On these occasions young people come forth to tell us that their grandfathers or great-grandfathers were most certainly mass murderers. These penitent descendants seem to hope their ancestral nation will soon disappear. Zayas has authored other controversial works that go against the prevalent leftist grain. Records from the Wehrmacht Office for the Investigation of Violations of International Law indicate an official willingness to investigate reported crimes against civilians.
Although this forced evacuation caused some concern among friends and neighbors, what was happening did not look like the beginning of genocide. The most obvious reason for this is that secrecy was strictly observed. The Holocaust was planned by a small circle meeting outside Berlin in January In addressing his SS subordinates in Posen in , Himmler boasted about how well their secret was being kept.
Other factors worked to keep the secret from getting out: The death camps, as opposed to generic concentration camps, were located in the east, not in Germany. Then from on, German civilians were subject to Allied bombing and had to protect themselves while enemy forces overran them. Even foreign sources, which were mostly available as radio transmissions, had little to say about the murdered Jews, and being caught using these sources could land the offender in a concentration camp. Ironically, Zayas confirms findings about the Holocaust that came out of the Nuremberg Trials.
Although these trials were planned to make Germans feel ashamed of their country, the judges did not declare all Germans to be complicit in the Holocaust. It was assumed that the mass extermination of Jews was a carefully guarded secret. Very few of those put on trial were sentenced to death or to long imprisonment for planning to murder Jews.
Even the prosecutors believed what Zayas tells us concerning knowledge of the Final Solution. Admittedly there were isolated instances of Wehrmacht units participating in the shooting of Jews and other civilians, particularly in Kharkov and elsewhere in the Ukraine. But those were treated as special cases and not seen as typical of Wehrmacht behavior. It speaks volumes that Zayas—who echoes the post-War, Nuremberg Trial view of who knew what about the Holocaust—is now regarded in some circles as a German apologist.
What are the norms and principles of international law that are applicable? Is the argument put forward by some deniers that it is not possible to talk about the Armenian genocide because the concept was not yet defined at the same time according to international law a sustainable argument? Would the aplication of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to the case of the Armenian genocide violate the non-retroactivity aspect of criminal law? Professor Alfred de Zayas provides an answer to these and other questions in his excellent juridical opinion - a thoroughly documented, clearly articulated and highly valuable juridical analysis that proposes a concrete and durable resolution to this crime against humanity.
Nemesis at Potsdam first ed. It was advertised that the transfers should be made under 'humane' conditions. There was no controls or authoritative supervision, so that the individual refugee had no recourse or protection. It is true that the United States State Department voiced proper regard for the humanities, but its voice was not vigorous or even heard in Eastern Europe at the time of the expulsion.
Few Americans dreamt of a brutal expulsion affecting perhaps 16 million persons! Eisenhower and Lucius Clay and participant at the Potsdam Conference. Most pertinently he insists that we deny what the lesser histories conspire with us to invent - that there are stopping places in history. Aided by Marshall Plan funds the millions of displaced persons, still longing for their homelands, recognized the futility of resort to force and turned to hard work to rebuild their lives by absorption in a democratic and peaceful society.
The Helsinki Conference of in effect acknowledged that the provisional Oder-Neisse demarcation line implied de facto annexation. The lesson from this well organized and moving historical record is not merely that retribution which penalizes innocent human beings becomes injustice, but that acceptance of political realities may be a better road to human fulfillment than the path of violence. Alfred de Zayas has written a persuasive commentary on the suffering which becomes inevitable when humanitarianism is subordinated to nationalism.
Carl G. Anthon in American Historical Review, December , p. Some of them, after all, professed to believe in the principles of the Atlantic Charter. The book should cause argument and controversy; it deserves a wide readership. Notes, bibliography and illustrations are excellent. Highly recommended for libraries of four-year colleges and graduate schools wanting good material on recent Central European affairs " Choice, July-August Journal of the American Library Association.
Damodaran in International Studies, , volume 28, Number 3, pages The author I don't think people outside Germany know much about it. The de Zayas book makes clear that the last provision was not fulfilled. As the only book-length treatment of the subject, this is for all libraries with strong collections in modern European history.
DOK Leipzig Catalogue by VISIONAUTEN - Issuu
Library Journal , David P. Jensen, Greensboro Coll. As the 16 million Germans were driven westward, some two million died, but the world remained silent. Outraged by the crimes Nazis had perpetrated Due to the willingness of the press and the scholarly comunity in the West to ignore these facts of the Potsdam accord, few Americans or Britons know there ever was an expulsion, let alone authorization of the compulsory transfer. Questioning rhetorically whether the wrong could ever be righted, de Zayas maintains that the West could affirm its regard for individual guilt or innocence and reject the concept of collective guilt.
Olaf College, Die Unterrichtspraxis , Vol. For example, it shakes one a bit, but is good for the soul, to be reminded that, although treaties of peace were signed soon after the end of hostilities with Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, there has been no treaty with either Germany. He argues that overreaction to the evils of the Nazis led to the principle of collective German guilt, a theory that does not protect the innocent and which ruled the thoughts and actions of many responsible British and American officials when they agreed to the expulsion demands of Stalin.
Only later did they realize the inherent inhumanity of the results of their lack of perception The rather extensive bibliography is also worthy of note. With increasing concern over human rights, past and present, surely this horrible episode will receive growing attention. Recognizing realities, one cannot see how these injustices can be rectified, since those who committed them have made no effort to even recognize them.
