believe adoption of a postwar program of compulsory migration is essential to the achievement of world security.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 22, 1989  A Primer on German Reunification
Apr. 19, 1985  German Reconciliation
Feb. 25, 1983  West Germany's ‘Missile’ Election
Jan. 14, 1970  German Reconciliation
Jan. 29, 1969  West German Prosperity
Mar. 30, 1966  German Border Question and Reunification
Aug. 18, 1965  West German Election, 1965
Feb. 24, 1965  War Guilt Expiation
Jul. 01, 1964  German Question
Sep. 01, 1961  Captive East Germany
Aug. 23, 1961  West German Election, 1961
May 04, 1960  Berlin Question
Dec. 24, 1958  Berlin Crisis and German Reunification
Aug. 21, 1957  German Election, 1957
Oct. 19, 1955  European Security
Jun. 15, 1955  Germany and the Balance of Power
Oct. 19, 1954  German Rearmament
Jan. 19, 1954  West German Recovery
Mar. 12, 1953  Harassed Berlin
Apr. 26, 1950  German Problem
Feb. 18, 1948  Rehabilitation of the Ruhr
Oct. 23, 1946  Future of Germany
Nov. 25, 1944  Transfers of Populations
Nov. 01, 1940  Economic Controls in Nazi Germany
Mar. 09, 1939  Foreign Trade in German Economy
Apr. 02, 1936  Germany's Post-War European Relations
Nov. 02, 1934  The Coming Saab Plebiscite
Apr. 23, 1931  The Austro-German Customs Union Project
Feb. 05, 1929  The Rhineland Problem
Nov. 07, 1924  German National Elections December, 1924
Apr. 30, 1924  The German National Elections
U.S. at War: World War II
War and Conflict
World War II