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Old January 2nd, 2013, 07:04 AM   #1

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National minorities after WWII


How did their position change after WWII?
Specifically by country...
How were their statuses preserved and enhanced?
Was their role in nations life changed?
Did they get any new rights?

I am writing a paper on subject, and I would like to get as much info as possible.
Also, I would be very grateful if you could provide links for any info that I get.

Thanks
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:59 AM   #2

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I can tell you a bit about happened in Romania after wwii. The communist regime effectively sold minorities to their home-countries, especially minorities that were tied with free or almost-free countries. It was especially the case of Germans, who were bought back by the FRG government, and of Jews, that returned to Israel after the country formed. I think that, at least in Israel's case, "buying" its people from communist-bloc countries was a mean of populating the country quite frequently used at the time.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:19 AM   #3

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I would love to know more about national minorities after WWII in neighbouring Romania.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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there was forced expulsion of Germans after ww 2 until 1948, almost 200,000 had to leave.

there was population exchange between Czechoslovakia and Hungary, Hungarians were forcefully expulsed and Slovaks in Hungary could voluntarily resettle, around 70,000 Slovaks left Hungary until the end of 1948.

After this only small marginalized minorities remained in Hungary who didn't form majorities in any bigger geographic area so this naturally speeded up their assimilation. They had right for education in mother tongue and right to use their mother tongue freely guaranteed in constitution and educational laws. Serbocroat, Slovene, Slovak, Romanian and German had minority schools (both primary and high schools) but the number of students was continously decreased. After the fall of communism more national minorities were recognized, now we have 13.

I don't think you will find any material in English, but check out the sites of the Croat, Serb minority governments homepages what they write about their history in Hungary, and i think they have publications in Serbo-Croatian dealing with their history and the nationality policies from their perspective.

Kratka povijest Hrvata u Ma
”об€о доˆли


Here you can find the text of the 1993 act on national minorities (also in Croat), the first post communist law on it.

Nemzetisgek.hu - Bartsg folyirat honlapja

there is a new law since 2011, i haven't found translation of it, but there are some changes in election of minority local governments and strengthens cultural autonomy and media rights of minorities. Also starting from 2014 they will have parliamentary representation.

Last edited by Tulun; January 3rd, 2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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My father's family (German speaking) emigrated from Austria-Hungary to the US in 1905, but his great grandparents and other relatives remained in Godollo (no umlauts, etc. on my keyboard). When I was a small boy I found a post card dated 1947 with a print of some of the family and a message in Magyar on the reverse. I, of course, had to ask what it said.

Part of the message was that they had "Magyarized" their name to help deflect anti-German attitude. At the time I had no understanding of what that was about.

I am not aware that there was ill treatment or bad effects from their (obvious) ethnic roots. Hungary had been a German ally, but by the late 1940s there was substantial anti-fascist political reality to consider.

I had not thought about that post card in many years.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:22 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowin View Post
I would love to know more about national minorities after WWII in neighbouring Romania.
For the German exodus:
Institute for Research of Expelled Germans -- over 10,000,000 displaced civilians (down the page for this part...it's a more general history)

And for other cases as well in Eastern Europe:
Eastern_Bloc_emigration_and_defection Eastern_Bloc_emigration_and_defection
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Old January 17th, 2013, 01:50 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowin View Post
How did their position change after WWII?
Specifically by country...
How were their statuses preserved and enhanced?
Was their role in nations life changed?
Did they get any new rights?

I am writing a paper on subject, and I would like to get as much info as possible.
Also, I would be very grateful if you could provide links for any info that I get.

Thanks
Glowin, are you still interested in this? Here is my post about the German minority in Romania. As you can see the situation is much more complex than even some Romanian can imagine

If you are still interested I can write you a bit about the Serbs in Romania after 1945. Good luck with your paper!

http://www.historum.com/european-his...ml#post1096256

I am really sorry that we are not able to keep our calm. I know we are amateur historians but let's try to present our standpoints sine ira et studio even when we discuss sensitive topics for us, our countries or our families, otherwise the whole forum becomes useless.

Here are a few elements on the deportation of ethnic Germans from Romania in Soviet Union at the end of WW II.

1) In the end of 1944, the Allied (i.e. Soviet) Commission of Control established in accordance with the Armistice Convention (Moscow, 12 September 1944) informed the last non communist Prime Minister of Romania, General Radescu about the Order 7161 concerning the deportation of ethnic German men between 17- 45 years old and ethnic German women between 18 30 yo in the Soviet Union. Whatever his feelings about the whole thing, the General complied with the Order by informing the railways to prepare for the transport of large number of persons and by asking the authorities to draft lists with ethnic Germans which were able to work.

The deportation was announced on 6 January 1945 as an order of the Soviet High Command. Apparently taken by surprise about the magnitude of the deportation, at the end of January 1945 the Prime Minister sent a protest note to the Commander of the Soviet troops in Romania, with little effect.

