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The resettlement of populations scattered by war and by enemy
occupation is one of the problems with which Europe will be most
urgently faced when the occupied countries are set free. Since
hostilities began, millions of people have left homes destroyed or
threatened with destruction; millions more have been transplanted,
deported, or expelled to make room for foreign newcomers who have
taken over their property; millions of others again have been taken
prisoner or individually recruited as workers and sent away from
their countries to serve the occupying power.
The political, economic and social reconstruction of the liberated
countries cannot be contemplated until some degree of order has been
restored among this confusion of peoples. Political reconstruction
requires that the nationals of each country shall be able to return
within their own frontiers. Economic reconstruction depends not
only on the re-equipment of industry and agriculture and on re-
stocking with raw materials and seed, but also on the rebuilding of
the labour force of each country. Lastly, social reconstruction is only
possible if families are reunited and those who have been uprooted
are resettled in their old homes or in new homes where, in the words
of the resolution adopted by the Conference of the International
Labour Organisation in New York|in 1941, they can "work in
freedom and security and hope".
It is obvious that the number and whereabouts of all those who
will have to be redistributed and resettled cannot be determined
until the war is over. For the time being every passing month merely
complicates the problem still further. Workers are being snatched
from their homes in thousands and tens of thousands; families are
disintegrated ; whole groups are separated from their national com-
munity and scattered or regrouped in distant places. But at a time
when the war seems to be entering on a new phase, it may be useful
to make a preliminary general survey of the position and a tentative
estimate of the magnitude of the problems to be solved.
In building up a general picture of the movements of the peoples
of Europe during the war the first step was to list as fully as possible
all the available sources of information. The second was to sift the
information collected, retaining only the most typical and reliable
11 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
items, and the third to arrange and present the data so as to bring
out the leading trends and characteristics of the movements.
To carry out this work the Office was able to secure the services
of Professor Eugene M. Kulischer, who has prepared the present
study in consultation with Mr. Pierre Waelbroeck, Chief of the
Labour Conditions, Employment and Migration Section of the
International Labour Office. In spite of the plentiful material which
it has been possible to assemble with the help of a number of institu-
tions and individuals, public and private, who have kindly made
their information available, it is clear that under present circum-
stances the results of a survey of this kind must necessarily be regard-
ed in many ways as of a preliminary and provisional nature. Never-
theless, the object of the study will have been achieved if it helps
to show the magnitude and nature of the problems with which the
world will be confronted at the end of the war and to demonstrate
that, as the writer emphasises in his conclusions, they cannot be
satisfactorily solved otherwise than by close international collabora-
The International Labour Office.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFATORY NOTE i
CHAPTER I. Migration Movements of the German People 7
Transfer and Resettlement of Germans from Abroad 9
Transfer of German Minorities 11
The Baltic States 11
Soviet-Occupied Western Ukraine and Western Bielo-
russia (Provinces of Eastern Poland) 13
Bessarabia and Northern Bukpvina 16
Dobruja and Southern Bukovina 16
South Tyrol 17
The General Government 19
Miscellaneous Groups 20
Distribution and Areas of Resettlement 21
Movements of Germans from the Reich 27
The German Colonists 28
Officials and Non- Agricultural Workers and Employees. ... 31
Refugees and Evacuees 33
CHAPTER II. Movements of Non-German Populations 39
Pre-War Refugee Movements 39
Movements of Peoples other than Jews 46
The Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia 46
Refugees after the German Invasion 49
Incorporated Western Polish Provinces ^ 50
Eastern Polish Provinces (Western Bielorussia and West-
ern Ukraine) 57
The Baltic Countries 62
Denmark and Norway 64
Other parts of France 75
South-Eastern Europe 77
Greece and Bulgaria 81
1. Hungaro-Rumanian Population Exchange 83
2. Bulgaro-Rumanian Population Exchange 84
3. Migration from and to Bessarabia and Northern
iv THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
The Expulsion and Deportation of Jews 95
Earlier Forms of Expulsion and Deportation 97
Countries and Territories of Expulsion and Deportation .... 99
Western Poland 99
Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia 101
Territories of Destination and Methods of Confinement. ... 107
Forced Labour Camps 108
Total Number of Uprooted Jews Ill
CHAPTER III. Mobilisation of Foreign Labour by Germany 117
Immigration of Foreign Labour before the War 117
General Survey of Foreign Labour Mobilisation during the War. 122
Analysis by country 132
Bohemia and Moravia 133
Norway and Denmark 138
Yugoslavia and Greece 150
Spain 1 59
Summary 1 59
MAP I. Transfer of German Minorities facing p. 38
MAP II. Movements of Non-German Populations facing p. 116
MAP III. Foreign Workers and Prisoners of War Employed in
Germany at the Beginning of 1943 facing p. 162
CHART. General Survey of Population Displacements in
Europe since the Beginning of the War facing p. 170
From time immemorial war has always caused widespread
displacements of population. Driven abroad by the destruction
of their homes, fleeing from the neighbourhood of the battlefields
or from the threat of enemy occupation, floods of refugees have
always taken to the roads in search of a haven which is never easy
It is many centuries, however, since the world witnessed popula-
tion movements comparable to those set in motion by the present
war. The size of modern armies, the distances over which their
campaigns are conducted, the widening of the danger zone as a
result of the enormous range of aeroplanes, have multiplied the
risks to which civilians are exposed. While the authorities have
tried to check uncontrolled movements, they have themselves
organised methodical evacuations on a huge scale. Whole towns
and districts have been cleared of their inhabitants to give the
fighting forces complete freedom of movement or to safeguard the
civilian population against bombing. Government departments
and essential undertakings, together with their equipment and
staff, have been transferred from one part of the country to another,
and even abroad. Unreliable sections of the population have been
removed from strategic areas as a precaution against sabotage and
In Europe these movements directly due to the war have reached
a special pitch of intensity at given times. Each of the German
offensives drove before it a flood tide of refugees and evacuees.
Relatively few of these people, however, crossed the borders of their
own countries. In Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium,
France, Yugoslavia and Greece most of them returned to their
homes when the hostilities were over. In Russia, on the other
hand, where the front has held, the unoccupied part of the country
still harbours millions of refugees and evacuees from the regions
under enemy occupation. Moreover, throughout Europe the sys-
tematic evacuation from the coastal areas is only the prelude to
the fresh compulsory removals of population which will inevitably
accompany the reopening of the military campaign on the con-
2 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
Europe has not been the only scene of these mass displacements.
In China the number of refugees who have left their homes as a
result of Japanese aggression is reckoned at 30 to 60 million. The
invasion of Malaya led to the evacuation of a large section of the
white population. From Burma, Indians fled with Europeans
before the advancing Japanese armies. In Abyssinia and North
Africa too, military operations have caused population movements.
Even in America, so far from the actual theatre of operations, the
war has led to certain displacements; over 110,000 persons of
Japanese race or enemy nationality have been removed from the
Pacific zone of the United States and transferred inland.
But it is in Europe above all other continents that the transfers
of population which have taken place since the beginning of the
war present the most complicated pattern. War refugees and
evacuees are only one factor in the problem. Within the territories
occupied by the German armies, Germany has redistributed or
dispersed the population and carried out mass removals of indi-
viduals or families, whether in furtherance of political designs or
of demographic and ethnical policy, or to supply its manpower
requirements. Unlike the exodus of war refugees and evacuees,
these transfers are not the direct result of the hostilities. To some
extent they had already begun before the war. From each of the
territories which successively came under a totalitarian regime
floods of refugees, fleeing from political and racial persecution,
surged into the neighbouring countries. On the eve of the war
Europe was divided into two zones, one dominated by the centri-
fugal forces of totalitarianism, while the other tried to arrest or
control this forced immigration. Germany's conquest of the major
part of Europe brought both zones under German control and gave
its rulers a free hand to carry out the transfers they considered
necessary to implement their policy. Within the vast expanses of
territory controlled by the totalitarian Powers transfers of popula-
tion assumed enormous dimensions. The mass displacements of
non-German populations were matched by the transplantation of
Germans or peoples of Germanic origin into the zones assigned to
German settlement. Population exchanges were arranged between
Germany and neighbouring or allied couhtries. The acknowledged
aim of the German Government is to redistribute the population
of Europe so as to establish German influence and leadership over
the largest possible area.
To these displacements of population in fulfilment of a long-
term policy has been added the transfer of millions of workers.
The requirements of the rearmament programme led, in Germany
especially, to an increase in internal migration movements, closely
connected with changes in economic structure; the transition
from peacetime to wartime industry was accompanied by changes
in the geographical distribution of labour, while the expansion
of total industrial employment stimulated the rural exodus. Still
more important was the influx of workers from other countries.
Even before the outbreak of hostilities the growing needs of muni-
tions industries had sucked up the labour reserves on the employ-
ment market of each of the territories which came under German
domination. This process has been intensified during the war. In
the camps of prisoners of war, in the occupied territories and in
those of its new allies, Germany found enormous reserves of
labour which were at once drawn upon to meet the needs of German
agriculture and war industries. From east and west, north and south,
a constant stream of workers has been directed towards the Reich.
In the opposite direction, a growing army of officials, technicians,
employees and key workers has crossed the frontiers to administer
the occupied countries and exploit their economic resources. Lastly,
with the expansion of the war economy in the occupied territories
and the strengthening of military defence works on their borders,
these currents of migration have multiplied and crossed each other
in every direction. At the present time the total mobilisation of
Europe's labour force is proceeding under unified direction at a
quickened tempo. Throughout the area under German control
those who are capable of work are being recruited, transferred, and
redistributed according to the dictates of Germany's economic
and military plans.
It is no easy task to reduce all these movements to an intelligible
pattern and find a criterion for their classification. There is, in
fact, no clear dividing line between war refugees and those officially
evacuated; in many cases people who left their homes voluntarily
would have been evacuated later had they waited for the official
decision, and the situation of both groups is practically the same.
In the same way it would be arbitrary to draw any distinction
between a political refugee and a war refugee who did not return
after his country had been defeated for fear of political or racial
persecution. It is also difficult, if not often impossible, to distinguish
between evacuation and deportation. The Alsatians evacuated at
the beginning of the war who were not allowed to return after their
homeland was annexed by Germany are no differently situated from
those who were expelled from Alsace after the annexation. Even
where it would be theoretically possible to sort out these various
groups from one another, the information is often inadequate.
Three main categories may, however, be distinguished among
the masses of people involved in these movements. The first con-
4 THE DISPLACEMENT Off POPULATION IN EUROPE
sists of Germans and persons of German origin who have been
moved into occupied countries since the beginning of the war. The
second comprises non-Germans who left their homes under the
threat of invasion or who have been the victims of wholesale
transfer, deportation or expulsion from the invaded territories.
The third consists of prisoners of war and workers recruited indivi-
dually in all the European countries under German occupation for
work in Germany or in other occupied territories. Although it is
becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between recruit-
ment and deportation, there is at least one difference between
labour recruitment and the deportations covered by the second
group in that the former does not aim at changing the demographic
map of Europe, but merely at temporarily transferring away from
their country persons whom Germany wishes to use in the service
of its war economy.
In order to assess the consequences of all these migrations,
voluntary or compulsory, for the countries concerned and the pro-
blems they raise for the future, it would be important to know the
age, sex and occupational distribution of the transferred persons
and also their precise whereabouts. Unfortunately information on
these points is scanty. Such particulars as are available have been
included in this study, but as a rule it has been possible to give
only the total figures.
Even so far as the total volume of the movements is concerned,
the information available does not always give a clear picture of
the situation, especially for the most recent period. In many cases
statistical information from official or semi-official sources is obtain-
able, for instance in respect of the resettlement of German popula-
tions and the recruitment of workers in the countries under German
control. In other cases, however, there are only estimates from
indirect sources, and those which appear to be the most trust-
worthy have been selected from the data available. As it is clearly
impossible at the present juncture to make a strict statistical study
of the population movements concerned, all that has been attempted
is a preliminary inventory of the available material.
In drawing up this inventory, the author was fortunate in being
able to call on the assistance of a number of institutions and indi-
viduals who have helped him to carry out the necessary research
and have placed their collections of material at his disposal. He is
glad to acknowledge his debt of gratitude to the American Friends
Service, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the American National Red
Cross, Washington; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Com-
mittee, New York; the American Jewish Committee Research
Institute on Peace and Post- War Problems, New York; the Belgian
Information Centre, New York; the Board of Economic Warfare,
Washington; the Central and Eastern European Planning Board,
New York; the Czechoslovak Information Service, New York;
the United States Department of Commerce, Washington; the
Finnish Legation, Washington; the French Information Centre,
New York; The French National Committee, Delegation to the
United States, New York; the Greek Office of Information, Wash-
ington; the Hias-Ica Emigration Association (Hicem), New
York; the International Red Cross, Washington; the Institute of
Jewish Affairs, New York; the Latvian Legation, Washington; the
Lithuanian Consulate-General, New York; the Office of Population
Research, Princeton, New York; the ORT Economic Research
Committee, New York; the Polish Information Centre, New York;
the Turkish Embassy, Washington; the Young Men's Christian
Association, New York; and the Royal Yugoslav Government
Information Centre, New York. Thanks are also due to Mr. Hanson
W. Baldwin, military and naval correspondent of the New York
Times; Mr. George Barrett, also of the New York Times; Dr. Brut-
saert, Director of Medical Laboratories, Leopoldville, Belgian
Congo; Dr. Myron K. Kantorowitz, Takoma Park, Maryland; Dr.
Frank Lorimer, Washington; Dr. Philip E. Mosely, Ithaca, New
York; Mrs. Irene B. Taeuber, Director, Census Library Project,
Washington; and Mr. Sergius A. Vassiliev, Consulting Engineer,
Thanks to the valuable assistance received from all these sources,
it has been possible, where no official figures were available, to
scrutinise the existing material, to compare divergent data and to
attempt at least some estimates when there were gaps in the existing
documentation. It is on the basis of all this varied information
that a synoptic table and a general analysis of the movements
studied have been attempted in the final chapter of the report.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE
The political expansion and military conquests of Germany
have been followed by mass migration movements of people of
German stock from abroad (Auslandsdeutsche) to Greater Germany
and of German nationals (Reichsdeutsche) to the occupied terri-
The first group of movements is not a purely wartime phenome-
non ; it has precedents in the recent history of Germany. After the
war of 1914-1918 a very large number of people of German nation-
ality or origin, who before the war had lived either in territory
detached from the Reich under the Treaty of Versailles or else-
where, flocked back to live within the new German frontiers.
The German Migration Office published the following estimates
of the extent and net results of this immigration up to the end
of 1920 1 :
No. of immigrants
From Alsace-Lorraine 120,000
From other territories detached from Germany 500,000
German nationals repatriated from other foreign countries 190,000-200,000
(including 20,000 German colonials)
"Racial" Germans 70,000
(100,000 immigrants, of whom 30,000 re-emigrated)
Baltic Germans 20,000
(25,000 immigrants, of whom 5,000 re-emigrated)
This estimate was substantially confirmed by the census of 1925. 2
According to the census figures, the population of the Reich at
that time included 1,377,000 persons who before 1 August 1914
were living outside the German frontiers fixed by the Treaty of
Versailles. Of this number, only 279,000 were foreigners. All the
others were German nationals: 770,000 came from territories
detached from the Reich; others were German citizens who had
been living abroad before the war; others again were persons of
1 Reichstagsdrucksache, 1920-22, No. 4084. The figures relate to immigration
from the beginning of the war, but in fact by far the greater proportion took
place after the war.
2 Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Vol. 401, Part II, pp. 538-541.
8 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
German origin or German stock who had previously been nationals
of foreign countries, the countries of eastern and south-eastern
Europe among others, and had acquired German nationality after
The magnetic pull of Germany on Germans from abroad, after
slackening for some years, revived in a still stronger form after
the introduction of the National Socialist regime. The rapid devel-
opment of economic activity due to the rearmament programme
attracted over half a million immigrants to Germany between 1933
and 1939; during this period, in spite of the departure of some
400,000 refugees 1 , Greater Germany (i.e. the old Reich, with the
addition of Austria and the Sudetenland) showed a migratory gain
of 93,000 persons. It is true that this consisted very largely of
foreign workers recruited outside the frontiers of Germany to
meet the labour requirements of the German war economy; but
it also included a large proportion of Germans. Indeed, the German
Statistical Office attributes the fact that Germany had a favourable
balance of migration at that time mainly to this new wave of im-
migration or repatriation of persons of German race or nationality,
explaining that "the re-immigration of racial Germans, previously
unorganised, was carried out methodically and on a vast scale
after the 1939 census in order to colonise the newly acquired German
living space". 2
Thus, the mass transfer of Germans from abroad carried out
during the war must be regarded as a direct continuation of the
spontaneous movement of German minorities abroad to the Reich,
organised methodically and directed towards a new demographic
and political goal.
The second movement, on the other hand that of Reich
Germans into other European countries which has been in pro-
gress since 1939, is a direct result of German conquests and has
nothing in common with peacetime movements. During the years
immediately following the last war, German emigration was on a
very reduced scale. The sudden wave of emigration which followed
the collapse of the German currency was short-lived. In 1923,
German overseas emigration rose to 115,000, a figure which had
not been reached since 1893, but owing to the joint effect of the
United States quota restrictions and of German economic recon-
struction during the Locarno period it dwindled again to something
like 60,000 a year between 1924 and 1928. The world depression
practically put a stop to all migration, and when it was resumed
after the establishment of the National Socialist regime it took
1 Cf. below, Chapter II, p. 42.
* Wirtschaft und Statistik, No. 20, Oct. 1940.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 9
the form of enforced emigration. From 1933 to the outbreak of
war practically the only emigrants from Germany were Jews and
political refugees who were the victims of persecution or expulsion.
It w;as only in 1938, simultaneously with Germany's first con-
quests, that quite a different type of movement began, namely,
the fanning out of Germans beyond the old German frontiers to
the territories annexed, occupied or controlled by Germany. It is
this movement, continually expanded by a variety of circumstances,
which is described in the second section of this chapter.
TRANSFER AND RESETTLEMENT OF GERMANS FROM ABROAD
The victorious eastward march of the German armies in 1939
was followed by a mass transplantation of people of German origin
living in other countries to the newly enlarged territories of Greater
Germany. A series of agreements concluded by the German Govern-
ment in 1939 and 1940 resulted in the transfer of about 600,000
Germans from eastern, south-eastern and southern Europe to
Germany. This mass migration was described by German pro-
paganda as a "return to the Fatherland", or "repatriation", terms
which cannot, of course, be taken literally, since hardly any of
the "repatriated" persons had any connection with the Reich.
They were nationals of other countries, which they and their an-
cestors had inhabited for many centuries. Moreover, most of
them were not actually transferred to Germany, but were settled
on foreign territories under German control.
The ideological basis of this great, more or less forced, movement
of migration was laid down by Chancellor Hitler in a speech to the
Reichstag on 6 October 1939. He stated that the most important
task of present day policy would be the establishment of a new
order of ethnographic conditions that is, a resettlement of nation-
alities which would ultimately result in the fixing of better dividing
lines than in the past. Eastern and south-eastern Europe were
largely populated by splinters of German stock, whose very exist-
ence gave rise to constant international disturbances. In this age
of the principle of nationalities and of racial theories, it was Utopian
to believe that members of a highly-developed nation could be
assimilated without trouble, and a far-sighted policy for ordering
the life of Europe therefore demanded that resettlement should
be carried out, so as to remove at least one cause of European
In speculating as to the true reasons for Chancellor Hitler's
repatriation policy three explanations are commonly advanced.
These are that it was intended, first, to germanise Polish Pome-
rania, Poznan and other districts taken by conquest from Poland
10 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
and incorporated into the Reich, by settling repatriated Germans in
place of the expelled Poles; secondly, to secure the needed man-
power for the army and for German war industry; and thirdly, to
create realisable assets abroad from the property of the repatriated
With regard to the first point, Germany was, of course, very
much interested in the rapid germanisation of the newly conquered
territories. It was emphasised in leading German circles, however,
that the colonisation of the eastern borderlands would not be effected
by the settlement of foreign-born Germans, but mainly by the skill
and labour of the peasants from the over-populated parts of south-
ern and south-western Germany, and that this project had been
postponed until the end of the war only so as to give settlement
privileges to the returning soldiers. 1 On the other hand, it was
pointed out that large numbers of Germans would be required to
take over and administer the whole economic sector of the annexed
territories; that the war and the gigantic problems it involved left
no forces free to undertake this task, which would in fact be light-
ened precisely by the resettlement of Germans " which the Ftihrer
had ordered on a grand scale". 2
The second point the need of manpower was probably not
taken so seriously in 1939, when the world was still impressed by
the constant German complaints of lack of "living space". But
the crushing weight of this factor was clearly demonstrated by
subsequent economic developments in Germany and by the Govern-
ment's efforts to mobilise the whole German population men,
women, and even children and to attract all available manpower
As to the financial aspects of the transfer, they are dealt with in
the repatriation treaties, which stipulated that the property of the
repatriated persons was to be liquidated and transferred to Ger-
many little by little. Thus, the German Government hoped to
receive large sums in foreign exchange which could be used for the
purpose of financing necessary imports.
All these factors may have been taken into consideration by the
Government of the Reich. Nor should the part played by the fear
of Communism in the decision of the Auslandsdeutsche to leave the
land where they and their families had lived for centuries be under-
estimated; many non-Germans who joined in the exodus emphasise
the importance of this motive.
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 Aug. 1940, No. 23, Part V, p. 397; Der Deutsche Volks-
wirt, 31 Jan. 1941; Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft,No.2S t Oct. 1941: "Wirtschaft-
liche Festigung des Deutschen Volkstums".
* Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 28, Oct. 1941: "Wirtschaftsaufbau im
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 11
Nevertheless, the main reason for the "repatriation" of the
German minorities was in all probability political. Chancellor Hitler
gave it as being the "elimination of international disturbances".
In fact, however, this policy was not a general gesture of peace,
but was rather determined by a definite political situation. The
Soviet Union had occupied Eastern Poland and was ready to extend
its dominion over the Baltic States and the eastern part of Rumania.
All these territories had large German minorities, and if they had
been left under Soviet rule the Reich would have had either to
tolerate the expropriation of their property or to defend them.
To adopt the first solution was to abandon the pretence of protecting
all Germans; the second meant interfering with the internal policy
of the Soviet Union and risking a conflict at a moment when this
was not considered to be opportune. The situation was similar in
the case of the Tyrolese, whose presence on the Brenner frontier
was apt to disturb the good relations between the German and
Italian Governments. The repatriation of the German minorities
from these countries, therefore, provided a solution avoiding a
conflict with powers with which Germany needed, at least tem-
porarily, to remain on good terms.
As will be seen below, the extent to which repatriation was
actually carried out was mainly conditioned by these considerations
of political expediency. Out of 600,000 repatriated Germans, about
400,000 came from the Russian and 100,000 from the Italian sphere
of influence. 1
The Transfer of German Minorities
The Baltic States.
The Baltic Germans constituted the most ancient German
colony in foreign lands. They were descendants of the Teutonic
knights and Hanseatic merchants who conquered these countries
seven centuries ago. But even before they lost their political and
economic influence their demographic expansion had ceased. In
Latvia, the number of Germans had shown a continual decline
since 1881, a decline which became much steeper after the first
world war. In 1918-1919, German volunteers under the leadership
of General von der Goltz started a campaign to "liberate" the
Baltic peoples from the Bolsheviks. This crusade, accompanied
1 The remaining 100,000 may be accounted for by (a) migration from Southern
Bukovina and Northern Dobruja, where, after the partition of the two Rumanian
provinces, living conditions became more difficult; (b) transfers from the General
Government, in order to create "ethnical" divisions in German-occupied Poland;
and (c) migration from other countries with scattered German communities.
12 THE DISPI, A CEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
by colonisation projects, ended with the eviction of the Germans
by the Latvians, with the assistance of the Allied Nations. With
them went a good many of the Baltic Germans, some of them land-
owners who had been affected by the agrarian reform. The remain-
ing Germans in Latvia and Estonia were concentrated in the larger
towns, and suffered the fate which usually befalls purely urban
groups stagnation and even decline by excess of deaths over
births. In Latvia, in 1935, this excess had reached a rate of seven
per thousand. Before 1914, the territory of the future Baltic States
of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania contained more than 250,000
Germans. When the exodus started, their numbers were estimated
at between 110,000 and 130,000. Thus, the transfer only gave the
final blow to the slowly dying German communities.
The legal basis of this transfer was provided by treaties con-
cluded by Germany with the Governments of Estonia (15 October
1939) 1 , and Latvia (30 October 1939). 2 The arrangements were
already in full swing at these dates, however, and the transfer
started immediately after the treaties were signed.
The treaties covered all the members of the German minority.
Provision was made for defining persons belonging to this minority
and for the ways and means by which German origin might be
proved even by persons who were not formally members of the
minority. Many non-Germans, however, native Estonians, Lat-
vians and Russians, appear to have joined the departing Germans 3 ,
while others flocked into Sweden. These voluntary emigrants were
members of wealthy families, business men, doctors, priests and
others, who fled for fear of the economic and social consequences
of a possible Russian occupation.
The treaties also made arrangements concerning the property
of the repatriated persons. They were allowed to take their house-
hold goods, the tools of their trade (with some exceptions), a very
limited amount of their jewelry, and a small sum in cash. 4 All their
other property had to be liquidated and transferred in the form of
the mutual exchange of goods between Latvia and Estonia and the
1 Cf. Industrial and Labour Information, Vol. LXXII, No. 8, 20 Nov. 1939,
2 Idem, No. 10, 4 Dec. 1939, p. 274.
3 This is emphatically stated by Dr. Joseph SCHECHTMAN, whose work on the
transfer of German populations, prepared for the Institute of Jewish Affairs,
has been consulted in manuscript by courtesy of the author. The evidence he
quotes in support of his statement consists of (a) letters from the evacuated
Baits (Baltenbriefe zur Rilckkehr ins Reich, Berlin-Leipzig, 1940), and (b) lists
of persons who lost their Latvian citizenship through being evacuated to the
4 This was limited to 50 crowns ($13.50) in Estonia and 50 lats ($10.00) in
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS 0# THE GERMAN PEOPLE 13
The transfer of Germans from the Baltic countries was described
by the treaties as strictly voluntary. Persons who wished to be
transferred had to make application in a prescribed form and within
a prescribed time, and only after this application had been accepted
did the applicant lose his Estonian or Latvian citizenship, and was
obliged to leave the country. In practice, the transfer was carried
out under strong moral pressure exercised by the local National
Socialist leaders and in a wild panic provoked by rumours that
the "Reds" were at the door. After the first panic had subsided
many Germans began to reconsider their decision, and those who
had not committed themselves refused to leave the country where
they were comfortably established for an uncertain future.
But the great majority, 63,832 in all 1 , were swept away by the
current. The main transfer was concluded in January 1940.
In July 1940 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were incorporated
into the Soviet Union, and on 10 January 1941 a resettlement treaty
was signed by Germany and the Soviet Union providing for the
repatriation of all Germans from the above-named countries. Under
this agreement, according to German sources, 16,244 Germans
from Latvia and Estonia all who still remained there were
repatriated. The number of persons transferred from Lithuania
under it was 50,47 1. 2 According to an official Lithuanian source,
the great majority were not Germans at all but Lithuanians fearful
of Soviet rule, 35,000 of whom succeeded in obtaining the required
certificate of German origin. Under the same agreement, 12,000
Lithuanians and 9,000 Russians were transferred to Soviet con-
trolled territory from the Lithuanian districts of Memel and
Suwalki, annexed by Germany. All these transfers had been com-
pleted by 25 March 1941. 3
Soviet-occupied Western Ukraine and Western Bielorussia (Provinces
of Eastern Poland).
In his speech of 6 October to the Reichstag, Chancellor Hitler
declared that the purpose of the resettlement scheme was to pre-
vent international conflict, emphasising thereby that Germany
1 This is the final corrected figure given by the Deutsche Umsiedlungs-Treu-
hand-Gesellschaft (D.U.T.), as quoted by the Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June
1942. Earlier figures published in Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 1, showed
approximately 12,900 persons transferred from Estonia and 49,600 from Latvia.
2 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, loc. cit. Official Lithuanian sources give this
figure as 52,600. This corresponds to information published in the Moscow
Pravda (26 Mar. 1941), giving the total number of Germans repatriated from
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the basis of the treaties between Germany
and the Soviet Union as 68,805.
8 Archivfur Wander ungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1941, No. 1-2, p. 43.
14 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
and the Union of Soviet Republics had come to a mutual agree-
ment on the matter. It was therefore naturally assumed that a
wave of migration would also surge up among the hundreds of
thousands of Germans living in Russia. But the facts did not meas-
ure up to these expectations, and during the period that followed
there was no question of a transfer of people of German race from
the numerous German colonies within the former frontiers of the
After the collapse of Poland, Polish territory was divided into
a German and a Soviet sphere of interest. Later, part of the Polish
territory administered by the Germans was incorporated into the
Reich 1 , while the rest of German-occupied Poland became a special
separate administrative region known as 'The General Govern-
ment for the Occupied Polish Territories".
Germany's policy was originally to endow these three parts of
dismembered Poland with a specific ethnical character. The in-
corporated territories were to be wholly germanised. The General
Government was set apart for Poles and Jews. The Russian-
occupied provinces were to accommodate Russian, Ukrainian and
Bielorussian emigrants from the German-occupied parts of Poland.
This policy appears to have agreed with the intentions of the Soviet
Government, which, while it had no interest in disturbing the
economy of the Union by a sudden mass emigration from inner
Russia, welcomed the possibility of strengthening the Bielorussian
and Ukrainian elements in its newly acquired territory, while at
the same time eliminating the German colonies in the neighbour-
hood of the new German frontier, where they would constitute a
permanent political and military danger.
The agreement 2 concluded between the German and Soviet
Governments on 3 November 1939 was in harmony with the aims
of the contracting parties as described above. It dealt with the
exchange of populations, and provided that all Germans residing
in the Western Ukraine and Western Bielorussia (both formerly
part of Poland) had the right to migrate to German-controlled
territory, and all Ukrainians, Bielorussians, Russians and Ruthe-
nians residing in the former Polish territories now within the
German sphere of influence, to migrate to the territory controlled
by the Soviet Union. A further agreement provided for the
return to the territory of their permanent or legal residence of
all persons who happened temporarily or accidentally to be in the
1 For details, see Chapter II, under Poland, pp. 50-51.
2 Cf. Industrial and Labour Information, Vol. LXXII, No. 10, 4 Dec. 1939,
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 15
There were in German-occupied territory many persons who had
come from Eastern Poland for business, study or other reasons and
were caught there by the war, but who were regular residents of
the Soviet-occupied area. On the Russian-occupied side there were
the great mass of refugees who had fled from the German invasion
further and further to the east. Hundred of thousands of them
crowded into the cities; the population of Lwow, for instance,
was more than doubled. The Germans, however, only permitted
the re-entry of a number of Polish and Ukrainian refugees who had
their residence in German-controlled territory, but refused to allow
any Jewish refugees to return. 1
The provision made for disposing of the property of the migrants
was unusual; the migrants were to be allowed to take with them
such of their property as was necessary for the continuation of their
In accordance with the first agreement, German colonists
began to leave their homes in Volhynia, Eastern Galicia and the
Bialystok region in December 1939. From 18 December 1939 to
26 January 1940 2 a constant stream was crossing the Russo-German
border in primitive horse-clrawn wagons, piled high with all their
goods, and in mile-long railway trains. This trek brought to Ger-
man-held territory 134,267 3 persons, most of them peasants who
had abandoned settlements founded by their ancestors 150 years
ago. In the opposite direction the number of Bielorussians and
Ukrainians who were to move to Russian-occupied territory was
roughly estimated as between 30,000 and 40,000.
With regard to the persons who migrated under the additional
agreement, no official estimate is available. 4 Such an estimate
would, in fact, be valuable only if it were possible to distinguish
between those whose return to their homes was genuine and thus
did not increase but reduced the transfer of population, and those
who took advantage of the situation to escape German domination.
