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Taming the Expellee Threat in Post–1945 Europe: Lessons from the Two Germanies and Finland


This article analyses the process through which the dangers posed by millions of forced migrants were defused in continental Europe after the Second World War. Drawing on three countries – West Germany, East Germany and Finland – it argues that broad, transnational factors – the cold war, economic growth and accompanying social changes – were crucial in the process. But it also contends that bloc-level and national decisions, particularly those concerning the level of autonomous organisational activity and the degree and type of political and administrative inclusion allowed for the refugees, affected the integration process in significant ways and helped to produce divergent national outcomes.

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Contemporary European History
  • ISSN: 0960-7773
  • EISSN: 1469-2171
  • URL: /core/journals/contemporary-european-history
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