Roughly 70.000 ethnic Germans were deported. All of them went to Soviet Union, 90 % in Ukraine, 10 % in Ural region. From those in Ukraine, some 7000 were sent in the Soviet occupation zone in Germany (Frankfurt am Oder area). According to the available data, some 6 to 8.000 people died in the deportation. The camps for Germans in Soviet Union were closed in 1949. Of those remaining half were sent to Germany (Soviet occupation area) and the rest returned to Romania.

The ethnic Germans remaining in Romania were also subject to the draft in work units, but the regime was much more lenient and the whole practice was more or less abandoned in 1948 (the work units were created for all politically unsure conscripts in the Army regardless of ethnicity).

2) The whole issue had of course a devastating effect to the ethnic German community in Romania, but it did not meant the end of it. In fact, the ethnic German community remained sizeable in spite of the emigration to the Federal Republic (which was allowed after Romania recognised it in 1967) and a much lower birth rate than that of other ethnic communities until 1990. As soon as the citizens of Romania had the possibility to emigrate, the ethnic Germans in the country took that opportunity and left the country in order to start a new life in Germany.

The evolution was as follows: 343,913 ethnic Germans in 1948, 384,708 in 1956, 382,595 in 1966, 359,109 in 1977, 119,462 in 1992 (the Germans, traditionally the third ethnicity of the country, become the fourth one) 59,764 in 2002 (fifth ethnicity in numbers) and 36,884 in 2011 (also fifth ethnicity).

3) In 1997 the Romanian state presented its excuses for the fact that the Romanian authorities helped the Soviet occupation Army in the deportation of ethnic Germans in Soviet Union. Also, some compensation measures were taken earlier on for those who were deported.

PS. In 1940 in the Heim ins Reich policy some 75000 ethnic Germans from the regions of southern Bukovina and northern Dobruja left Romania. Most of them were resettled in the previously Polish regions. Of course at the end of the war they were expelled (or fled voluntarily). I know personally one German guy (born in 1973) whose grandfathers went through this.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 02:34 AM   #8

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First of all there were some population as well as border shifts.

Germany lost large amount of pre-war territories both in the West and East. Ethnic German population from these territories was largely expelled. Moreover Germans were expelled from number of other Countries: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Baltic countries, USSR.

There were also numerous "exchanges" of population. There was one between Hungary and Czechoslovakia (roughly 50 000 people from each side) and Czechoslovakia encouraged return of Czech and Slovak minorities from number of other countries: Romania, Yugoslavia, USSR.

Ukrainians and Bielorusians were expelled from Eastern Poland and Poles were expeled from Ukraine and Bielorusia.

Trans-Carpathian Ukraine, which was part of Czechoslovakia and home to people known as Ruthenians was transferred to Ukraine. While in Czechoslovakia these people were recognized as separate ethnic minority, in Ukraine they are treated as Ukrainians.

In general there were reprisals against minorities which fought on the "wrong" side in WWII. Mostly but not excursively Germans, Hungarians, Ukrainians from Western Ukraine (Galicia), Crimean Tatars, Chechens and others. However after few years situation of minorities improved and their status steadily become better. Generally they were been officially recognised, given individual rights, political representation and support of culture and education.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 05:37 AM   #9

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After the end of WW II some national minorities around Italian borderline saw difficult periods.

On a side the matter of South Tirol went on [already during Fascism, despite the alliance of Italy with Germany, the German local population was quite against the permanence in the Italian Kingdom]. It was not easy to find an equilibrium with the creation of a special state region. Probably it helped the destiny of Germany and Austria [which became stable democracy]. There are still political movements in Austria reclaiming something about South Tirol, anyway they are almost minorities connected with a far past.

An other minority who knew a tremendous destiny was the Italian in Istria, where Italians knew a little genocide and a kind of exodus. Tito's guys even reached the point to kill Italians in caves called "foibe". Of course after WW II the Yugoslavian forces had more than one reason to be extremely negative towards the "Fascist occupants". May be the retaliation was excessive.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #10

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Thanks guys for all the info! VERY interesting read! Some of you really outdone yourselves. Keep it coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatar View Post
Glowin, are you still interested in this?
Yes I am! Very interesting topic imo. The question of national minorities is always important.

In fact, at the very moment, I am doing a paper on NM's in between wars So close

As for Italians in Yugoslavia - yes, it happened, and it was a crime that what happened to numerous unarmed and innocent civilians. After all, even tho Italians were harsh, they were much better to local populace than any other invading power in Yugoslavia. I think that couple thousand Italians were killed in reprisals? If I am not mistaken, Slovene, Croatian and Montenegrin partisans were fighting in Dalmatia, Istria and Slovenia (Bleiburg).

Apart from Italians, Yugoslavia was hostile to Germans, and very big German minority in Yugoslavia was decimated. There was very few (if any) Germans in Yugoslavia after the war.

Yugoslavia was interesting in that it didn't use phrase "national minority" for nm's... It used "peoples", not wanting them to feel like Yugoslavia is not their country.
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