1 Concerning these refugees, cf. Chapter II, Poland, p. 58.
2 According to a statement by Werner LORENZ, Chief of the Volksdeutsche
Mittelstelle, who was in charge of this evacuation, quoted by Helmut SOMMER
in Hundert-funf-und-dreissig Tausend Gewannen das Vaterland (Berlin, 1940).
a Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942. This source does not give the num-
bers who left from each region, but they cannot differ much from the figures
published a year before in Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 1. The total
number at that time was estimated at 128,100 and was made up of 64,600 settlers
from Volhynia, 55,400 from Galicia and 8,100 from Bialystok.
4 The number of Poles who had to be returned to their previous homes in the
territory under German control has been estimated at 14,000 (D.N.B. release,
quoted by New York Herald Tribune, 20 Mar. 1940). A month earlier an Asso-
ciated Press cable from Berlin referred to 60,000 Polish refugees who were to be
moved from Soviet-occupied territory to the General Government (New York
Times, 20 Feb. 1940). It was also reported that 80,000 Galician Jews were to be
transferred to Russian-occupied territory (New York Times, 27 Dec. 1939).
16 THB DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.
On 28 June 1940, Rumania ceded Bessarabia and Northern
Bukovina to the Soviet Union. On 5 September 1940 an agree-
ment was reached between Germany and the Soviet Union concern-
ing the transfer of Germans living in these formerly Rumanian
provinces. In general, this agreement reproduces the provisions of
the treaty concerning the Russian-occupied eastern Polish prov-
inces; it is, however, unilateral, no exchange of populations being
The evacuation began in the autumn of 1940. Many of the
Bessarabian Germans travelled up the Danube in groups as far
as Belgrade, whence they were transported further by railway.
A large number of migrants spent the winter in camps in southern
The last Rumanian census, taken in 1930, showed that there were
80,000 Germans in Bessarabia, There are no corresponding figures
for Northern Bukovina, the number of Germans in the whole
province of Bukovina being 76,000. Under the Russo-German
agreement 136,989 persons 1 left Russian-occupied Bessarabia and
Northern Bukovina for Greater Germany, including 12,500 from
Cernauzti (Czernowitz), the capital of Bukovina. 2
Dobrufa and Southern Bukovina.
Already in November 1939 about 10,000 Germans from the
Dobruja district had signified their intention of emigrating to
Germany. They were farmers whose ancestors had settled in small
Dobruja villages about 60 or 70 years ago, and who complained that
they had no prospect of enlarging their holdings, since only Ruma-
nians could then lawfully buy land in the Dobruja district.
It was not until the autumn of 1940, however, after the parti-
tion of the Dobruja, the southern part of which was ceded to Bul-
garia, and of Bukovina, the northern part of which was occupied
by the Russians, that the transfer of Germans from the Dobruja
actually took place, together with those from Southern Bukovina.
The transfer was regulated by a German-Rumanian Treaty of 22
October 1940. Rumania took over the land and some of the mi-
grants' other property in payment for the products supplied to
Germany. The transfer was carried out simultaneously with the
evacuation of Germans from Northern Bukovina, described above.
The number of Germans transferred from Dobruja and Southern
1 Deutsche Post aus dent Osten, June 1942.
2 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 7. According to this source, 93,500 were
transferred from Bessarabia and 42,400 from Northern Bukovina,
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 17
Bukovina was originally given as 66, 400. l Many more moved later,
however. The Bucharest agency of the Deutsche Umsiedlungs-Treu-
hand-Gesellschaft was engaged throughout 1941 in arranging for
their transportation and admission to Germany and for the settle-
ment of their property problems. 2 The total number rose to
The transfer of the Tyrolese originated under conditions some-
what different from those which produced the great German mi-
gration from the east and south-east. The initiative was taken
not by the Germans, but by the Italians.
The South Tyrol, with a large German-speaking population,
was annexed to Italy after the dismemberment of the Austro-
Hungarian Empire in 1918. Measures were adopted by the Italian
authorities to italianise the region. The only official language
was Italian. Education was in Italian, place names were italianised.
All officials were Italian, and Italian settlers were introduced.
This policy was modified after the reconciliation between Germany
and Italy in 1936, but the anti-Italian attitude of the Tyrolese
Germans remained unchanged, and they openly expressed the
hope that the Tyrol would soon return to Germany, especially
after the annexation of Austria in March 1938.
Two months later, at the meeting between Chancellor Hitler
and the Duce in Rome, the Fuhrer agreed to the Duce's wish to
have the frontier "purified". The division between the North
and South Tyrol was to be racial as well as geographical. The
Brenner was to become the ethnographical frontier.
The formal agreement which settled the fate of the German
Tyrol was signed by the Italian and German Governments on 21
October 1939. This agreement made provision, first, for German
nationals, and secondly, for Italian nationals of German origin.
The former were unconditionally obliged to move from the Upper
Adige region (the official Italian name for South Tyrol), while
the latter had the choice either of remaining in Italy and becoming
full-fledged Italians or of moving into Germany. It was understood
at first that those who chose to remain Italian would have to migrate
to some other part of Italy, away from the frontier. But ultimately
this stipulation was relaxed, and the German Tyrolese who opted in
1 Ibid.' 52,100 were given as transferred from southern Rumania and 14,000
from the Dobruja; 7,000 came from Old Rumania, having their legal domicile
in the transfer area of Bessarabia and both parts of Bukovina.
2 Neues Wiener Tageblatt, 2 Apr. 1942.
8 Deutsche fo$t <m$ dem Osten, June 1942,
18 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
favour of Italian nationality were allowed to remain in the valleys
where their ancestors had begun to settle as early as the thirteenth
In fulfilment of this agreement, 10,000 German nationals had
to migrate to Germany. The German-speaking inhabitants of
Italian nationality had to opt for German citizenship before the
end of 1939. The votes were cast in the Italian province of Bolzano
and in certain districts of the provinces of Udine, Trento and
Belluno. Altogether, 266,985 persons were entitled to opt, of whom
185,085 chose to migrate to Germany. 1
Thus, a majority of the Germans from the Tyrol officially
registered their final decision to abandon their Italian citizenship
and to migrate to Germany. But the extent to which this decision
was carried out only partly corresponded to the vote. The agree-
ment itself granted a generous time limit, up to 31 December 1942,
for the optants to leave Italy 2 , and the Tyrolese Germans took full
advantage of this opportunity of postponing their departure.
During the whole of the year 1940, only 65,000 Tyrolese migrated
to Germany 3 , and there was no considerable increase in this figure
in the course of 1941. The total was only 72,000 up to the spring
of 1942. 4
Nor does the Italian Government appear to have pressed the
optants to leave. Even the partial emigration of the Germans from
the Tyrol was a severe blow to the local economy. The depopula-
tion of mountain regions in general is a serious and much discussed
problem in Italy 5 , which was artificially aggravated by the pro-
posed "purification" of the frontier. It became more and more
evident that the problem was not merely to remove the Germans
from the Tyrolese valleys, but also to replace them by Italians,
and there was a lack of suitable human material for resettlement.
Lowlanclers, and even settlers from the Appenines, are not suitable
for agricultural work in the Tyrol, where conditions are very differ-
ent, and the neighbouring valleys of Piedmont, which are more or
less similar in character, have virtually no surplus population.
The report of the German Resettlement Trust for 1942, recently
quoted by German newspapers 6 , admits that "the resettlement
1 These figures are given by German sources. The Agefi News Agency pub-
lished slightly different figures on 6 May 1942, stating that out of 317,947 Germans
who had the right to opt, 180,000 voted for resettlement. The number of those
who actually migrated was not given.
2 According to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 26 Aug. 1942, quoting the Bozener
Zeitung, the time limit was later extended up to the end of 1943.
3 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 10, Apr. 1941.
4 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942.
5 Cf. Lo Spopolamento Montana in Italia (Rome, 1932-1938, 8 vols.), edited by
the Institute Nazionale di Economia Agraria with the assistance of the Comitato
per la Geografia and other agencies.
Cf* VQlkischer Beobachter and Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 Apr. 1943.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 19
of the South Tyrolese continued to be difficult and troublesome'*.
It is claimed that much progress was made in 1942, but no figure
is given for the number of Tyrolese who were moved during that
The General Government.
The transfer of Germans from this territory, which covers all
the German-occupied part of Poland not incorporated into the
Reich, was effected on a different legal basis. It was based not on
an international treaty, but on an Order of the German Govern-
ment having the same authority in the provinces incorporated
into the Reich as in the General Government. This did not, how-
ever, affect the political, demographic and economic features of
the operation, which even included a partial exchange of popula-
tions, some of the Polish peasants expelled from the Incorporated
Provinces having been sent to replace the repatriated Germans.
Not all the Germans in the General Government were repatriated 1 ,
but only those from the areas to the east of the Vistula, from the
district of Lublin. The number repatriated was 30,495. 2 The trans-
fer took place in September and October 1940, after the close of
the harvesting season.
Ljubljana (Italian-annexed Slovenia).
After Chancellor Hitler had announced, in his speech of 6
October 1939, his plan for the resettlement within the borders
of Germany of all Germans living abroad, propaganda was also
carried on among the German minorities in Yugoslavia, numbering
some 500,000, with a view to persuading them to make the sacrifices
entailed by accepting the Fiihrer's invitation to "return home".
But no practical steps were taken in this direction.
The scheme was taken up again after the conquest of Yugoslavia
in the spring of 1941, but this time only in respect of a small section
of the German minority. The transfer of the large German popula-
tion of Yugoslavia was no longer considered desirable. In view of
their strategic situation, these Germans were regarded as serving
a more useful purpose where they were as an instrument of control,
an advance post of German domination in the Balkans. But an
1 After the transfer there were still 63,000 "ethnical Germans" ( Vplksdeutsche)
in the General Government, and many more had applied for recognition as Ger-
mans, as being partly of German origin. Cf. Archiv fur Wander ungswesen und
Auslandskunde, 1941, No. 1-2, p. 41. In the summer of 1942, 75,000 persons were
counted as Volksdeutsche (Krakauer Zeitung, 15 July 1942, quoting the Europ&is-
2 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942. The number reported in spring 1941
by Wirtschaft und Statistik (1941, No. 1) was 30,300.
20 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
exception was made for a group of Germans residing in the province
of Ljubljana, the Italian-occupied part of Slovenia, who the German
Government feared would lose their German character under Italian
domination. This group, living in the district of Kocevije and
numbering some 16,QQQ l , constituted a German island in the midst
of a purely Slovenian population. In agreement with the Italian
authorities, 13,500 of them 2 were transplanted from the land on
which they had lived since the fourteenth century and moved to
the Slovenian districts incorporated into the Reich. According to
the Royal Yugoslav Government Information Centre, the scheme
was at first willingly accepted by the people concerned; later on,
however, they regretted their decision and wished to remain where
they were, but had no option but to fall in with the plans for transfer,
which were then all ready. The transfer started in November
1941 and was completed in 1942.
Apart from the Germans of Ljubljana, about 1,000 more 8 were
transferred from other parts of Yugoslavia. On 6 October 1942 an
agreement was made between Germany and Croatia for the repatria-
tion of some 20,000 Germans from Bosnia and Herzegovina and
some other parts of Croatia, mostly artisans, merchants and offi-
cials, but including also some peasants. 4 The settlers were at first
directed to a camp in Zhurz, near Lodz 6 , to be settled, since spring
1943, in the Lublin area of the General Government. 6
Small groups of Germans have also been transferred from other
From Bulgaria 7 423 Germans were repatriated in 1942. In
spring 1943 another 800 were on the way to Germany. 8
In France, exclusive of Alsace-Lorraine, 13,353 Germans have
been "sifted" (durchschleust) and one-third of them were ' 'called
back" for resettlement. The transfer was substantially carried
out during 1941 and 1942. 9
1 According to the 1931 statistics, there were at that time 25,100 Germans in
Slovenia, 5,400 in the regions later occupied by Germany, and 19,700 in the regions
later occupied by Italy.
2 V&lkischer Beobachter, 4 Apr. 1943.
8 The precise number was 993 (Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942.)
*Relazioni Inter nazionali, 31 Oct. 1942; Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 10 Oct. 1942
and 9 Feb. 1943.
6 Marburger Zeitung, 30 Dec. 1942.
6 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 Apr. 1943.
7 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942.
8 Transocean broadcast, 13 Apr. 1943.
9 Archiv fur Wanderungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1942, No. 1-2, p. 67;
Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, 1942, No. 11, p. 362; VOlkischer Beobachter, 4 Apr,
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 21
The transfer of a group from the Leningrad district started in
the spring of 1942. These Russians were described as German
minorities, and were said to be descended from Germans who
immigrated at the call of Catherine the Great to cultivate the
areas around St. Petersburg. 1 Two thousand one hundred and
four persons have been * 'recognised as resettlers". 2
Finally small groups are being repatriated from Slovakia and
Greece (Heraklion). 3
Distribution and Areas of Resettlement
The resettlement of German immigrants of varied occupations
and diverse geographical origin presented a difficult problem.
Occupationally, the overwhelming majority over four-fifths
of Germans from Volhynia, the General Government, Bessarabia
and the Dobruja were peasants. Among those from Galicia two-
thirds were peasants and the rest townspeople engaged in handi-
crafts and trade. Among the migrants from Bukovina, the Narev
region, and the Baltic countries, persons engaged in agriculture
were in the minority, and the smallest rural group of all, numbering
2,090 persons, was among the Baltic Germans from Estonia and
Latvia, the great majority of whom had been engaged in industry,
commerce and the liberal professions. 4 The percentage distribution
by age and by occupation of the removed German minorities is
given in the table on the next page.
As already mentioned, the "repatriated" Germans have not
been settled within Germany's former frontiers. The great majority
were established on territories newly conquered from Poland,
France and Yugoslavia and incorporated into the Reich while
some tens of thousands were settled in former Austria. 5
The main settlement area was in the incorporated Polish pro-
vinces, namely the Warthegau, Danzig -West Prussia, and the
Ciechanow district, now forming part of East Prussia, where the
1 New York Times, 24 Apr. 1942 (despatch from Stockholm); Ostland, 26 Mar.
2 Vdlkischer Beobachter, 4 Apr. 1943.
8 Ibid. The Greek Germans have been reported to be assembled in a camp,
their property having been sold with advantage.
4 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, Nos. 1 and 7. It was emphasised that the
efficiency of the industrial workers among the transferred groups who came from
more backward areas than the Reich must be improved (Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Feb.
1942, No. 4, Part V, p. 85).
6 The location of the branches of the Deutsche Umsiedlungs-Treuhand-Gesell-
schaft, which is entrusted with the work of resettlement, is instructive. The five
branches are in Poznan, Danzig, Katowice (all three in Western Poland), Inns-
bruck (North Tyrol, Austria), and Marburg (Slovenia, German-annexed Yugo-
slav territory). Other subsidiary branches are at Lodz and Ciechanow (Western
Poland), Klagenfurt (Carinthia, Austria), Veldes and Rann (Slovenia, German-
annexed Yugoslav territory).
THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
REMOVAL OF GERMAN MINORITIES
Distribution by age and occupation 1
Percentage by age
Percentage by occupation
great majority of the Baltic Germans and of all the groups
transferred from areas which were formerly part of Poland and
Rumania were established. The number reported to have been
brought into the area by the summer of 1942 was 497,000. Of
these, 230,800 were settled in the Warthegau and 148,000 in Danzig-
West Prussia. The remaining 120,000 odd had not yet been settled
and were still living in camps. 2 The resettlement of Lithuanians was
started in the Ciechanow district 3 , but this scheme was subsequently
abandoned in favour of sending them back to Lithuania, as des-
The Ljubljana Germans were transferred to the border region
of Southern Styria that is, to the part of Yugoslav territory in-
habited by Slovenes incorporated into the Reich by the German
A very small minority of those transferred from Bessarabia,
Southern Bukovina and Dobruja were established in Southern
Styria, in Lorraine 6 , and in parts of Alsace where the Maginot
Line formerly was. 6
1 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, Nos. 1 and 7. The percentages are calculated
on the basis of figures for the spring of 1941.
2 Danziger Vorposten, 2 July 1942. Similar figures are given in Archiv fur
Wanderungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1942, No. 1-2, p. 7 7, in regard to settlement
up to the end of 1941: Warthegau, 221,000; Danzig -West Prussia, 150,000.
The settlement of 4,000 Germans in Upper Silesia was reported by the Krakauer
Zeitung, 8 Sept. 1942. In 1942, another 3,700 families were settled in the War-
thegau, Danzig - West Prussia, and Upper Silesia.
5 Archiv fur Wanderungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1941, No. 3, p. 109; Die
Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, 1942, No. 11, p. 362.
4 Archiv fur Wanderungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1942, No. 1-2, p. 66; Die
Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, 1942, No. 11, p. 362.
6 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 Apr. 1943.
6 Jacques LORRAINE: La France Allemande (1942), p. 205.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 23
Those transferred from France were reported to have applied
for settlement in Alsace-Lorraine. 1
The function assigned to the Germans transplanted into the
newly incorporated territories was to germanise them by replacing
the native populations who were being expelled. Thus, in the
western Polish provinces, they took over the homes, jobs and
businesses of one and a half million Poles and Jews who had been
expelled into the General Government. 2
The Tyrolese were the only group who as a whole were not
settled in a conquered territory with a non-German population.
Accustomed to their mountain villages, they could not be expected
to settle in the different geographical and climatic conditions of
the plains of Western Poland. The great majority of them were
installed in the North Tyrol and the Vorarlberg, on the other side
of the Alps, opposite their former homes, and others in Carinthia. 3
To make room for them,, 2,400 peasant families have been removed
from Carinthia since March 1942. 4 However, some Tyrolese Ger-
mans have been settled in Southern Styria (German-annexed
Slovenia), and according to the latest report of the German Re-
settlement Trust they are also to be given preference for speedy
settlement in Lorraine, Luxemburg, and the eastern part of the
Sudetenland. This does not seem to be a large-scale settlement
scheme, however. Thus, in Lorraine only about a thousand homes
have been vacated for Germans transferred from the Tyrol as well
as from Southern Bukovina. 5
The change in German policy in 1942 6 opened up the General
Government as a new resettlement area. The district of Lublin,
from which Germans had been removed in 1940, has since 1942
been allocated to the new groups of "repatriated" Germans from
Bosnia and Croatia, the Leningrad district, Serbia and Bulgaria,
as well as to the Baltic Germans and those transferred from Bessa-
rabia, who had been taken to the Warthegau but could not be
settled there. 7
In spite of the care with which the settlement of the Baltic
Germans was carried out, they do not appear to have acclimatised
themselves very readily to their new surroundings. After the
German conquest of the Baltic countries in 1941, the "repatriated"
Baltic Germans asked to be allowed to return to their former homes.
1 Archiv fiir Wander ungswesen und Auslandskunde, 1942, No. 1-2, p. 67.
2 Cf. Chapter II, below, pp. 53-54.
8 Archiv fur Wanderungswesen und Auslandskunde, loc. cit.
4 According to the Royal Yugoslav Government Information Centre.
6 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 Apr. 1943.
Cf. below, Chapter II, p. 52.
7 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 Apr. 1943. Industrial workers are reported
to have been sent to the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia.
24 THE DISPLACEMENT otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
This request was met with a firm refusal and it was pointed out
to them that they had a more important national duty to fulfil
where they were.
Towards the summer of 1942 it was announced that the Ger-
mans from Lithuania would be transferred back to their former
homes. To reassure the Lithuanians, a local German paper ex-
plained that the returning Germans would receive the property
of Jews and other members of the non-Lithuanian population. This
apparently includes the Poles, and the reported arrest of many
wealthy Poles in the Wilno district may possibly denote that homes
were being prepared for the returning Germans. 1 According to
official Lithuanian sources, 11,000 of the genuine Germans trans-
ferred to the Reich received permission to return to Lithuania.
On the other hand, all applications from Lithuanians who had
posed as Germans in order to obtain permission to emigrate have
According to the report of the German Resettlement Trust for
1941, the number of persons covered by the repatriation schemes
was 751,400. 2 Of these, 600,000 had actually arrived in Greater
Germany before the end of 1941 or early in 1942. The table opposite
gives a general idea of the geographical origin of the "repatriated"
Germans, and of the main regions where they have been resettled.
It will be noted that the difference between the numbers covered
by the schemes as planned and as executed is accounted for mainly
by the South Tyrolese.
These figures, and especially the total of some 600 T 000 Germans
from abroad transferred to the new German border provinces,
are really impressive. 3 Nevertheless, a closer examination shows
that, in the first place, even the racial aims of the resettlement
scheme were very incompletely attained. Many of those who
were repatriated as being "ethnical Germans" (Volksdeutsche)
were of non-German origin. As mentioned above, many Estonians,
Latvians, and especially Lithuanians, were transferred with the
1 Kauner Zeitung, quoted by Novoye Russkoye Slovo (New York), 5 Sept. 1942.
This is confirmed by a Berlin dispatch to the Stockholm Tidningen, quoted in
Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, Feb. 1943.
2 The report for 1942 mentions as a new task assigned to the German Resettle-
ment Trust the establishment of re-emigrants from non-European countries.
* The report of the German Resettlement Trust for 1942 shows a total of
806,000 persons covered by the repatriation scheme. The increase was due partly
to an enlargement of former groups, partly to the inclusion of German minorities
from new territories: 20,000 from Bosnia, a few thousand from the Leningrad
district, and minor groups from Slovakia and Greece. Some of them were actually
transferred during 1942 and the first months of 1943.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE
REMOVAL, OF GERMAN MINORITIES FROM VARIOUS
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES 1939-1941
Main area of
Estonia and Latvia |
(late comers) j
1 7f* 765
/ / u, / oo
North Tyrol (a
few thousand to
1 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, Nos. 1 and 7.
2 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942. All figures except those for the Tyrolese, the French
and Ljubljana Germans are based on the report of the Deutsche Umsiedlungs-Treuhand-Gesellschaft
(D.U.T.) for the year 1941. The figures for Ljubljana and France are taken from the V&kischer
Beobachter, 4 Apr. 1943.
Baltic Germans, while the Germans themselves have admitted
that the settlers who came to Germany from Soviet-occupied
areas included a number of Ukrainians. The "Bughollander",
too, who were transferred with the Volhynian Germans, were defin-
itely stated to be "as regards the language, utterly degermanised". 1
Secondly, and even more important, the scheme has failed in its
proclaimed object of obtaining better dividing lines between differ-
ent nationalities. German minorities have been transferred from
one non-German area only to be settled in another non-German
area; other minority groups have not been transferred at all, while
deportations and expulsions, as will be seen below, have led to
an even greater mixture of races and peoples than before.
As to the material benefits derived from the newcomers, these
fell far short of the estimates made by National Socialist writers
when the transfer had just begun. It is estimated that by these
Sudost Echo (Vienna), 23 May 1941.
26 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
transfers Germany has gained approximately 275,000 employable
persons. This is a very modest figure compared with the millions
of foreign workers now employed in Germany; and the net gain,
after deducting those who crossed into Soviet territory in accord-
ance with the population exchange provisions of the treaties, must
have been smaller still. In addition to this indirect contribution
to the German war effort, however, the direct utilisation of the
"repatriated" Germans for military service must also be taken
into account, Having been granted German citizenship, they can
be (and in fact have been) enlisted in the army.
There is little doubt that there was a wide discrepancy between
the volume of repatriation which had been expected by many in
Germany and that which actually took place.
Some German authors had interpreted Chancellor Hitler's
speech of 6 October 1939, referred to at the beginning of the present
chapter, as denoting a radical change in the Reich's policy with
regard to German minorities. It was said that "previously, the
basic principle had been to strengthen German minority groups
and to prevent them from weakening. . . Now, however, whole
ethnic groups will have to migrate." 1 For "German people must
have an unbroken living space", and "common blood shall not be
separated by arbitrary frontiers". 2
It was generally assumed that Germany had decided to re-
patriate besides the 130,000 Germans from the Baltic States,
135,000 from Russian-occupied Poland and 220,000 from the
Tyrol all the German minorities from Slovakia (128,000), Yugosla-
via (then numbering some S00,000) 3 , Hungary (480,000) 4 and
There are, however, strong grounds for believing that even at
the outset no break with the traditional German policy in regard
to minorities was contemplated, that the repatriation was purposely
restricted to the Italian and Soviet spheres of interest, and that
German minorities living within the territories of less powerful
states were intended to stay at their posts to serve as the bulwarks
of German expansion. 5
Whatever the reason, no serious attempt to transfer these other
1 W. GRADMANN, in Zeitschrift fur Politik, May 1941, p. 277.
2 H. KRI#G: ibid., Jan.-Feb. 1940. The author claims to formulate in these
words "the ideas repeatedly expressed by the Fiihrer".
8 German sources even gave a figure of 700,000. Cf. Grembote (Bratislava),
19 Feb. 1943.
iy JFeo. iv^. ^ , ,. . TI
4 Four hundred and seventy-eight thousand, according to the Hungarian
Statistical Year Book for 1933. German sources gave the figure as 648,500. Cf.
Nation und Staat, Mar.-Apr. 1939, p. 481.
6 Joseph HANC: Tornado across Eastern Europe (New York, 1942), p. 231.
This is also the opinion which Dr. J. SCHECHTMAN has formed after a thorough
study of the problem. Cf. the manuscript quoted on p. 12 above.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS Off THE GERMAN PEOPLE 27
minorities has in fact been made. On the contrary, the German
Government has used its influence to strengthen the position of
German minorities, and to confer on them the legal status of a
privileged "state within the State".
But with Germany's territorial expansion there came a corres-
ponding change in the whole approach to the problem of Germans
outside the Reich and of Greater Germany. In November 1941
a German economic periodical stated that the Eastern Territories,
from Konigsberg through Warthegau and Upper Silesia to Austria,
would form the future frontier of German settlement, adding, how-
ever, that even beyond this ethnical frontier there would be op-
portunities for Germans to "work and live in the Eastern Territories
under German political and economic leadership". 1 And six months
later a leading German newspaper put the position unambiguously
as follows: "The proportions between space and people have been
reversed. The problem of how to feed a great people in a narrow
space has changed into that of the best way of exploiting the con-
quered spaces with the limited number of people available." 2
German migration towards the conquered territories was then
already in full swing.
MOVEMENTS OF GERMANS FROM THE REICH
The main movement of Germans across the borders of the
Reich has been that of the German armies. Germany is estimated to
have mobilised between nine and ten million men, the great majority
of whom are outside the Reich, principally on the Russian front
since the invasion of the Soviet Union. This is, of course, not a
migration movement in the proper sense. According to a slogan
coined by Chancellor Hitler and frequently repeated by National
Socialist leaders, "the conquests of the German sword must be
consolidated by the plough". The German victories throughout
Europe did not, however, lead to any appreciable volume of German
settlement apart from the resettlement of Germans from abroad,
nor was there any real migratory movement of a nature to enlarge
the settlement area of the German people. There are, of course,
millions of Germans from the Reich in the territories conquered,
annexed or occupied by Germany, but the overwhelming majority
of them are directly connected with the military operations.
Another category consists of persons evacuated to the occupied
territories to escape the air attacks of the United Nations; a great
many of these evacuees, if not the majority, are women and children.
1 Die Wirtschaftskurve, No. 4, Nov. 1941, p. 272.
2 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 22 July 1942.
28 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
The German Colonists
The extension of the area cultivated by the German people was
one of the principal items in the National Socialist programme.
Vigorous propaganda was carried out to further this aim, the ful-
filment of which was to form the basis of the future German econo-
my and to consolidate Germany's military conquests. Since 1940,
National Socialist Party publications have persistently stressed
that " the achievements of the sword can endure only if they are
protected by a human rampart of German people, especially
German peasants, above all in the East". 1 In the spring of 1942
Joseph Buerkel, Gauleiter of Lorraine, announced the same policy
in regard to the West, stating that "only a solid ring of German
settlers around the Reich can provide a durable national frontier". 2
And yet the number of German settlers in the conquered territories
appears to be comparatively small.
The main reason for this clearly lies in the war itself. Mobilisa-
tion has diminished the number of hands available, while the need
for workers in the German economy has increased. The agricultural
population especially has been affected by mobilisation. In the
Reich itself, farms are often managed by women with the help of
prisoners of war or foreign workers. There are therefore no skilled
German farmers to replace the local agriculturists, and the urgent
need for continued agricultural production does not permit of the
use of inexperienced hands.
It was stated in German circles that the programme of German
settlement in the east was deliberately left in the background,
in order that room might be kept for the returning soldiers at the
end of the war; and that in the meantime colonisation could be
carried out only by the repatriation of the Germans from abroad. 3
In Alsace-Lorraine, too, the final settlement plans were said to be
held over until after the war and the return of the soldiers. 4 At
the same time, German . economists themselves acknowledged
that "after a victorious war the rising generation will diminish in
numbers for many years, and certainly until 1947". 5
The basis of this declining supply of manpower is demographic;
the natural loss of the productive population is not made good by
a numerically inferior rising generation. The number of young
1 "German Occupation of Poland", Polish White Book, pp. 184-185.
2 Cf. article by J. BUERKEL, in Frankfurter Zeitung, 24 Apr. 1942.
8 See above, p. 10.
4 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 12, Apr. 1941.
6 Idem, No. 1-2, Jan. 1941.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 29
people entering the labour market yearly had fallen from over
1,300,000 in 1926 to less than 1,100,000 in 1938. German statisti-
cians calculated that, even without the war, there would have
been a further steady decline from 1940 to 1947, resulting in a
reduction of another 20 per cent, to about 900,000. The vast over-
crowding of the labour market in the twenties and early thirties
was produced by a generation born before the war of 1914-1918.
The generation born between 1899 and 1914 was more numerous
than the preceding one, decimated by war, and than the subsequent
ones, reduced by the declining birthrate. This was the generation,
constituting an abnormally high proportion of the population,
which gradually entered the labour market from 1918 to 1933,
and the situation it created was aggravated by the advent of the
great depression. But in the demographic evolution of Germany
this was only a passing phenomenon. There was no rising genera-
tion in the following years to replace those eliminated by the war
of 1914-1918. While the excess of births over deaths in such coun-
tries as Italy and Poland was at the rate of over 9 and 11 per thou-
sand and that of Russia over 12, in Germany it was less than 7 even
if calculated as an average for the years 1933-1939, when exceptional
efforts were made to increase the birth rate. This means that even
without the wastage of war the German population would have
had no surplus for populating new settlement areas.
There is another obstacle to German colonisation projects in
the incorporated territories of the east and west, the areas mainly
affected namely, the competition of German farmers living on the
spot. From the very beginning, the German "land reform" measures
had strengthened the indigenous German element in the incorpora-
ted territories. The local German minorities in the western Polish
provinces as well as in Alsace-Lorraine were the first to profit by
the German measures of expropriation. As will be seen below,
about 1,200,000 Poles and 300,000 Jews were expelled from the
incorporated Polish provinces in 1939-40. l Their undamaged
property was given to the Germans in place of their own, which
had been ruined by the war; small local German landowners and
farmers' younger sons were transferred to more promising farms. 2
From Alsace-Lorraine about another 200,000 persons were expelled,
of whom some 75 per cent, had been farmers, and their land was
used in the first place to enlarge the holdings of the neighbouring
German peasantry. In Lorraine, and even more so in the adjacent
Saar Basin, the land had been parcelled out from generation to
generation into ever smaller fields, and to remedy this situation
1 Cf. below, Chapter II, p. 54.
2 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 28, Oct. 1941.
30 THE DISPLACEMENT Olf POPULATION IN EUROPE
German peasants were transferred from overcrowded areas to the
land confiscated from the farmers of Alsace-Lorraine. 1
As a result, the German settlement schemes did not fulfil the
promises made for them. Among the Germans in the occupied
territories, the colonists were not by any means the dominant
group. The largest farming colony of German settlers from the
Reich, that in Western Poland, numbers only a few tens of thou-
sands. 2 The number of German peasants who settled in Bohemia-
Moravia and Alsace-Lorraine is probably even lower.
After the invasion of the Soviet Union it was announced that
the large stretches of eastern territory occupied would, thanks to
German methods of cultivation and organisation, become the
main granary of the Reich. So far, however, there have been no
reports of any appreciable influx of German settlers. Even in the
case of Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, reports of the expulsion
of Lithuanian peasants from their land, which was handed over
with all its equipment and livestock to German colonists 3 , refer
only to the Memel region, a narrow belt of land on the German
border incorporated into the Reich on 22 March 1939. 4 A class of
German agriculturists often mentioned as immigrating to Lithuania,
as well as to Estonia and Latvia, are overseers, whose mission it is
to improve the methods of farming and to make the local labourers
work, but they are comparatively few in number.