One can only hope that two wrongs have taught enough lessons to prevent a third. The historian, however, is bound to deal with these events in the same manner as he deals with earlier crimes against humanity. Greeks, Turks, Tatars, Jews, Poles, Bengalis, Palestinians and Germans among others have become victims of such revived practices of wholesale violence and, as the author of this carefully researched book points out, it is the Germans who are by far the most numerous in the melancholy parade of involungary exiles.
No doubt as a result of the enormities committed in the Hitler period, no one outside the Federal Republic has been much concerned with them, although they numbered more than 16 million people of whom more than 2 million perished Spokesmen in the East, West and Third World have never ceased to call attention to the plight of the Palestinian refugees, who have themselves kept the United Nations and world opinion aware of their losses with impassioned appeals as well as by acts of terror. But the 16 million Germans driven from their homelands have been largely ignored even by historians.
Mr de Zayas, a young American lawyer, is a pioneer thirty years after the event in informing English-speaking readers about what happened Regardless of anything Hitler did, compromises had to be made by the Western heads of state with Stalin's plans of empire or there would be no postwar cooperation of the victorious powers. As Mr. The Potsdam Conference occupies a key position in his analysis, since on this occasion the United States and Great Britain sanctioned the expulsions. Turning to the study of the human consequences of these forced migrations, de Zayas has frequently relied on interviews, such as that with Robert Murphy, the wartime political adviser of General Eisenhower, and on previously untapped archival resources.
The fresh insigts of the chapters on Allied military governance and the division of Germany in the immediate postwar period make this work essential reading for students of European interntional relations. Wolfe in Southern Review , , Vol. The book sheds first light on a dark chapter of World War II. As Robert Murphy, US political adviser for Germany during the Potsdam Conference, notes in the foreword, de Zayas' account accurately portrays 'the tragic fate of the dramatic transfer of millions of Germans from Eastern Europe to the West' This mass exodus, unparalleled in recent history, was set in motion by the Communist leadership of the Soviet Union, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
The excesses of the victorious armies-- beatings, sadistic rapes and murders -- were ignored by the mass media. It was a time of retribution, a desire to punish the conquered Germans, and the concept of collective guilt was used against half-starved, homeless and innocent victims. Only a handful of people protested, among them a young Red Army captain, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He wrote an epic page poem about the shameful actions of his fellow Russians.
His book is well researched, closely reasoned. Some of its pictures, previously unpublished, are as shocking as the concentration camp photos familiar to all of us. Their distortions of fact had a decided effect on the thinking of many Western leades. Ironically, it was Winston Churchill, the nemesis depicted in Goebbels' propagnada to the German people, who foresaw most clearly the immense human tragedy that would result from the mass expulsions and who tried to curb the Eastern European countries' desire for territorial expansion at the expense of the German state.
Hundreds of thousands of German civilians hurried west before the terrifying apparition of the shockingly undisciplined soviet army. Eastern leaders stated that this exodus had cleared out all the Germans, conveniently ignoring the fact tha misslions remained. These millions were abruptly ousted once formal conflict had ended The story begins in the fall of , in a village of East Prussia called Nemmersdorf, overrun by the Red Army in its first thrust into German territory The courageous British journalist Victor Gollancz to whom de Zayas dedicates his book , himself a Jew, protested that the Allies were treating German civilians as Himmler had treated the Jews.
Bertrand Russell called it extermination, describing the scene in the Berlin rainway station as another Belsen Republished in Amerika Woche, 3 March , page 8. But rather than waving the bloody shirt, he tries to answer a question which is puzzling indeed: how was all this possible when the Potsdam Protocol clearly stated that 'the transfer to Germany of German populations This book ought to be used in the schools and colleges of this country.
Even better, it should also be made into a television movie, drawing fromt he documentary which the author helped to prepare for German television a few years ago. As the late Robert Murphy noted in the Foreword, Stalin's unsympathetic disregard of the rights of the individual Germans affected by population transfers is understandable in the context of Soviet hatred of the Nazi war machine.
What is not understandable, however, is why Britain and the United States failed to see the injustice visited upon millions Substantially, organizationally and stylistically, this book is an outstanding historiographical achievement" Professor Henry Lane Hull, University of Alabama at Huntsville, The Ukrainian Quarterly, Vol. The expulsion of this large number of an ethnic group, authorized by and with the assistance of the Westtern Allies, brought forth the death and suffering of millions of human beings in clear violation of the basic principle upon which the Allies had agreed.
This, the author shows convincingly. VI, No. A new book 'Nemesis at Potsdam' by a young Harvard Law graduate Alfred de Zayas raises serious questions about Allied acquiescence in what was one of the most massive, and in some ways brutal, forced expulsions of nonmilitary populations in history.
While critical of western leadership, de Zayas leaves no doubt about the agents of the crime-- the Soviet leaders. The recent works of A. Solzhenitsyn and Lev Kopelev give further credence to the thesis that Soviet retributive actions were often not spontaneous but were planned Praised must be de Zayas's reopening of this largely neglected aspect of modern German history through this brief but well-written account. I'd never realised the scale of what had happened I'd never known much about the episode because history's written by the winners.
