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Encyclopedia > Federation of Expellees

The Bund der Vertriebenen (BdV) (German for "Federation of Expellees") is a non-profit organization formed to represent the interests of Germans displaced from their homes in Historical Eastern Germany and other parts of Eastern Europe by the expulsion of Germans after World War II. ("Heimatvertriebene": "Homeland expellees"). December 2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → 31 December 2005 (Saturday) 25-year-old Scottish human rights worker Kate Burton and her parents are freed unharmed in the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian gunmen who kidnapped them two days earlier. ... A nonprofit organization (sometimes abbreviated to not-for-profit, non-profit, or NPO) is an organization whose primary objective is to support some issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes. ... Historic Eastern Germany or Ex-German Eastern Territories are terms which can be used to describe collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder–Neisse line which were under the administration of a unified German state from 1871 until 1945 and were recognised as part of Germany by the... The expulsion of Germans after World War II was the mass deportation of people considered Germans (both Reichsdeutsche and Volksdeutsche) from Soviet-occupied areas outside the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, and is a major part of the German exodus from Eastern Europe after World War II. The process, which...


It represents the diaspora of German citizens (today numbering approximately 15 million) who after World War II were transferred from Poland and the Soviet Union and former German territories, together with ethnic Germans who were transferred from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and other countries. The diaspora also includes people who were part of a colonization effort initiated by the German Reich or who migrated into Nazi-occupied territories during the war. The federation's first president was Hans Krüger, a former Nazi official accused of war crimes, while the current president is CDU politician Erika Steinbach. éccccdhjhdg Look up Diaspora in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Ethnic Germans (usually simply called Germans, in German Volksdeutsche, or (less exactly but also less tainted by Nazism) Auslandsdeutsche (lit. ... Population transfer is a term referring to a policy by which a state, or international authority, forces the movement of a large group of people out of a region, most frequently on the basis of their ethnicity or religion. ... Official language Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian Capital Belgrade Largest city Belgrade Area (1991)  - Total  - % water Ranked xxst 255,804 km² Negligible Population  - Total (2004)  - Density Ranked xxth 20,522,972 80/km² Currency Yugoslav dinar Time zone  - in summer CET (UTC+1) CEST (UTC+2) National anthem Hej, Sloveni/Slaveni... Hans Krüger (6 July 1902 - 3 November 1971) was a German Nazi party activist and later a politician in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Nazism. ... A war crime is a punishable offense, under international law, for violations of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ... The Christian Democratic Union (CDU - Christlich-Demokratische Union) is a political party in Germany. ... Erika Steinbach, Member of Parliament Erika Steinbach (born July 25, 1943 as Erika Hermann) is a German conservative politician who has been representing the CDU and the state of Hesse as a member of the Parliament of Germany, the Bundestag, since 1990. ...

Contents


German laws concerning the Expellees

Between 1953 and 1991 the West German government passed several laws dealing with expelled civilians. The most notable of these laws is the "Law of Return" which granted West German citizenship to any ethnic German. Several additions were later made to these laws. 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1953 calendar). ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... West Germany was the informal but almost universally used name for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 until 1990, during which years the Federal Republic did not yet include East Germany. ... The term Right of return reflects a belief that members of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigration and naturalization into the nation they consider their homeland. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Ethnic Germans (usually simply called Germans, in German Volksdeutsche, or (less exactly but also less tainted by Nazism) Auslandsdeutsche (lit. ...


A central issue addressed by the German Law of Return is the inheritability of refugee status. According to Bundesvertriebenengesetz [1] Par. 7/2, "the spouse and the descendants" of an expellee are to be treated as if they were expellees themselves, regardless whether they have been personally displaced. Although there never were refugee camps set up in Germany, this legal status is only paralleled by the situation of Palestinian refugees in UNRWA camps. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees. ...


The Federation of Expellees has however steadily lobbied to preserve the inheritability clause, as a change might deeply affect its ability to recruit members from the post-WWII generations. Expellee status also includes Germans settled in Nazi-occupied territories as well as those who moved with the military occupation.


Recent developments

Under previous governments, especially those led by the CDU, the West German government had shown more rhetorical support for German refugees and expellees. Social Democratic governments have traditionally been less supportive — and it was under Willy Brandt that West Germany recognized the Oder-Neisse line as part of his Ostpolitik. This article needs cleanup. ... SPD redirects here. ... Willy Brandt (December 18, 1913 – October 8, 1992) was a German politician and Chancellor of Germany from 1969 to 1974. ... The Oder-Neisse line (German: , Polish: ) is the border between Germany and Poland. ... Ostpolitik or Eastern Politics describes the realisation of the Change through Rapprochement principle, verbalised by Egon Bahr in 1963, by the effort of Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, to normalize relations with Eastern European nations including East Germany. ...