The situation in Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine
(which from October 1939 until the German invasion were under
Russian rule) and in the incorporated territories formerly belonging
to the Soviet Union seems to be no different. Attempts to colonise
these areas have been made by the German authorities, mainly,
no doubt, in the Bialystok region, which was incorporated into the
German province of East Prussia in June 1941 after the invasion
of the Soviet Union, and had therefore, like all the incorporated
territories, to be germanised. The German Ministry of Agriculture
looked for settlers in Germany as well as in the Netherlands and
1 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 12, Apr. 1941. The execution of this plan
was reported to have originally affected 2,500 to 4,000 families.
2 According to Polish sources. Some contribution appears to have been made
by the Hitler Youth to the germanisation of the Warthegau. According to the
Ostdeutscher Beobachter (25 Nov. 1942), during 1942 the number of youth camps
in the Warthegau rose from 11 to 18 and the number of camps for young
women from 14 to 22. Special efforts had also been made to attract suitable
settlers, even among non-Germans, and the training camps had been opened
to Norwegians, Flemings, Netherlanders and Danes. Altogether 900 people were
enrolled. Many of the non-Germans subsequently settled in the towns, but efforts
were made to get the Germans settled on the land.
Izvestia, 11 Nov. 1942, quoting Vilnaer Zeitung.
4 Other reports of the evacuation of Lithuanian homesteads for the benefit of
Germans concern the repatriated Germans who left Lithuania in 1940 and re-
turned in 1942.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 31
Denmark. "Those with proper qualifications were given from 20
to 40 hectares, in special cases even more, of agricultural land in
the East." 1 Information is lacking as to how far the German plan
to obtain settlers from the Reich was successful, the only frequent
references, occurring in particular in the Russian press, being to
agricultural overseers. These "agricultural experts", who have to
act as chairmen of the farms and are responsible for keeping up the
deliveries of produce, are said to number "many thousands". 3
Neither in character nor in number, however, can the entry of
German agricultural immigrants into the Eastern Territories be
characterised as a colonisation movement of the German nation
towards the east.
Officials and N on- Agricultural Workers and Employees
This group of Reich Germans in the occupied territories consists
mainly of civilian auxiliaries to the German army. The great major-
ity are police and other Government officials, employees and workers
on the militarised railways, and overseers, foremen and skilled
workers engaged in building fortifications and armament factories.
With few exceptions, they have been sent under orders and are
performing work to which they have been assigned work directly
serving military needs or the needs of the German war economy.
The number of German officials in the occupied territories, who
are often accompanied by their families, is very large. In the War-
thegau alone they numbered 10,000 in 1941. 3 A German economic
journal, discussing the heavy drain on manpower due to the war,
mentions at the same time, and as though giving equal weight to
each, the demand for labour in the armament industries and for
the administration of the occupied territories. 4 Later, it was stated
that the shortage of officials had been aggravated by the extension
of the area to be administered. 6 Huge numbers are employed in the
ordinary police force and in the political police (Gestapo and S.S.),
and many more in various administrative branches connected with
the German war economy. Thus, for instance, the employment
offices of the Eastern Territories alone (not including Western
Poland and the General Government, enlarged by the addition of
East Galicia) employed 1,700 Germans in the autumn of 1942. 8
Among the workers and salaried employees, many are engaged
1 Central European Observer, 27 Nov. 1942.
* According to the Deutsche Zeitung im Ostland, 30 Aug. 1942, 7,000 young
agricultural instructors were sent from Germany to the Ukraine.
1 Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, June 1942.
4 Wirtschajtsdienst, 1 May 1942.
6 Vdlkischer Beobachter, 19 Sept. 1942.
6 Berliner Bdrsen Zeitung, 11 Sept. 1942.
32 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
in running the more or less militarised railways. In the railway
service of the General Government alone over 7,000 Germans from
the Reich are employed. 1 There are also numbers of German fore-
men and other skilled factory workers. The General Controller of
Labour, Dr. Sauckel, has laid down that German employees and
workers are bound to obey orders to go to work in the occupied
territories. 2 The authorities concerned are advised to be sparing
in their use of German skilled labour, directing it to the occupied
territories mainly in accordance with military requirements.
The influx of Germans of these categories from the Reich was
especially large in Bohemia-Moravia where, as will be seen below,
many Czech officials, railway and tramway employees, and others,
were replaced by incoming Germans.
Another area to which there was much German immigration
was Alsace-Lorraine, whence hundreds of thousands of the local
population had left or been expelled. 3 In both these territories,
however, the shortage of manpower has made it generally impossible
to replace the industrial workers.
Many Germans from the Reich settled among the working
population of the western Polish provinces, in addition to the
Germans tranferred from eastern and south-eastern Europe. As
to the occupied Soviet territories, the problem there was different.
All officials and vast numbers of skilled workers had been evacuated
by the Russians, and the difficulty was to supply these immense
territories with the labour necessary to organise the construction
of fortifications and to restore some of the mines and factories to
working order. Instructions were therefore given that German
craftsmen from the Reich might be employed in the Ukraine, but
only to a limited extent and in ofder to fulfil the tasks which were
most urgent and important for the war effort. 4
Finally, mention must be made of the Reich Germans engaged
in trade and commerce in the occupied countries. A tremendous
volume of business has to be handled by the German firms respon-
sible for the wholesale trade in the occupied countries and in some
of those allied to Germany. The function of the centralised German
wholesale traders in the General Government, for instance, is on the
one hand "to supply the rural population of the regions assigned
to them with necessary goods, particularly with agricultural tools,
fertilisers and important commodities; and on the other to obtain
the agricultural products of these regions and deliver them to be
used'". This task has been entrusted in particular to firms from
1 Krakauer Zeitung, 4 Sept. 1942.
2 Reichsarbeitsblatl, 5 Aug. 1942, No, 21, Part I, p. 850,
3 See Chapter II, pp. 70-75.
* P.N.B., 21 Nov. 1942.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 33
Hamburg, Bremen and other Hanseatic cities which had lost their
overseas trade because of the British blockade. "South-eastern
Europe is already covered with a network of German firms, especi-
ally those from Bremen and Hamburg, which have established
branches in Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Rumania, Bul-
garia, Greece and Turkey, and have organised a vast exchange of
goods between these countries and Germany. " The experience
acquired here was later utilised in occupied Russia. Furthermore,
Hanseatic shippers and forwarding agencies established branches
in Riga and Reval (Tallinn), while other German firms were engaged
in tobacco and cotton production and other businesses in the Bal-
kans and the Ukraine. 1 Nevertheless, the number of Germans
working abroad in commercial undertakings should not be over-
estimated, since it must be remembered that retail trade, which
commonly absorbs the great majority of the people engaged in
commerce, is left in the hands of local merchants.
Refugees and Evacuees
All the movements of Germans from the Reich described above
are controlled by the German Government in accordance with the
necessities of war. In 1942, however, a new turn in military events
caused mass dislocation of a different kind among the German
population. This was the evacuation resulting from the bombing
of German cities. About the beginning of 1942 there were already
reports of the removal of many factories from the Ruhr to Austria
in order to escape British air raids. 2 Then came the heavy bombing
of Cologne and other industrial centres in the Rhineland and the
Ruhr, as well as on the sea coast, and the removal of factories and
the evacuation and flight of the population began on a grand scale.
The first reports spoke of a general exodus from the cities of the
Rhineland and other heavily bombed regions, reminiscent of scenes
on the French roads two years earlier. In some cases it was an aim-
less wandering into the open country to escape the horrors of the
raids, but many such refugees definitely left their homes. Later,
this haphazard flight of people in fear was transformed into organis-
ed evacuation, and women and children were removed in an orderly
manner to safer regions. At the same time the more difficult task
was undertaken of transferring industrial workers together with
the factories where they had been employed. The number of refu-
1 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 20, July 1942. This same periodical had
reported in Nov. 1941 that forty firms formerly engaged in overseas trade were
operating in the General Government. Wirtschaftsdienst, No. 2, 9 Tan. 1942,
reported that German overseas firms, especially Hanseatic houses, whicn had been
operating in the General Government for two years, had been entrusted with the
wholesale trade in Western Bielorussia and the Western
1 New York Times, 2 Jan. 1942,
34 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
gees from Cologne, the first heavily bombed city, was estimated
at WOjOOO. 1 Large numbers are reported to have left Aachen,
Diisseldorf and Mainz on the Rhine, the industrial cities of Wup-
pertal, Essen, Solingen and Dortmund in the Rhine-Ruhr region 2 ,
Munster and Bielefeld in Northern Westphalia, Bremen, Hamburg
and Wilhelmshaven 3 on the North Sea, and the Baltic ports of
Kiel, Liibeck and Rostock.
A rough estimate of the number of these evacuees can be made
on the basis of a report of the German Extended Child Evacuation
Scheme issued in October 1942. According to this report, no less
than 1,700 special trains, besides other means of transportation,
were used to remove women and children from the danger zones.
German press reports gave the number of evacuated children alone
as 1,300,000. 4 This does not include those who travelled by road or
took ordinary trains on their own initiative. Furthermore, many
workers were removed with the factories where they had been em-
ployed. All these would add up to millions. An estimate of over
two million for the end of 1942 might be considered conservative and
must have been by far surpassed, after the heavy bombings of 1943.
The Child Evacuation Scheme selected reception areas in safe
districts of the Reich, as well as in Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Denmark, and the Protectorate. Reports about other refugees
mention different regions where they took shelter. The hotels of
Berlin were reported to be crowded with them. 5 Many went to
Bavaria and South Baden and other parts of the Reich more remote
from the bombed areas, but great masses seem to have taken refuge
in occupied or allied countries. Austria 6 , Bohemia-Moravia, and
Alsace-Lorraine are often mentioned in this connection. During
1 This was reported by the London correspondent of the New York Times,
23 July 1942, on the basis of a "reliable foreign source". The Moscow radio
estimated the number of refugees at 200,000.
2 According to recent reports from London and Berne, the evacuation of
3,000,000 persons not essential to the Ruhr's industries was ordered in June 1943,
more than 1,000,000 having already moved (New York Times, 25, 26 and 27 June
1943). In Aug. 1943 hundreds of thousands more left Hamburg and Berlin.
8 According to a Swedish Press report, quoted by the New York Times, 3
Mar. 1943, all women and children were evacuated from Wilhelmshaven by
4 The normal period of evacuation was said to be 6 to 9 months. It was added,
however, that the camps in which children over 10 years were housed (those under
10 years having been billetted with families) "were not necessarily temporary
structures" (Vdlkischer Beobachter, 24 Sept. and 17 Oct. 1942). In any case, the
limited period for which the children were housed does not mean that they were
all sent home afterwards. This would rather have been an exception in cases
where children were housed during repairs, the area itself not being considered
as endangered. In the ordinary way, the children would have been housed until
their parents had established themselves elsewhere.
6 Izvestia, 26 July 1942.
1 Thirteen thousand families in Vienna, according to an Overseas News
Agency (O.N.A.) report from Berne, 9 June 1943; 7,000 children and mothers in
Styria from Cologne alone, according to a German press report.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 35
the summer and autumn of 1942, a large number sought refuge in
Paris. The first wave, coming mainly from Cologne, was followed
by 30,000 more from the Rhineland; they settled in the suburbs
of Paris. Another 20,000 were established in Dijon and 10,000
more were expected in Chaion-sur-Marne. 1 Even the Netherlands 2
and Belgium 1 , so easily accessible to the raiders, were chosen for the
evacuation of children and attracted goodly numbers of fleeing
Germans. In Slovakia, the large increase in the German population
is probably to be attributed to the influx of refugees. In regard to
Poland, there is definite information concerning 50,000 German
children sent to the General Government from the parts of the
Reich most subject to Allied air raids. 4 Furthermore, it is reported
that in Warsaw many refugees from the Rhineland took over the
dwellings of Poles who had been forcibly moved to the outskirts
of the city. 6 German refugees were to be found even as far afield
as Kiev and Athens.
Factories from the bombed areas, together with their skilled
workers, were reported to have been moved to southern Germany,
the Protectorate and Poland, as well as to Norway (where, for
instance, a section of the famous chemical works, /. G. Farben,
was established) and to the occupied Soviet territories.
It is difficult to estimate the total number of Germans from the
Reich in the territories occupied or controlled by Germany, but
some of the information available may be quoted to give an idea
of the volume of this immigration into certain countries.
The first big influx of Germans went to Bohemia-Moravia,
mainly to Prague. The best modern apartment houses were cleared
of their Czech tenants for German occupation; the best suburbs
were transformed into German residential quarters. The total
number of Germans in Prague was estimated in spring 1942 at
200,000. Pilsen and Brno also received numerous immigrants
and even many smaller towns witnessed the rise of German colonies.
* Pour la Victoire (New York), 17 Oct. 1942.
1 Netherlands News, 11/25 Nov. 1942.
8 It was reported that evacuees from heavily bombed areas in western Ger-
many had gone to live in Brussels, thus creating a housing shortage there (News
from Belgium, 14 Nov. 1942). Furthermore, construction of barracks in the Belgo-
German frontier area for evacuees from the Ruhr has been reported (idem, 3 Apr.
1943). In July 1943, 30,000 Ruhr workers were reported transferred to Luxemburg.
4 Krakauer Zeitung, 15 Oct. 1942. More groups of children were reported to
have been sent at the beginning of 1943 to the Tatra Mountains on the Slovenian
frontier (idem, 3 Mar. 1943).
6 Nowy Swiat, 22 Sept. 1942 (O.N.A. report from Zurich).
8 According to the Czechoslovak Information Service. Cf . also Eug. V. ERDELBY:
Germany's First European Protectorate (London, 1942), p. 244, and Rene* KRAUS:
Europe in Revolt (1942), pp. 244-245, where an influx of 250,OOOjGermans to Prague
36 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
Since then, the influx of refugees from bombed areas has con-
siderably increased this total.
A hint of the extent of immigration into Slovakia may be gleaned
from the increase in the German population there. Before the Ger-
mans occupied Bohemia-Moravia and obtained control of Slovakia,
the German press usually referred to the Germans in Slovakia as
numbering about 128, 000. l In 1940, after the dismemberment of
Slovakia, the figure of only 79,000 2 was given, whereas a figure
of 160,000 has since been reported. 3 If these figures are reliable,
they would seem to indicate recent German immigration which
may well consist of refugees from the bombed areas.
Another area into which there has been considerable German
immigration is Alsace-Lorraine. In November 1940 German author-
ities declared that about 200,000 Germans were to move into Lor-
raine. No information is available as to the carrying out of this
programme, but there can be little doubt that the figure announced
was reached and, taking Alsace and Lorraine together, even exceed-
ed, particularly when it is remembered that these provinces had
lost something like 500,000 of their French-speaking population. 4
Some idea of the number of Germans residing in other parts of
France may be obtained from a report from Stockholm that 100,000
Germans in Paris were being trained on Sundays in street fighting
and other forms of partisan warfare. 5 This despatch refers to
"German civilians holding positions in various Reich administra-
tions in Paris". But even assuming that the figure quoted above
includes all the male Germans in the Paris region not belonging
to the army of occupation, the total of Germans, including women
and children, in France (excluding Alsace-Lorraine) would be at
least twice as large.
Numerous incidental reports also suggest an extensive German
infiltration into the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Norway. 6
Early in 1943 a German source 7 announced that "more than
400,000 Germans from the old Reich were induced to settle down
in Warthegau by the favourable opportunities offered to them
1 Der Deutsche im Ostland, Jan. 1939: "Volksdeutscher Aufbau im Ostland".
2 Franz RIEDI,: Das Deutschtum zwischen Pressburg und Bartfeld, 1940 (publish-
ed by the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut). This figure is approved by Archivfur Wan-
derungswesenundAuslandskunde(No. 1-2, 1941, p. 52) as "probably approximately
8 Berliner Illustrierte Nachrichten, 8 Oct. 1942.
4 Cf. Chapter II, below, p. 75.
5 New York Times, 31 Aug. 1942.
8 According to a statement of the Norwegian labour leader, Martin Tranma*!,
there are at present about 400,000 Germans, military and civilian, in Norway
(Swedish Press, 14 Apr. 1943). Preparations for a German influx have been
reported from Kristiansund (Gtoteborgs-Posten, 3 Apr. 1943).
7 Transocean broadcast, 31 Jan. 1943.
MIGRATION MOVEMENTS OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE 37
there". It seems probable, however, that this migration was due
not only to the attraction of the inducements offered, but also to
the expulsive force of the Anglo-American bombing.
The influx into Danzig -West Prussia and Silesia was, of
course, much smaller. Yet even assuming that it amounted only
to a quarter of the immigrants into Warthegau, i.e. 100,000, the
total of Reich Germans in the incorporated Polish provinces would
amount to half a million.
As to the General Government, apart from the 50,000 evacuated
children noted above, information is available for Cracow, where
the German population increased from 500 in 1933 to 24,800 in
August 1942. l Plans made by the Governor of Warsaw for the
evacuation of 40,000 apartments in the Polish capital in order to
make room for Germans have also been reported. 2 The completion
of this scheme, which had already been begun, would mean an
influx of about 200,000 Germans.
The total number of Germans from the Reich in the occupied
parts of the Soviet Union is undoubtedly large. No credit can be
attached, however, to a report that there are in Kiev about 300,000
Germans, including both foremen and skilled workers transferred
there to operate factories and evacuees from bombed areas. This
report is not confirmed by any other source, and it is implicitly
contradicted by another report of about the same date from Kiev,
which described living conditions in the city in detail without men-
tioning the presence of a number of German immigrants large
enough to double its decimated population. 3 If the figure of 300,000
has any basis at all, it can only apply to all Germans from the Reich
in the whole of German-occupied territory east of the General
The table following gives a tentative estimate of the number
of Reich Germans in some occupied and allied territories into which
they have probably immigrated in the largest numbers. The table
is based on the figures quoted in the text, allowing for an
estimated number of 1,000,000 German refugees abroad evacuated
from the bombed areas to cover those who have not been included
in any other group. The object of the table is only to give a rough
idea of German civilian emigration and its distribution, and the
estimates given are rather conservative than the reverse.
1 According to the German-published Russian paper, Novoye Slovo (Berlin),
quoted by Novoye Russkoye Slovo (New York), 24 Aug. 1942.
2 Nowy Swiat, 22 Sept. 1942 (O.N.A. dispatch from Zurich).
8 Novoye Russkoye Slovo, 30 Dec. 1942. The report states that "only houses
occupied by Germans are heated". The word 'only' would be strange if it covered
the apartments of half the city's population, especially as mention is made of
"hospitals overcrowded with wounded German soldiers".
38 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
Country or region N - ^erman
Alsace-Lorraine ............................... 300,000
Other parts of France ............................ 200,000
Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway ........... 200,000
Bohemia-Moravia .............................. 400,000
Slovakia ...................................... 80,000
Incorporated Polish Provinces .................... 500,000
General Government ............................ 300,000
Other German-occupied Eastern Territories .......... 300,000
The total number of German civilians from the Reich abroad,
including south-eastern Europe and the neutral countries, must
therefore be in the neighbourhood of 2,500,000.
MAP I. TRANSFER OF GERMAN MINORITIES
NOTE : The arrows indicate the area of origin,
the area of resettlement and the numerical
importance of the various German minority
groups transferred up to 1942 under agree-
ments concluded between the Reich and the
Governments concerned. For fuller explana-
tions and for sources of figures, see chapter I,
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS
PRE-WAR REFUGEE MOVEMENTS
The population movements described in the present chapter
are largely the continuation and extension of the forced migrations
characteristic of Europe during the pre-war years, when they arose
successively in all the countries which came under a totalitarian
When National Socialism came into power in Germany in 1933,
Europe had barely finished disposing of the refugee problem be-
queathed by the first world war. The problem of the Greek refugees
from Asia Minor had been solved by a huge population transfer carried
out under the Treaty of Lausanne of 30 January 1923. Three
hundred and eighty-eight thousand Moslems were transferred
from Greek territory to Turkey in exchange for 800,000 persons
of Greek origin who had left Turkey at the time of the Smyrna
defeat 1 , and many others who migrated between 1922 and 1924
from Eastern Thrace, Anatolia and Istanbul. The total of
Greek refugees, including some tens of thousands from Russia
and Bulgaria, has been estimated at 1,300,000. 2
The problem of Russian refugees had taken longer to solve.
From 1918 to 1922 there had been a considerable stream of emigra-
tion from Russia; from Southern Russia, through Siberia, over
the frontiers of the Baltic countries, of Rumania, and especially
of Poland, the civil war and the revolution had caused the departure
of a very large number of military personnel and civilians, variously
estimated at anything between 900,000 and 2,900,000 8 , the most
probable figure being 1 ,500,000. Most of these refugees, however, had
1 Sir John HOPE SIMPSON: The Refugee Problem (London, 1939), pp. 14 and 26.
*Idem, p. 17.
* The first figure is given by Dr. ISJUMOV who made an enquiry for Sir John
HOPE SIMPSON (op. cit., pp. 80, 82), the latter by H. von RIMSCHA, in Der russische
Bilrgerkrieg und die russische Emigration (Jena, 1924), pp. 50-51, on the basis of
the figures for refugees assisted by the American Red Cross. Soviet authors
estimated the total of refugees at 2,000,000. Cf. E. Z. VOLKOV: Dinamika naro-
donaseleniya S.S.S.R. za vosemdesiat let (1930), p. 185; N.P. OGANOVSKY: Ocherki
po economicheskoi geographii S.S.S.R. (2nd edition, 1924), p. 71; P. T. JURID and
N. A. KOVAI,EVSKY: Economicheskaya geographiya S.S.S.R., Vol. 1, 1934, pp. 73
and 78. The same figure is given by Russian emigre* authors; cf. B. NIKITINE,
in Revue des Sciences Politiques, 1922, II, p. 191; and V. K. DAVATZ and N. N.
Lvov: Russkaya armiya na chuzhbine, 1923, p. 12.
40 THE DISPI, A CEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
ultimately managed to settle in the country of their choice in
Europe or elsewhere, and the problem might have been regarded
as solved had not the unemployment crisis and the restrictions
placed on the employment of foreigners suddenly revived it.
From 1933 onwards the refugee problem assumed a different
aspect. At that date there began a series of forced migrations, the
prelude to the mass displacements of non-German peoples which
Europe has witnessed since the beginning of the present war. The
National Socialist revolution in Germany caused the flight of many
Germans compromised by their previous political activities, while
others left the country to escape from a regime founded on theories
they could not accept. But the great majority of the refugees were
Jews who were gradually forced to leave by persecution and by
their exclusion from every form of economic activity.
The first panic flight of refugees followed immediately on the
establishment of the National Socialist Government. The second
came after the promulgation of the anti-Jewish Niirnberg laws of
IS September 1935, and the third after the annexation of Austria
and the pogroms of November 1938. At first, France and other
European countries opened their frontiers to the refugees and
temporary facilities were given for emigration to Palestine. Later,
however, European countries, still in the throes of the world de-
pression, raised difficulties to their entry, while restrictions were
also placed on admission to Palestine. Moreover, the process of
leaving Germany, was complicated by the Reich's financial policy
towards emigrants, which in the years immediately preceding the
war practically amounted to complete expropriation. While en-
couraging the departure of Jews, the German Government endea-
voured at the same time to confiscate everything they possessed.
The refugees were not allowed to take with them either money,
jewelry, furs, furniture, or the tools of their trade. The normal
difficulties involved in liquidating property in a hurry were increased
by special regulations. The emigrant had to pay a u flight tax"
of 25 per cent., and the remainder of his property was put in a
blocked account which could be used only for payments in Germany.
In order to transfer his blocked marks abroad, the refugee had
to sell them to the Reich's Golddiskontobank, which in 1938 paid
only 9 to 14 per cent, of their value, so that in the end he received
only about 8 per cent, of the proceeds of the sale of his property.
In spite of all these obstacles, however, a great many persons,
both Jews and others, were able to emigrate from Germany.
According to the census of 1933, Germany then had a Jewish popula-
tion of 499,700, to which must be added 3,100 Jews from the Saar
(census of July 1933), giving a total of 503,000. Sir Herbert
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 41
Emerson, High Commissioner for Refugees, has estimated the entire
number of Jews who left Germany between April 1933 and 1 July
1939 at 215,000. l Adding emigration during the months of July
and August, the total would be about 226,000.
On 12 March 1938 Austria was annexed by Germany, and the
application of the anti- Jewish policy to the 180,000 2 Austrian
Jews followed immediately. "The effect was more catastrophic
than in Germany, because a process spread over five years in
Germany was carried out in a few months in Austria. The whole
programme, built up by a series of administrative and legal measures
in Germany, was applied at one blow to Austria." 3 The new wave
of emigration was, however, restricted by "the impossibility for
the refugee to take out even the minimum of resources to keep
him going until he could find his feet, and because frontiers had
been closed against immigration. The way out for many in Vienna
was not emigration, but suicide." 4 Nevertheless the Jewish exodus
from Austria was even on a relatively larger scale than from
Germany. Sir Herbert Emerson estimated the number of Jews
who emigrated from Austria up to 1 July 1939 at 97,000, and up
to the outbreak of war the total would probably be about 106, 000. 5
After the Munich agreement German rule was gradually ex-
tended over Czechoslovak territory. The annexation of the Sudeten-
land on 1 October 1938 provoked a mass flight from this territory to
unoccupied Bohemia-Moravia. Among the refugees there were
again a great number of Jews, estimated at a total of 17,000 6 , this
constituting the great majority of the Jewish population of the
Sudetenland which numbered 23,000. In the following March
the mutilated remains of Bohemia-Moravia were also occupied.
Even before the occupation, Jewish emigration started on a large
scale. The number of settled Jews in unoccupied Bohemia-Moravia
was about 90,000 7 , and to them must be added 17,000 refugees
1 International Assistance to Refugees: Supplementary Report Submitted to the
Twentieth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the League of Nations by Sir Herbert
Emerson, High Commissioner for Refugees, 20 Oct. 1939 (LEAGUE OF NATIONS,
A. 18 (a), 1939. XII).
2 Report of the Jewish Community of Vienna on Emigration, Retraining and
Social Care, 2 May 193831 July 1939.
3 Sir John HOPE SIMPSON: op. cit., p. 126.
4 Idem, p. 141.
6 Der Deutsche Volkswirt, 7 Feb. 1941, gave the figure of 105,000 Jewish emi-
grants from Austria up to the census of May 1939. According to the report of
the Jewish Community of Vienna, 104,000 Jews left Vienna (where almost all
Austrian Jews were then concentrated) up to 31 July 1939, including 1,680 who
went to Germany. The report of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Com-
mittee states that up to the end of 1939 about 124,000 Jews had escaped from
6 According to the Institute of Jewish affairs.
7 The Czechoslovak census of 1930 shows 117,600 Jews in Bohemia, Moravia
and Czechoslovak Silesia. From this number must be deducted 23,000 in the
Sudetenland and a few thousand in Silesia, occupied by Poland.
42 THE DISPLACEMENT 0$ POPULATION IN EUROPE
from the Sudetenland and some 15,000 from Germany and Austria. 1
The number of Jews who emigrated from Bohemia-Moravia up to
I July 1939 is estimated by Sir Herbert Emerson at 17,000, con-
sisting almost entirely of Jews who had fled at an earlier date from
Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland* According to an estimate
of the Institute of Jewish Affairs, legal and illegal emigration during
the year 1 October 19381 October 1939 amounted to some 39,000.
The total Jewish emigration from Greater Germany between
April 1933 and 1 July 1939 was estimated by Sir Herbert Emerson
at 329,000. According to the figures given above, it must have
amounted to between 360,000 and 370,000 up to the outbreak of
These figures refer only to confessional Jewish refugees. From
the National Socialist standpoint the Jewish problem is a question
of race and not of religion, and the anti-Jewish laws are applied also
to other so-called "non-Aryans" i.e., to Christians of Jewish or
partly Jewish origin so that German policy also provoked the
emigration of "non- Aryan 1 ' Christians. Furthermore, many
II Aryans" emigrated also for political reasons, especially immedi-
ately after Chancellor Hitler assumed power. The Gestapo evalu-
ated their number in 1933-1934 at 20,000 (the number of Jewish
emigrants being given as 90,000). Mr. James G. McDonald, High
Commissioner of the League of Nations for German Refugees,
estimated in his letter of resignation that the non-Jews, including
political emigrants and non -Aryan Christians, constituted IS to 20
per cent, of the total number of refugees in 1935. Taking into
consideration the Christian refugees as well as the emigration
since 1 July 1939, Sir Herbert Emerson estimated in his report of
20 October 1939 that a total of 400,000 refugees had left Greater
Germany since 1933. 2
By no means all the refugees who fled from Greater Germany
escaped from persecution. Many of them went to countries which
subsequently came under German domination during the war. 8
1 On 1 Aug. 1939 there were 14,800 Jewish refugees in the Protectorate
(not including those from the Sudetenland), according to the official statistics
reported by the Jewish Community of Prague.
2 Apart from the Jewish refugees, the High Commissioner's supplementary
report of 20 Oct. 1939 mentions about 20,000 Czechs and political refugees from
the Sudetenland. The Reich Statistical Office gives the figure of 400,000 as a
rough estimate of the number of refugees up to the census of May 1939 (Wirtschaft
und Statistik, Nos, 5-6 and 20, 1940).
8 The distribution of German refugees at certain dates up to the end of 1937
is shown by Sir John HOPE SIMPSON'S diagrams and tables. For the period after
1937 information is contained in the reports of the American Jewish Joint Distri-
bution Committee for the years 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 and the first five months
of 1942, the annual reports of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigration Aid Society
(Footnote continued on next Page.)
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 43
Palestine was the only overseas country of importance for im-
migration purposes during the early years. Later, the refugee
colonies in the countries of Western Europe were scattered all over
the world, while a growing current of overseas emigration also went
directly from Germany. In December 1937 about 60 per cent, of
the total number of refugees, estimated at 154,000, were in oversea
countries, the proportions being as follows: Palestine (27.2 per
cent.), United States (17.1 per cent.), South America (13.4 per cent.),
South Africa (3.1 per cent.).
The increased emigration to the United States and to Latin
America could not, however, absorb the new wave of refugees
which rose after the annexation of Austria and the pogroms of
November 1938. Once again masses of Jews fled to France, Belgium,
the Netherlands and other neighbouring countries. In December
1939 the percentage of German refugees in overseas countries was
nearly the same as two years before (about 55 per cent.). But in
view of the increased total of Jewish refugees from Greater Germany
over 360,000 this indicated that over 160,000 refugees still
remained in Europe. Of this number, some 50,000 were in Great
Britain, and, in countries which have remained neutral 1 , the others
some 110,000 were in countries which came under German
occupation or became Germany's allies in the course of the war. 2
Only a few thousands of the German refugees in these countries
succeeded in emigrating from Europe before the German offensive
(Hias) and Hias-Ica Emigration Association (Hicem), the reports of the Jewish
Communities and Committees presented to the Joint-Hicem conference held
in Paris on 24 Aug. 1939 (these reports, which give the numbers of Jewish refugees
in some European countries on 1 Aug. 1939, have been consulted by courtesy of
I. Dijour, Executive Secretary of the Hias-Ica Emigration Association), the
report of the Vienna Jewish Community (with a map illustrating the dispersal
of the Vienna Jews over the world), the German statistics of overseas emigration
in 1935-1939 (Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 18), and the statistics of immi-
gration into the United States and Palestine. Cf. also I. DIJOUR: "Jewish Emi-
gration from Europe in the Present War", in Jivo Bleter (Journal of the Yiddish
Scientific Institute), Vol. XIX, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1942, pp. 145-156; Arieh TARTA-
KOWER: "The Jewish Refugees' 1 , in Jewish Social Studies, Vol. IV, No. 4, 1942,
pp. 311-348; American Jewish Year Book, Vols. 43 and 44 (New York, 1941-1942);
and Marc WISHNITZER: "Migration of Jews", in The Universal Jewish Encyclo-
pedia, Vol. VII. It should be borne in mind that many German Jews arrived in
the United States not directly from Germany, but via other European countries,
while others entered not as immigrants but as visitors.
1 On 1 Aug. 1939 there were 42,600 refugees in Great Britain and 2,500
assisted refugees in Switzerland, according to the reports of the Jewish Communi-
ties and Committees.
