The flight and expulsion of so many millions of Germans from the territories East of the Oder and Neisse rivers, and from the Sudetenland and Southeast Europe, cannot be appreciated as a historical event by means of cold statistics. The fate of each individual person must be kept in mind. The victims of the expulsion were people no different from us. They suffered and starved as individual human beings, not nameless subtotals in some statistical column. They were victims just like the Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, or the gypsies liquidated by Nazi hit squads, or the Jews murdered at Auschwitz. For those affected—no matter whether Pole, gypsy, Jew or German—being a victim meant that their personal existence was extinguished, often under circumstances of unbearable torment. All fell victim to injustices that can never be redressed.
KeywordsPolish Officer Armed Conflict German Experience Persons Belonging Warsaw Pact
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- 1.Albert Schweitzer. Das Problem des Friedens in der heutigen Welt (Munich, 1954), p. 6.Google Scholar