It was Goering who was tried at Nuremberg, and sadly not Bomber Harris, who, acting on instructions from the British government, had systematically massacred half a million German civilians since And it was the authorities at Belsen and not those at Camp Lamsdorf who were prosecuted -- Camp Lamsdorf being a camp of German internees in Upper Silesia where, according to this book, out of a population of 8, people, 6, -- including children -- died through starvation, disease, hard labour and physical maltreatment Number 21, Spring , who had already reviewed it in a long article "Retrospective on a Second Holocaust" in which he wrote "Nemesis at Potsdam is a valuable book.
Its style is highly readable and it presents the essential narrative of the expulsion both in human terms and in total historical context. Nemesis at Potsdam should be valuable collateral reading for secondary and college courses in modern European history. Telles sont quelques-unes des questions auxquelles M. En outre, cet 'oeil pour oeil, dent pour dent' est un peu simpliste. On 13 and 14 April Patrick Buchanan's column appeared in more than newspapers in the United States, observing:. Few German women in Eastern Europe escaped rape. In a long article "The Taboo against Truth" published in and republished in the internet , Professor Ralph Raico writes in part: "The great crime that is today virtually forgotten was the expulsion starting in of the Germans from their centuries-old homelands in East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Sudetenland and elsewhere.
About 16 million persons were displaced, with about 2 million of them dying in the process. This is a fact which, as the American legal scholar Alfred de Zayas dryly notes 'has somehow escaped the attention it deserves' The doctoral dissertation of Dr. Years ago I read a short but provocative book entitled Our Threatened Values. The author, Victor Gollancz, was a distinguished English publisher and humanitarian. I never met him. He died in London after a long and fruitful life. To the memory of this corageous man and to the principles of human dignity for which he stood I dedicate this book.
ISBN The first Routledge edition of this book was purchased for distribution by the German government agency Inter-Nationes and distributed to visiting diplomats, professors and students. Although the academic reception of the book was excellent, and the book is currently used in several universities and is sold in its 6th US edition and 14th German edition, some negative opinions have been articulated from time to time -- albeit without any effort at precise and constructive criticism, but rather in the ad hominem manner.
Bizarre, because the critic's own book on the subject does not produce any new documents or insights, and instead rehashes known information, unlike Nemesis at Potsdam which is based on extensive new archival finds and personal interviews with participants of the Potsdam Conference. Moreover, the critic writes his book in and claims that my book is not up-to-date. When you consult his bibliography, you see that he relies on the third C. Beck edition , and not on the much revised and up-dated 13th Ullstein edition of This is the kind of petty jealousies and competition in academia that we would try to forget.
This reminds me of a perceptive observation attributed to Henry Kissinger: "University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. Calumniare audacter, semper aliquid haeret. The book is used in many colleges and universities. He is currently a professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. He wrote the first scholarly work on German expellees to appear in English, breaking what had long been a taboo topic. The post-war expulsions were the largest forced movement of Europeans in the 20th century.
Historians estimate that between 12 and 15 million people were expelled during the forced migrations. Aus dem Vorwort von Professor Dr. Weitere Versuche, eine Kollektivschuld der Deutschen zu belegen, werden and er Arbeit des Autors nicht vorbeikommen Schon vor Jahren hat er die Frage aufgeworfen, die er jetzt wiederholt, mit welchem Recht man eigentlich den damaligen Deutschen vorwerfe, nicht sofort begriffen zu haben, dass man die deportierten Juden umbringen werde. Auch die deportierten Juden selbst ahnten bis zuletzt nichts von ihrem unmittelbar bevorstehenden Ende. Ganz im Gegenteil nahmen sie an, dass ihnen an den Zielorten eine bessere Zukunft bevorstehe als in den Herkunftsorten, in denen sie zunehmenden Schikanen ausgesetzt gewesen waren.
Einer der ganz wenigen Insassen von Auschwitz, dem die Flucht gelang, hat berichtet, er habe in den zwei Jahren, die er an der Rampe deportierte Juden in Empfang zu nehmen hatte, keinen einzigen getroffen, der auch nur entfernt ahnte, was vielen Ankommenden unmittelbar bevorstand. Januar wurde offenbar durchweg befolgt. Hitlers Anweisung hat zugleich bewirkt, dass der Kreis der Eingeweihten unglaublich klein blieb, erstaunlicherweise auch innerhalb der SS.
Offiziell waren die Juden in Arbeitslager im Osten verbracht. Feldpostbriefe und Auslandssender haben allenfalls einige erreicht, und dann nur mit fragmentatischen Informationen. Pauschale Schuldzuweisungen sind daher unhistorisch und menschenrechtlich inakzeptabel. Methodisch ist Zayas einwandfrei, wertet stets behutsam. Rezension in New York Staats-Zeitung, 3. September , S. Gunter Nitsch. Wer ertappt wurde, kam selbst in ein KZ. Eduard Werner. Alfred de Zayas scheut keinen Konflikt mit der political correctness , wenn es um Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit geht.
Ein Batteriechef wurde deswegen zum Tode verurteilt. Ein Unteroffizier, der eine russische Familie ermordete, wurde samt seinen Helfern ebenfalls erschossen. Der Chef der Parteikanzlei, Martin Bormann, gab am Der Reichspressechef erteilte am Mit diesem letzten Satz macht Himmler ungewollt deutlich, dass das deutsche Volk nicht antisemitisch war.