2 On 1 Aug. 1939 there were 71,000 refugees in France, 14,000 assisted refugees
in Belgium and 300 refugees in Luxemburg, according to the same source. The
figure of 71,000 seems to include also Russian Jewish refugees who had entered
France long before the war. The report of the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee for 1939 gives the number of refugees from Greater Germany in Dec.
1939 as 38,000. The total of refugees in Belgium was 25,000 and in the Nether-
lands 23,000, according to Max GOTTSCHAUC, President of the Hias-Ica Emigra-
tion Association (Hicem), in American Jewish Year Book, Vol. 43, p. 324.
44 THg DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
of May 1940 and later (up to November 1942), mainly from the
unoccupied part of France; others escaped to England. The rest
were submerged in the mass of the Jewish population of Nazi-
dominated Europe and shared their fate.
Another mass movement of refugees in the pre-war period came
from Spain. The Civil War at first gave rise to a tremendous in-
ternal movement of population fleeing before General Franco's
advance; in August 1938 the Catalonian Government stated that
there were 2,000,000 refugees on Republican territory. 1 The sub-
sequent conquest of Catalonia by General Franco led to a mass
movement across the frontier. The Republican army retreated
into French territory together with a crowd of civilian refugees;
a report presented to a committee of the French Parliament stated
that there were a total of 450,000 Spanish refugees in France, in-
cluding 220,000 belonging to the Republican army. A return
movement to Spain started in September 1939. Other refugees,
in particular Basques, emigrated to Latin America; still others
were able to find employment in France, especially in agriculture
and in the metal-working industries. At the end of 1939 the French
Government was supporting 51,400 Spanish civilians and 71,300
militiamen, 2 In February 1940 the French Minister of the Interior,
Albert Sarraut, stated that there remained in France 140,000
Spanish refugees. About 300,000 had left France, between 20,000
and 25,000 having gone to Latin America while the rest had re-
turned to Spain.
Thus the events which took place from 1933 to 1939 left the
countries of Europe at the outbreak of the war with a heritage of
some 300,000 political, religious and racial refugees 160,000 from
Greater Germany and 140,000 from Spain to whom must be added
the Czechs and Slovaks expelled from their homes as a consequence
of the dismemberment of the Czechoslovak Republic. 3
With the outbreak of war a new period of population displace-
ment began. The hostilities did not at first completely put an end
to overseas emigration from Germany and Nazi-dominated coun-
tries, which continued, though on a very restricted scale, even after
the United States had entered the war. The total number of Jews
who emigrated from Europe during the war may be estimated at
about 135,000, of whom some 65,000 went to the United States,
about 30,000 to Latin America, 35,000 to Palestine and 5,000 to
other overseas countries. A further 15 or 20 thousand went to the
1 Sir John HOPE SIMPSON: op. cit., p. 164.
The I.L.O. Year-Book, 1939-40, pp. 227-228.
1 Cf . below, pp. 46-48.
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 45
neutral countries, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland. 1 Finally, between
10,000 and 12,000 were reported to be in North Africa; since the
arrival of the British-American army, these are now being released
from the camps in which they had been interned. 2 To all these must
be added the non-confessional Jews and the "Aryan" refugees.
Assuming that they constituted 20 per cent, of the whole number
of refugees 8 , the total would be about 200,000.
After the Franco-German armistice an attempt was also made
to evacuate Spanish refugees overseas. Negotiations between
France and Mexico led to an agreement for the transfer of a large
number of them, but for various reasons this agreement could not
be carried out. In the summer of 1941 it was reported that the
Vichy Government had sent Spanish internees to French North
African possessions for employment on the Trans-Saharan Rail-
way and other construction work. 4 The number remaining at
the time of the occupation of North Africa by the British-Ameri-
can forces was slightly over 3,000. 5
But while, as more and more countries have become involved
in the war, overseas emigration has gradually dwindled to what is
now virtually a standstill, mass displacements of population within
the European continent have been taking place among the peoples
of the countries invaded by Germany. The war itself, invasion,
bombing, have led to the flight or evacuation of millions. As a
corollary to the transfers of German populations described in the
According to recent information there are about 11,000 foreign refugees
in Switzerland. Estimates as to the number of refugees in Spain vary from be-
tween seven and eight thousand the estimate of the U.S. Department of State
and 18,000 the estimate of the Spanish Government (COMMON COUNCIL FOR
AMERICAN UNITY: Interpreter Releases, Vol. XX, No. 9, Series A, Immigration,
No. 3, 19 Mar. 1943). According to the latest figures issued by the Social Board,
there are in Sweden, apart from slightly over 9,000 Norwegians, 2,400 refugees
from Germany and 1,300 others (Swedish Press, 5 Mar. 1943). All these figures
which indicate the current position naturally include pre-war refugees as well.
2 J.D.C. Digest, Feb. 1943.
8 Some figures may be quoted to substantiate this estimate. In 1939-1940,
1,640 non-Jews arrived from Germany in the U.S., representing 7.5 per cent, of
the total of immigrants coming directly from Germany. In 1939-1940 and 1940-
1941, among the immigrants into the U.S. from France, Belgium, Holland and
Luxemburg, there were 3,200, or 24 per cent., non-Jews. The proportion in the
emigration to the Congo, Curacao, etc., may have been even higher (I. DIJOUR:
loc. cit., pp. 147-148). On the other hand, not all non-Jewish emigrants were poli-
tical or racial refugees. The percentage of non-Jews among the Polish war refugees
in transoceanic countries varies from 10 per cent. (Shanghai) to 40 per cent.
(Brazil), according to Polish sources. It has also to be remembered that the
important emigration to Palestine was purely Jewish.
4 New York Times, 15 June and 6 July 1941.
6 According to an announcement of the Joint Commission for Political Prison-
ers and Refugees in French North and West Africa (New York Times, 6 Apr. 1943).
Other estimates are substantially higher. Cf. Aufbau (New York), 22 Jan. 1943,
and New York Post, 6 Apr. 1943. It has been reported that the Mexican Govern-
ment will admit the Spanish refugees and that approximately 1,500 of them
wish to emigrate.
46 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
preceding chapter, local populations have been deported to make
room for the newcomers. More mass expulsions have been carried
out by Germany's allies in the territories of the defeated countries
they have annexed. Population transfers and population exchanges
have been organised by treaty or imposed following frontier changes.
All these movements, which are often interdependent and
difficult to disentangle from one another, are described together
in the first part of this chapter for each of the countries affected.
There is one class of deportations, however, which for the sake of
clearness has been dealt with separately because it reveals a definite
design pursued by Germany or under German influence throughout
Axis-occupied and Axis-controlled Europe; this is the deportation
of Jews, which is described in the second part of the chapter.
MOVEMENTS OP PEOPLES OTHER THAN JEWS
The Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia.
The proclamation made by the Fiihrer on 16 March 1939, just
after the occupation of Prague, began with the words: "Bohemia
and Moravia have for a thousand years belonged to the living
space of the German people 1 '. This claim was given political reality
by Chancellor Hitler's Decree of 16 March, the first article of which
laid down that Bohemia and Moravia "belong henceforth to the
territory of the Greater German Reich". Since then the Germans
have been persistently trying to establish themselves in the country
of the Czechs, not only politically and economically but also demo-
Within the framework of a general scheme for the removal of
the Czech population and resettlement of the area by Germans,
the region of Moravska-Ostrava was to serve as a bridgehead for
German ethnical penetration. German language corridors were
to be cut across Bohemia and Moravia to isolate the Czechs from
the Slovaks and to separate Bohemia from Moravia. The forma-
tion of a ring of German settlements round Prague was to complete
this programme for the dismemberment of the Czechoslovak nation
and people. In fulfilment of the scheme, more than 10,000 workers
from the Czech mines and smelting works of Moravska-Ostrava
were sent to Germany. In addition, 6,000 Jews from the same
region were deported to Poland. 1
About a hundred Czech villages were evacuated, some of them
just after the outbreak of the war and others in 1940: forty-two in
1 Cf. below, p. 98, note 2.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 47
north-eastern Moravia (Vyskov district), the others in the Elbe
Valley (Melnik district), near Pilsen (Chrastava district) and in
the neighbourhood of Prague, in order to surround the capital
with a "Germanic Iron Circle . 1 The expelled Czech peasants
(estimated at 70,000) were replaced by German settlers. 2 There
is some doubt as to how many German settlers have been moved
in, since the settlement scheme met with various difficulties. For
one thing, it threatened the labour supply of the Czech munition
industries, and for another, German agriculturists refused to transfer
in sufficient numbers to replace the highly efficient Czech farmers.
As a result, the settlement scheme was abandoned for the time
German immigration on a grand scale came later and was
of quite a different social composition, being mainly urban in
character. The advance guard consisted of German Gestapo, SS
men, and other officials, but as the programme of germanisation
proceeded the influx grew steadily greater. New German officials
were constantly being appointed and naturally brought their
families with them; this process of substituting German for local
officials was promoted by a Decree of July 1939 requiring that
negotiations between Czech authorities and the " Protectorate
Department" must be conducted in German exclusively. Many
of the Czech railwaymen were replaced by Germans. In Prague
and Brno, the majority of Czech tramway conductors were dis-
missed and their places taken by Germans, on the pretext that the
Czechs could not properly pronounce the new German names of
the streets. Even students from all parts of the Reich were sent
to the reopened German University of Prague. 8 But German
immigration was mainly swelled from 1941 onwards as a result of
the bombing of German cities; factories, workers, women and
children were evacuated to the Protectorate.
The overwhelming majority of German immigrants came
from the old Reich, especially from Prussia, and not from Austria.
On the other hand, the majority of emigrating Czech workers went
to Austria, the largest colony being in Linz. 4 There has been there-
1 Bug. V. ERDELEY: op. cit., pp. 239-244; Rene* KRAUS: op. cit., pp. 344-345;
New York Herald Tribune, 20 Feb. 1940. No information is available as to the
present whereabouts of these expelled Czech peasants.
a The rumour that some of these settlers came not from the Reich but from
Bessarabia is not confirmed by the German reports concerning the resettlement
of the "repatriated" Germans. For the first time the D.U.T. report for 1942
mentioned that the industrial workers among repatriated groups are resettled
in the Protectorate.
1 Cf. Eug. V. ERDELEY: op. cit., pp. 59, 193, and 244-245.
4 According to the Czechoslovak Information Service. Cf. also Eug. V. ERDE-
: op. cit., pp. 191 and 193.
48 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
fore a straight flow of migration crossing Bohemia-Moravia from
north to south, the Germans entering Bohemia from the north
and the Czechs emigrating to the south.
Following the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938, the
Vienna Conference of 3 November 1938 awarded the southern
part of Slovakia to Hungary. In this region there were numerous
Slovak settlers, who as a result of the agrarian reform in Czecho-
slovakia had been granted holdings of land some of which had
formerly belonged to the big Magyar landowners. This land reform
was declared void in the territory incorporated into Hungary, and
within a few weeks the settlers were expropriated and expelled. 1
They were joined by officials and employees of public offices and
public utilities, and in some districts also by small business men
and tradesmen. According to the Czechoslovak Information Service,
the total number of Slovaks expelled was between 60,000 and
On 14 March 1939, the day before the German occupation of
Bohemia, Slovakia declared itself independent. There followed a
Hungarian occupation of certain other districts of Slovakia and of
the whole of Subcarpathia, resulting, according to the Czecho-
slovak Information Service, in another migration of 20,000 to
30,000 people who were expelled and sent to Slovakia or to Bohemia-
On the other hand, numerous groups also had to leave Slovakia.
According to the Czechoslovak Information Service, about 130,000
Czechs in Slovakia, many of them officials and teachers, were
dismissed from their posts and forced to go to Bohemia-Moravia. 3
Mass movements of Poles during the war have taken three
forms: first, the flight of the Polish population before the German
invasion in September 1939; secondly, the expulsion of Poles from
the western Polish provinces incorporated into the Reich, which
took place mainly in 1939-1940; and thirdly, the transfer of the
population of the eastern Polish provinces (Western Bielorussia
and the Western Ukraine) to the eastern areas of the Soviet Union,
organised by the Soviet Government partly in 1939-1940 after
1 Sudost Echo, 23 May 1941.
* R. NOWAK, in Zeitschrift fUr Geopolitik, Vol. XVI, 1939, p. 19, affirms that
60 per cent, of this number were Czechs.
8 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 2, states that many nationals of the
Protectorate emigrated from Bratislava.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 49
occupying these territories, but mainly in the summer of 1941 on
the eve of the German invasion. Two further movements of the
Polish population are dealt with in other parts of this study, namely
the recruitment of Polish workers for Germany and German-
occupied territories, and the deportation of Polish Jews, 1
Refugees after the German Invasion.
In September 1939 there was a mass flight of the Polish popula-
tion before the rapid advance of the German army. The majority
of these refugees remained in the territory occupied by Germany
as a result of the Polish campaign. The influx to the capital, which
kept up its resistance longer than the rest of the country, was
especially large. The day after the German invasion began, the
Associated Press reported that refugees from Western Poland and
the Polish Corridor were crowding into Warsaw, and this move-
ment continued throughout the German advance. The increase
in the population of Warsaw, estimated a few months later at
about 300,000, was attributed mainly to the influx of these refugees
driven from their homes by war. 2
Other refugees succeeded in escaping to Eastern Poland (i.e.
to Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine) before or after
it was occupied by the Soviet Union, or in crossing the Polish
frontiers. The first of these groups will be dealt with below in con-
nection with the population transfers from Western Bielorussia
and the Western Ukraine to the east, but some figures are given
here concerning those who went from German-occupied Polish
territory directly to other countries.
Such part of the Polish army as left Polish territory retreated
mainly to Rumania and Hungary, where it was interned. Never-
theless, tens of thousands of Polish soldiers, after overcoming all
kinds of difficulties, found their way to France. 8 A number of
civilians also went to Rumania and Hungary, mostly politicians,
officials and Jews. At the end of 1939 the number of Polish civilian
refugees in Rumania was about 17,000, many having already
managed to leave the country, and in Hungary 15,000. 4 In 1940-
1941 the departures continued, while other Polish refugees were
removed from Rumania to Poland after Rumania had joined the
Axis. At the end of 1942 the number of Polish refugees remaining
was 9,000 in Hungary and 4,000 in Rumania. Three thousand of
those who had left Rumania and Hungary found themselves in
1 Cf. Chapter III, pp. 136-139, and Chapter II, pp. 98-100.
* New York Times, 3 Sept. 1939, 24 Feb. and 28 July 1940.
The Black Book of Poland (New York, 1942), p. 590.
4 The I.L.O. Year Book, 1939-1940, pp. 220-221.
50 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
Italy and others in the Balkan States. However, the great majority
reached France (in May 1940 there were 25,000, some of whom
escaped to England and America; on 1 November 1942 in the then
unoccupied zone there were 11,000, 800 others being in Algeria),
England where there were 5,000 civilians at the end of 1942,
Switzerland (2,000), and Palestine (over 5,000). !
Many of the refugees from Poland sought refuge in Lithuania,
including the Wilno region, which had been part of Poland but
which the Soviet Union had since occupied and handed over to
Lithuania. According to official Lithuanian sources, the influx
from Poland consisted of about 14,000 members of the Polish
army who were interned by the Lithuanian authorities, and 75,000
to 8Q,000 civilian refugees, of whom all but 10,000 were Jews.
Another reliable source gives the figure for civilian refugees as
only 30,000, which seems consistent with the figure of 15,000 Jewish
refugees given by the American Jewish Year Book. There were also
2,000 Polish refugees in Latvia. 2 Of all the Polish refugees in the
Baltic countries, some 2,000 succeeded in crossing Siberia and
going to America 3 , while nearly the same number landed in Japan
and Shanghai (which had 950 Polish refugees when it was occupied
by the Japanese). Many others were among those who were trans-
ferred from the Baltic States to the eastern part of the Soviet
Union in June 1941.
Incorporated Western Polish Provinces.
After the collapse of Poland and the partition of Polish territory
into a German and a Soviet sphere of interest, some of the Polish
territories administered by the Germans were incorporated into
the Reich. These were the so-called "reconquered provinces",
that is, the German-Polish provinces which Germany had lost
after the war of 1914-1918, with the addition of considerable areas
of the part of Poland which was under Russian rule before 1914.
Two new German provinces were made out of the annexed territory,
along with the Free City of Danzig: Warthegau, covering most
1 All these figures are derived from Polish sources. The total of Polish-Jewish
war refugees in Palestine, including those who arrived after 1942 through Iran
(cf. below, p. 59), has been estimated at 6,800.
* Another group which might also be considered as refugees are the 17,000
Polish agricultural labourers, out of the 25,000 who used to migrate annually
to Latvia for the harvesting season, who were stranded in Latvia when war
8 The total of Polish refugees, i.e. those who came from west and east, was at
the end of 1942, according to Polish sources: 1,800 in Brazil, 1,500 in other South
American countries, 1,500 in the United States, 1,000 in Canada. Apart from
them, many persons of Polish origin returned from Poland to the United States
as American citizens.
MOVEMENTS Off NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 51
of the Polish province of Poznan and part of the Polish province
of Lodz, and Danzig-West Prussia, comprising the Free City of
Danzig, Polish Pomerania and the rest of Poznan, while a third
province, Upper Silesia, consists partly of German and partly
of former Polish territories. The Ciechanow (Zischenau) district
was merged into the province of East Prussia. The rest of German-
occupied Poland became a separate administrative territory under
the name of the "General Government for the Occupied Polish
Territory", later simply the "General Government". 1
It was intended that the Incorporated Polish Provinces should
become completely German, both racially and culturally. This policy
was in harmony with the administrative tradition of Prussian rule over
Polish territory, which had been a policy of germanisation for over
a hundred years, culminating in the so-called "Hakatist Movement"
of the last years of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century. 2
But the National Socialist policy of germanisation was essentially
different from its predecessors. Former Prussian rulers had tried
to germanise the annexed Polish provinces by assimilating the
Poles, planting German settlers among them to assist and expedite
the process. In the new German policy, however, settlement was
the main theme, and germanisation was only a means of expanding
the German "living space". Chancellor Hitler in Mein Kampf
had originated the slogan that the German living space lies to the
east. But in Poland the Germans found a land more thickly popu-
lated than the adjacent parts of Germany itself, and a large-scale
German settlement scheme could be carried out there only after
first ridding the country of its own dense population. Accordingly,
Germany's policy was not to germanise the Poles, but to expel
them and settle Germans in their place. At the same time the
political, economic and cultural life of the area had to be germanised
to prepare it for German settlement.
Some time was required for the stabilisation of this German
policy. At first, isolated attempts to increase the German element
in the territory suggested that the policy of germanisation was to
be extended even to the General Government. However, this trend
was soon reversed, and some of the old-established German colonists
were "repatriated" from the General Government, which was
destined to become the settlement area for the Poles from the
Incorporated Provinces and also for the Jews from all parts
1 After the invasion of the U.S.S.R., Eastern Galicia, formerly in the Russian
sphere of influence, was included in the General Government, while the Bialystok
region became part of the province of East Prussia.
2 Cf. Richard W. TIMS: Germanising Russian Poland. The H.K.T. Society
and the Struggle for the Eastern Marches in the German Empire, 1894 1019 (New
52 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
of German-controlled Europe. 1 The Incorporated Provinces
Warthegau and Danzig- West Prussia were, on the other hand, to
become wholly German. This, of course, was merely the dominant
principle of racial segregation in the east. Its application was sub-
stantially modified by practical considerations, especially those
connected with the prosecution of the war.
The germanisation of the Incorporated Provinces was both
rapid and thorough. 2 The Polish population, which formed 87
per cent, of the total population, and even now, after mass expulsion,
still constitutes about three-fourths of the whole, is ignored by the
German administration. The Poles have been completely excluded
from local government; thus, for instance, in Lodz, which still has
a large Polish majority, the city council is composed of 14 former
Polish nationals of German origin and 24 Germans from the Reich.
The names of cities have been germanised; for instance, Lodz has
become Litzmannstadt. The streets have been given new German
names, often in honour of National Socialist leaders. The use
of the Polish language is banned in public life. Polish newspapers
have been suspended, and the publication of books in Polish is
prohibited. There are no Polish schools whatsoever. But the most
radical method of all adopted to destroy the Polish character of
the Incorporated Provinces was the actual eviction of the Polish
1 With Germany's further expansion there seems to have been another re-
versal of the German view of the function to be performed by the General Govern-
ment. In the summer of 1942, news reached the Polish Government in London
tnat the population of whole villages in the districts of Lublin, Zamocz, Sieradz,
Lask and Olkusz (all located in the General Government) had been evicted from
their homes and the land occupied by German colonists imported from Volhynia
It seems that these cases mark a change in German colonisation policy. An
article by Dr. Adolph DRESLER (Hamburger Fremdenblatt, 4 Oct. 1942) points
out that the "racial Germans" in the General Government have become a weighty
factor in the establishment of German leadership in the east. Organised in "the
German fellowship", they form solid islands in an area inhabited by aliens,
islands which are to serve as starting-points for further German expansion and
at the same time as a link with the more remote occupied areas further east.
Another article by Commissioner GLOBOTZNIK, published in the Krakauer Zeitung,
3 Jan. 1943 (quoted in Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, Feb. 1943), deals
with the colonisation of the Zamocz area, where "there are numerous Volksdeuts-
che and people of German origin. Because the soil is very fertile it has been
decided that, after the area has been cleared, many racial Germans who have
been evacuated from other territories and German ex-servicemen will be settled
there." As has already been seen, the General Government became, in fact, in
the course of the year 1942, a new area for the resettlement of repatriated Ger-
mans (cf. above, Chapter I, p. 23).
According to the Polish Information Office, the removal of the Polish popula-
tion from the General Government was connected with the construction of a
line of fortifications running from the River Bug through the province of Lublin
to Northern Galicia. In Aug. 1942, and again in Dec. 1942 and Jan. 1943, tens of
thousands of Poles were removed from this area. Some of their land was taken
over by transferred "racial Germans", and the rest remained unoccupied.
1 A vivid picture of the process of germanisation is given by S. SEGAL: The
New Order in Poland (1942).
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 53
This compulsory mass transfer was carried out according to a
preconceived plan which prescribed the very harshness of the
methods used. In a speech made at Bromberg on 26 November
1939, Gauleiter Forster declared:
The German cause has been entrusted to our keeping by the Fiihrer, with the
definite mission of re-germanising this country. It will be our highest and most
honourable task to do everything in our power to ensure that in a few years every-
thing in any way reminiscent of Poland shall have disappeared. This applies
particularly to the racial purging of the country. Whosoever belongs to the Polish
people must leave this land. We hope that in this struggle for the triumph of our
German cause we shall never become merciful, that we shall always show the
necessary harshness. 1
Similar declarations were made by other prominent National
Socialists. Thus, Dr. Frank in a speech delivered at the end of 1939
in Kalisz (since incorporated into Germany) on the occasion of
his appointment as General Governor, spoke as follows:
After the victory of our armies, the German colonists entered the struggle.
Ten years from now, not a plot and not a farm will remain that is not German.
Our colonists are coming to fight without mercy the Polish peasant. If God exists,
he has chosen Adolf Hitler to chase this rabble out of here. 2
The expulsion and deportation of Poles from the Incorporated
Provinces to the General Government started in October 1939 at
Gdynia, whence the majority of the Polish population was removed.
In spite of the many foreign Germans and newcomers from Danzig
settled in Gdynia, the number of its inhabitants declined sharply.
The importance of this city, which under German rule had been a
primitive fishing village and had been built up by the Poles into
one of the most important ports on the Baltic, has almost com-
pletely disappeared. It has been renamed Gotenhaven, but people
call it "Totenhaven". In November and December 1939 there
were large-scale expulsions from the city of Poznan. Later the
process was extended to other towns, and then even to the country
The purging of the Incorporated Provinces of their non-German
inhabitants was indeed carried out " without mercy" and with
great harshness. The Polish White Book gives the following account
of this evacuation, based on original German orders and the accounts
of many eye-witnesses:
1 "German Occupation of Poland", Polish White Book, 1941, p. 181.
New York Herald Tribune, 5 Oct. 1941.
8 Statistics of the actual removal of population from these cities are scarce.
According to the official German statistics, on 1 Jan. 1942 only 40 per cent.
of the population of Gdynia was still Polish, compared with 98 per cent, in 1936,
when the total population was 83,400; while of the 314,000 inhabitants of Poznan
over 190,000 were Poles, as compared with 238,000 in 1931. Cf. Poland Fights,
5 Dec. 1942.
54 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
The deportations of the Polish inhabitants are of a coercive character, and,
as a rule, are ordered suddenly without any previous warning to those concerned.
Deportations are often effected during the night. The inhabitants must leave
their homes on extremely short notice; they are given from twenty minutes to
two hours at the utmost to start on their journey. In these conditions, especially
in the early months, when people were not yet accustomed to German adminis-
trative methods, the deportees, when hardly awake, were obliged to leave their
homes not only without baggage of any description but sometimes only half clad.
In many cases the measures also served the secondary purpose
of providing workers for Germany ; thus, able-bodied men and women
were sent to the Reich and the others to the General Government.
The German authorities limited their own responsibility to the
bare transportation of the expelled Poles to the General Govern-
ment; no provision was made for them on the way, and after their
arrival they were entirely abandoned. The Polish Ministry of
Labour stated in a communiqu6 of April 1942:
They have met a very hard fate and their life is steadily becoming still harder.
In the beginning, the population of the General Government helped as much as
possible, but as the war continues, everybody is becoming too poor to help
others. Only 10 per cent, of the population which had been deported from the
annexed territory has found employment in trade, industry, etc.; the rest, which
means 1,000,000, have to be kept by charitable institutions or by private persons
who still have enough to share it. There are fewer of those who can afford that
Later, the evicted Poles were used for compulsory labour.
It is generally estimated that during the first two years of
German domination about 1,500,000 persons were deported from
the Incorporated Provinces to the General Government, 1,200,000
of them being Poles and 300,000 Jews. 1 The figure has not risen
substantially during recent months, and is now estimated at
1,600,000, making with 60,000 Jews who fled from Western to
Central Poland 2 during the hostilities a total of 1,660,000. As will
be seen, there were no further mass expulsions from the Incorporated
Provinces after the early part of 1942, except in the case of Jews.
Poles and Jews were expelled from the Incorporated Provinces
to make room for German immigrants, and had to give up their
homes, all their personal belongings, their place in economic life,
and their farms or businesses to the newcomers. Accordingly,
eviction and deportation went hand in hand with total confiscation.
The order of eviction and deportation allowed the deportees to
1 German Occupation of Poland, p. 22. Cf. communique* of the Polish Ministry
of Labour, Apr. 1942; also S. SEGAI,: op. cit., pp. 45 and 56, and Jews in Nazi
Europe, Feb. 1933 to Nov. 1941, Poland, p. 3. The only estimate differing from
this is given by Hedwig WACHENHKIM, in Foreign Affairs, July 1942, who
calculates the number of Poles (exclusive of Jews) evicted to the General Govern-
ment at between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000.
a Cf. below, Chapter II, p. 99.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 55
take with them only one suitcase, weighing from 40 to 100 Ibs.
and containing personal effects only. All valuable objects, such
as jewelry, gold and silver, stocks and bonds, and money in excess
of a very small sum varying from 20 to 200 zloty, had to be left
behind. 1 Real estate and businesses were taken over by German
trustees, to be used, like the household furnishings of the deportees,
mainly for the establishment of "their German heirs".
Legal justification for the confiscation was not provided until
afterwards, in the form of a Decree issued by Field-Marshal Goring
on 17 September 1940. Under this Decree, the properties of Polish
citizens were to be confiscated:
(1) If the owners were Jews;
(2) If the owners had fled;
(3) If the owners had acquired the property after
1 September 1939;
(4) If the owners had settled after 1 October 1918 on
territory which belonged to the Reich before 1914;
(5) If the property were required in the public interest
and, in particular, for the defence of the Reich or to
strengthen the German element in the country.
The last clause was especially intended to cover the expropriation
of the expelled and deported Poles.
A German report published in October 1941 gives details of
the Polish and Jewish property confiscated by the German author-
ities and handed over to an official trustee. 2 This comprised, in
Poznan, 17,300 handicraft workshops, 17,200 commercial under-
takings, and 3,500 industrial undertakings; and in Lodz, 7,500
commercial undertakings, 6,400 handicraft workshops, and 2,400
textile undertakings. Moreover, the trustee took over 73,000
Polish and Jewish real estate properties in Poznania.
The large estates and undertakings became German State
property or were turned over to big concerns organised by the
National Socialist Party. But the bulk of the land which had
belonged to Poles was used to settle about 500,000 incoming
Germans, nearly all from foreign countries. Thus, roughly speaking,
the property of one and a half million evicted Poles and Jews and
the basis of their economic activity were used to start half a million
Germans on a new life.
Germanisation by expulsion and settlement began immediately
after the German conquest, and during the first months hundreds
of thousands of people were deported. The bulk of the deportations
took place in the first year of German domination; in the second
1 German Occupation of Poland, p. 23.
* Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, Oct. 1941, No. 28.
56 THE DlSPt A CEMENT Otf POPULATION IN
year the process slowed down, and later there were only isolated
cases. The expulsion of Polish peasants was the first to be stopped.
Generally speaking, no Polish workers were deported to the General
Government; those who were not transferred to the Reich or to
other German-occupied territories were left at home to continue
their usual occupations.
It would be tempting to explain the decline of eviction and
deportation by the crude material fact that once the better-off
Poles and Jews had been expelled and their property seized there
was little to be taken from those who remained. Nevertheless,
this would be an over-simplified explanation of the change in
There were in the Incorporated Provinces of Western Poland
nearly 400,000 farm holdings, many of them very small, and almost
all in Polish hands. The original German plan was to expropriate
and evict all these Polish farmers, to eliminate all "dwarf farms",
and to create medium-sized farms throughout the annexed area.
It was planned at first to settle the " repatriated " Germans, and
then to bring in peasants from south-eastern Germany, from Baden
and Wiirtemberg, where the constant division of holdings had
resulted in too dense a peasant population on exceedingly small
holdings. The official review of the National Socialist Party wrote
in January 1941:
The East calls all those who have shown their readiness, and amongst whom
so many are now wearing field uniform. After the war they will all be able to utilise
their knowledge and experience. Not under the hot sun of Africa, but here in
the East the land is ready for starting on one's own soil from the beginning^
A beautiful new country is waiting here; it has a German face, and many have
shed their blood for it. The German East will be colonised by German people; it is
going to be a rich country of peasants and children, a granary of the Reich and of
the nation's blood. Thus, the German living space is secured for all time. And
the war which must now be carried on has found its most beautiful fulfilment. 1
Another article in the same number of this review contains
some information on the adjustment of the ' 'repatriated 11 Germans,
and paints the position in very different colours.
Artisans of all kinds, engineers, doctors and teachers are welcome collaborators
who can exercise their old professions from the day of their arrival in the new
provinces of the Reich. It was more difficult to accommodate farmers, because it
was essential that a convenient farm should first be vacated for them.
Later, it became clear that the Polish farms were too small; that
"agriculture in the east could not get along without the help of
Polish hands, at least during the early years", and that "colonists
1 National- Sozialistische Monatshefte, Jan. 1941, p. 19.
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 57
who took over the holdings left by Poles would for a long time be
dependent on the help of the community". 1
Polish peasants could be deprived of their land, and those who
were not expelled to the General Government could be forced to
emigrate to eastern Germany and work there on the big estates.
But the Germans could not replace them. The German economy
needed the most abundant harvest possible from the land and the
newcomers were unfamiliar with local methods of cultivation.
German industry, absorbed in war production, could not deliver the
implements for the newly enlarged farms. And, most important of
all, there were no labourers except the Poles, either for agriculture
or for any other work. The decisive factor was that the economy of
the country needed hands which the German people did not offer,
and could not produce.
Thus the expulsion of Poles from the Incorporated Provinces
was halted 3 , and for good reasons. Nevertheless, plans of eviction
and colonisation have revived since the summer of 1942, this time
in connection with the problem of the "half- way stratum", i.e.
those people whose language was Polish but who had German
blood in their veins, of whom the Germans have discovered close
on a million in the province of Danzig -West Prussia. 2 These people
were to be put on the list of German people (Volksliste) as proba-
tioners; thereafter, those who proved acceptable would be subject
to military service (this probably being the real reason for the
scheme) , while those who did not prove acceptable would be deported.
