When discussing the German expellees in the aftermath of World War II

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16. March 2007 

The expulsion and annihilation of the Donauschwaben is brought to fore in this exposé, a fact being largely ignored when discussing the German expellees in the aftermath of World War II. Especially the younger generations in the English-speaking countries have, in most instances, no inkling regarding the terrible fate their people were subjected to by Tito and his henchmen. The information presented here should help to alleviate this void.
-- Erwin E. Maruna

of the Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia



Published by the Danube Swabian Association of the USA

ISBN 0-9710341-0-9

The book, a quality soft cover edition consisting of 132 pages with maps and illustrations by Sebastian Leicht, is the answer when your children pose questions about their roots, heritage, etc. It can be ordered for a mere US $10 plus postage from Peter Erhardt in Northlake, Illinois, USA.

Send him an email for any questions you might have.
Summary of Contents



Chapter 1:

History of the Danube Swabians in the USA and Canada

Chapter 2:

Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia

Chapter 3:

The Tito Regime - Executor of the Genocide

Chapter 4:

The Carnage

Chapter 5:

Central Civilian Internment and Labor Camps

Chapter 6:

Deportation of Laborers to the Soviet Union

Chapter 7:

The Liquidation Camps

Chapter 8:

Crimes Committed Against Children

Chapter 9:

The Suffering and Dying of German Clergy

Chapter 10:

Size of the Ethnic Population of Yugoslavia as of October 1944

Chapter 11:

Documentation of Human Casualties

Chapter 12:

Danube Swabian Chronology

Chapter 13, Appendix 1:

Explanation and Notes

Chapter 13, Appendix 2:

United Nations Convention on War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

By Alfred M. de Zayas

"The right not to be expelled from one's homeland is a fundamental right ... I submit that if in the years following the Second World War the States had reflected more on the implications of the enforced flight and expulsion of the Germans, today's demographic catastrophes, particularly those referred to as 'ethnic cleansing,' would, perhaps, not have occurred to the same extent ... There is no doubt that during the Nazi occupation the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe suffered enormous injustices that cannot be forgotten. Accordingly they had a legitimate claim for reparation. However, legitimate claims ought not to be enforced through collective punishment on the basis of general discrimination and without a determination of personal guilt."[1]

These words of the first United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, José Ayala Lasso (Ecuador), were spoken at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt/Main on 28. May 1995 on the occasion of the solemn ceremony to remember 50 years since the expulsion of 15 million Germans from Eastern and Central Europe, including the Danube Swabians of Yugoslavia.

There is no question that in international law mass expulsions are doubly illegal - giving rise to State responsibility and to personal criminal liability. The expulsions by Germany's national socialist government of one million Poles from the Warthegau 1939/40 and of the 105,000 Frenchmen from Alsace 1940 were listed in the Nürnberg indictment as "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity." The Nürnberg judgment held several Nazi leaders guilty of having committed these crimes.

It is an anomaly that in spite of this clear condemnation of mass expulsions, the Allies themselves carried out even greater expulsions in the last few months of the Second World War and in the years that followed. Article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol attempts to throw a mantle of legality over the expulsions carried out by Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Nothing is said about the expulsions from other countries like Yugoslavia and Romania. However, the victorious Allies at Potsdam were not above international law and thus could not legalize criminal acts by common agreement. There is no doubt that the mass expulsion of Germans from their homelands in East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, East Brandenburg, Sudetenland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia constituted "war crimes," to the extent that they occurred during wartime, and "crimes against humanity" whether committed during war or in peacetime.

Moreover, the slave labor imposed on persons of German ethnic origin as "reparations in kind," which was agreed by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference, [2] also constituted a particularly heinous crime, which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths during the deportation to slave labor, during the years of hard work with little food, and as sequel of this inhuman and degrading treatment.

American and British historians have not given the flight and expulsion of fifteen million Germans, in the process of which more than two million perished, the attention that this enormously important and tragic phenomenon deserves. Nor has the American and British press fulfilled its responsibility to inform the general public about these events. On the contrary, the issue has been largely ignored and subject to taboos, even to this day. Only the occurrence of the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia during the last decade of the 20th century [3] allowed obvious parallels to be drawn, and some discussion on the subject of the Germans as victims has finally ensued. Much more is necessary.

Whereas some studies about the expulsion of the Germans by Poland and the former Czechoslovakia have been published, there is relatively little information available concerning the fate of the Germans from the former Yugoslavia. That is why the publication of this book must be welcomed, and its dissemination among the press and in the schools should follow. Testimonies of survivors of this "ethnic cleansing" of Germans should be recorded in video and on paper for future generations. Survivors of this awful crime against humanity should also speak to students in high schools and universities.

Let us remember the words of the noted British publisher and human rights activist, Victor Gollancz, one of the first courageous voices to recognize the moral implications and thus condemn the mass expulsion and spoliation of the Germans:

"If the conscience of men ever again becomes sensitive, these expulsions will be remembered to the undying shame of all who committed or connived at them ... The Germans were expelled, not just with an absence of over-nice consideration, but with the very maximum of brutality."[4]

But in order that the conscience of mankind become sensitive, it is necessary to have full information, open discussion without taboos - i.e. freedom of expression. Let us hope that this book will help us understand that all victims of "ethnic cleansing" are deserving of our attention and of our compassion.

Alfred M. de Zayas, J.D. (Harvard), Ph. D. (Göttingen) Senior Fellow, International Human Rights Law Institute, Chicago Member, International P.E.N. Club
Author of Nemesis at Potsdam, 1998, Picton Press, Rockport, Maine
A Terrible Revenge, 1994, St. Martin's Press, New York
The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 2000, Picton Press, Rockport, Maine

Reference Notes 
[1] The complete text in German was published in Bonn, 1995, in Dieter Blumenwitz, ed., Dokumentation der Gedenkstunde in der Paulskirche zu Frankfurt/Main am 28. Mai 1995; 50 Jahre Flucht, Deportation, Vertreibung, p. 4. Excerpts from the English original are quoted in A. de Zayas "The Right to One's Homeland, Ethnic Cleansing, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia", Criminal Law Forum, Vol. 6 (1995), p. 257-314 and 291-292.
[2] A.M. de Zayas, A Terrible Revenge. The ethnic cleansing of the East European Germans 1944-1950, St. Martins Press, New York, 1994, p. 81
[3] The Nato Bombing of Kosovo in 1999
[4] Victor Gollancz, Our Threatened Values, London, 1946, p. 96

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