Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Sir John Harington, Epigrams
Whether it is apt to say that general the lack of familiarity, with the number of deaths during the post war period, as well as the colossal forced migration of the German people of the east, in wake of the evacuations in the face of the advance of the Red Army, is due some nefarious motive is questionable.
Even so there is an ignorance of history, that is sometimes surprising.
In high school I was aware of the changes to the boarders of Germany and Poland. What that meant to the people in the effected areas was not discussed in any detail, though my teacher did mention the brutality of Red Army.
Did this ethnic cleansing merit being called an act of genocide? An argument could be made, that it deserved to be called a genocide. By the U.N. definition the destruction of a people need not be in whole even in the conception of those dealing out the abuse. The consequences were atrocious. That much is clear.
The German Federal Republic (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) has sponsored a number of studies which looked to quantify the number of people who died during the migration and during its aftermath. The estimates as to total casualties vary. They number in various accountings between 2 million and 500 thousand.
Though it does not excuse the actions of the allies it is well to remember that these acts had their context.
In the Huffington Post article (written by R.M. Douglas author of Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War
) the reaction of U.S. Senators as well as George Orwell are noted. They were appalled.
In the United States, senators demanded to know when the Atlantic Charter, a statement of Anglo-American war aims that affirmed the two countries’ opposition to “territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned” had been repealed. George Orwell, denouncing Churchill’s proposal as an “enormous crime,” took comfort in the reflection that so extreme a policy “cannot actually be carried through, though it might be started, with confusion, suffering and the sowing of irreconcilable hatreds as the result.”
Orwell greatly underestimated both the determination and the ambition of the Allied leaders’ plans...
Some of the same camps used to destroy Jews, Poles, and so many others were subsequently put to a new use.
From the beginning, this mass displacement was accomplished largely by state-sponsored violence and terror. In Poland and Czechoslovakia, hundreds of thousands of detainees were herded into camps — often, like Auschwitz I or Theresienstadt, former Nazi concentration camps kept in operation for years after the war and put to a new purpose.
Edited 8/7/2017 05:27:46
The regime for prisoners in many of these facilities was brutal, as Red Cross officials recorded, with beatings, rapes of female inmates, gruelling forced labour and starvation diets of 500-800 calories the order of the day. In violation of rarely-applied rules exempting the young from detention, children routinely were incarcerated, either alongside their parents or in designated children’s camps. As the British Embassy in Belgrade reported in 1946, conditions for Germans “seem well down to Dachau standards.”
Though the death rates in the camps were often frighteningly high — 2,227 inmates of the Mysłowice facility in southern Poland alone perished in the last ten months of 1945 — most of the mortality associated with the expulsions occurred outside them.