Having no Germans to replace them, the German Government
searched for settlers of other nationalities accepted as being of
German blood, and evolved the scheme of colonisation by settlers
from the Netherlands. Attempts to establish settlements of Nether-
landers in the Western Provinces were first made in the fall of 1941,
and resumed in the summer of 1942. It may be that further efforts
in this direction will now be made, but the main scheme for the
removal of millions of Netherlanders to the east is designed to
colonise the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union and
will be described later. 4
Eastern Polish Provinces (Western Bielorussia and Western Ukraine).
According to official Soviet sources, during its march into
Poland the Russian Army captured 181,000 Polish prisoners. A
* Ibid., pp. 28, 29 and 31.
* Hamburger Fremdenblatt, 22 Sept. 1942.
8 According to the report of the Reichgesellschaft filr Landbewirtschaftung
"for the most part the Poles were left in their farms although their property
was confiscated 11 (Frankfurter Zeitung, 15 May 1943).
4 Cf. below, pp. 65-67.
58 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
Moscow broadcast reported that most of these prisoners were freed,
but that liberation did not extend to "noblemen and officers".
Consequently, when the reorganisation of the Polish army was
undertaken in the fall of 1941 numbers of Poles were still interned
in prison camps.
Other Polish citizens voluntarily entered the Russian-occupied
territories in their flight from the Germans. The majority were
Jews, but there were also many non-Jewish refugees among them,
especially members of the intelligentsia. Many more entered the
Russian-occupied area as a result of the German-Soviet Treaty
of 3 November 1939. It was estimated that the Treaty involved
the transfer of 30,000 to 40,000 White Russians and Ukrainians
to the Russian-occupied area in exchange for over 130,000 Germans
who went to the Reich and a number of Polish refugees (14,000
or even more) who chose to return to German-occupied Poland.
The total of Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland was
estimated by the Institute of Jewish Affairs at 200,000. The number
of non-Jewish refugees seems to have been lower.
In the winter of 1939-40, and again in June 1940, a number of
refugees were deported by the Soviet authorities to the eastern
part of the Soviet Union. This measure is said to have been applied
to those refugees who neither returned to their homes nor accepted
Soviet citizenship 1 , but other categories also seem to have been
involved in the transfer. The first batch of exiles were reported to
have been members of the Polish intelligentsia, State and local
government officials, teachers, judges, lawyers and the professional
classes generally, together with a number of Jews and Ukrainians
of the same classes and other middle-class people. Later, the same
measure is said to have been applied on an even larger scale to
Polish and even Ukrainian farmers; and deportation was not limited
to the refugees from German-occupied Poland but was extended
to residents of the Eastern Provinces. A White Paper presented
to the United States Department of State by the Polish Embassy
asserted that the total number of persons deported reached 400,000.
Another source gives the number as 300,000.
The main movement from Soviet-occupied Poland to the east
began in June 1941, immediately before the German invasion, and
increased in volume after the invasion had begun. Hundreds of
thousands of people were either forcibly removed or evacuated
to inner and Asiatic Russia. Others fled as best they could from
the invading German army. According to a statement issued by
the Polish Foreign Minister on 7 May 1942, one and a half million
i American Jewish Year Book, Vol. 43 (1941), p. 291.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GBRMAN POPULATIONS 59
persons were transferred. The Joint Distribution Committee
estimates the total number of evacuees from Soviet-occupied Polish
territory at two million, of whom 600,000 were Jews 1 , these figures
including those who were transferred in 1939-1940. On the basis
of information collected locally, an estimate from a reliable source
gives the total of refugees as 1,200,000, the detailed figures being
Transferred to: No. of persons
Archangelsk, Vologda, Kotlas 150,000
Saratov, Buzuluk, Tchkalovsk 100,000
Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk 50,000
Kazakhstan (Semipalatinsk) 350,000
Omsk, Tomsk, Barnaul 100,000
Krasnoyarsk, Kainsk 50,000
Yakutsk, Aldana 30,000
Uzbekistan (Tashkent) 250,000
Southern regions 50,000
Extreme north 20,000
In the fall of 1941, following an agreement between the Soviet
Union and the Polish Government in exile, 348,000 Poles who
were in internment camps were released 2 and allowed to join the
newly formed Polish army. In 1942, 75,500 Poles crossed from
Russia into Iran 8 , where the Polish army numbered 100,000 at
the beginning of 1943. 4 According to information furnished through
the American Red Cross, 37,750 civilians also found their way
along the shores of the Caspian into Iran. On 30 December 1942,
notes were exchanged between the Prime Minister of Poland and
the Foreign Secretary of Mexico concerning the transfer from Iran
to Mexico of a number of Polish refugees provided that the Polish
authorities assumed responsibility for their maintenance during
the war and their repatriation after the war. One thousand five
hundred Jews were evacuated to Palestine up to the end of 1942.
Other Polish refugees went through Iran to India. There are 3,000
adults and some children in Karachi (Province of Sind), and 800
children have been received by the Maharanee of Nawangar. 6
Others went to Africa. At the end of 1942 there were 7,000 Poles
1 The figure of 600,000 is also accepted by the Institute of Jewish Affairs,
whereas S. SEGAL (American Jewish Year Book, Vol. 44, p. 239) assumes
it to have been 500,000. On 5 Jan. 1943 the number was estimated at 350,000
by S. WOLKOWICZ, Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent in Russia; cf.
Contemporary Jewish Record, Apr. 1943, p. 185.
2 The number of Poles who remained in the internment camps was 45,000.
1 Statement made on 7 May 1943 by the Foreign Vice-Commissar of the
4 According to a statement by the British India Office, published in the New
York Times, 25 Jan. 1943. This number includes between 25,000 and 30,000 of
the Polish corps which had been formed in North Africa and then removed to
Polish Review. 25 Tan. 1943, Vol. Ill, No. 4, p. 15.
60 THE DISPI, A CEMENT Off POPULATION IN EUROPE
in Uganda and Tanganyika and 420 in Rhodesia. 1 Up to March
1943, the total number evacuated to the British East African
colonies had reached 12,000. The number of Polish refugees in
Iran did not diminish by evacuation alone. Many of them joined
the Polish Army and the Women's Auxiliary Corps (2,500 up to
the end of 1942); many others perished (1,200 up to the end of
1942). A report of 5 March 1943 showed 12,000 Polish refugees
still remaining in Iran. 2
The war between Finland and Russia started on 30 November
1939. Military action led to the evacuation or flight of hundreds
of thousands of persons from the war-stricken areas. A few were
evacuated to foreign countries; from 5,000 to 6,000 women and
children were reported to have gone to Sweden, and a few hundred
to Norway. There is no information about their return. Only some
of those who had been evacuated to the interior of Finland came
back when the hostilities had ceased.
Under the treaty of 12 March 1940, Finland ceded to the
U.S.S.R. (a) the Karelian Isthmus, including the Eastern Islands
in the Gulf of Finland, the city of Viborg (Viipuri) and the region
around Lake Ladoga; (&) part of the communes of Kunsamo
and Salla in the middle of the eastern frontier; and (c) the western
part of the Rybachi peninsula on the Arctic. Furthermore, the
fortress and peninsula of Hango, between the Gulf of Finland and
the Gulf of Bothnia, were leased to the U.S.S.R. for 30 years along
with the surrounding islands.
The inhabitants of the territory ceded to the Soviet Union
were free to continue to live there or to migrate to other parts of
Finland, but only one per cent, of the population remained. The
Karelian Isthmus (including Viborg, the second largest city in
Finland, and the region around Lake Ladoga) was among Finland's
most thickly populated areas. The majority of its population,
which before the war numbered some 420,000 persons 3 , were
transferred to the interior with whatever movable property they
could arrange to take away in the few days allowed them by the
treaty. 'They had very little opportunity to take any kind of
property with them. Their cattle had already been evacuated; but
apart from that, all that could be saved was perhaps their money,
1 Quoted from a memorandum presented on 20 Jan. 1943 by the British Ambass-
ador in Washington to the U.S. Secretary of State, in Interpreter Releases, Vol.
XX, No. 9, Series A: Immigration, No. 3.
2 According to information furnished through the American Red Cross.
8 Social Tidskrift, Helsinki, Nos. 9-10, 1942.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 61
but very little else/' 1 The refugees from the other areas ceded to
Russia, which were sparsely populated, numbered only a few
thousands. The total number of those who left the ceded areas
during the war and after the conclusion of peace was some 450,000,
or about one-eighth of the total population of Finland.
In a country of meagre natural resources, the resettlement of
these people was a difficult task. About 180,000 of them were
estimated to belong to the farming population, and an attempt
was therefore made to settle them on the land so that they could
continue their former occupation. With this end in view, the pre-
vious land settlement legislation was amended by an Act promul-
gated on 28 June 1940, giving priority in the allotment of land to
Finnish farmers and fishermen who had moved out of the territory
bordering on the new national frontier. The land to be provided
in each locality for this purpose was primarily State-owned. Where
other land could not be obtained by voluntary transfer, the pro-
perty of churches, communes, companies, and persons deriving
their main income from non-agricultural occupations, as well as
neglected holdings and any other suitable land, could be expro-
priated and employed for the purpose of resettlement. The scheme
provided for the creation of about 39,000 new holdings. By the
end of 1940, after four months of the operation of the plan, some
7,000 had actually been created. 2
The number of evacuees who had previously earned a living
in industry, handicrafts, commerce, the liberal professions, con-
struction or other works was about 270,000. They were mainly
put to work on various kinds of reconstruction work, especially
on State schemes. 3
As to the geographical distribution of the resettled evacuees,
press reports show that those from Viborg (Viipuri) and the Kare-
lian Isthmus were settled in central Finland and along the coast
of the Gulf of Finland, and those from the Ladoga area were moved
towards Vasa and Abo on the Gulf of Bothnia. The small group of
people from Hango was distributed near by in the province of
Resettlement proceeded slowly but steadily, until the whole
scheme was reversed by the march of events. In June 1941 the war
between Finland and the Soviet Union broke out again. Viborg
and the Karelian Isthmus were recaptured, and in December
Hango too was abandoned by the Russians, A return movement of
the evacuated Karelians began in the autumn of 1941. The number
1 Eljas KAHRA: 4I Reconstruction in Finland", in International Labour Review,
Vol. XLIII, No. 5, May 1941, p. 503.
Ibid., pp. 507-9,
Ibid., pp. 510-12.
62 THE DISPLACEMENT O# POPULATION IN EUROPE
of those repatriated up to the end of September 1942 was officially
given as 220,000. 1 This figure does not seem to have risen much
since that date; it was reported to have reached 237,500 in February
1943. 2 The number of evacuated Karelians who had not been re-
patriated was about 180,000.
Finally, it should be noted that during the present war the
serious food shortage has led once again to the evacuation of children
from Finland. Several thousands were reported to have been sent
to Sweden and Denmark for the duration. 8 In Sweden alone, the
number of Finnish "foster-children" was estimated at some 20,000
in January 1943. 4
The Baltic Countries
Mention has already been made of the transfer of 63,800 Baltic
Germans to the Reich under treaties concluded by Germany with
Estonia and Latvia in October 1939. In the same month Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia signed treaties granting certain air and naval
bases to the Soviet Union. Reports from Estonia stated that the
quartering of Russian troops there had led to the removal of a
number of Estonians, the local population having had to evacuate
the district assigned to the Russian troops. The evacuated Esto-
nians were granted the land and homes of the repatriated Germans
for settlement. 6
In July 1940 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were incorporated
into the Soviet Union, and under an agreement between Germany
and the Soviet Union a further 66,700 Baltic Germans were then
transferred to Greater Germany from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania,
of whom about 35,000 were not really Germans but Lithuanians. On
the other hand, 21,000 Lithuanians and Russians were transferred
to Lithuania from districts annexed by Germany.*
The Soviet occupation of the Baltic States was followed ^by
three further movements across the border. In the early days of
the Soviet occupation some Lithuanians crossed the German fron-
tier for fear of "Sovietisation". They were estimated to number
about 2,000 persons, 1,300 having been registered in Berlin alone 7 ,
and after the occupation of Lithuania by the Germans in June
1 Social Tidskrift, loc. cit.
2 Radio Lahti and other Finnish sources.
3 New York Times, 31 Jan. and 1 and 2 Feb. 1942 (based on German broad-
casts and Swiss press reports).
4 Communication to the I.L.O. In the last few months the Finnish Govern-
ment has, in agreement with the German authorities, transferred to Finland some
10,000 Ingermanlanders of Finnish origin from the neighbourhood of Leningrad
(Dagens Nyheter, 26 June 1943).
New York Times, 12 Nov. 1939.
Cf. Chapter I, p. 13.
7 Information received from the Lithuanian Consulate General in New York.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 63
1941 they were not allowed to return to their country. 1 Secondly,
there was a movement into the Baltic countries from the Soviet
Union, both of Russians and of former Baltic communists who had
spent most of their lives in the Soviet Union and were now return-
ing to their native land. These newcomers were employed in
Government departments and in the various newly established
State enterprises. Thirdly, there was some forced transfer of popu-
lation from the Baltic States, the Soviet authorities having deported
to inner Russia those who had formerly played a prominent part
in politics. It is estimated that during the period concerned a
thousand persons were deported from Lithuania.
Mass migration, both compulsory and voluntary, from the
Baltic States to the interior of the Soviet Union took place in June
1941, just before the German invasion of Russia and immediately
afterwards. The German army crossed the Soviet frontier on 22
June 1941. Before this move, the Soviet authorities arrested and
removed from the Baltic States a large number of former officers
and Government employees, intellectuals and business men and
farmers, some of them with their families. Many others were
evacuated or fled when the invasion was imminent.
In Lithuania, according to official data, this migration numbered
about 65,000 persons. Some 35,000 persons were deported two weeks
before the outbreak of the war, and another 30,000 left Lithuania,
for the most part voluntarily, immediately after the aggression.
Among them were about 10,000 Jews.
In Latvia, 14,700 persons were exiled on 13 and 14 June 1941. Six
thousand were arrested and exiled after 14 June 1941, and another
12,200 were reported as missing. The list of trains in which the
arrested persons were deported shows that nearly two-thirds of the
coaches were sent to Asiatic Russia. 2 In addition, many Latvians
fled before the invading armies and were glad to be evacuated.
These included not only Soviet Russian employees who had entered
the country since 1940, but also many permanent residents of
Latvia. Their presence in Russia is attested by a report that in
November 1941 tens of thousands of Latvians evacuated to Russia
were in military training camps east of the Volga preparing to join
the new Soviet armies. 3 According to the Institute of Jewish Affairs,
1 New York Herald Tribune, 30 Nov. 1941.
2 The Latvian Legation in Washington has furnished a list of deported Latvian
citizens compiled by the Latvian Red Cross. This gives detailed statistics of
those exiled on 13 and 14 June 1941, arrested and exiledafter 14 June, and missing
and killed, with particulars of their occupation. Another detailed list gives the
number of trains in which Latvian citizens were deported to Soviet Russia, com-
prising 824 coaches, a figure which supports the total of 32,000 exiled and missing
given by the Latvian Red Cross.
8 United Press despatch of 7 Nov. 1941, based on an Exchange Telegraph
64 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
the number of Jewish refugees alone from Latvia was 15,000. The
total of those who left Latvia is estimated at nearly 60,000. l
In Estonia, according to the estimates of local authorities,
61,000 persons, including almost all of the 5,000 Estonian Jews,
were transferred to Soviet Russia. 2
Denmark and Norway
The German occupation of Denmark and Norway in April
1940 resulted not only in the recruitment of workers for Germany
and German-controlled countries, but also in the migration of
Danish and Norwegian agriculturists to the German-occupied
Eastern Territories. Danish farm managers are reported to be
going there 3 , and Norwegian and Danish youths are volunteering
as settlers. The whole movement seems, however, to be on a very
small scale. Thus in July 1942 the Danish Nazi press complained
that while over 200 young Norwegians had passed through Copen-
hagen recently on their way to the east, the numbers of Danes
were "considerably smaller' 1 . 4 Another report refers to some hun-
dreds of Norwegian "Quisling" youths undergoing training in the
province of Poznan in preparation for settlement in the occupied
Eastern Territories. 6
Political persecution provoked a flight from Norway across the
Swedish frontier. According to the latest figures issued by the
1 Cf. K. R. PUSTA: The Soviet Union and the Baltic States (Washington, D.C.,
May 1940), p. 51. The German source gives even higher, and apparently exagger-
ated, figures. Thus Novoye Slovo, the Russian paper published in Berlin, writes
that 200,000 persons were evacuated from Latvia (quoted by Novoye Russkoye
Slovo, 6 Mar. 1942).
2 K. R. PUSTA: op. cit. The author gives these figures as though referring to
deportations only. It is a fact that 7,000 persons had been imprisoned prior to
their evacuation, but there can be no doubt that many Estonians also left the
country voluntarily in order to escape the advancing Germans. German sources
exaggerate the number of persons evacuated to Russia. Novoye Slovo (Berlin),
for instance, reported that 150,000 persons were evacuated from Estonia, This
is clearly an exaggeration. The Estonian population was estimated at 1,122,000
in Dec. 1939 and at 1,010,000 on 1 Dec. 1941. Assuming that the excess of births
over deaths in 1940 and 1941 was more or less the same as in 1939, the natural
population increase would be some 2,500. On the other hand, it may be assumed
that the exceptional circumstances led to many deaths through violence. Taking
all these factors into account, the migratory loss during the period concerned
would amount at the most to 1 10,000. According to Pusta, 32,000 of the Estonian
population were mobilised by the Soviet Government, so that, after deducting
this figure, there remains a migratory loss of less than 80,000 (including some
thousand additional Germans repatriated early in 1941). The Russians and
Estonians who came to Estonia under Soviet rule were only temporary residents.
The number of German immigrants in Sept.-Nov. 1941 was negligible.
8 Cf. I. JANUSHKIS, in Socialistichesky Vestnik, 3 Oct. 1942, p. 225, quoting
Deutsche Zeitung im Osten. The Danish Minister Gunnar Larsen, during his
journey to the east in the summer of 1942, "signed some contracts" providing
for the sending of Danish colonists and managers to farms in the Ostland.
4 Faedrelandet, 10 July 1942.
5 Svenska Dagbladet, quoted in Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, Feb. 1943.
Cf. also above, Chapter I, p. 30, and below, pp. 65-66.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 65
Swedish Social Board, the number of Norwegian refugees in Sweden
was a little over 9,000. 1
The great exodus from the Netherlands was caused by the
German invasion on 10 May 1940. Two thousand four hundred
civilians from the Netherlands escaped to England. 2 Others, estim-
ated at some 50,000, fled into France; most of these were repatriated
after the armistice, and the number of Netherlanders who still
remained in France in the summer of 1941 was given by a well-
informed source as only 5,000.
Later, a new movement, this time towards the Reich, started
in the Netherlands in the form of the recruitment of workers for
employment in Germany. 8 In addition, many others have been
removed from their homes, while it is proposed to send still more
as settlers to the east.
According to National Socialist theory, the "germanisation"
of the Eastern Territories can be achieved only by colonisation.
This was emphasised again in the summer of 1942 by the Chief
of the Gestapo, Himmler, who is also the German Commissioner
for the Consolidation of Germanism. "Our task", he said, "is not
to germanise the east in the former sense, in other words to teach
the people living there our German speech and German law, but
to bring about a position in which only people of German blood
live there." As no true Germans were available for this purpose,
recourse was had to the Netherlanders as "people of German blood".
Attempts to settle Netherlanders in the western Polish pro-
vinces incorporated into the Reich were made in the fall of 1941.
The German press reported that 10,000 farmers and labourers
were being transferred from the Netherlands to the Warthegau. 4
No information is available as to the fulfilment of these intentions.
In the summer of 1942, the German press again reported a scheme
for the transfer of Netherlanders to Western Poland. Young men
from Flanders and the Netherlands, as well as from Denmark and
Norway, arrived in the provinces of Danzig - West Prussia, War-
thegau and Upper Silesia 6 to begin agricultural work, and a settle-
ment for Netherlands artisans was created in Poznan. 6
But the great German scheme for the removal of millions of
1 Swedish Press, 5 Mar. 1943.
2 Report submitted by Sir Herbert Emerson, High Commissioner for Refugees,
Geneva, Jan. 1941.
Cf. Chapter III, pp. 141-142.
4 Kdlnische Zeitung, 10 Nov. 1941.
6 Ostdeutscher Beobachter, 11 July 1942. Cf. above, Chapter I, p. 30.
6 Idem, 2 Aug. 1942.
66 THE DISPI, A CEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
people from the Netherlands to the east was planned as a solution
of German settlement difficulties not in Poland, but in German-
occupied Soviet territory. In the winter of 1941-1942, Netherland-
ers together with Belgian and Danish farmers were reported
to have been sent to occupied Russia as managers of former Soviet
collective farms. Although they were described as "pioneers** and
"colonisers", in reality their job was merely that of salaried over-
seers of Russian agricultural workers, and they numbered only a
few hundreds. 1 Not until the summer of 1942 did the German plan
to transfer Netherlands farmers to the east become a vast scheme
for the mass migration of some 3,000,000 Netherlanders to colonise
the German-occupied Soviet territories, and especially to build a
better community of German blood on the Baltic coast.
A great deal of propaganda has been spent on promoting this
scheme. The Germans stressed that, next to Belgium, the Nether-
lands was the most densely populated area in Western Europe;
that the country urgently needed a wider basis for its food supply ;
and that the waste regions of the east would "compensate the
Dutch for the colonies they have lost forever". 2 Not merely the
settlement of farmers is contemplated; undertakings are urged to
transfer entire industrial plants with their machinery and staff
from the Netherlands to Russia. 8 To organise settlement in the
east, the Netherlands East Company was created, directed by
Netherlands Nazis and "collaborationist" business men. The
financial basis of this concern is significant; the Netherlands Bank
is entitled to draw on the clearing account for Germany's debt to
the Netherlands, on which payment was stopped in 1941 and which
now exceeds one billion guilders, to finance the company. Another
source of capital is constituted by the assets of dissolved companies
which formerly traded with the Netherlands Indies.
It is, however, easier to provide a paper money basis for a
scheme of colonisation than to furnish the settlement area with
the two main factors necessary for its execution capital, in the
form of the means of production, agricultural and other machinery,
cattle, seed and so forth, and labour to cultivate the new land.
The German war economy has no surplus production on the scale
required for the establishment of millions of settlers. There is no
means, under existing circumstances, of moving vast numbers of
colonists across the European continent with the huge amount of
livestock and other equipment necessary, even if their requirements
1 Netherlands News, 26 Nov.-lO Dec. 1941, 26 Jan.-lO Feb. 1942.
8 Essener National Zeitung, quoted in an Associated Press despatch from
London of 11 June 1942. Cf. also the London correspondence of 24 Aug. 1942
in New York Times, 30 Aug. 1942.
MOVEMENTS Off NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 67
were reduced to a minimum. Above all, there is no willingness on
the part of the Netherlanders to trek east under German leadership.
Since the summer of 1942, the German and German-controlled
Netherlands press have constantly harped on plans for mass migra-
tion for agricultural as well as for industrial settlement. 1 But
execution lags far behind planning. Groups of Netherlands peasants
and artisans were sent to Bielorussia and the Kharkov region, their
numbers being unspecified. 2 For the Baltic regions, only 300 had
actually left up to August, mostly engineers, technicians and archi-
tects. Commissioner-General Schmidt is reported to have an-
nounced that "at the most 30,000 agricultural pioneers might be
expected to settle in the east with a view to augmenting Poland's
food supply ".* Roskam, the local Nazi leader of the Netherlands
peasantry, admitted after having visited the Ukraine that the
work of colonisation in the occupied Russian territories was at the
preliminary stage; the German and Netherlands farmers who were
already there still merely managed and directed the work of the
local population. 4 Immigrants were arriving in groups of several
dozens of persons. 6 In view of all these facts, no credit can be
attached to rumours of tens or even hundreds of thousands of
Netherlands colonists in German-occupied Soviet territory. The
plans for establishing "a second Brabant, a second Gelderland or
Limburg" in the east are for the time being suspended.
Finally, mention must be made of a population shift within
the country, produced by evacuation from the coastal areas. In
several places (i.e. the Province of Zeeland, part of Southern Holland
and the greater part of Northern Holland) all the inhabitants are
reported to have been sent to Groningen and Friesland, in the
1 The Kuban territory in particular, since retaken by the Red Army, was
recommended as ideal territory for Dutch farmers. Cf . De Storm (a Dutch Nazi
publication), 18 Dec. 1942, quoted by Netherlands News, 11-25 Jan. 1943.
* Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 20, July 1942. Nieuwe Rotterdamsche
Courant, 23 June 1942, reported that a group of 85 engineers and artisans had
been sent to Kharkov, 30 per cent, of them being Netherlanders, and a " technical
command" of Netherlanders to Kiev.
8 New York Times, 30 Aug. 1942.
4 Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, 16 and 18 Sept. 1942. It has even been
asserted that this should be the permanent role of the Netherlands agriculturists
as well as of the Germans in the Eastern Territories. The Netherlands Nazi Agri-
cultural Front official De Waard, when asked whether agricultural labourers
would be sent to the Ukraine from the Netherlands, replied: "No, we'll start
work with local labour. The Germanic peoples must feel far above the Slavic
peoples. It would be wrong if we worked there because it would be detrimental
to German prestige. We must employ Ukrainian workers, who are plentiful,
women and children included." (Netherlands News, 11 and 25 Jan. 1943.)
5 A Hilversum broadcast reported in Aug. 1942 that the Netherlands East
Company had taken over certain estates in the Wilno region as its first agricultural
settlement and that peasants from the Netherlands would soon leave for the east.
It was recently announced (Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, 30 Apr. 1943) that
the Netherlands East Company was planning to send a first experimental group
of fishermen to Lake Peipus on the Russian-Estonian frontier.
68 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
eastern Netherlands. 1 In March 1943 it was estimated that at
the Hague alone 280,000 persons had been ordered to move to the
eastern Netherlands, as an anti-invasion precaution. 2
Large-scale emigration from Luxemburg began even before
the German offensive. The closing of many metal works situated
near the frontier caused an exodus of workers and their families to
France to seek factory work there. Many wealthy people were also
reported to be moving to France. In March 1940 as niany as 15,000
visas were granted by the French Legation in Luxemburg.
During the campaign of May 1940 (Luxemburg having been
invaded on 10 May 1940) some 70,000 3 Luxemburgers were said to
have fled to France. These refugees were speedily repatriated by
Under German rule a new and far-reaching shift of population
seems to be taking place in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg which,
according to the census of 1935, has only 297,000 inhabitants. In
the first year of German domination deportations from Luxemburg
appear to have been of a purely political character, mainly affecting
the intellectuals. A change of tactics on the part of the German
authorities appeared in the winter of 1941-42, when in order to
germanise the country a large-scale exchange of population was
decided upon. The first step in this scheme affected several hundred
more or less influential families, who were transplanted into various
remote parts of Germany, and also workers, who were sent into the
neighbouring districts of Trier and Coblenz. Luxemburg having
b^en incorporated into the Reich, these workers are not listed in
the statistics of foreign labour in Germany, but according to Lux-
emburg sources their number already exceeded 3,500 in January
1942 4 , and has since been constantly increasing. 5 On the other
hand, great numbers of German publfc and party officials were
s l ent to Luxemburg with their families as "pioneers" in the colonisa-
tion of the country.
In September 1942 these measures seem to have been extended
on a massive scale. The increased deportations were supposed to
herald still more drastic action, and a Nazi newspaper published
in Luxemburg stated that those residents of Luxemburg "who are
reverting to anti-German agitation and are still unwilling to become
conscious members of the National Socialist Reich. . . will be
* Netherlands News, 1 Nov. 1942; Vrij Nederland, 28 Nov. 1942.
Netherlands News, 11-25 Mar. 1943.
1 Cf. below, p. 75, under France.
4 Inter-Allied Review, 15 Jan. 1942.
6 At the end of 1942 it was estimated at 10,000.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 69
resettled within the German Lebensraum" . The Germans were
quoted as saying that they were prepared to deport the entire
population if necessary and bring German workers in to keep the
iron mines running. 1
The Commissioner for Information of the Government of the
Grand Duchy of Luxemburg estimated the total of people removed
to Germany (deported to concentration camps, recruited workers,
and boys and girls in Hitler Youth camps) at 10 per cent, of the
entire population, i.e. 30,000. 2
After the German invasion on 10 May 1940 the population
of whole villages and tqwns fled before the invader, remembering
the fate that had befallen them twenty-six years before. Many of
these refugees were trapped by the German break-through to the
sea, and after the surrender of the Belgian army in June 1940 they
returned to their homes. Nevertheless, 15,000 Belgian civilians
escaped to England. 8 The main flood of Belgian refugees, estimated
at 1,000,000, overflowed into north-eastern France, mingling with
the fleeing French population. After the armistice the Belgian
refugees were soon re-evacuated, partly with German help, and
virtually all of them seem to have been sent home, except the
few who succeeded in leaving for America or tried to reach a Spanish
or Portuguese port. Some 1,500 persons reached the Belgian Congo.
Under the German occupation the main displacement of popula-
tion was that of workers recruited for the Reich. Attempts were
also made to interest the Belgians in the scheme for the colonisa-
tion of the German-occupied Soviet territories with the help of
settlers from the Netherlands, as described above. At the end of
1942, it was reported that a European Union for Agricultural,
Commercial and Industrial Expansion in the East had just been
formed in Belgium, corresponding to the Netherlands East Com-
pany. 4 But apart from a few Belgians appointed as managers of
former Soviet collective farms 5 , rumours of the sending of Belgian
colonists to the e v ast have not been confirmed. On the contrary,
according to information received in March 1943, it was announced
in Brussels that the scheme to establish an agricultural colony of
Belgian families in the Ukraine has been "temporarily abandoned". 6
1 New York Times, 16 and 17 Sept. 1942, quoting the Luxemburg Nazi news-
2 The United Nations Review, 15 Apr. 1943.
8 Report submitted by Sir Herbert Emerson t High Commissioner for Refugees,
Geneva, Jan. 1941.
4 Message (London), Dec. 1942, p. 22.
6 Cf. above, p. 66, Netherlands.
6 News from Belgium, 27 Mar. 1943.
70 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN
It may be noted that in Belgium, as in the Netherlands, an
internal migration movement was produced by evacuation from
the coast. 1
The first migration from Alsace and Lorraine took place at the
beginning of the war. Both for the protection of the population
itself, and in order to facilitate military operations, the French
authorities ordered the evacuation of the regions adjacent to the
Maginot Line which were within range of the enemy's guns. Stras-
burg was especially affected by this measure, the entire population,
numbering some 200,000 persons, having been evacuated. The
towns and villages in Alsace-Lorraine between the frontier and the
Maginot Line, and immediately behind it, were similarly affected.
The total number of people evacuated in September 1939 is estima-
ted at between 200,000 and 300, OOO. 2 Some of the evacuees were
received in neighbouring districts, and later sent gradually further
afield to various parts of central, southern and western France;
others went directly to the south-west of France. A great many
were sent to Perigueux and the surrounding district.
The German offensive in May 1940 was marked by another
exodus from Alsace-Lorraine, but not on so large a scale as the
first, and this time from the districts in the more remote rear.
In summer 1940, when the movement had reached its height, a
generally well-informed source estimated the number of persons
from Alsace-Lorraine who had been evacuated or had fled from their
homes since September 1939 at 400,000. An official German source
gives the number of evacuated "Alsatians" as 370,000. 3 A return
movement took place after the armistice, when the German occupa-
tion authorities tried to induce the Alsatians and Lorrainers to
return home. The majority did so, to the number of 300,000 (out
of 370,000), according to the German official figures, and 250,000
(out of a total of 400,000) according to the other source just quoted. 4
But at the same time a new movement was set in motion by the
expulsion orders of the German authorities.
It was not the first time that there had been a forced mass
migration from this unhappy land, which more than once has
1 In a single case reported by La Belgique Independante( London), 14 Jan. 1943,
10,000 persons were evacuated.
1 Pour la Victoire, 9 Jan. 1943; New York Times, 6 Apr. 1941.
8 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 20 Dec. 1940, No. 35, Part V, p. 615.
