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Making Minorities HistoryPopulation Transfer in Twentieth-Century Europe$
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Matthew Frank

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639441

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639441.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

‘The Crazy-Quilt of Peoples and Nationalities’

‘The Crazy-Quilt of Peoples and Nationalities’

Nation States and National Minorities

(p.11) 1 ‘The Crazy-Quilt of Peoples and Nationalities’
Making Minorities History

Matthew Frank

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the notion of population transfer emerged at the turn of the twentieth century in response to the retreat and then collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of competing ethnolinguistic nationalisms in south-eastern Europe. The writings of the earliest proponents of population transfer (Lichtenstädter; Montandon) are examined, as are the initial attempts at an interstate level to ‘de-balkanize the Balkans’ through population exchange on the eve of the First World War. At the centre of the early history of population transfer is the liberal Greek prime minister and nation builder, Eleftherios Venizelos, the first of a series of leaders from small states whose international reputation helped legitimize these ‘fantasies of ethnic unmixing’. The reception of his plans for so-called ‘reciprocal emigration’ treaties illustrates how from the outset attitudes towards population transfer became bound up with the persons invoking the measure and the state and cause they represented.

Keywords:   population transfer, Ottoman Empire, Lichtenstädter, Montandon, Balkans, population exchange, First World War, Venizelos, fantasy, unmixing

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