In the early 1990s the German political establishment realized that they had an opportunity to remove the division between West Germany and East Germany. However, it was believed that if this historic opportunity was to be realized it had to be done quickly. One of the potential complications were the lands of historical eastern Germany, because unless these were renounced, some foreign powers might not agree to German unification. The German political establishment agreed to the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany (Two Plus Four Agreement) which officially reestablished the sovereignty of both German states. One condition of this agreement was that Germany accept the post- World War II frontiers. In 1991, to facilitate German re-unification and to reassure other countries, the FRG made some changes to the "basic law" (German constitution). Article 146 was amended so that Article 23 of the current constitution could be used for reunification. Then, once the five "reestablished federal states" in East Germany had joined, the Basic Law was amended again to indicate that there were no other parts of Germany, which existed outside of the unified territory, that had not acceded. The Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany is the final peace treaty negotiated between the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and the Four Powers which occupied Germany at the end of World War II in Europe: France, the United Kingdom, the United States and... German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) refers to the reunification of Germany from its constituent parts of East Germany and West Germany under a single government on October 3, 1990. ... Preamble of the Grundgesetz The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution of modern Germany. ...


Support for the aims of the Federation of Expellees within the German electorate remains low, and when in charge of government, both CDU and SPD have tended to favor improved relations with Central and Eastern Europe, even when this conflicts with the interests of the displaced. The issue of the Eastern border of Germany and that of the return of the Heimatvertriebene to their ancestral homes are matters which the current German government, German constitutional arrangements and German treaty obligations have closed. Regions of Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Current division of Europe into five (or more) regions: one definition of Eastern Europe is marked in orange Eastern Europe as a region has several alternative definitions, whereby it can denote: the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Central Europe and Russia. ...


However, with the enlargement of the European Union, the organizations of expellees have gained new hopes of recognition of private German property rights in former German territories in what are now Poland and the Czech Republic. They have insisted that Poland and the Czech Republic must respect human rights and also compensate German victims before being allowed to become members of the European Union. Also, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in 2002 in the European Parliament that the Czech Republic and Slovakia should repeal the Benes decrees before being allowed into the European Union. The claim was supported by the Bavarian government and Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber, as well as the Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel. In 2003, Liechtenstein refused to sign the enlargement of the Common European Economic Space, because the Czech Republic did not withdraw the Benes decrees and compensate the royal family of Liectenstein for their property in Bohemia, which was confiscated after the war. None of these efforts led to any significant result. In 2004 the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia became members of the European Union, whose institutions generally favor a future-oriented approach. Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... For the Cusco album, see 2002 (album). ... The Beneš decrees were a series of laws enacted by the Czechoslovak government of exile during World War II in absence of Czechoslovak parliament (see details in Czechoslovakia: World War II (1939 - 1945)). Today, the term is most frequently used for the part of them dealing with status of Germans... The Free State of Bavaria  (German: Freistaat Bayern), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and 12. ... French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin with Edmund Stoiber Arnold Schwarzenegger with Edmund Stoiber Dr. jur. ... Wolfgang Schüssel Wolfgang Schüssel (born on June 7, 1945 in Vienna, Austria) is a Christian Democratic Austrian politician. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in...


Claims were unanimously rejected by the affected countries and became a source of mistrust between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. While the German expellees point to their confiscated property and speak of human rights, Poles remind them that Poland was never compensated for damage caused by the German government during World War II(In Poland alone the war reparations could reach as high as $640 billion, according to the latest estimates[2]). They further argue that the expulsion of ethnic Germans and related border shifts were not enacted by the Polish government but rather ordered by the Potsdam conference. Furthermore, the nationalization of private property by Poland's former communist government did not apply only to Germans but was enforced on all people, regardless of ethnic background. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the majority of the current Polish population in historical eastern Germany are expellees (or descendants of expellees) themselves': they were moved from territories annexed by the USSR and were forced to leave their homes and property behind. However, if German expellees have only a tiny chance of regaining their property, Polish refugees have no such prospect whatsoever. The fact that German colonists settled in Poland after 1939 and the treatment under German law of these ex-colonists as expellees are issues which add to the controversy. Attlee, Truman, and Stalin at Potsdam The Potsdam Conference was a conference held at Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin), from July 17 to August 2, 1945. ...


While the organization pursues claims toward both Poland and the Czech Republic, it remains silent towards Russia and the region of Kaliningrad. Map of Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad (Russian: ), briefly Kenigsberg (Russian: ) is a seaport city, capital and main city of the Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. ...


In 2000 the Federation of Expellees also initiated the formation of the Center Against Forced Migration (Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen),. Prominent representatives of this Center are Erika Steinbach and Prof. Dr. Peter Glotz. The Centre Against Expulsions (ger. ...