4 The Vichy correspondent of the New York Times (29 Apr. 1941) reported
the number of inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine who ultimately remained in the
unoccupied zone as 130,000. For comparison, it may be mentioned that eight
months earlier Paris Soir (11 Aug. 1940) gave the number as 200,000.
MOVEMENTS $ NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 71
had to undergo a change of sovereignty. Goethe depicts a
similar exodus of Alsatians in his Hermann und Dorothea; and
again in 1871, when Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by Germany
after the Franco-Prussian war, nearly half a million, or one-third
of its inhabitants, who opted for France had to leave Alsace-Lor-
raine and were gradually replaced by 400,000 Germans. 1 After
1918, when a new page of history was again turned, 130,000 of the
inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine, many of them German officials,
emigrated to the Reich 2 and were replaced by French newcomers.
Yet these previous emigration movements, even though more
or less compulsory, were not to be compared with the removal of
the population of Alsace-Lorraine after the German occupation
in 1940. Expulsion was not only carried out on a massive scale,
but in a spirit very different from that of the German Government
in 1871 or of the French Government in 1918. The people concerned
were given no choice between expatriation and recognising the "New
Order' '. Their only choice lay between unoccupied France and
Poland, and no one chose Poland. Of course, even in 1918 some
categories of newcomers from the Reich had been forced to leave
Alsace-Lorraine, but ample time was given them to collect their
belongings and make financial arrangements with their banks.
This time they received only a few days', and in some cases only
a few hours 7 notice before leaving. They were permitted to take
only a few personal effects, limited in weight to 50 kilograms (about
110 Ibs.) for each adult and to 30 kilograms (about 65 Ibs.) for
each child, and 1,000 francs (equivalent to about $23) in cash.
Immediately after the occupation of Alsace-Lorraine the German
authorities began to prepare the ground for the building up of a
"natural wall" to make the German frontier secure. The expulsion
started with Alsatian Jews in July 1940. According to information
given by the Institute of Jewish Affairs, the Jews in Alsace-Lorraine
numbered approximately 35,000 and lived, in contrast with both
the German and the French Jews, mostly on the land and in small
towns. Some 15,000 were evacuated from the frontier zone at the
beginning of the war, including some 11,000 Jewish inhabitants
of Strasburg and Mulhouse. Many others fled at the time of the
German offensive in May 1940 and were subsequently forbidden
to return. 3 The rest of the better-off farmers were the first victims
of expulsion. The Jews from Lorraine were expelled some time
later along with other groups. In a speech made in Strasburg on
19 March 1941, Gauleiter Wagner announced that 22,000 Jews
1 A. and E. KUUSCHER: Kriegs- und Wanderziige: Weltgeschichte als Volker-
bewegung (Berlin, 1932), pp. 158 and 210.
Reichstagsdrucksache, 1920-22, No. 4084.
8 These Jewish evacuees and refugees are included in the total of Alsace-
Lorrainers who remained in unoccupied France after the armistice.
72 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN
had been expelled from Alsace-Lorraine. The combined result of
flight and expulsion was the almost complete elimination of the
Jewish residents of Alsace-Lorraine.
Some weeks later, beginning on 11 August 1940 in Alsace and
five days later in Lorraine, expulsion was extended to the non-
Jewish population. The process of expelling French-speaking
people continued over a considerable period of time, from summer
1940 until spring 1941 and even later. In Alsace it progressed
more slowly and gradually, and the percentage of expulsions was
lower than in Lorraine. This difference is attributable to the fact
that the majority of Alsatians speak a German dialect, so that
most of the Alsatians expelled, apart from the Jews, were French
immigrants who had entered the province after its restoration to
France in 1918. In Lorraine expulsion was more radical and at
times violent, especially just before the announcement on 30 No-
vember 1940 that Lorraine was to be annexed to Germany and to
form, together with the Saar, the new German province of the
Westmark. This mass expulsion started on 11 November 1940,
and on 30 November Marshal P6tain announced that 70,000 Lor-
rainers had "come to seek refuge with their brothers of France*'.
For some time thereafter the expulsions slackened, but they in-
creased again in the spring of 1941, when a kind of enquiry was
arranged among the population of Lorraine, the French Depart-
ment of the Moselle, to establish which of them were willing to
become genuine Germans. The rest were to be expelled as had
been those before them.
The total number of persons expelled from Alsace-Lorraine
can be estimated with some precision on the basis of official state-
ments. The German Commissioner for Strasburg, Dr. Ernst,
declared in August 1941 that more than 100,000 French people
and Jews had been expelled from Alsace since the armistice. It is
estimated that a similar number were exiled from Lorraine in the
same period: 70,000 up to the end of November 1940, according to
the abovementioned official statement, and 30,000 more since
then. The total for Alsace-Lorraine would thus be 200,000 1 , or
over one-tenth of the pre-war population of 1,900,000, 8 per cent,
in Alsace and 14 per cent, in Lorraine.
The criterion on which the expulsions were based is obscure.
It was mainly the French who had settled in Alsace-Lorraine after
1918 who were expelled, but not only they. On the other hand,
1 New York Herald Tribune, 1 Sept. 1941. Another source already quoted
estimates the number expelled at 250,000. The figure of 200,000 is accepted by
Ren KRAUS (op. cit., p. 73). Maurice P. ZUBER in "The Nazis in Alsace and
Lorraine" (Foreign Affairs, Oct. 1942, p. 170) refers to at least 70,000 Lorrainers
and more than 100,000 Alsatians, not including "the great number of those who
fled without waiting to be expelled 1 '.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 73
not all French-speaking pteopl'e were expelled; in some districts
they remained entirely unmolested, while in others almost every
French-speaking resident was ordered to leave. The feelings and
sympathies of the persons concerned seem to have had an important
bearing on the selection. 1
Seventy-five per cent, of the expelled persons were farmers.
Their property was used by the German authorities to enlarge the
holdings of the local and neighbouring German peasantry. 2 In addi-
tion, Germans from the Rhineland and the Palatinate came to
replace the Alsace-Lorrainers who had been driven from their homes,
businesses, work benches and lands. 8 Since spring 1941 Germans
transferred from abroad have also been settled on the vacant lands. 4
This particular transfer of property did not always go off smoothly;
many of the farmers ordered to leave their homes set fire to their
houses and barns, preferring to destroy them rather than let them
fall into German hands.
In November 1940, when the expulsions from Lorraine had
reached their height, it was announced in Berlin that about 120,000
Germans would move in to replade the expelled population. There
is no information as to the execution of this plan. Joseph Buerkel,
Gauleiter of Lorraine, describing German achievements in the
farming districts in spring 1942, said that French-speaking zones
had been "cleared", large estates divided into farms for as many
German peasant families as possible, and small undertakings estab-
lished in villages to give employment to Germans. With regard to
the industrial areas in the north of Lorraine, his words indicated
promise rather than performance. "Many foreign workers", he
said, "live there. They must be replaced by German workers." 6
And he added that "for purely economic reasons this situation
cannbt be changed immediately". But there is no doubt that there
was an influx of German officials into Alsace-Lorraine to replace not
only French officials but also many Alsace-Lorraine officials of
The mass expulsions from Alsace-Lorraine increased the burden
of refugees to be maintained by the unoccupied zone of France.
It seemed probable that their establishment would be largely
facilitated by the fact that the great majority wefe farmers. There
1 New York Times, 15 Nov. 1940 and 30 Mar. 1941; Christian Science Monitor,
4 Feb. 1942. It was noticed that among those expelled were some persons who
had been evacuated at the beginning of the war and had returned home after
the armistice. Cf. New York Times, 6 Apr. 1941.
* Cf. Chapter I, pp. 29-30.
8 New York Times Magazine, 8 June 1941; New York Herald Tribune, 15 Nov.
4 Cf. Chapter I, pp. 22-23.
6 J. BuSRKEk, article in Frankfurter Zeitung, 24 Apr. 1942, reprinted in Les
Documents (ed. Coalite's de la France Libre).
74 tHE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN
was in south-western France much land lying abandoned and un-
cultivated as the result of a rural exodus which took on great di-
mensions long before the war of 1914-1918. A number of immigrants
from Northern Italy had begun to settle there in the twenties, but
this movement, helpful to both countries, ceased with the anti-
emigration policy 1 adopted by the Fascist regime. Mobilisation
for the army had contributed further to the shortage of farm hands
and to the abandonment of land. The expelled residents of Alsace-
Lorraine were therefore sent to the departments of Lot, Lot-et-
Garonne, Gers and Tarn-et-Garonne, in south-western France;
and some even farther afield into the Pyrenees. Some were granted
holdings of abandoned land or uncultivated tracts with a view to
permanent settlement; others obtained jobs as farm hands; while
still others undertook the cultivation of plots of land placed at
their disposal by the municipalities. But owing to the difficulty
of obtaining fertilisers and seed, and other difficulties of transport
and supply, many of these former farmers remained unemployed
and had to be maintained by the Government. Among the indus-
trial workers only a few found employment as factory workers or
in building. A few emigrated to North Africa or French West
Africa, and there was even talk of settling them in Guadeloupe in
the West Indies. 2
In the summer of 1941 there was a new wave of deportation,
this time directed eastward. On 8 May 1941, compulsory labour
was introduced in Alsace-Lorraine for young people of both sexes
between the ages of 17 and 25. Not all of those who registered
under this measure were employed in Alsace-Lorraine itself.
Many of them were sent to the adjacent regions of southern
Germany, to central Germany and to the Sudetenland. But many
thousands of youths failed to register and fled to France and Switzer-
land. By order of Gauleiter Buerkel their parents were arrested and
deported into the interior. 3 This was only a beginning; deportation
for this and other reasons to the Reich, as well as to the Eastern
Territories, took on mass dimensions in the course of 1942. 4 The
number of persons affected was estimated in the summer of 1942
at over 200,000. 5 This was perhaps an exaggeration but since then
the number has been constantly growing. 6
1 Cf. S. WifOCBvsKi: L' installation des Italiens en France (Paris, 1934), pp. 63-74.
2 New York Times, 15 and 17 Nov. 1940, 22 Jan., 30 Mar., 6 and 20 Apr. and
1 May 1941. Cf. also the 1942 Bulletins of the American Friends (Quakers)
Service Committee, who helped to restore abandoned villages for the resettlement
* Cf. J. LORRAINE: op. cit., p. 72.
4 New York Times, 6 and 21 Aug. and 6 Sept. 1942.
6 Phillipe HARRIS, in Pour la Victoire, 11 July 1942.
6 Pour la Victoire, 30 Jan. 1943, gives a total of 500,000, this figure including
also workers sent to the Reich and young men mobilised for service in the army.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 75
The different groups of people who have left Alsace-Lorraine
those evacuated in 1939, refugees in the summer of 1940, those
expelled to unoccupied France in 1940-41, those deported into the
Reich, and those who clandestinely crossed the frontier together
total many hundreds of thousands, approaching half a million.
This estimate does not include the numerous workers recruited
for employment in the Reich, nor the Alsatians mobilised for Ger-
man military service.
Other Parts of France.
In the days just before the outbreak of the war the French
Government urged the civilian population of Paris to leave the
capital, in the expectation that the war would start with bombing
which would be especially dangerous in the densely populated Paris
area. The evacuation was voluntary, although all who were not
needed in Paris were asked to take refuge in regions less exposed
to air raids. The evacuation of school children was organised
through official agencies. In all, 500,000 people are estimated to
have left Paris, but as the anticipated air raids did not occur a
return movement began as early as September and by the winter
the great majority of Parisians were at home again.
The great exodus from France, as from Belgium, the Nether-
lands and Luxemburg, was provoked by the German invasion in
According to the French News Service, on 31 May 1940 the
estimated numbers of refugees in France were as follows: 2,500,000
French refugees from the north; 1,000,000 Belgian refugees; 70,000
from Luxemburg; and 50,000 from the Netherlands. The whole of
this flood of humanity swept past Paris to the departments of
inner France which were regarded as comparatively safe.
Next came the great movement from the Paris area. This was
partly an organised evacuation of Government offices and factories,
partly an orderly departure of youths of military age, and partly
an entirely spontaneous exodus. Two-thirds of the population of
Paris and its suburbs were estimated to have left their homes.
All these millions of people fled before the advancing German
armies into central and south-western France. Only a fraction of
them were able to cross the Spanish border and reach, through
Lisbon, Great Britain or America.
The number of refugees has been variously estimated. In his
broadcast of 25 June 1940 Marshal P6tain stated that 1,000,000
of the French population and 500,000 Belgians had left towns and
cities for the country. The American Red Cross is reported to have
76 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
aided 2,750,000 (though many of these were probably counted
twice), while other estimates vary from ten to twelve and even
twenty millions. A well-informed source gave the following figures:
4,000,000 French refugees, 30,000 Poles (partly war refugees, partly
miners who had lived in France for many years but were not granted
French citizenship), 1,000,000 Belgians, 50,000 Netherlanders,
70,000 Luxemburgers, and 50,000 Germans and Austrians (mostly
Jews), who had found a temporary haven in France.
Alter the armistice, repatriation began in respect of the refugees
within the occupied zone as well as of those from the unoccupied
to the occupied part of France. The first to be re-evacuated, partly
with German help, were the Belgian refugees. As regards the
French, it became clear that some of them, those from the Channel
zone, were not to be allowed to return home. The return movement
lasted for many months. On 9 October 1941, the following official
figures of French refugees were given: 328,000 in the occupied
zone, who were not permitted to return home, and 543,000 in the
unoccupied zone, the latter number including about 100,000 persons
from Alsace-Lorraine, or the remainder of those evacuated in 1939
at the outbreak of war, and probably not including about 200,000
expelled from Alsace-Lorraine in 1940-41. It was observed 1 that
these figures did not include many thousands of refugees who,
having means of their own, established themselves independently.
Some of the Jewish refugees were able to secure visas for the United
States or other American countries. Some of those who remained
in unoccupied France were handed over to the Germans by the
Vichy Government and sent to the ghettos and labour camps in
eastern Europe, or fell into German hands after the occupation
of the whole of French territory. 2
In summer 1942 the German authorities started a new evacua-
tion movement on a large scale in connection with their prepara-
tions for defence against an Allied invasion. Mass removal of the
coastal population took place, in particular, to a depth of 18 miles
from the coast from Boulogne to Dieppe. The number affected was
stated to be "more than a million". 3 It has been suggested that
the evacuation was also a means of applying pressure on French
workers to migrate to Germany for employment in the armament
1 New York Times, 29 Apr. 1941 (Vichy despatch of 28 Apr.).
* Cf. below, p. 103.
8 New York Times, 27 June 1942, Associated Press despatch from London,
quoting a "well-informed foreign source". Other reports refer to the evacuation
of millions of French civilians, but even the figure of one million seems rather
high, unless it includes all those who fled from the Channel zone in May and
June 1940 and were not allowed to return later, as well as Belgians and Nether-
landers removed from the coast and those evacuated since autumn 1942. In the
latter case it would, on the contrary, be on the conservative side.
OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 77
factories. 1 The evacuees were transferred to the regions of Rheims,
the Loire and the Sarthe. 2 This evacuation was resumed in autumn
1942 3 and took on even greater dimensions in 1943 with the growing
fear of an Allied invasion. All "unnecessary" civilians were ordered
to evacuate seaside towns along the coast, in particular Le Havre,
Cherbourg and Saint-Malo. 4 There were also mass removals of
population from the Atlantic coast. 6
In the most recent months more evacuations have also been
reported from various parts of the Mediterranean coast of France,
particularly from Marseilles 6 and Toulon.
Germany's expansion towards the south-east and the Axis
conquest of the Balkans caused a series of mass displacements of
population. Some of these migrations were set in motion by the
victorious Powers, Germany and Italy, in their own interests, and
Germany also arranged for an exchange of population between
various Balkan States. Apart from this, however, a forced transfer
was carried out by nations friendly to the Axis, namely Bulgaria
and Hungary, which availed themselves of the opportunity to im-
prove their own economic and demographic situation at the expense
of the defeated countries.
Indeed the whole of south-eastern Europe, with its predominant-
ly agricultural structure, suffered from over-population. It was
stated that on the eve of the war 43 persons were living on every
100 hectares of arable land in Germany, and even fewer 37 persons
per 100 hectares in France, whereas for the Balkan States the
figures were: in Hungary 72 persons, in Rumania 97 persons, in
Yugoslavia 114 persons, and in Bulgaria 116 persons per 100 hec-
tares. Since 1925, moreover, the countries of south-eastern Europe,
1 New York Times, 28 June 1942, reporting a speech by B. S. TOWNROE,
Secretary of the United Associations of Great Britain and France.
2 Pour la Victoire, 11 July 1942.
* United Press despatch from Vichy, 2 Oct. 1942 (New York Times, 3 Oct.
4 New York Times, 17 Apr. 1943; Pariser Zeitung, 24 Apr. 1943. A total of
20,000 women and children had been removed from the Channel ports of Havre
and Dieppe and the surrounding area, according to a Berlin broadcast recorded
by the Associated Press (New York Times, 26 Apr. 1943).
B Twenty thousand refugees from the coast of Brittany have arrived in the
department of Loiret, according to Radio Vichy, 23 Apr. 1943. The civilian
population has been evacuated from the naval base of Lorient (Pariser Zeitung,
26 Mar. 1943) and from the coastal zone between Bayonne and the Spanish
frontier (Deptche de Toulouse, 5 May 1943). .,_.,, , r *
A census taken lately showed that the population had decreased from about
1,000,000 before the war to less than 700,000 (Transocean broadcast, 19 Mar.
1943). This decrease is the result of evacuation as well as of a migration to rural
districts, owing to the food situation. According to the Swedish paper Arbeiaren
(8 Apr. 1943), 40,000 persons have been expelled from their homes in Marseilles.
78 TH0 DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
like Poland, have lost the United States outlet for their surplus agrar-
ian population, which played an important role in their economy
before the war of 1914-1918. The Nazi press pointed out that the
support of the Axis now gave the countries co-operating with it
an opportunity to relieve their population pressure at the expense
of their neighbours, while all suitable workers could be recruited
for employment in Germany. 1
After the invasion of Yugoslavia the country was carved up
into seven parts; one part each was taken by Germany, Italy, Bul-
garia and Hungary, while the remaining three parts formed the
vassal states of Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro.
Traffic between these different parts of Yugoslavia is forbidden
to the local population, and even travelling within the territories
of the separate areas is not allowed without a special permit. Free
migration being practically impossible, the movement of peoples
takes the form of forced transfer, more or less forced departure for
employment in Germany, and clandestine flight. Certain features
of population movements are common to all sections of Yugoslavia.
Apart from the removal of workers from all parts of Yugoslavia,
and of Serbian war prisoners to Germany, dealt with in another
context 3 , the movements can be classified as follows:
(1) Waves of terror, provoking the flight of the population.
The number of Yugoslav refugees abroad is small and limited to
groups of politicians and intellectuals, but there was a great
movement of refugees in the interior of Yugoslavia itself. 4
During the "purge" of the part of Slovenia annexed by Germany,
many Slovenes escaped to the section annexed by Italy (Province
of Ljubljana). According to a reliable source, at the turn of the
year 1941-42, there were more than 10,000 refugees registered with
the Red Cross in Ljubljana. 5
From Croatia, about 250,000 Serbs and non-separatist Croats
are said to have fled to Serbia and Italy to escape the Ustachi terror.
1 These arguments are given in respect of Rumania by Wirtschaftsdienst, 1942,
No. 1, and for Croatia by SudostEcho, 23 May 1941.
2 The facts cited in this section are based on information supplied by the
Royal Yugoslav Information Centre, unless otherwise stated.
Cf. Chapter III, pp. 151-153.
4 The extent of these movements has recently been shown by a census of refu-
gees registered in Serbia. There were 72,524 families residing in the country
amounting to 10 per cent, of the population.
6 This is corroborated by the following statement in the Sildost Economist,
20 June 1941 (published in Budapest): "The immigration to Ljubljana of num-
bers of people from the former Drava Banat annexed by the Reich was the cause
of a jump of about 5,000 in the unemployment figure in that city".
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 79
In the early days of the Hungarian occupation of north-eastern
Yugoslavia, several thousands of Serbs fled to Old Serbia.
All the above migration movements concern persons fleeing
from one part of Yugoslavia to another under a different military
occupation and administrative regime. There was, however, also
a similar movement within the limits of these same territories,
particularly in what remained of Serbia and in Croatia. Thousands
were forced to leave the smaller towns and villages, where life
was insecure because of the irresponsible acts of the occupying
forces and their supporters and of general conditions, and moved
into larger cities such as Belgrade, Zagreb 1 and Nish.
There was also a continual stream of refugees from all parts of
Yugoslavia to the mountains to join the guerrilla forces.
(2) Efforts of the occupation authorities to purge the country
of elements which they regarded as dangerous. The Germans deport-
ed 30,000 persons, mostly belonging to the intelligentsia, to Croatia,
and 26,000 to Old Serbia, from the part of Slovenia incorporated
in the Reich, most of them during the early part of the occupation.
The Italians also deported to southern Italy 35,000 Slovenes 2
and another 57,000 people from Dalmatia and from the Croatian
coast. The Italians seem to be following the policy of thoroughly
clearing the Dalmatian coast and of settling Italians there.
(3) Changes in land ownership. The Yugoslav land reform
laws were abolished in Croatia, in Bulgarian-held southern Serbia,
in the north-eastern part of Yugoslavia annexed by Hungary, and
in part of Old Serbia. In all these territories settlers who since 1918
had occupied the land of large and foreign landowners were dispos-
sessed and removed from their farms. This led to various transfers
of population described below.
In Slovenia, the repatriation of some 13,500 Germans from
Kocevije, which was in effect a transfer from Italian-annexed
Ljubljana to the German-annexed part of Slovenia, has already
been described. 8 In order to make the necessary room for them,
still more Slovenes had to leave their homes. There are detailed
reports of the forced emigration of 45,000 Slovenes from the dis-
tricts of Brezice and Krsko (17,000) and of Litija (28,000). This
took place from 24 October to 16 December 1941. The persons
concerned were sent to different parts of Germany, information
being available on the destination of the following groups: 5,000
to Lower Silesia, 16,000 to south-western Germany, and 12,000 to
1 The population of Zagreb increased from 230,000 before the invasion of
Yugoslavia to 350,000 in the autumn of 1942 (Novo Hrvatska, 15 Oct. 1942).
2 This figure is confirmed by the St. Galten Tageblatt, which reported that
35 000 Slovenes were in Italian concentration camps. According to Aufbau
(Zurich), 3 Oct. 1942, 60,000 Slovenes had been deported to Italy.
' Cf. Chapter I, pp. 19-20.
80 THE DISPI, A CEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
northern and central Germany. The Slovenes were quartered in
concentration camps, and employment office officials gradually
selected groups of labourers from among them; many of the men
were employed on agricultural work and the women on housework.
In regard to southern Serbia (Northern Macedonia), occupied
by Bulgaria, a pro-Axis paper stated that "only those Serbs who
have immigrated since 1913 should be removed from here; their
number is not large". 1 According to Yugoslav sources, about
120,000 were transferred to what remained of Serbia under a Bul-
garian Decree laying down that all citizens who settled after
1 December 1918 must return to the place they came from. In south-
ern Serbia about 100,000 hectares of land left by Serbs who had
either been killed or deported to Serbia were divided among the
Bulgarian peasants by the Bulgarian Government.
In north-eastern Yugoslavia, annexed by Hungary (Banat,
Backa, and Baranja), the Hungarian Government issued a law
after the occupation providing that the property of all citizens of
Yugoslav nationality who had settled in this area after 1 December
1918 should be confiscated without any compensation for the
capital and work they had invested in it over the past 20 years.
In order to create a "pure Hungarian province", the Hungarian
Government repealed the agrarian reform Act and reinstated the
old landowners and their supporters, mainly the Hungarian aristo-
cracy, in their property rights, while land was also granted to other
Magyars for merit in the war. Information about the demographic
effects of this measure is contradictory. According to the Royal
Yugoslav Government Information Centre, the Yugoslav peasants
were expelled, and the new owners settled Hungarian farmers on
their properties. Information from another source, however, indi-
cates that only the ownership of the land changed hands and that
the Yugoslav peasants remained as tenants and labourers. The
reports of the expulsion of peasants were said to be unreliable, as
Germany, which according to an agreement with Hungary was to
share the whole of the crop with Italy, would not have allowed the
expulsion of the local peasants. Those who fled during the early
part of the Hungarian occupation belonged to the Serbian intelli-
gentsia. Information published by the Central and Eastern Euro-
pean Planning Board on the basis of a report from a Swiss paper
suggests, however, that large-scale settlement of repatriated Hun-
garians has taken place in the newly acquired districts, whether
or not the land allotted to the new settlers had been obtained
by expelling its previous owners. 2
1 Siidost Economist (Budapest), 6 June 1941.
2 See below, Hungary, p. 86.
MOV3M6NTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 81
(4) Repatriation of population. Apart from the repatriation
of the Kocevije and Bosnian Germans and of the Hungarians,
already mentioned, a large-scale repatriation of Croats has been
carried out by the Croatian Government. In 1941 about 70,000
Croats were transferred to Croatia from Serbia and Macedonia 1 ,
and negotiations concerning the repatriation of Croats from Bulgaria
have also been reported. 2
Greece and Bulgaria.
After the second Balkan War of 1912-13 and the world war of
1914-18, part of Macedonia and Western Thrace was ceded to
Greece by Bulgaria. A number of Bulgarians had already migrated
from the Greek provinces of Macedonia and Thrace into Bulgaria
before the treaty, and a further migration of Bulgarians resulted
from the Treaty of Neuilly (27 November 1919) which provided
for a voluntary exchange of population between Greece and Bul-
garia. According to Bulgarian sources the migrants totalled
300,000. 3 German sources claim that as many as 500,000 Bulgarians
migrated "as a result of Greek terrorism". 4 These figures are highly
exaggerated. According to an investigation made by the Inter-
national Labour Office at the request of the Bulgarian Government
in 1926, and based on reports of Bulgarian authorities, the total
of refugees entering the country between 1913 and 1925 was
221, OOO. 5 A final estimate 10 years later, including immigration
since 1926, gave a total of 251,000 Bulgarian refugees, of whom
122,000 came from Greece (that is, from Greek Macedonia and
Western Thrace) and the rest from Yugoslavia (31,000), from
Turkey (70,000), and from Rumania (28,000). 6
Greeks from Asia Minor were settled in Greek Macedonia and
Western Thrace with the help of a commission appointed by the
Council of the League of Nations and the Greek Government.
Much of this settlement was in formerly swampy, malaria-ridden
districts, which were drained and improved by the work of the
commission and with the help of a loan issued for the purpose. At
the request of the Bulgarian Government, the League of Nations
also helped to settle 32,000 Bulgarian refugee families, particularly
in eastern Bulgaria. Loans of 2,400,000 and $4,500,000 made to
the Bulgarian Government helped in the execution of the scheme.
After the German-Italian conquest of Greece in 1941, Western
1 Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 23 July and 3 Nov. 1941.
2 Der Angriff (Berlin), 28 Apr. 1942; Neues Wiener Tagblatt, 29 Apr. 1942.
8 Sudost Economist, 6 June 1941.
Wirtschaftsdienst, 22 May 1942. .
6 INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE: Refugees and Labour Conditions in
Bulgaria, Studies and Reports, Series B, No. 15 (Geneva, 1926), pp. 6-7.
6 CL Sir John HOPE SIMPSON: The Refugee Problem (London, 1939), p. 25.
82 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN
Thrace was annexed and Eastern (Greek) Macedonia occupied by
Bulgaria. The policy of "bulgarisation", carried out most thorough-
ly in Western Thrace, is represented by the Axis press as intended
to secure the repatriation of the Bulgarians who left the territory
20 to 25 years ago. However, it is acknowledged that a further
aim of this scheme is the resettlement of a number of Bulgarians
from the mountains and from other unfertile regions of old Bul-
In the spring of 1942, the German press announced a great
Bulgarian colonisation project, 100,000 peasants from Old Bulgaria
having already applied for resettlement. 2 Later it was reported
that according to a declaration by the Bulgarian Commissioner
for Resettlement 50,000 Bulgarians were to be transferred
from the "Old Kingdom 1 ' to the Aegean provinces. 3 It may
be added that, according to some reports, 50,000 Bulgarians
from the Zaporozhe district in the Ukraine are also to be repa-
According to the Greek Office of Information, based on reports
relating to autumn 1942, at least 80,000 Greeks fled from the terri-
tory annexed and occupied by Bulgaria to that which remained
Greek. In addition, 25,OOOGreeks were deported to the interior of Bul-
garia. On the other hand, the Bulgarian Government has sent about
80,000 Bulgarians to live in Western Thrace. Their occupational
classification is unspecified, but according to another source, most
of them are new Bulgarian officials with their families. The occupied
territories afforded a means of alleviating the situation of the
Bulgarian officials, who were underpaid and very numerous (130,000,
or with their families, 650,000) ; as the Government could not afford
to raise their salaries, it decided to send some of the officials from
Old Bulgaria to the annexed territory and to give all officials a
compensation of about 10 per cent, for the resultant increase in
their work. 6
Mention must further be made of the emigration from Greece.
Apart from workers recruited for employment in Germany, there
are also Greek refugees abroad. Many civilians emigrated with
the retreating Greek army, and later many fled to Egypt and the
Near East. Of the 4,830 refugees admitted to Cyprus nearly all
were from Greece. One thousand Greeks were evacuated to Mau-
1 Sudost Economist, 6 June and 21 Nov. 1941. Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten,
24 Dec. 1942.
2 Wirtschaftsdienst, 1 May 1942.
3 Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, Jan. 1942, quoting the Donau Zeitung.
4 Nya Dagligt Allehanda, 27 May 1942, printed a report of the Swedish
Svenska Telegrambyran that representatives of Bulgarians living in the Ukraine
had arrived in Sofia to negotiate this repatriation scheme.
6 Sudost Economist, 18 July 1941 and 31 July 1942.
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 83
ritius 1 , several hundreds to Kenya 2 , and 2,000 Greek refugees
have already reached the Belgian Congo while another 3,000 are
After the war of 1914-1918 Rumania acquired vast territories
with a large non-Rumanian population: Transylvania and the
Banat from Hungary, Bukovina from Austria, and Bessarabia from
Russia. In addition, not long before the war of 1914-1918, Dobruja
had been acquired from Bulgaria. It was estimated that of the
18,000,000 people in the new Greater Rumania, 5,000,000 were not
ethnically Rumanian. 3 In some of the newly acquired territories,
these non-Rumanians constituted the majority of the population.
In the summer of 1940, Rumania lost the major part of these
territories. In June 1940 the Soviet Union regained the former
Russian province of Bessarabia and annexed Northern Bukovina,
which had been under Austrian rule before 1919 and had an over-
whelmingly Ukrainian population. On 30 August 1940, Rumania
lost Northern Transylvania to Hungary, and on 7 September 1940,
by the Treaty of Craiowa, Southern Dobruja was ceded to Bul-
By these cessions, Rumania lost a large part of its territory
and population. According to the census of 29 December 1930,
Greater Rumania had a population of 18,057,000, and of this total
6,161,000 then lived in the territories which are now no longer
under Rumanian rule. All of these territories had large Rumanian
minorities, great numbers of whom migrated into what remained
of Rumania. The Rumanian census of 6 April 1941 indicated the
total number of refugees from the ceded territories as 251,000. 4
(1) Hungaro-Rumanian population exchange. After the world
war of 1914-1918 Rumania annexed from Hungary the whole of
Transylvania with its mixed population of Rumanians and Hun-
garians. The Vienna Award of August 1940 partitioned Transyl-
vania into two parts, divided between Rumania and Hungary, with
an approximately equal population. In connection with this trans-
fer of sovereignty, a voluntary population exchange was also prov-
ided for. In Northern Transylvania, ceded to Hungary, Rumanians
were allowed to opt within six months for either Rumanian or Hun-
garian citizenship. Those choosing Rumanian citizenship were to
1 According to a British statement issued in Washington on 4 Mar. 1943.
1 News from Greece (ed. by the National Committee for the Restoration of
Greece, New York), 17 Aug. 1942.
8 Cf. Sir John HOPE SIMPSON: op. tit., p. 411.
4 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 20.
84 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
migrate to Rumania within the next year, and the same applied
to those choosing Hungarian citizenship in Southern Transylvania,
which remained under Rumanian sovereignty. The migrants were
allowed to take with them their movable property and to liquidate
that which could not be moved.