Hinsichtlich der Beurteilung von Generalfeldmarschall v. Manstein erscheint dem Rezensenten die Sicht de Zayas doch etwas zu optimistisch. In dessen Befehl vom Jahrhundert ereignet. Dagegen wird die Erinnerung an die zahllosen, an Deutschen begangenen Verbrechen zusehends minimiert oder historisch ausgeblendet. Alfred de Zayas kommt auf ca. Aus der Rede Himmlers in Posen geht hervor, dass dieser dem deutschen Volk nicht traute, auch nicht der Wehrmacht und nicht einmal seiner SS. Churchill schrieb am Der ehemalige amerikanische Richter im Hitler wies Himmler an, die Aktion anlaufen zu lassen.
Ein weiterer ist ein SS-Richter. Was wusste der Widerstand? Also von Hitler ermordet! Konnten die Verbrechen geheim gehalten werden, z. Lange Zeit ja. Und bis heute wissen es Millionen nicht oder wollen es nicht wissen. De Zayas hat seine Forschung als vollkommen unbefangener angefangen. Er hat gefragt und hinterfragt. Er erstellt den Deutschen keinen Persilschein, lehnt aber die Kollektivschuldthese nicht nur als unhistorisch sondern vor allem als menschenverachtend ab.
Das Zitat stammt Aus den Episteln. Es lautet im Original: Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet: sapere aude, incipe! Es geht um nichts weniger, als um den Vorwurf einer Kollektivschuld der Deutschen an den Verbrechen des Nationalsozialismus. Zu Recht betont de Zayas, die Unwissenschaftlichkeit dieser Argumentationen. Hier kommt die vom Autor bereits angesprochene unredliche und unwissenschaftliche Arbeitsweise einiger Historiker erneut zur Sprache.
Ob der allerdings von den Verfechtern derselben wahrgenommen wird, darf bezweifelt werden. Friedrich Wilhelm Rothenpieler, ; Viktor E. Frankl, Das hat Alfred de Zayas getan. Damit beziehen sie eine Verteidigungsposition gegen das Postulat der Kollektivschuld aller Deutschen. Ihnen wird eine objektive Beurteilung abgesprochen. Darin manifestiert sich ein machtpolitisches Paradigma, dessen Wurzeln massenpsychologischen Ursprungs sind.
Sie zu kappen bedeutete, den unbedingten politischen Willen zur objektivierenden Auseinandersetzung mit dem Hitler-Regime zu haben. Davon kann keine Rede sein. Sie lieferte lediglich ein absichtsvolles und kein versehentliches Zerrbild der Geschehnisse. Das war auch hier der Fall. Er hing in jeder Schreibstube. De Zayas weicht auch dieser Frage nicht aus und kann sie letztlich mit nein beantworten. Was manche Leute sich selbst vormachen,das macht ihn so schnell keiner nach.
Alfred de Zayas ist nicht irgendwer. Dieser Nachweis ist m. Seite 22 Die SD-Einsatzgruppen, die u. Januar und seinen Konsequenzen in allen Bereichen. Seite Letzterer wird im Buch auf Seite mit beachtenswerten Feststellungen zu der Frage zitiert, wieso nach der Machtergreifung Hitlers die deutschen Juden selbst nicht glauben wollten, was ihnen drohte. Januar , und seit dem September sahen viele, wie Juden im Reich den gelben Stern trugen. Es ist eine Geschichtsklitterung ersten Ranges, den allgemeinen Antisemitismus mit dem Massenmord gleichzusetzen. Der Giftgasangriff auf das kurdische Dorf Halabdscha mit rund 5.
Die Anglo-Amerikaner und die Vertreibung der Deutschen first ed. CH Beck , 14th ed. Kein amerikanischer Autor hat bisher die historischen Folgen so umfassend und klar analysiert. Die Konferenz der Grossen Drei Seite Februar Januar Alfred M. An den Schulen und anderen Bildungsinstitutionen ist es jetzt, das einzigartige und bewegende Anschauungsmaterial richtig einzuordnen Es hat sich jetzt gezeigt, dass nicht nur die jungen Deutschen, sondern auch die jungen Polen oder Russen von den grausamen Umstanden der Austreibung keine Ahnung haben.
Hans Georg Lehmann in Das Parlament , Dietrich Schwarzkopf, Sender Freies Berlin, Mai Dezember August , NDR. Dezember , In erster Linie wohl die Tatsache, dass hier von einem unbefangegnen und sichtbar engagierten Amerikaner die Mitverantwortung der angloamerikanischen Politik an einer der grossen Katastrophen der Nachkriegsjahre festgehalten wird --nicht im anklaegerischen Ton des Moralisten onder in dem der verfolgten Unschuld, sondern mit nuechterner Sachlichkeit In zweiter Linie ist bedeutsam, dass bekannte Schilderungen der Unmenschlichkeit der Vertreibung, die hier nochmals eindrucksvoll zusammengestellt werden, durch Berichte amerikanischer Gesandter aus Prag und Warschau ergaenzt und bestaetigt werden.
