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Expelling the GermansBritish Opinion and Post-1945 Population Transfer in Context$
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Matthew Frank

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233649.001.0001

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‘A Thankless Task’

‘A Thankless Task’

Official Responses to the Expulsions, August–December 1945

(p.164) 5 ‘A Thankless Task’
Expelling the Germans

Matthew Frank (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the dilemma which the British government faced: doing too little to meet the anxieties of the British authorities in occupied Germany, and of critics at home, but enough to alienate and arouse the suspicions of the expelling countries. Repeated attempts to gain assurances from the Polish government that expulsions had ceased, and the controversy around conditions among German civilians in Czech concentration camps are all highlighted and used to illustrate the limits to which the British government was willing to go in order to enforce the spirit and the letter of the Potsdam decisions. British efforts were instead largely restricted to preparing for a huge influx of refugees into the British zone, which is the focus of the last section of this chapter.

Keywords:   official responses, British government, Germany, expelling, camps, Potsdam, refugees, British zone

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