The number of Rumanians who moved from Transylvania was
estimated in 1941 at 100,000. Two years later it was reported
that the census showed 202,233 refugees from northern Transylvania
in Rumania. 1
(2) Bulgaro-Rumanian population exchange. In 1914
Bulgaria lost Southern Dobruja to Rumania. The whole
territory of the Dobruja, situated between the lower Danube
and the Black Sea, had a. mixed population of Rumanians and
Bulgarians, the northern part being mostly Rumanian and the
southern part mostly Bulgarian. The latter remained ethnically
Bulgarian, in spite of the large number of Bulgarians who emigrated
after 1913 to escape Rumanian rule. Under the Treaty of Craiowa
of 7 September 1940, Rumania returned Southern Dobruja to
Bulgaria. Arrangements were made for an exchange of population
between the Bulgarians of Nor-thern Dobruja and the Rumanians
of Southern Dobruja, to secure ethnical uniformity in each of the
two parts of the region. The migrants were allowed to take with
them all their movable property, including in particular livestock,
but landed property was r seized by the State without any indemnity,
the migrant being entitled to compensation from the country to
which he was making his way.
The Bulgarian census taken in Southern Dobruja on 31 January
1941 showed a population of 319,600, including 62,000 Bulgarian
migrants from Northern Dobruja. Nevertheless, the total popula-
tion of this region showed a substantial loss in consequence of the
emigration from Southern Dobruja of the Rumanians, who were
more numerous than the Bulgarian immigrants. 2 The number of
Rumanians who left Southern Dobruja was estimated at 110,000.
On 1 April 1943 an agreement was signed between Rumania and
Bulgaria arranging a new repatriation scheme wider than that
stipulated in the Treaty of Craiowa and providing for a voluntary
resettlement of all Bulgarians living in any part of Rumania and
all Rumanians living in any part of Bulgaria. 3 In May, however,
the Mixed Bulgarian-Rumanian Commission for the Exchange of
Nationals announced that the Governments of the two countries
1 Bukarester Tageblatt, 30 Apr. 1943. These refugees included 116,948 men,
mostly aged between 21 and 40. Peasants formed the largest category.
2 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 8.
8 Transocean broadcast, 29 Apr. 1943.
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 85
had abandoned the idea of resettlement 1 , the explanation given
being that "neighbourly relations between Rumania and Bulgaria
have become very cordial during the past few months". 2
(3) Migration from and to Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.
In June 1940 the occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina
by the Soviet Union led to the flight of some of the Rumanian
population. It should be noted that those who left were not the
original Rumanian inhabitants of Bessarabia or the Moldavian
peasants, who constituted about half of the population of the
province, nor the peasants of Northern Bukovina. 3 The refugees,
estimated at between 35,000 and 40,000 persons 4 , consisted entirely
of Rumanians who had come into Bessarabia and Bukovina after
1919, and were for the most part officials or persons engaged in
the liberal professions. Most of the refugees from Bukovina went
to Transylvania and those from Bessarabia to the neighbouring
province of Moldavia. 5
In June 1941, when Rumania joined Germany in invading the
Soviet Union, there was a mass flight of Jews from Bessarabia and
Bukovina to the interior of the U.S.S.R., their number being esti-
mated at between 100,000 and 130,000.' Bessarabia and Northern
Bukovina were retaken by the Rumanians, and the neighbouring
part of the Ukraine, including the city of Odessa, came under
Rumanian domination and was renamed Transnistria. These
events led to the return to Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina of
the Rumanians who in the summer of 1940 had fled to escape the
Soviet occupation. Furthermore, a proposal was made a few months
after the occupation of Bessarabia for the resettlement in Bessarabia
of 100,000 Transylvanian Rumanians. 7 There was also a Rumanian
influx into Transnistria 8 , which appears to have consisted in large
measure of Rumanian police and other officials; thus, according to
Tass, the number of special requisition officers was 4,600. 9
1 D.N.B., 23 May 1943, despatch from Bucarest.
2 Transocean broadcast, 25 May 1943.
* The New York Times (14 Dec. 1940) published a United Press report from
Bucarest six months later that Rumanian peasants from two villages in North-
ern Bukovina had left for Rumania, being dissatisfied with life under Soviet rule.
4 New York Times, 1 July 1940.
6 The measures taken by the Rumanian authorities to deal with the refugees
consisted mainly in preventing them from reaching Bucarest. After the riots in
Sept. 1940, the new pro- Axis Rumanian Government took care of the refugees
in a manner consistent with its general policy. All the rural land and dwellings
to which Jews held title were confiscated and turned over to Rumanian refugees
from Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Southern Dobruja. It was also hoped that
places would be found for numerous refugees by ousting Jews from the liberal
6 Cf. below, p. 106.
New York Times, 20 Aug. 1941.
8 For the deportation of Rumanian Jews to this territory, see below, p. 106.
9 Izvestia, 14 Oct. 1942.
86 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
In the autumn of 1942, the Rumanian Government appointed
a committee for the repatriation of Rumanians living to the east
of the River Bug, in the Ukraine on the Dnieper, in the Crimea,
and in the Caucasus. The exact number of persons involved is
unknown, estimates varying between 30,000 and 200,000. The
repatriated Rumanians are to be settled in Transnistria, Bessara-
bia, and . Bukovina. Some of them will be granted farms which
belonged to the Germans repatriated in 1940 to Greater Germany.
Through the frontier changes described above, Hungary re-
covered nearly all the territories inhabited by Magyar populations.
With regard to the small scattered minorities which still remained
outside the new frontiers, the Government proposed to repatriate
them gradually and appointed a special Commissioner for the pur-
pose. The last annual report of this Commissioner shows that
4,294 families comprising 17,614 persons were repatriated from
May 1941 to the end of 1942, of whom 3,806 families comprising
15,593 persons were transferred in 1941 and 488 families com-
prising 2,021 persons in 1942. These persons were established in
the southern part of the country in 32 adjacent settlements on land
evacuated by Rumanians. Most of them came from Bukovina;
others from Bosnia and Moldavia. At the end of 1942 the Com-
missioner still had enough land available to settle from 1,300 to
1,400 more families. 1
The German invasion of Russia in June 1941 caused the dis-
placement of many millions of the population, who fled before the
invader. The Russian retreat was accompanied by the evacuation
of the population and the removal of factories. The first purpose
of this policy was to prevent men and vital materials from falling
into German hands; hence the so-called "scorched earth" policy
meant not only the removal of goods, but also their destruction if
immediate removal was not possible. Secondly, the evacuated men
1 Communication to the I.L.O. According to information published by the
Central and Eastern European Planning Board on the basis of a report from a
Swiss paper, the occupied Yugoslav province of Backa has been the main place
of settlement for these repatriated Hungarians. Fifty-three thousand acres are
said to have been allotted in this province to 3,806 Hungarian families, number-
ing 15,600 persons, repatriated from Bukovina, while those repatriated from
Bosnia were given an additional 2,900 acres. Four hundred and eight families
numbering 1,600 members came from Moldavia and were also settled on Yugoslav
territory. In addition, 600 persons received land for services rendered curing
the recapture of the province of Backa (Survey of Central and Eastern Europe,
Apr. 1943, p. 3).
MOVMNTS o# NON-GBRMAN POPULATIONS 87
and materials were to be used in safer places eastward of European
Russia and behind the Urals.
The trek to the east had long been a fundamental feature of
Russian expansion and development. In old Russia it took the
form of the colonisation of that part of Asiatic Russia which is
suitable for agriculture, namely the belt between the Taiga, the
virgin forests of the north, and the parched land. In the new Russia,
it was connected with the process of industrialisation which com-
menced with the five-year plans. The industrial development of
Soviet Russia, which was resumed after 1928, was not only designed
to restore and enlarge the old industrial centres which had collapsed
during the revolution and the civil war, but had the further object-
ive of industrialising new areas in the more remote parts of the
Soviet Union. The Soviet Government's policy in regard to the
geographical distribution of industry was guided by two considera-
tions first, that of the economic expediency of establishing factories
near the sources of raw materials and power, and secondly, the
strategic consideration of placing war industries in a position which
would be as invulnerable as possible in the event of an invasion
and creating a new self-sufficient industrial centre far behind the
anticipated fighting lines. 1 Both considerations contributed towards
the same result a trend towards industrial development in and
behind the Urals.
This orientation of Russian industry was intensified as a result
of the war. Before the outbreak of war, the new industries in the
east were created merely to supplement and not to supplant the
old industrial areas ; only in exceptional cases were existing factories
removed from the western part of the Union to the Urals and
Siberia. Since the German invasion, however, the industries in the
east have had to make good the losses suffered in the course of the
war, and this has been done largely by speeding up industrial
development in the Urals and in Soviet Asia and by removing
factories which might have fallen into enemy hands. Some evacuat-
ed plants were moved into ready-made buildings, available because
of the fact that when the war began entirely new plants were in
process of construction, some of them being merely empty buildings
awaiting the installation of machinery. This accounts in part for
the speed with which the plants were put into operation in the new
1 The opinion that industry was intentionally removed from the danger zone
is commonly accepted. Cf. A. YUGOW: Russia's Economic Front for War and
Peace (New York, 1942), pp. 150-151; John SCOTT: Behind the Urals (New York,
1942), p. 262; Report on the Development of Soviet Asia, presented by Andrew
J. STEIGER to the Conference of the Russian Economic Institute, New York,
Oct. 1942 (U.S.S.R. Economy and the War, New York, 1943, pp. 82-83); and
Robert J. KERNER: The Present World Position of the U.S.S.R., in California
Monthly, Nov. 1942. A contrary view is expressed in Socialistichesky Vestnyk
(New York), 31 July 1942.
88 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
locations. In many other cases new buildings were erected with
astonishing speed. 1
Long before the war, the industrialisation of the immense eastern
territories of the Soviet Union gave rise to a great migratory move-
ment towards the east. In the period between the two censuses
of 1926 and 1939, over three million persons migrated into the
Urals, Siberia and the eastern areas of the Union, while 1,700,000
went to Russian Central Asia, making a total of nearly five million
immigrants to the Urals and the Asiatic part of the Soviet Union
from European Russia.
In the years immediately before the war, there was some diver-
gence between the trend of industrial development and that of
population movement. The migration of workers to the east did
not keep pace with the rapidly growing needs of expanding industry.
The result was a growing shortage of workers, particularly of skilled
workers and technicians, who with their improved standard of
living had no inducement to move into the new industrial areas.
To ensure an adequate supply of workers for the Siberian and Far
Eastern factories, a Decree was issued on 19 October 1940 2 providing
for compulsory transfer of construction engineers, master mechanics,
draughtsmen, bookkeepers, economists, planning experts and skilled
workmen from one undertaking or office to another, ' 'irrespective
of the geographical location of such undertaking or office".
Wartime conditions brought with them a simultaneous growth
of the labour force and industrial capacity of the east. Two of the
overwhelming problems produced by the emergencies of war actu-
ally balanced each other the evacuation of large-scale under-
takings and the eastward migration of millions of refugees. The
transplantation of industry facilitated the resettlement of the
refugees, who, for their part, supplied the labour to re-install, and
later to operate, both evacuated factories and new plants. 3
While there was no longer any need of coercive measures to
stimulate the immigration of people who were only too glad to
have the opportunity of escaping the advancing enemy, the Soviet
Government took steps to make this temporary immigration per-
manent. In February 1942 the Council of the People's Commissars
issued an Order requiring local authorities in the eastern regions
to make arrangements for the permanent absorption of workers
and employees transferred to those areas with their factories and
undertakings. Provision was made regarding the homes and per-
sonal property of the evacuees. Further, the local authorities were
1 Cf. Andrew J. STEIGER: op. cit., pp. 84-85.
2 Cf. International Labour Review, Vol. XLIII, No. 2, Feb. 1941, p. 207.
8 Cf. Christian Science Monitor, letter from John EVANS from Kuibyshev,
6 July 1942.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 89
ordered to supply them with land and building materials so that
they could build homes for themselves.
Opinions differ as to the precise extent of this evacuation, but
it is generally agreed that it was on a large scale. There is no doubt
that in the cities and other industrial areas the Soviet authorities
carried out a far-reaching removal of factories and stocks of ma-
terials and products, destroying all that could not be removed. 1
Factories were removed together with their workers. Of course,
not all the workers were evacuated, but at least all skilled workers.
A large factory transferred from the zone of hostilities to Petro-
pavlovsk in Kazakhstan, from which "40 per cent, of the plant's
workers were evacuated with its equipment", is quoted by an official
Soviet publication as a typical example. 2
Industry was not alone affected by evacuation. German sources
admit that agricultural machines and tools were for the most part
removed or destroyed by the Russians and that cattle stocks were
reduced. 3 A shortage of agricultural workers was also reported 4 ,
although, according to German sources, the gathering of the harvest
in 1941 "showed that the problem of shortage of workers arose in a
few regions only. Thus, remedial action was required in Latvia
and the prairie regions of southern Ukraine, while elsewhere only
precautionary measures were taken by approaching prisoners of
war camps and labour recruiting offices for labour, the need for
which never actually arose." 5 Meanwhile it was reported that wide
tracts of land lay forsaken. 6 A high German official stated in March
1942 that "the front had shifted considerably into a region whence
labour had been systematically removed by the Bolsheviks". 7
Indeed, with the progress of the campaign into inner Russia,
the transfer was being conducted on a larger scale. 8 A general
displacement of population, however, was not possible under the
circumstances, nor would it have fitted in with the plans of the
Soviet Government; first, because it would have obstructed the
highways, and secondly, because it would have resulted in a mass
1 This is admitted by the German authorities; cf. below, Chapter III, p. 155.
2 EMBASSY OF THE U.S.S.R., Washington: Information Bulletin, 14 May 1942.
8 Wirtschaftsdienst, No. 5, 30 Jan. 1942; Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 17,
4 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 18, June 1942. The shortage of agricul-
tural workers, however, might not necessarily be due to evacuation, since the
removal or destruction of machinery inevitably increased the number of workers
needed on the farms.
6 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Mar. 1942, No. 7, Part V, p. 130, article by Dr. RACHNER,
Chief of the War Economy Department of the German Economic Staff Adminis-
tration of the East.
8 Wirtschaftsdienst, No. 5, Jan. 1942.
7 Dr. RACHNBR, in Reichsarbeitsblatt, he. cit.
8 Cf. the account of the evacuation of the Kuban Cossacks quoted from
Krasnaya Zvezda, in Novoye Russkoye Slovo, 11 and 24 Aug. 1942.
THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
influx of people into an area which was not able to feed or house
The data available concerning the number of evacuees are
fragmentary. The following is a list of the population losses of
several cities and towns in German-occupied Russia, as reported
by various newspapers:
Source of information
Izvestia, 14 Oct. 1942
Novoye Slovo (Berlin), 22 July
Idem, 7 Jan. 1942
Soviet War News, 7 Sept. 1942
New York Herald Tribune, 26
New York Times, 27 Jan. 1942
1 The sex and age distribution is significant. The population comprised 76,730 males and
101,628 females, 57,963 persons being under 16 years of age.
The people who were evacuated or fled from cities and towns
were principally officials, employees, workers, and Jews.
The figures quoted above show a decrease of over 50 per cent,
in the urban population. The whole of this loss cannot, however,
be attributed to evacuation and flight from the occupied areas.
There was also a migration to the countryside from the urban
centres which had been destroyed or offered no further possibility of
employment. With regard to the figures given above, only in the
case of Mozhaisk is it explicitly stated that 13,000 persons had been
evacuated. As to Kiev, another source shows that part of the loss
occurred after the Russian retreat; the first German census in
October 1941 showed a population of 500,000, and the second in
August 1942 only 350,000.
With regard to the total number of evacuees and refugees,
several estimates, differing widely from each other, have been
given. Those quoted below refer to the whole evacuation of 1941.
They include people evacuated not only from the former territory
of the Soviet Union, but also from the territories occupied by the
Soviet Union in 1939 and 1940, i.e. the Eastern Polish Provinces
(Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine), the Baltic States,
Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia. They do not include evacua-
tion during the German offensive in 1942.
Mr. A. Grajdanzev wrote in November 1941 that the number of
refugees and evacuees "may be between ten and twenty millions". 1
1 Far Eastern Survey, 17 Nov. 1941.
MOVEMENTS Off NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 91
Even less specific is the statement made in a Pravda editorial
that "tens of millions of Soviet people moved to new places". 1
An authoritative non-Russian source in Kuibyshev estimated
the number of evacuees up to June 1942 at 20 million.
The estimate given by Dr. Rachner, Chief of the War Economy
Department in the German Economic Administration in the East,
starts from the assumption that the rural areas "retained their
human stock", and that "assuming that the entire population of
the occupied area was 75 million before the war, 50 million may
belong to the countryside. . . Thus 25 million remain for the urban
population of the occupied area". Dr. Rachner goes on to say that
all enquiries tend to the conclusion that on the average half of the
population at the most remained in the cities and towns. The num-
ber of those who left the occupied territory would accordingly
amount to 12,500,000. 2
A calculation made by one expert, Mr. H. R. Habicht, with
the help of data which he collected in Russia in 1941, is based on an
estimate of the transport facilities available. The total transport
capacity of the railways is estimated as permitting the evacuation
of 15 million, and the great majority, although not all, of the
refugees left by rail. On the other hand the railways had to carry
other transport also. Mr. Habicht assumes that the number of
persons who left by other means of transport equalled those who
might have been carried by trains which were actually used for
other purposes, and therefore reckons the total number at a maxi-
mum of 15 million.
Another estimate, also based on railway transport capacity,
has been made by Mr. Sergius A. Vassiliev, an authority on Russian
transportation. Out of about 250,000 railway cars in the occupied
territories, some 50,000 (20 per cent.) may be presumed to have been
abandoned to the Germans. Assuming that half the remaining
200,000 were used for removing the population, and taking forty
persons to be the normal capacity of a car, four million persons
must have been evacuated. These trains, no doubt, were over-
crowded to the extent of 50 to 100 per cent. ; the total number of
those who left by railway alone, therefore, must be between six and
eight millions. 8 Twenty-five per cent, more, or between one and a half
and two millions, may have escaped by other means of transportation,
1 Pravda, 17 Dec. 1941.
2 Reichsarbeitsblatt, loc. cit.
8 Some indication of the number of evacuees might also be obtained from the
average number of trains which could run daily on the railways utilised for the
retreat. Assuming that the railways of the Moscow region were closed to refugees,
the number of railways available for this purpose might be estimated at 10. If
each railway could accommodate 10 evacuation trains daily (without interrup-
tion for military traffic), and each train carried about 1,000 passengers, the num-
ber of people transferred would be 100,000 daily, or 3,000,000 monthly.
92 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
making a grand total of 7,500,000 to 10,000,000.* This estimate,
of course, includes the evacuees from the annexed Soviet territories,
as the railway cars could not possibly have made a second trip
before the winter. It does not, however, include those who might
have been evacuated at the time of the second German offensive in
the summer of 1942, when the available cars could be utilised again.
All these estimates refer only to the evacuation of 1941. Those
given below also include [the evacuation of 1942.
As to the total of evacuations in 1941 and 1942 from the former
Soviet territory, excluding the northern Caucasus, only indirect
data to form the basis of an estimate are available. These data are
of two kinds: first, Dr. Rachner's statement that the rural areas
retained their population, and that on the average half of the urban
population at most remained 2 ; and secondly, the extent of the trans-
portation facilities available for evacuation by rail.
It has been seen that the number of persons evacuated in 1941
from the Soviet-occupied part of Poland was between 1,200,000
and 1,500,000, from the Baltic States about 200,000, and from
Bessarabia and Bukovina over 100,000, making a total evacuation
of between 1,500,000 and 1,800,000 from the Soviet-annexed terri-
tories. Further, on the basis of information collected during the
course of the evacuation, the number of evacuees from the
northern Caucasus has been given as 1,500,OQO.
According to the census of January 1939, the urban population
of the whole of the former territory of the Soviet Union occupied
by the Germans in 1941 as well as in 1942, except the northern Cau-
casus (and excluding the territories newly occupied by the U.S.S.R.),
amounted to about 18,000,000. Adding the natural increase of
the population and the migratory gain of industrial cities, the result
is an urban population of over 19,000,000, the evacuated half of
which would amount to about 9,500,000. To this figure must
be added the evacuations from the Soviet-annexed territories in
1 The difference between this and Mr. Habicht's estimate is due to the different
assumptions as to the percentage of trains utilised for carrying passengers, and
to the different estimates of those who left by other means of transport, but the
estimated total transport capacity in the two cases is about the same.
2 There is no ground for contesting Dr. Rachner's statement, which is based
on enquiries specially made for the purpose. Of course, not only the urban popula-
tion was affected by the German advance; skilled labourers operating agricultural
machinery were almost all evacuated, and mobilisation for the army drained the
countryside of manpower even more than the industrial areas. On the other
hand, however, it has to be remembered that after the occupation the rural popu-
lation was swollen by the return of many unskilled factory workers who were
not evacuated, and by other members of the urban population returning to their
native villages. In view of the social structure of the Russian urban population
the number of such people must surely have been very high. As to the urban
evacuations, there is no means of determining the percentage of evacuees, so that
Dr. Rachner's very rough assumption that 50 per cent, of the urban population
was evacuated must be accepted in the absence of better data.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 93
1941 and those of 1942 from J:he northern Caucasus, for which
direct information is available. This gives a total of 12,500,000
persons evacuated in 1941 and 1942. 1
This figure may be compared with a calculation obtained in
quite a different way. It has been seen that a calculation based on
transport facilities gave an estimate of 7,500,000 to 10,000,000 for
the entire occupied area in 1941 that is, for the old and new territory
of the Soviet Union. The evacuation of 1942 covered two areas
the northern Caucasus, with an estimated evacuation of 1,500,000;
and the eastern Ukraine and Don Basin, with an estimated evacua-
tion of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 (based on Dr. Rachner r s
assumption) ; this gives a total evacuation of between 2,000,000 and
2,500,000 for 1942, and a grand total of between 9,500,000 and
12,500,000 for 1941 and 1942 together.
Finally, the results obtained may be compared with the estim-
ates made by a competent body giving separately the number of
mobilised men and of other evacuees. The number mobilised is
given as 4,000,000. This includes men who had been called to the
colours before the German invasion, numbering about a million, so
that only the remaining 3,000,000 who were mobilised during the
retreat, or in other words who were evacuated in order to be mobil-
ised, have to be taken into account. The number of other evacuees
from the old Soviet territory in 1941 and 1942 is estimated at
6,000,000, mainly on the basis of transportation facilities. Together
with 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 evacuees from the Soviet-annexed terri-
tories the grand total obtained is 10,500,000 to 11,000,000.
A comparison of all these estimates obtained in different ways
shows that the results do not differ greatly from each other. If,
therefore, the grand total of evacuees from both the old and
annexed territories in 1941 and 1942 is estimated at 12,000,000,
(i.e. over 10,000,000 from the old and over 1,500,000 from the
annexed territories) the error on either side would probably not
exceed 15 per cent.
With regard to the geographical distribution of the evacuees,
no reliable information is available 2 , apart from the previously
1 At first glance this result seems to correspond closely to the figure of
12,500,000 resulting from Dr. Rachner's rough calculation. There is, however,
some difference. Dr. Rachner's figure of 12,500,000 includes only evacuation
in 194L For 1942, 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 would have to be added, thus giving a
grand total of between 14,500,000 and 15,000,000 for 1941 and 1942 together,
instead of the 12,500,000 obtained by a more exact calculation.
3 There are incidental data about care being taken of 200,000 evacuated
children in children's homes in 24 regions of the Russian Soviet Republic alone,
reported by Dr. KAZANTSEVA, Assistant People's Commissar for Health, m
Soviet War News, 19 Sept. 1942. This information gives no geographical loca-
tion, because this Republic extends from the frontiers of Bielorussia and the
Ukraine to the Pacific, Other incidental reports refer to houses built for refugees
(Izvestia, 25 Aug, 1942) and to "hundreds of families" established and employed
on the collective farms of the Kuznets region (Izvestia, 4 Sept. 1942).
94 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
quoted report on Polish refugees in inner and Asiatic Russia. The
general tendency seems to have been to remove people far from the
front. Factories were transferred mainly to the Urals. Further,
"the great migration caused by the war has chiefly affected Central
Asia and Siberia". Refugees were, however, sent even farther into
Eastern Siberia; thus, the city and probably the entire region of
Irkutsk, 900 miles from the border of Manchukuo, would seem to
have been chosen as a major centre of wartime resettlement. It
was reported in Pravda on 21 May 1942 that in this city, whose
total population had been a quarter of a million in 1939, there were
now 204,000 workers having their own individual or collective
truck gardens. This would indicate a population, including
children, of 400,000 or more 1 or, in other words, an influx of 150,000
There can be no doubt that the war also caused a grfeat transfer
of population from one part of unoccupied Soviet territory to
another, but on this subject information is lacking. The only
exception is in the case of the deportation of the Volga Germans
about which an official declaration was made. The Volga Germans
are descendants of the 27,000 colonists settled in 1761 at the in-
vitation of Catherine the Great, their number having since risen
to many hundreds of thousands. Their territory constituted the
" Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic". An
official statement of 28 August 1941 indicated that "according to
reliable information received by the military authorities, thousands
and tens of thousands of diversionists and spies among the German
population of the Volga are prepared to cause explosions in these
regions at a signal from Germany*'. The statement continues that,
while no Germans from the Volga have reported the existence of
the purportedly large numbers of dissidents who have been un-
If any diver sionist acts were carried out under orders from Germany by Ger-
man dissidents or spies in the Volga German Republic or in neighbouring regions,
and bloodshed resulted, the Soviet Government would be forced under martial
law to adopt reprisals against the entire Volga German population.
In order to avoid such an undesirable occurrence and to forestall serious blood-
shed, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the U.S.S.R. has found it necessary
to resettle the entire German population of the Volga regions in other districts
under the condition that the resettled peoples be allotted land and given State
aid to settle in the new regions. The resettled Germans will be given land in the
Novosibirsk and Omsk districts, the Altai region of the Kazakhstan Republic
and neighbouring localities rich in land. 2
1 William MANDEL: The Soviet Far East, Papers for the 8th Conference of the
Institute of Pacific Relations, Dec. 1942, p. 20.
2 New York Times, 8 Sept. 1941.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 95
The number of Volga Germans transferred is estimated at
400,000^ No information is available concerning their subsequent
THE EXPULSION AND DEPORTATION OF JEWS
"The aims of Germany's policy ", Gauleiter Greiser of the
Warthegau has declared, "extend as far as her power." This state-
ment explains the changes in German policy towards the Jews.
Until the outbreak of war, emigration was ostensibly encouraged;
Chancellor Hitler said that he would willingly give a thousand
mark note to every Jew who would leave. In practice, however, less
humane and more effective methods of promoting Jewish emigra-
tion were adopted. Life in Germany was made impossible for Jews
in order to induce them to leave, and when they left they had to
abandon almost all their property. At the same time, a moral obli-
gation to receive the Jews was imposed on other nations.
With the extension of German conquests, the aims of Germany's
Jewish policy were widened to embrace the "liberation of all Europe
from the Jewish yoke". Not only the deportation and segregation
of the Jews, but their extermination also was an openly proclaimed
objective of German policy. But the main factor which changed
the character of the anti-Jewish measures lay in the changed condi-
tions themselves. With the progress of the war, emigration possibi-
lities became more and more restricted. On the other hand, Ger-
many was now able to send the Jews to non-German territories
under German control, so that as stimulated emigration declined,
deportation increased. The Jews were either expelled to "purge" a
given country or city of its Jewish element, or they were concentrat-
ed in specific regions, cities or parts of cities to "purge" the rest of
It must be emphasised that the wholesale and recurrent removal
of Jews is at the same time an effective method of securing their
economic extermination. No regard is had to their prospects of
earning a livelihood; on the contrary, the transfer is carried out in
such a way as to make it impossible for the Jew to reorganise his
economic life. His relations not only with the Gentiles but also
with his own people are severed ; and if he succeeds in establishing
new connections thiey are again broken by a further move. Because
of the various methods used to secure the segregation and concentra-
tion of the Jews, they are uprooted over and over again and prevent-
1 Ibid. Simultaneously the Volga Germans who resided in Moscow were
weeded out and sent to Siberia. Cf. Wallace CARROU,: We're in This with Russia,
96 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
ed from striking fresh roots anywhere. First they are sent to the
General Government. Then the town in which they were settled is
"purged". In their new place of residence a ghetto is established.
But even the ghetto does not give the Jews the security of a per-
manent residence, and they are again removed further east.
In many cases the immediate motive for expulsion or deporta-
tion was to make room for Germans. The first victims of expulsion
on a grand scale were the Jews of the incorporated western Polish
provinces, who were expelled along with the Polish inhabitants,
in both cases to make room for the "repatriated" Germans. Later,
Jews were deported because, according to the official statements,
they owned apartments suitable for alien refugees from cities sub-
ject to air-raids. 1
At the same time, however, another factor, perceptible since the
end of 1940 and now assuming growing importance, is strongly
operating in a contrary direction namely, the needs of the German
war economy. As a result, Germany's Jewish policy may be des-
cribed as a compromise between the extermination of the Jews and
their utilisation in the war economy.
Early in 1941 a semi-official German article described with
satisfaction the exclusion of the Jewish working population from
economic life. Already in 1938 the Jews had been "released" from
productive work on a wide scale. "But", the article continues,
"in consequence of the incipient strain on labour resources and of
the necessity of harnessing all the available supply of manpower,
a trend in the opposite direction soon became noticeable." At first
the Jews were used for unskilled jobs, but later the "more efficient"
among them were given suitable higher grade work. 2 Jews were not,
of course, reinstated in the professional activities from which they
had been expelled. They were conscripted as forced labour, at first
to "release German workers for urgent construction work for the
Reich", but later also for direct employment in industries manu-
facturing army supplies. In a number of cases the Jews were not
removed because they were needed as workers; in others, they were
deliberately sent to places where they could be put to work. To
some extent, therefore, the character of deportation and even its
direction were influenced' by labour requirements.
Generally speaking, no other group of people have been sub-
jected to compulsory removal from their homes on so great a scale.
This forced transfer has taken the following forms:
1 New York Times, 28 Oct. 1941. The Belgian Nazi paper De SS Man, 10 Oct.
1942, reported with satisfaction that more housing was available in Antwerp
owing to the expulsion of Jews. "In seven streets alone", the paper reports,
"there are now 552 apartments'* (News from Belgium, 9 Jan. 1943).
2 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 Feb. 1941, No. 6, Part V, pp. 106-110.
MOVEMENTS 01? NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 97
(1) Mere expulsion from a territory, the Jews being taken to
the frontier of the territory they are to leave. This was the pro-
cedure adopted in regard to the Jews from Alsace and south-
west Germany, who were taken to the French frontier, and also
at times in regard to the Jews of the Incorporated Provinces,
who were taken to the General Government and there left to
(2) Mere expulsion from a city without any assignment of
destination, as in the case of the Jews expelled from Cracow.
(3) Expulsion from an area which is to be "purged of Jews"
and deportation to a special region (e.g. the Lublin reservation),
city or town, or part of such region, city or town. Since 1940 this
has been the usual practice adopted in removing Jews from various
German-controlled territories and deporting them to the General
Government, or, latterly also, to the occupied area of the Soviet
(4) Deportation within the limits of the same territory;
thus the Jews of the General Government are deported to
other cities and towns in the same territory, in which ghettos
are set up.
(5) Removal from one part of a city to another, by means of
the setting up of ghettos or segregation in specified quarters.
(6) Removal of Jews conscripted for forced labour to special
Jewish labour camps.
It is worth noting that compulsory transfer is tending more
and more to become the sole form of Jewish migration. Thus a
Decree of 11 December 1939 prohibited the Jews in the General
Government from changing their residence without a special permit,
and similar measures have been adopted throughout the whole of
Earlier Forms of Expulsion and Deportation
There were various isolated instances of expulsion even before
the outbreak of war. Thus, in November 1938, between 15,000 and
16,000 Polish Jews living in Germany were seized, packed into
freight cars and taken to the Polish border, many of them to the
frontier town of Zbonszyn. In this case the German authorities
could claim that they were foreigners. But this was not so in another
case which attracted much attention because of the exceptional
attendant circumstances. After the annexation of Austria, 400 Jewish
families living in the province of Burgenland were expelled. Some
98 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
escaped to Vienna and others to Czechoslovakia, but a group of
about 70, who were packed on an old freighter, remained aboard
for more than four months in a no-man's land between Germany,
Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
After the outbreak of the war the expulsion of Jews began at
first in a somewhat unorganised fashion, its object being to place
the Jews outside the limits of German rule. In September 1939
Polish Jews fled in masses from the invading armies, pushing further
and further east in an attempt to escape to Soviet-occupied territory.