Sein Buch ist wissenschaftlich sachlich, unparteilich, aber doch deutlich gepraegt von einem Sinn fuer Fairness und Gerichtigkeit". Sender Freies Berlin. Rezensiert durch Dietrich Schwarzkopf, Harald Steffahn Denn: "Polen in Art. Aber kein amerikanischer Autor hat bisher die historischen Folgen so umfassend und klar analysiert.
Aber er sieht eben auch, dass eine dauernde Friedensordnung nicht dadurch erreicht werden kann, dass die Friedensstifter ihre moralischen Prinhzipien der sogenannten Realpolitik opfern" Friedrich Knut in der Stuttgarter Zeitung, April Den Angelpunkt der Analyse bildet Art. Der Vf. De Zayas tut es, indem er das Unmenschliche dieser erzwungenen Auswanderung schonungslos, aber wissenschaftlich sauber offenlegt und Hans-Ulrich Engel im Bayerischen Rundfunk , Januar " Franz-Josef Neuss, Deutsche Welle , Juli , Besprechung der neuen erweiterten Ullstein Ausgabe.
„Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis“
Dieter Kraeter im Rheinischen Merkur , 5. Mai "Bis Alfred de Zayas sein Buch zu schreiben begann, hatte es fast nur Berichte von Betroffenen gegeben, die mit allen Nachteilen parteilicher Begrenzung und partieller Betrachtungsweise behaftet waren. De Zayas erarbeitete sein Material, als sei er der erste am 'Thema'.
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Stalin inszenierte, was sie billigten. In einem Interview im Westfalen-Blatt vom Mich haben vor allem der grosse Ernst und die Unvoreingenommenheit beeindruckt, mit denen Sie an die Arbeit gegangen sind. Warum sind mehr als 30 Jahre seit Krieg und Vertreibung vergangen, bis dieses Buch - geschrieben von einem Amerikaner - herauskam". April der Spiegel no.
Ich schrieb die Kapitel "Flucht" und "Vertreibung". First to sixth editions , C. Beck, Munich; th editions dtv ; 10th th editions, Ullstein, Berlin, pages. ISBN 3 A new revised and enlarged hardbound edition has been published by Herbig Verlag, Munich, in October , under the title Die Nemesis von Potsdam.
ISBN 3 X at Denn er ist nicht nur promovierter Historiker, sondern auch promovierter Jurist. Sein engagiertes Wirken gegen solche 'Kriegsstrategien' hat bedeutenden Anteil daran, dass sich das Recht auf die Heimat in den letzten Jahren als fundamentales Menschenrecht etablieren konnte. Februar , Seite 9. Vertreibungsverbrechen Vergewaltigung, Mord umgekommen; weitere 1. Siehe Literaturverzeichnis. Heinrich Windelen. Die C. The German Expellees first ed.
This is the story of the ethnic Germans who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some two million died and fifteen million were displaced - driven from their lands by those opposed to anyone and everything German Most were apolitical -- farmers, miners and their families who became the last hapless victims of the war. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, then a young Red Army captain opposed the violent treatment of East Prussians -- and was packed off to a Gulag for his impudence.
They came last in the queue for postwar compassion. De Zayas's moving plea is that one's home should be a human right. As frontiers once more shift in Eastern Europe and families flee in Bosnia, he could hardly have chosen a better moment to deliver it. De Zayas, a lawyer, historian and human rights expert specializing in refugees and minorities, has uncovered testimony in German and American archives detailing these atrocities, adding a new chapter to the annals of human cruelty.
His carefully documented book serves as a reminder that many different peoples have been subjected to 'ethnic cleansing'". Publishers Weekly , July Both were hailed by historians as well as lawyers as masterpieces of academic craftsmanship. This book, aimed at the general public, presents in a nutshell the history of the ethnic German population which had settled in the early 12th century in large parts of what is nowadays Eastern Europe. In the s these so-called Volksdeutsche fell victim to big power policy. Other German minorities in Czechoslovakia and Poland were treated as second-class citizens in their respective countries and they submitted countless petitions to the League of Nations, parts of these minorities eventually becoming Hitler's fifth column just before the outbreak of World War II.
After six years of Nazi crimes in Eastern Europe, Nemesis was allowed to strike back the Germans, especially these minorities, who were then subjected to mass expulsion pursuant to decisions taken by the Allied Powers at Yalta inter alia , the acceptance of German 'reparations in kind' in the Soviet-Union, thus re-introducing forced labour and Potsdam Article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol regulated the 'orderly and humane' transfer, not only of the Volksdeutsche living outside the Reich's boundaries, but also of Reichsdeutsche from the German Provinces of East Prussia, Pomerania, East Brandenburg and Silesia, which were placed under Polish Administration pursuant to article IX of the Potsdam Protocol.
The author also focuses on Hitler's wartime expulsion of , French nationals from Alsace and over one milllion Poles from the Warthegau, acts which were condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal both as war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is a tragic anomaly that the Allies in turn ordered the expulsion of some 14 million Germans at the end of the war as a peacetime mesure, and that over two million German expellees perished in the course of this massive and yet little known population transfer in the very heart of Europe.
De Zayas' book is written in a style reflecting his remarkable familiarity with German culture and history. The last chapter shows the reader that young West Germans born from resettled parents and who did not live the experiences described in a book, still manifest their attachment with their East Euoprean origins, which in turn shows that history can survive the principle of ' homo homini lupus '" Netherlands International Law Review , , pp. Under the rubric 'orderly population transfers' the victors of the Second World War drove 15 million Germans out of their ancient homes in an ethnic cleansing far worse than what is happening today in the Middle East or Bosnia Hercegovina.