Recently, the federation sued the German journalist Gabriele Lesser for alleged defamations. The questioned article was published September 19, 2003, in the daily Kieler Nachrichten. Gabriele Lesser (born May 16, 1960) is a historian and journalist, who specializes in the history of World War II. As Warsaw correspondent of daily die tageszeitung (Berlin), she wrote commentary criticizing an initiative of German Federation of Expellees (BdV) to build a monumental Centre Against Expulsions, devoted to German... September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Organization

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 which after fleeing, being expelled, evacuated or emigrated, found refuge in the Federal Republic of Germany. The organizations have approximately 2 million members, and is 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 Bundestag (Federal Diet) is the parliament of Germany. ...


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 Charta der deutschen Heimatvertriebenen (Charter of the Ethnic German Expellees) 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" ("unendliche Leid") of the previous decade, and supporting the unified effort to rebuild Germany and Europe. August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Presidents

Hans Krüger (6 July 1902 - 3 November 1971) was a German Nazi party activist and later a politician in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party. ... Dr. Herbert Czaja (November 5, 1914 - April 18, 1997) was a German politician (CDU) and expellee, born in Teschen, then Austria-Hungary. ... Dr. Fritz Wittmann (born March 21, 1933 in Plan at Marienbad, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) is a German politician (CSU) and lawyer. ... Erika Steinbach, Member of Parliament Erika Steinbach (born July 25, 1943 as Erika Hermann) is a German conservative politician who has been representing the CDU and the state of Hesse as a member of the Parliament of Germany, the Bundestag, since 1990. ... Wilhelm von Gottberg (born March 30, 1940 in East Prussia) is a Prussian-German politician. ...

Member organizations

Landsmannschaften

The Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen (German for Territorial Association of East Prussia) is a non-profit organization formed on October 3, 1948 by German refugees to Western Germany displaced from their homes in East Prussia by the Soviet occupation and Expulsion of Germans after World War II from Ex-German Eastern... Landsmannschaft Schlesien - Nieder- und Oberschlesien e. ... Deutsch-Baltische Landsmannschaft is a organization formed on 1950 by German refugees to Western Germany expelled from their homes in Ex-German Eastern Territories (today Latvia and Estonia) after the World War II. External links http://www. ... Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Litauen e. ... Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft is an organization formed in January 1950 by German refugees. ... Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Ungarn (Society of Germans from Hungary) is a organization formed by German refugees to Western Germany expelled from their homes in Hungary after the World War II. Bundesvorsitzender (chairman): Dr. Friedrich A. Zimmermann See also German exodus from Eastern Europe Categories: Organization stubs | Landsmannschaften ... The Landsmannschaft Westpreußen (Territorial Association of West Prussia) is a federation of Heimatvertriebene - Germans born in West Prussia, or their descendants, that found refuge in the Federal Republic of Germany after the Expulsion of Germans after World War II from Eastern Germany. ...

Landesverbände

  • Landesverband Baden-Württemberg
  • Landesverband Bayern
  • Landesverband Berlin
  • Landesverband Brandenburg
  • Landesverband Bremen
  • Landesverband Hamburg
  • Landesverband Hessen
  • Landesverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • Landesverband Niedersachsen
  • Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen
  • Landesverband Rheinland-Pfalz
  • Landesverband Saar
  • Landesverband Sachsen / Schlesische Lausitz
  • Landesverband Sachsen-Anhalt
  • Landesverband Schleswig-Holstein
  • Landesverband Thüringen

See also

The All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten / GB/BHE) was founded in 1950 as BHE (Block der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten, Bloc of Expellees and Deprived of Rights) and changed the name to GB/BHE in 1952. ... The organised persecution of ethnic Germans is a historical myth invented to try to impose some sort of rationality upon the sufferings of the widely dispersed and historically divergent populations formerly found in Eastern and Central Europe. ... The pursuit of Nazi collaborators refers to the post-WWII pursuit and apprehension of individuals who were not citizens of the Third Reich at the outbreak of World War II and collaborated with the Nazi regime during the war. ... Lebensraum (German for living space) is a German term that is used in English to refer to a motivation for Nazi Germanys expansionist policies, to provide extra space for the growth of the German population. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Further reading

  • Casualty of War: A Childhood Remembered (Eastern European Studies, 18) Luisa Lang Owen and Charles M. Barber, Texas A&M University Press, January, 2003, hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN 1585442127

References

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Federation of Expellees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1479 words)
The federation's first president was Hans Krüger, a former Nazi official accused of war crimes, while the current president is CDU politician Erika Steinbach.
Support for the aims of the Federation of Expellees within the German electorate remains low, and when in charge of government, both CDU and SPD have tended to favor improved relations with Central and Eastern Europe, even when this conflicts with the interests of the displaced.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the majority of the current Polish population in historical eastern Germany are expellees (or descendants of expellees) themselves': they were moved from territories annexed by the USSR and were forced to leave their homes and property behind.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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