How does this fit into the bigger picture?

Mass migrations after the Second World War

German migration 1945: Expellees and refugees

The forced migration of the Sudeten Germans was only one example of the many mass migrations of the twentieth century. After the First World War there was mass displacement of people such as the population exchanges between Greece and Turkey. During the Second World War there were many mass deportations of people by Stalin's Soviet regime. At the end of the Second World War there were migrations of millions of refugees. Since the Second World War there have been similar mass migrations across the world.


There was a vast migration of ethnic Germans in 1945. Many were ‘voluntary’ refugees, fleeing westwards to escape from the advancing Red Army. Many were expellees, forcibly deported by the new governments that emerged after the collapse of the Third Reich. The statistical table shows the scale of this migration (though the totals given are only approximate because it was not possible to trace all those who moved in the chaotic conditions at the time).


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