They were mainly women, old men and children, because all the other men were in allied prison camps. The lands, chiefly in Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia, were seized at gunpoint, many people beaten, many of the women raped, and then forced onto the road, some with an old nag and a cart, a few by rail, most on foot.
They had little food and faint hope of getting any en route. In some transit camps in the Czechoslovak Sudetenland, half the refugees died in the first few weeks. Western historians have long averted their eyes from the stupendous crime autoritatively described by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas in this grim, essential book.
He has worked in foreign archives and interviewed many survivors for this book, his fourth. For many years he has been a senior legal advisor on human rights to an international organization in Switzerland According to Alfred de Zayas Two million perished in the greatest exodus of the 20th century. CNN, unfortunately, was not around to do the video Click here for the Theses on the expulsion. A Terrible Revenge first ed. Since then he has lived and worked in Geneva, Switzerland, as a human rights activist, specializing in the rights of refugees and minorities.
This training and experience have uniquely qualified him to write this thoroughly researched work on the tragic forced expulsion of some 15 million Germans from their ancestral homelands in central and eastern Europe Of these expellees, two million perished during their trek westward The author gives an excellent account of how these ethnic Germans were originally settled in the borderlands of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires more than years ago.
There, these Volksdeutsche , as they eventually came to be known, lived and flourished for many centures. The author has given the history of these expulsions a dramatic immediacy through a series of eyewitness accounts US military historian Col. Ernest Fischer, Ph. The eastern Germans' flight from battle was soon prolonged in the forced emigration of entire German populations from their former homes in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania.
In all some twelve million Germans either left or were expelled, swelling the mass of Jewish and other 'displaced persons'. The flight from battle had merged into ethnic cleansing. Martin's Press, New York, 3rd edition Human rights activist and author, Dr. Through touching personal stories of dozens of the victims and through a detailed account of the machinations of states, Dr.
A lot of popular ignorance of the Expulsion is innocent. Some highly placed intellectuals and media poobahs have played a perverse game of favorites in genocide-victimization politics. So the story hasn't gotten out Soviet soldiers were given carte blanche to rape and plunder tens of thousands of people Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was a young captain with the Soviet army that entered East Prussia in January , later wrote: 'Yes! For three weeks the war had been going on inside Germany and all of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot.
This was almost a combat distinction. Though the American government did not overtly endorse the brutalities that accompanied the expulsion of the Germans, support for the deportation of these millions of people was laid down as official U. In November , Franklin Roosevelt sent a letter to the Polish president-in-exile, in which FDR stated: 'If the Polish Government and people desire in connection with the new frontiers of the Polish state to bring about the transfer to and from territory of Poland of national minorities, the United States Govertnment will raise no objection, and as far as practicable, will facilitate such transfer.
Ebeling in Freedom Daily , July , pp. The book is used in several history departments -- including the University of Texas. George Orwell thought the expulsion of the Germans to have been a "crime", which "we could not prevent but might have at least protested against" George Orwell, Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, Vol. IV, 8. Review of "50 Theses on the Expulsion" in voltaire. Approximately 19 million ethnic Germans had lived in those regions, often for hundreds of years.
Statistical assessments of the numbers who died vary widely. De Zayas himself accepts a two million figure, which is consistent with the number of 2. The same two million estimate was stated by the German government in The taboo against any mention of this particular ethnic cleansing still continues. And then he had to spend ten years sending it round to almost a hundred publishers in the West before the manuscript was finally accepted.
The president of one of the biggest houses in New York returned the manuscript with the note that he would never publish a book sympathetic to the Germans. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas was born in Havana, Cuba, in , and in a long and distinguished career has excelled as a scholar. Educated at Harvard, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree, and at Goettingen, where he received a Dr. This is in addition to having occupied leading positions at the United Nations in the area of human rights. Much of his writing has to do with international law and ethnic cleansing, with special focus on the expulsion of the ethnic Germans.
We notice, however, that he has not cast his net widely to seek out some other rather obvious taboos to challenge, which causes him to be selective in the instances he cites, such as the expulsions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrian Christians, Bosnians, Croatians, Albanians and Serbs. It would not be unreasonable to criticize de Zayas for railing against one mind-closing taboo while thus actually participating in the taboos on other subjects, also vastly important. To say this does not detract, however, from the credit he has brought upon himself by his courage, humanity and determination in shining a light on one horrific episode that the dishonest veneer of contemporary thought would like to keep submerged in its memory hole.
Were de Zayas to enter the ring to fight on other subjects, his message would become diluted and would be subjected to attack on grounds that are extraneous to the expulsion of the east European Germans. There may well be a conjuncture of wisdom and prudence in the choices he has made. It ought not to be necessary to point out that his work is seriously misconstrued if it is taken to be, as the publishing house editor thought, an apologia for the Germans.
De Zaya does not come to his research as a sympathizer with the Nazis. The first seventeen tell the story of the expulsions and the background of the Volksdeutsche who were expelled. In the course of this explication, he addresses the question of collective guilt and the idea, advanced by some, that expulsions are irreversible de Zaya rebuts this by citing several examples of populations, such as Poles, Crimean Tartars and the Alsatian French, who have indeed returned to their homelands.
