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Titre du document / Document title

Esten, letten und litauer in der britischen besatzungszone deutschlands. Aus akten des Foreign office = Estonians, latvians and lithuanians in the british occupation zone of Germany

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

TEGELER Tillmann ;

Résumé / Abstract

This article deals with the British policy towards Baltic displaced persons in post-war Germany. After World War II millions of refugees were spread over Europe. Over five millions of them were stranded in the Western occupation zones of Germany. About a million decided to stay there. The others were repatriated by the allies to their home in Eastern Europe. Among those who stayed, the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians formed a special group. On the one hand they were a small group about 120 000 people, while on the other hand their political position was high-explosive. Different from other peoples like the Poles their home was incorporated in the Soviet Union and didn't exist anymore. So they couldn't be treated like UN nationals, whose treatment was fixed in international agreements. One problem was, that in camps of the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) there existed no liaison officers to articulate the will of Baltic DPs towards the occupation authorities. Another difficulty were the permanent attempts of the Soviets to get "their" citizens home into the Soviet Union. While the UNRRA ran the camps with regard to social affairs, the British occupation administration formed a division to do so politically. In the beginning the PW & DP Division (Prisoners of War/Displaced Persons Division) was busy to ban Baltic organisations, because their existence provoked diplomatic complications. As a representative of British democracy the PW & DP Division established the Baltic Welfare, Education and Employment Organisation to support self-government of the Balts, while in fact the British authorities controlled this organisation. It was also the PW & DP Division that organised the first resettlement of Baltic DPs. After the war capable manpower was needed on the labour market in Great Britain. So in 1946 a programme called Balt-Cygnet was started: about 1000 Baltic women were brought to Britain to work in hospital as nurses. One year later the more extensive programme Westward-Ho marked the beginning of the total resettlement of the Balts. Although overseas, especially in Canada, Australia and South America, workers from Europe were highly welcomed. So the IRO (International Refugee Organization), which succeeded the UNRRA, organised the resettlement of the majority of the DPs. Only about two per cent of the Baltic displaced persons, the so-called hard core, stayed in Germany. They became homeless foreigners (heimatlose Ausländer) in the Federal Republic of Germany. The resettlement meant the final act of this aspect of Baltic history in Germany, whose most successful chapter was the scientific work. In Munich, but still more in Hamburg, where the so-called Baltic university lasted for three years, academic life could be established. This can be seen as the basic condition for a restart overseas for thousands of Baltic DPs.

Revue / Journal Title

Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas    ISSN  0021-4019 

Source / Source

2005, vol. 53, no1, pp. 42-57 [16 page(s) (article)]

Langue / Language

Revue : Allemand

Editeur / Publisher

Steiner, Stuttgart, ALLEMAGNE  (1936) (Revue)

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 23230, 35400012714532.0030

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 16721963

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