High Commissioner for Human Rights serving from to He is thus one of many intelligent and well-meaning people who accept its legitimacy. Indeed, one should take it seriously in light of the judicial heft placed behind the law by the existence of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Not only is it esoteric, but it inevitably calls into play a selective enforcement against those who lose wars or who are not shielded from prosecution by being identified with one of the superpowers. Why do we speak of it this way? Consider just a few of the points on their merits. The U. It manifests the mentality that underlay the Kellogg-Briand Pact which in purported to outlaw all war. The reality of international conflict demonstrated quite soon how wide of the mark that was, making it seem ludicrously naive in the context of the world war that soon followed.
If there is no statute of limitations, the seeking of compensation can go back for wrongs long ago. Given this norm, will anything ever become settled among peoples? The scabs can be torn off of every wound, including those inflicted many decades or even centuries ago. Is this not in fact itself a violation of their human rights? The very fact that de Zayas has himself had to fight a suffocating taboo on a subject of major historical importance belies the existence of such a consensus. We live in a world in which myths of all sorts prevail and in which there are conflicting interpretations of almost everything.
This is to say nothing of the major religions with their varying cosmologies, and of the tension that looms so large in modern life between science and secular humanism, on the one hand, and those who repose faith in the supernatural, on the other. One can hardly imagine so insouciant a reductionism.
The lack of respect for differences in opinion or perspective appears in another way, too. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All of this should be enough to illustrate the point. It claims absolute truth and universality. Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung first ed. Oktober Der Rez. Den 'Thesen' vorausgeschickt sind Zeugnisse von Opfern der Vertreibung von denen ein erheblicher Teil bisher noch nicht publiziert war. Heinrich Windelen schrieb ein 'Geleitwort'. Das Schlusskapitel schildert die Eingliederung der Vertriebenen, auch mit Erlebnisberichten, und gibt unter anderem die Charta der deutschen Heimatvertriebenen von in Faksimile wieder.
Vor allem der Appell zu einer kollektiven Sittlichkeit, die uns alle verpflichten sollte, in Abgrenzung zum Prinzip der Kollektivschuld verdient Hervorhebung. Der Autor hat erneut Wissenschaftsverantwortung ernst genommen. August , Seite De Zayas, selbst nach dem Kriege geboren, interviewte nicht nur Hunderte von Betroffenen, sondern auch viele der damals in Jalta und Potsdam beteiligten Politiker und Diplomaten. Die Aussagen, die de Zayas in diesem Buch gesammelt hat, verschlagen einem den Atem.
Die Zitate der damaligen Politiker sind geradezu entlarvend. Erst gaben wir die Idee auf, das jede Konferenz ein 'happy end' haben muss. August Bonner Rundschau , Immer wieder zutiefst erschreckend das Speil verantwortlicher Politiker mit Menschen wie mit Karten, ohne irgendeinen Gedanken an historisch gewachsene Bindungen zu verschwenden. Die von de Zayas in seinem Buch aufgenommenen Augenzeugenberichte der Vertreibung bedienen sich einer lakonischen Sprache, ohne Selbstmitleid, und sind daher umso beeindruckender, in ihrem Verzicht auf Anklage beweisen sie, dass Rache kein guter Ratgeber ist, weder in privaten noch in politischen Leben.
Nur wenige Autoren nahmen sich des tabuisierten Themas an Zur Veranschaulichung dienen zahlreiche Dokumente, Fotographien und Karten So ist die Publikation durchaus im Schulunterricht, aber auch in der politischen Bildungsarbeit zu verwenden. Stoff der engagierten Darstellung ist das unermessliche Leid unschuldiger Opfer der Politik. In Anlehnung an Sebastian Haffners 'Anmerkungen zu Hitler' lautet der Titel 'Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung', um deutlich zu machen, dass hier in pointierter Weise Erkenntnisse und Schlussfolgerungen zum Thema vorgetragen werden September , Seite 4.
The four Kohlhammer editions sold out in A new, much revised and enlarged edition was published by Leopold Stocker Verlag Ares in Graz, Austria, under a new title, "Die deutschen Vertriebenen", at The first Ares edition sold out quickly and a second edition with minor additions was published in An unchanged reprint of the second Ares edition was issued for the Frankfurt Bookfair in October Bei der Darstellung von Alfred M.
Die Vertreibung der Deutschen" betrachtet. Es vermittelt anschaulich, gut lesbar, quellenorientiert und ohne Polemik Grundwissen zu einem nach wie vor wichtigen Thema. Aus einem Vortrag von Prof. Alles Zitate aus dem Buch. Der Autor arbeitet in Thesen. September Beck und liegt inzwischen in der Jahrhundert dorthin siedelten, meistens auf Einladung und nicht als Eroberer.
Rainhard Gnauck in voltaire. The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau first ed. It can be said without fear of contradiction that this book opens a new dimension in the study of the war crimes committed during World War II. It should generate much discussion and encourage other students of that period to further research, not only into the legal and historical, but also into the sociological and psychological aspects of this facet of that conflict.
Howard S. Levie in the Foreword. It triggered a broad discussion in the country and has seen several German editions. The present abridged and updated English version facilitates international participation in a debate on some historical aspects of a topic which is of ever increasing importance. It is timely and necessary to discuss the legal, sociological and psychological problems involved in the investigation of war crimes during and after armed conflicts Both this interesting publication and the open questions it leaves provide a strong argument in fvour of international fact-finding, for which an adequate legal framework is now available under Article 90 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.
Efforts towards establishing a permanent intenational tribunal on war crimes and crimes against humanity should benefit from the experience documented here. While nothing can compare with the systematic atrocities detailed in the Nuremberg trials, it is now well established that serious war crimes were committed by Allied troops, especially in Eastern Europe. In their book -- a translation into English of a work which first appeared in German in -- Professor de Zayas and Dr. Rabus give some fascinating insights into German investigation of Allied war crimes. The book is based upon a thorough examination of over files from the archives of the German Army's War Crimes Bureau, an office entrusted with investigating allegations of war crimes committed by or against Germans In Part I the authors examine the personnel and working methods of the Bureau and the uses to which its findings were put by other agencies of the German Governmnent.
Part II considers a number of specific cases, most of them arising in Eastern Europe, although there are interesting chapters on the German invasion of Crete and on certain aspects of the war at sea. Given that Nazi propaganda about alleged atrocities was almost invariably exaggerated and often a total fabrication, the work of the Bureau is inevitably suspect.
The authors, however, make a convincing case that the Bureau was largely free of Nazi Party influence and, indeed, that the German Army legal service provided something of a refuge for lawyers unwilling to sacrifice their integrity: two of the senior lawyers in the armed forces were executed for their part in the plot against Hitler. The working methods described in the book are not those of Party functionaries seeking to make a case but serious attempts to ascertain the truth about allegations of atrocities. The Bureau was staffed by professional lawyers, many of whom had been in the government legal service long before the advent of Hitler.
Their investigation, for example, of alleged atrocities against the German population of Poland in the Summer of stands in marked contrast to the inventions of the Propaganda Ministry on this subject. Whereas Goebbels published accusations that some 58, ethnic Germans had been murdered, the Bureau's investigations suggest both that there was no foundation for that figure and that the Allied denial that any murders had occurred was also unsustainable. In the files which they examined -- files which were never intended for publication -- the authors maintain that they found no signs of attempts to fabricate evidence or of Nazi prejudices in the way in which the Bureau members conducted their investigations.
The chapter dealing with the work of this committee is one of the most fascinating parts of the book. The committee-- whose chairman, Admiral Gladisch, was later dismissed for his opposition to the Nazis-- produced proposals which were far from the monstrous conceptions one might have expected and were, for the most part, confined to changes which reflected longstanding German positions, such as changes in the law of naval warfare to favour the position of the submarine. The fact that the Bureau judges were, for the most part, lawyers of integrity, attempting to discover the truth rather than to create material for propaganda use does not, of course, mean that their conclusions were always correct.
In many cases, they did not have access to the Allied side of the story. Where an Allied response to allegations of war crimes is available, it is faithfully reported. This is an excellent book and the authors deserve the gratitude of all those interested in the laws of war but unable to read German for bringing out an English edition. Throughout the book the authors emphasize that all the cases they examine have to be seen against the background of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by the German armed forces and SS.
They rightly insist that those atrocities are in no way excused by the fact that crimes were also committed by the Allies, especially by the Red Army. Nevertheless, by the same token, the atrocities committed by the German armed forces do not excuse the kind of crimes detailed in this book. I have no personal doubt that this book is a useful attempt to preserve an important truth. By writing it, the author -- whose own humanitarian sympathies are beyond question, as is Levie's scholarly detachment --has done a service to scholarship.
For the historian, laws and judicial decisions are valuable sources of information which he exploits with his own tools. The lawyer must know the history of the laws and regulations which he applies, a task which requires extensive knowledge. In fortunate cases a single author has full command of the methods of both disciplines.
A book written by such an author is more easily accessible for scholars of the different branches of knowledge as well as to the general public The author of the book His main concern is human rights he has been working for more than 10 years with the UN Center for Human Rights in Geneva. He combines the experience of two continents which have been desperately in need of a greater understanding in the post-war world. An American, de Zayas has spent many years as a highly respected scholar in Europe. Walter Rabus, a Dutch expert in international law who earned his degree in Paris, has helped him in performing research covering both continents The high praise which the German editions have received is even more appropriate for the English version, which constitutes the apex of concision and accuracy.
One cannot top such eulogies, but one can affirm them. This scholarly contribution of Dr. The exposition is augmented by an excellent bibliography for the readers to undertake futher in-depth studies. Every victim of inhumanity, regardless of race, or creed, should be entitled to the equal protection of the law. The stated primary purpose of this interesting and well-written work is to help minimize the violations of international law in any future armed conflicts. If that goal is to be achieved, it is not enough merely to know that the rules are often broken by all sides.
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Americans learned that lesson at My Lai. There must be continuous improvment in the codes in order to meet the changing modes of warfare. There must be inculcation and acceptance of humanitarian values, even in time of war. Most important, there must be a more certain, objective, and effective judicial machinery, national and international, to improve the enforcement of international law and the rules of war. The de Zayas book sheds light on a problem that has not yet been resolved.
The members of the Gladisch Committee were far more conscious of the gulf between Nazi theories and practice on the one hand, and the demands of international humanitarian law on the other.
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