In this they succeeded, owing to the attitude of the Soviet authorities
during the first two months of the Soviet occupation of Poland. The
Germans often tried to encourage this flight; many cases were
reported of Jews literally driven at the point of guns and bayonets
to the demarcation line and into the frontier rivers. Many were
openly admitted by the Soviet authorities; many others managed
to cross the border secretly. The number of Jews who fled into
the eastern Polish provinces (both before they were occupied by
the Soviet Union and after) is estimated by the Institute of Jewish
Affairs at 200,000 at least.
At the end of November, the Soviet Government closed the
frontier. In the meantime the Germans had begun to carry out
another plan for the elimination of the Jews, that of deportation
to the so-called Lublin " reservation". This idea of a special Jewish
region, to which Jews from all German-ruled countries would be sent,
is attributed to the National Socialist theorist Alfred Rosenberg, who
proposed it in a lecture on 7 February 1939, developing his scheme
for a reservation in contrast with the Zionist idea of a Jewish State.
After the occupation of Poland the Lublin district, which according
to the census of 1931 had a population of 2,465,000 and numbered
314,000 Jewish inhabitants, was set apart for the execution of this
plan. Before the middle of 1940, 650,000 Jews were to be settled
there. Great publicity was given to the scheme and a press cam-
paign was launched to convince the German people that "a solu-
tion of the Jewish problem in Europe" had finally been found. 1
Deportation started in the second half of October 1939 and during
the first months large numbers of Jews, especially from Vienna and
the Protectorate 2 and from the Old Reich, were sent to the reserva-
tion. The deportees were given a few hours to leave. They were
permitted to take with them up to 50 kilograms (110 Ibs.) of luggage
and a sum of money equivalent to between $40 and $120. No
1 Cf. S. SEGAI,: The New Order in Poland (1942), pp. 61-62.
p On 12 Oct. 1939, 6,000 Jews were deported from Moravska-Ostrava and a
few other cities in Moravia from a region where the Germans had begun to execute
their plan of driving a German wedge between the Czechs and the Slovaks. Cf.
The Jews in Nazi Europe, Czechoslovakia, p. 5.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 99
preparations were made to receive them, and the reservation soon
became a hotbed of epidemics which were bound to spread to the
German army too. The idea of a special reservation for Jews was
accordingly given up for the time being, after some 30,000 Jews
had already been sent there. 1 However, the actual policy of expul-
sion and deportation was not affected, and the segregation and
removal of Jews merely had to be carried out in somewhat different
Countries and Territories of Expulsion and Deportation
According to the census of 1931, the Polish provinces incorpor-
ated into the Reich then had a Jewish population of 632,000. On
1 September 1939, it was estimated at 670,000. As has been men-
tioned, about 60,000 Jews from this area fled before the advancing
German army to the General Government, and many tens of thou-
sands of the Jews who fled abroad or to the Soviet-occupied part of
Poland also came from the Incorporated Provinces.
In October 1939 there began a mass expulsion of Jews from the
Incorporated Provinces, simultaneously with that of Poles but pro-
portionately on a larger scale. In 1939-1940, over 300,000 2 , or
about half the Jewish population, were deported to the General
Government. In October 1940 Gauleiter Forster claimed that the
province of Danzig - West Prussia was entirely free of Jews. In the
other two provinces constituted entirely or partly of Polish territory
Wartheland, with the city of Lodz, and Upper Silesia this
result could not be attained because of the requirements of war
industry. The Lodz Jews, in particular, instead of being expelled,
were segregated in the first of the ghettos and their numbers were
even swelled by Jews deported from the Reich, the Protectorate
and the occupied countries of western Europe. The expulsion and
deportation of Jews from the Incorporated Provinces continued,
however. In May 1942 Gauleiter Greiser stated that there were
only 150,000 Jews left in the Warthegau, which contained the
great majority of the Jews of the Incorporated Provinces. (Accord-
1 According to a report of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Com-
mittee, dated 17 July 1941. A Paris dispatch to the New York Times (6 Jan.
1940) estimated the number at 25,000 S. SEGAL: op. ciL, p. 62, writes: "By
the middle of Nov. 1939, besides the 275,000 local Jews, there were about
50,000 to 60,000 Jews in the Lublin district who were dumped there. These came
from all parts of German-occupied countries."
2 This is the generally accepted figure. P. H. SERAPHIM, in Die Burg, Oct. 1940,
estimates the "influx" into the General Government from the Incorporated
Provinces after the end of the campaign at 330,000 (apart from the 60,000 who
went there during the hostilities).
100 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
ing to some sources of information the additional number deported
in 1942 was nearly lOO^OO.) 1
According to the census of May 1939, the Jewish population
of Germany and Austria numbered 330,900 persons. On 1 Septem-
ber 1939 the number was estimated at 300,000. As already stated,
the first deportations, which started in October 1939, were directed
to the Lublin reservation. Deportation from Germany seems to
have slackened for some time after the failure of this experiment,
but in February 1941 there was a revival of deportation from
Vienna. 2 In the autumn of 1941 there was a new drive against the
Jews, which resulted in deportations from Berlin, the Rhineland,
and Westphalia. Continued deportation on a huge scale was also
reported in the winter of 1941-1942 from Germany (as well as from
Prague, where most of the Jews of the Protectorate were concen-
trated). 8 It was rumoured that further deportations were tem-
porarily stopped because the military authorities intervened on
behalf of the Jews employed in essential war industries and because
the disturbance of military transportation had to be avoided. 4 But
at the Passover mass expulsion to ghettos in Eastern Poland was
resumed, the new age limit for the deportees being set at 65. 5 The
total number of Jews deported from the Old Reich from September
1939 to December 1942 is estimated by the Institute of Jewish Affairs
1 The Institute of Jewish Affairs estimated the total of Jews deported from
the Incorporated Provinces up to the end of 1942 at 600,000. This figure
appears to be exaggerated. At the outbreak of the war the Jewish population of
the Incorporated Provinces was estimated at 670,000. Of these, 60,000 fled to
the General Government during the hostilities, and the 240,000 Jews who escaped
to Rumania, Hungary, the Baltic States and Soviet-occupied territory during
this same period included at least 60,000 former residents of the Incorporated
Provinces. If, therefore, the number of deportees is estimated at 600,000, the
total number of Jews who left the Incorporated Provinces would exceed the pre-
war Jewish population of the area. This would mean that the deportees from the
Incorporated Provinces also included numbers of Jews who had been transferred
there from the west. But the figure of 150,000, representing the Jews who remained
in the province of Poznan in May 1942, is itself higher than the number of
Jews transferred from Western Europe to the Incorporated Provinces, and it can
hardly be supposed that from May to Dec. 1942 there was a large-scale removal
of Jews from the Incorporated Provinces at a time when the Germans were being
forced by the labour shortage to bring in Jews from France and other Western
European countries. In Upper Silesia in particular, there is evidence of the con-
tinuing segregation of Jews within the province itself. The establishment of a
ghetto in Chrzanow containing 4,000 Jews was reported by the Oberschlesische
Zeitung (Katowice), 19 Dec. 1942, while in Zarocercie the segregation of Poles
and Jews was announced on the occasion of the establishment of a German
* New York Times, 20 Feb. 1941.
1 Jewish Affairs, Mar. 1942.
4 New York Times, 2 Nov. 1941, 14 Mar. and 7 July 1942.
1 Information received by the American Jewish Committee (Contemporary
Jewish Record, June 1942).
MOVEMENTS Off NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 101
at about 120 t 000 1 v and those from Austria would be about 40,000. 2
For the summer of 1943 the total may be estimated at 170,000.
Protectorate of Bohemia- Moravia.
The census of October 1939 showed 80,300 Jews by religion and
90,100 racial Jews. Up to December 1942, 50,000 to 60,000 s had
been compulsorily removed and confined. This is the great majority
of the Jewish population, bearing in mind that about 10,000 Jews
emigrated between 1 October 1939 and the middle of 1941 and that
the excess of deaths over births for the three years October 1939 to
December 1942 was no less than 7,000. Unlike those of other coun-
tries, the Jews of Bohemia-Moravia were not sent abroad but mostly
to the Terezin concentration camp. 4
Slovakia is the only country where the expulsion (Aussiedelung)
of Jews is expressly Regulated by law. According to the Constitu-
tional Act of 15 June 1942, expulsion applies to persons of Jewish
origin with the following exceptions: (1) those who before 14 March
1939 were not of the Jewish faith, or who before that date had
married a non-Jew; (2) those individually exempted from the
application of the law by the President; (3) physicians, veterinary
surgeons, chemists and engineers, except that expulsion may be
ordered for certain individuals in this group.
Dr. Anton Vasek, Chief of Section in the Slovakian Ministry
of the Interior, who had been made responsible for solving the
1 Estimate made by Jacob Lestchinsky taking into consideration the number
of Jews in Sept. 1939 and Dec. 1942, the loss by emigration, and the excess of
deaths over births. At the outbreak of the war the number of Jews in the Old
Reich was 215,000. On the other hand, the most recent reports on Jews are as
follows: In Berlin, where the German Jews were mainly concentrated, only
28,000 were left, according to a Times dispatch from Jerusalem, 24 Nov. 1942;
Frankfurt on Main was "clean of Jews", according to the Westdeutscher Beo-
bachter, quoted by the Israelitisches Wochenblatt (Zurich), 17 July 1942; in Leipzig
only a few Jews remained, according to a report received by the Morgen Journal
(New York), 1 Aug. 1942. Therefore, a total of 50,000 Jews in the Old Reich
in Dec. 1942 would be rather an over-estimate.
2 This evaluation, based on an estimated number of 25,000 Jews still remain-
ing in Austria, is rather conservative. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, speaking for some
American Jewish organisations, gave a figure of only 15,000 for the Jews remaining
in Austria in Nov. 1942 (New York Times, 26 Nov. 1942). The Institute of
Jewish Affairs estimated the total of Jews deported from Germany, including
Austria, up to Sept. 1942, at about 150,000.
8 A report from Geneva, dated Aug. 1942, stated that over 47,000 Jews were
deported and 33,000 remained (Jewish Frontier, Nov. 1942, pp. 33-34). The
Institute of Jewish Affairs estimates the number of deportees up to Sept. 1942
at 42,000 and those remaining at 33,000 (this figure including all racial Jews).
Rabbi Wise in Nov. 1942 gave the number of those who remained as 15,000
(persons of Jewish religion only). Another source reported the number of deport-
ees as 60,000 (Contemporary Jewish Record, Dec. 1942).
4 On 25 Feb. 1943 the New York Times reported the deportation of the
majority of the inmates of Terezin to Poland.
102 THB DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
Jewish problem, gave some particulars of the application of this
law at a conference on 29 October 1942. Before 15 December 1940
there were altogether some 100,000 Jews 1 in the country, but by
the following December this figure had been reduced to 88,951.
Up to the end of October 1942, in consequence of the enactment of
the racial law, 62,444 Jews had been deported from the country
and more than 7,000 had fled of their own accord. Of the remain-
ing 20,000, 3,500 were in labour camps. About 6,000 had been
baptised since 1939 and many were in possession of false baptismal
certificates, hoping in this way to avoid banishment. About 2,300
Jews were then employed in industry, making with their families
a total of 8,500, and andther 1,500 were working on the land. 2
The Jews in France at the outbreak of the war were estimated at
about 300,000. This figure rose in May 1940 as a result of the
influx of Belgian and Netherlands Jews (a substantial number of whom
returned home after the armistice) and was increased in October-
November 1940 by 9,000 Jews expelled from Baden and the Pala-
tinate to unoccupied France and put in a concentration camp by
the Vichy Government. 3 On the other hand, there was some Jewish
emigration overseas. The American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee gave the following estimate of the Jewish population
of France in 1940-1941: in the occupied area, 148,000 (95,000
French nationals, 45,000 East European Jewish immigrants and
8,000 German, Austrian and Czechoslovak refugees); in the un-
occupied area, 195,000 (145,000 French nationals, 20,000 East
European Jewish immigrants and 30,000 German refugees). Since
then the figures have changed in cons'equence of infiltration from
the occupied to the unoccupied zone, on the one hand, and of
overseas emigration from the unoccupied zone on the other. In
May 1942, according to the same source, the Jewish population
numbered 180,000 in the unoccupied zone (110,000 French citizens
and 70,000 Jewish refugees), and about 100,000 in the occupied
In midsummer 1942 a drive against foreign Jewish refugees in
Paris marked the beginning of mass deportation from France to
the ghettos and concentration camps of Eastern Europe. Many
parents preferred to part with their children, probably for ever,
1 Probably "racial" Jews. The census of 15 Dec. 1940 showed 89,000 persons
of Jewish religion.
* Grenzbote (Bratislava), 6 Nov. 1942; Donauzeitung, 3 Nov. 1942.
8 Report of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for 1940 and the
first five months of 1941, p. 15. Since then 2,000 Jews living in Luxemburg have
been deported, partly to the west and partly to the Polish ghettos.
MOVEMENTS Otf NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 103
rather than take them with them into exile. It has been reported
that in many cases children, even very young ones, were sent alone
across the line of demarcation into unoccupied France. The Jewish
organisations, the Quakers, the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion, Catholic churches and others were taking care of thousands
of homeless children from the occupied zone as well as those left
by parents deported from the unoccupied zone as early as Sep-
tember. For in August the arrest and deportation of Jewish refugees
began on a large scale in unoccupied France too. The first victims
were the foreign Jews, belonging to different groups, who were
interned in camps in the south of France: immigrants from Poland
and other Eastern European countries; Jews from Germany, Aus-
tria and Czechoslovakia, who before the outbreak of the war had
found refuge in France; Jews from Baden and the Palatinate, ex-
pelfed by the Germans in 1940. Cases of the deportation of French
Jews, as well as of non-Jewish French nationals, have also been
reported. But the great majority were foreign Jews who had en-
tered France after 1936. All of these were to be deported, with the
exception of persons over 60 years old and a few others. 1
The total number of deportees from the occupied and unoc-
cupied zone up to the middle of August 1942 was officially stated
as 40,000 2 , and it was constantly increasing.
In November 1942, after the whole of French territory had
been occupied by Germany and Italy, the deportation of Jews
entered on a new phase. All foreign male Jews 18 to 55 years old,
excepting those who had served with a combatant unit, were ordered
to report to recruiting centres for labour camp duty. Furthermore,
4,000 Jewish children were sent to the Paris region. Some 10,000
to 12,000 persons succeeded in escaping over the Alps to Switzerland
and 6,000 across the Pyrenees to Spain, according to the Hias-Ica
Emigration Association (Hicem).* The total of Jews deported from
the entire territory of France up to the summer of 1943 has been
estimated at 70,000.
According to Netherlands sources, there were in the Nether-
lands about 120,000 Jews and another 60,000 people of partly
Jewish origin. 4
1 Easier National Zeitung, 21 Oct. 1942.
2 Transocean broadcast, 25 June 1943.
8 Cf. also above, p. 45.
4 Netherlands News, 11-25 July 1942, Vol. IV, No. 2, p. 30. The American
Jewish Joint Distribution Committee gave the figures as 150,000 of the mative
Jewish population and 30,000 Jewish refugees. The Institute of Jewish Affairs
estimated the number of Jews, refugees included, at the outbreak of the war at
150,000, of whom 5,000 fled to France in May 1940 and 2,000 emigrated.
104 THE DISPLACEMENT O# POPULATION IN EUROPE
In spring 1942 the German authorities in the Netherlands
began to evacuate Jews from towns and villages in the provinces,
concentrating them in three large ghettos within Amsterdam.
In July the deportation of all Netherlands Jews betwfeen the ages
of 16 and 42 was ordered. According to the protest issued by the
people of the Netherlands, some 120,000 would be affected by this
measure. 1 It was reported that in August, of the 80,000 settled and
20,000 refugee German Jews living in Amsterdam, about 10,000
had already been deported and that another 12,000 taken from a
concentration camp in the province of Drente followed by the
middle of October 2 and 9,000 more by the middle of December.
According to the Institute of Jewish Affairs, up to June 1943 the
Germans had completed the deportation of some 80,000 Jews from
the Netherlands. 3
The Jewish population of Belgium at the outbreak of the war
has been estimated at 110,000 (80,000 Belgian citizens and 30,000
refugees) 4 , between 20,000 and 25,000 of them having since fled
to England and France (in May 1940) or emigrated. 6
The first deportation of Jews from Belgium took place in the
winter of 1941-1942, when some Jews, mainly of Polish origin,
were transferred from Antwerp to Lodz for work in textile factories
providing uniforms for the German army.*
In the summer of 1942 deportation was resumed and from
October onward it was on a larger scale. It may be estimated that
up to December 1942 about 25,000 foreign Jews had been depprted
from Belgium, partly to eastern Europe and partly to France
for fortification building. 7 By July 1943 this total was probably
1 Netherlands News, 11-25 July 1942, pp. 30-31; 26 Nov.-lO Dec. 1942, pp. 84
8 Netherlands News Digest, 1 Jan. 1943; /.AC. Digest, Dec. 1942.
1 According to some reports (New York Times, 23 and 29 June 1943) all the
120,000 Jews of the Netherlands have been deported,
4 According to the Report of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
for 1940 and the first five months of 1941.
5 Cf. Arieh TARTAKOWER, op. cit., p. 312. The American Jewish Year Book,
Vol. XLII, estimated the number of Jews on 31 July 1940 at 82,000.
6 Jewish A/airs, Mar. 1942.
7 The pro-Nazi paper Le Pays Riel (25 Oct. 1942) made the somewhat sur-
prising statement that there were in Belgium 52,000 Jews, only 4,000 having
Belgian nationality and the rest being emigrants from Germany, Poland and
Czechoslovakia, and that nearly 50 per cent, of these had been deported. This
report was confirmed by another Brussels newspaper (quoted by News from
Belgium, 19 Dec. 1942). According to another source, the number of deportees
from July to November was 20,000 to 25,000 (idem, 16 Jan. 1943).
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 105
At the time of the German invasion the number of settled Jews
was over 1,500; together with refugees, the total was estimated at
2,000. Some hundreds of them escaped to Sweden; the rest were
deported to Poland. It has been officially stated that there are no
more Jews on Norwegian territory.
After the territorial acquisitions of 1938-1941, Hungary had the
largest Jewish population after the U.S.S.R. and Poland, numbering
743, OOO. 1 About 20,000 Jews in the newly acquired territory of
Subcarpathia were forced to cross the border into Galicia. 2 The
annexation of north-eastern Yugoslavia (Banat, Backa and Baranja)
was followed by a law providing for the expulsion of Yugoslav
citizens who had settled in this area since 1 December 1918. This
measure seems, however, to have had little effect on the local Jews,
nearly all of whom had been settled in the country for a long time.
The Hungarian Jews suffered economically as a result of anti-
Jewish measures, and many of them lost their jobs; their property,
however, was not confiscated, nor did they have to wear special
badges. Although the Hungarian border is permanently closed,
therefore, a number of Belgrade Jews did succeed in reaching a
temporary haven in Hungarian territory. Many more came from
Slovakia (some 10,000) and Croatia, in particular those whose
original home was in the territory annexed by Hungary.
According to the census of 30 December 1930, Rumania had a
Jewish population of 757,000. The census of 6 April 1942, taken
after the cession of part of Transylvania, Southern Dobruja, North-
ern Bukovina and Bessarabia, showed that there remained in
Rumania 302,000 Jews. The difference is, of course, mainly due
to the difference in the census area. But even taking only the
territory which was Rumanian in 1941 for comparison, the Jewish
population was larger in 1930, numbering 329,000. 8 Thus the
recorded decrease is 27,000. In fact, however, Jewish emigration
from Rumania greatly exceeded this figure, because, apart from
the natural increase, many Jews also immigrated between 1930
and 1940 from Bessarabia and other adjacent regions, especially
1 Cf . Ungarn, published by the Deutsches Auslandswissenschaftliches Institut,
2 The Jews in Nazi Europe, Hungary; and Report of the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee for 1941 ana the first five months of 1942.
8 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 20.
106 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
to Bucarest. The flight of many Jews to Bessarabia and Northern
Bukovina, after their occupation by the Soviet Union, and the
subsequent expulsion, in July 1940, of the Jews who had come
from the Soviet-occupied territories, have certainly contributed
to the number of Jewish emigrants. Furthermore, the pogroms
which in January 1941 followed the establishment of a Rumanian
Nazi Government provoked a new flight of Jews to the Soviet area,
reported to have numbered 72,000 persons. 1
In June 1941, when Rumania joined Germany in invading Soviet
territory, between 100,000 and 130,000 2 Jews fled from Bessarabia
and Bukovina before the invaders. The Rumanians themselves also
tried to drive the Jews under their rule eastwards. Following the
German example, Jewish ghettos were at first established in the
reconquered provinces; but after October 1941 the Jews were
driven farther eastward into the Rumanian-occupied Soviet terri-
tory renamed Transnistria.
According to a German source, "185,000 Jews have been eva-
cuated since October of last year (i.e. 1941) into Transnistria,
where they were housed in large ghettos until an opportunity arose
for their removal further east. Today there still remain 272,409
Jews in the country. . . Both the provinces of Bessarabia and
Bukovina can now be considered as free of Jews, excepting Czerno-
witz, where there are still about 16,000. . . It may be assun^ed
that even during the present year a further 80,000 Jews could be
removed to the Eastern Territories/ 13 However, according to later
reports, the Rumanian Government announced in October 1942
that there would be no more "evacuations" to Transnistria. 4
Before the German invasion, Yugoslavia had a Jewish popula-
tion of 80,000 citizens and 6,000 refugees. With the invasion, many
Jews fled into neighbouring countries. Thirty thousand remained
in the new State of Croatia and 8,000 to 9,000 in Serbia, some of
them having escaped into the mountains. In May 1942 the Grenz-
bote (Bratislava) announced that only 6,000 Jews remained in
Croatia. Some 3,000 succeeded in escaping to Italian-controlled
1 This figure is given by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
in its Report for 1940 and the first five months of 1941. The Krakauer Zeitung,
13 Aug. 1942, refers to thousands of Jews having migrated to Soviet-occupied
Bessarabia and Bukovina.
2 The figure of 130,000 is given by a "prominent Rumanian politician" on
the basis of the "most detailed investigation" (Aftontidningen, Stockholm,
15 Mar. 1943). The estimate of the Institute of Jewish Affairs is 100,000.
8 Krakauer Zeitung, 13 Aug. 1942.
4 New York Times, 13 Feb. 1943.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 107
Yugoslav territory and Italy. 1 All those who remained in Serbia
were either exterminated or deported, mostly to Poland or to the
Pilsen district in the Protectorate. 2
In 1943 the Bulgarian Government started deporting Jews to
Poland from Yugoslav Macedonia 3 , as well as from Bulgarian-
controlled Greek territory (Thrace). 4
Territories of Destination and Methods of Confinement
The number of Jews deported up to December 1942 from all
European countries except Poland, i.e. from Germany, France,
Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Rumania and Yugo-
slavia, may be estimated on the basis of the figures given above
at about 650,000. Furthermore, 50,000 to 60,000 Jews from Bohe-
mia-Moravia have been confined in a concentration camp within
the country itself.
Some of the Jews from Belgium were sent to a neighbouring
part of Western Europe for forced labour, but generally speaking
the tendency has been to remove the Jews to the east. Many
Western European Jews were reported to have been sent to the
mines of Silesia. The great majority were sent to the General
Government and, in ever growing numbers, to the eastern area,
that is, to the territories which had been under Soviet rule since
September 1939 and to the other occupied areas of the Soviet
During the early period, deportation meant removal to the
General Government, but since 1940 the deported Jews have tended
more and more to be sent exclusively to ghettos and labour camps.
The first ghettos were set up in Lodz in the winter of 1939-1940.
Since spring 1940 they have been introduced in a number of cities
and towns in the Warthegau and the General Government. In
the summer of 1940 the Germans segregated the district of Warsaw
inhabited mainly by Jews under the pretext that it was a breeding-
place of contagious diseases, and in the autumn of the same year a
ghetto was formally established. All Jews living outside its confines
were ordered to move into the ghetto and all Poles living inside to
leave the ghetto area. Many Jews were also brought there from
abroad. In the first half of 1942 about 500,000 persons were crowded
into the Warsaw ghetto.
1 According to information received by the Institute of Jewish Affairs.
2 Jewish Telegraphic Agency despatch, 4 Feb. 1943.
3 According to information received by the Institute of Jewish Affairs.
4 Donanzeitung, 24 Mar. 1943.
108 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
The growth of the ghettos is illustrated by the following es-
timates. In November 1941 the Institute of Jewish Affairs estim-
ated the number of Jews confined in the ghettos "at no less than
1,000,000". In December 1941 figures released by Polish Jewish
circles in London showed that about 1,300,000 Jews had been
herded into eleven ghettos in various parts of the country. 1 For
the early summer of 1942 the Institute of Jewish Affairs gave the
number as 1,500,000. On 28 October and 10 November 1942 the
Secretary of State for Security in the General Government issued
regulations about Jewish ghettos in the five districts of the General
Government (Warsaw, Lublin, Cracow, Radom and Galicia),
providing that from 30 November 1942 all General Government
Jews must live in confined areas. Jews employed in armament and
other war industries and living in closed camps are exempted. The
confined areas are of two kinds: ghettos inside the larger towns,
and purely Jewish towns, cleared of their non-Jewish population.
In the whole of the General Government there are 13 ghettos, the
largest being the Warsaw ghetto, and 42 Jewish towns. 2
Since the invasion of the U.SJS.R., ghettos have been established
in Western Bielorussia, Western Ukraine and the Baltic States,
and also in occupied Russia.
The primary purpose of the ghettos and special Jewish towns
is the segregation of the local Jewish population. This consists
of the former inhabitants of the area which was turned into a
ghetto or a Jewish town, the inhabitants of the same town who are
removed to the ghetto, and Jews removed from other localities
of the same country. For the second and third categories segrega-
tion in the ghetto meant compulsory removal, and for the third
category forced migration also. The number of persons affected
by this internal forced migration may have numbered many hun-
dreds of thousands in the General Government alone. 3
The ghettos of the General Government or of the Eastern Ter-
ritories are also the usual destination of the Jews deported from
the west by the German authorities or by the authorities of other
countries allied to Germany.
Forced Labour Camps.
Forced labour, a system whereby the Jews are used in the inter-
ests of the German war economy, was introduced primarily for the
1 Contemporary Jewish Record, Feb. 1942. The Polish Ministry of Labour
gave the number of Jews in Polish ghettos in early spring 1942 as 1,200,000.
2 Ostland (Berlin), 15 Nov. and 1 Dec. 1942.
8 A report on the "Jewish town'* of Miedzyrzec may be quoted as showing a
typical case. Before the war it contained 14,000 Jews, forming 90 per cent, of the
population, to whom have now been added 5,000 Jews deported from Cracow.
In the large ghettos the proportion of Jews from abroad is substantially higher.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 109
purpose of employing them in the locality, or at least in the coun-
try, of their residence.
In Germany, all Jewish men from 18 to 65 years of age and
Jewish women from 20 to 55 years are liable to forced labour, with
the exception of those permitted to hold jobs in private undertak-
ings. They must work in segregated groups, are not entitled to
special payments, and are not protected by the general regulations
governing conditions of work. In October 1941, of the 75,000 Jews
who were still in Berlin, 30,000 were engaged in forced labour, which
for most of them was the only remaining means of livelihood.
Forced labour for Jews has been introduced by the Germans in
most of the occupied countries. In the Protectorate, in addition
to the general labour service to which all inhabitants of the Pro-
tectorate are liable, an especially hard form of compulsory labour
has been instituted for male Jews from 18 to 60 years of age, who
are organised in battalions for labour camps whenever the need
arises. At first many of them were deported to labour camps in
Poland, but owing to the spread of epidemics the authorities were
forced to transfer thousands of others from Prague, Pilsen and
Brno to camps in the Protectorate itself. As has been seen, between
42,000 and 60,000 Jews were confined in the Terezin labour camp. 1
This camp is unusual in that it is both a labour camp and a concen-
tration camp; it contains not only working Jews but also others
incapable of work.
But the classic land of Jewish forced labour is Poland; it was
here that the whole system was initiated with the Order of 28
October 1939, supplemented by that of 12 December 1939, which
made all Jews between the ages of 14 and 60 liable to compulsory
labour for a two-year period. During the early days of the occupa-
tion the Germans rounded up Jews indiscriminately to perform
the work, which at that time consisted mainly in clearing up debris;
later, the system was organised and the duty of providing men
for forced labour was imposed on the Jewish community councils.
There are different forms and degrees of forced labour. A
"privileged" class, even though they work in overcrowded barracks
for over 12 hours a day, is that of Jewish artisans employed in
workshops turning out goods for the German army. Then come
the labour battalions, which work in or near large cities; they are
employed mostly on heavy manual work, but can at least return to
their homes at night. Others are compelled to work on special
construction projects, or for private contractors; they too, are
allowed to travel home. Worst of all is the situation of those who
are sent to labour camps which differ little, if at all, from concen-
1 Cf. above, p. 101, n. 3,
110 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
tration camps. Up to the summer of 1941, at least 85 Jewish labour
camps were known to exist in the General Government. Of the
35 camps the position of which was known, two- thirds were located
on the eastern frontier.
Forced labour for Jews expanded rapidly, having developed
from a subsidiary measure into an essential feature of the treat-
ment of Jews. In April 1941, the Gazeta Zydowska reported that
25,000 Jews were engaged in compulsory construction work in the
Warsaw district, and on the basis of other data given by the same
journal, the Institute of Jewish Affairs estimated the total number
of Jews in forced labour camps in Poland in the fall of 1941 at
100,000. During 1942, forced labour became the common fate of
the Jews in Poland and in German-occupied Soviet territory. The
period for which Jews fit to work are liable for forced labour is no
longer limited. Their removal to the east was largely motivated
by the wish to make use of them as forced labour, and as Germany's
need of manpower grew, deportation for adults of working age was
tantamount to assignment to forced labour. In contrast with the
other inhabitants of German-occupied countries, Jews are not sent
to work in the Reich, because Jewish immigration would run counter
to the policy of making Germany "free of Jews". The needs of the
war economy are, of course, compelling the German authorities to
deviate from this rule to some extent, and indeed some exceptions
have been reported. 1 But, generally speaking, deportation to the
east is for the Jews the equivalent of the recruitment for work
in the Reich to which the rest of the population of German-
controlled Europe is subject, and their removal further and further
eastward is doubtless connected with the need for supplying the
army's requirements near the front.
For the Polish ghettos are not the last stage in the forced east-
ward migration of the Jewish people. On 20 November 1941, the
Governor General, Hans Frank, broadcast the information that
the Polish Jews would ultimately be transferred further east. Since
the summer of 1942 the ghettos and labour camps in the German-
occupied Eastern Territories have become the destination of deport-
ees both from Poland and from western and central Europe; in
particular, a new large-scale transfer from the Warsaw ghetto has
been reported. 2 Many of the deportees have been sent to the labour
1 Thus, according to information of the Institute of Jewish Affairs, 200 Jewish
saddlers were sent from Poltava (Ukraine) to Vienna. The deportation of Polish,
French and Belgian Jews to the coal mines of Upper Silesia is also an exception
to the general rule from the National Socialist point of view.
2 Unser Zeit, quoted by Novy Put, 10 Jan. 1943. On 22 July 1942, the Jewish
Council of Warsaw received an order to prepare 6,000 persons to be sent away
daily. Deportation started the next day, and several thousand persons are said
to have been deported every day.
MOV3MBNTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 111
camps on the Russian front; others to work in the marshes of Pinsk,
or to the ghettos of the Baltic countries, Bielorussia and the Uk-
raine. It is hardly possible to distinguish how far the changes in the
Jewish population of the General Government are due to deporta-
tion and how far they are attributable to "ordinary" mortality 1
and extermination. Moreover, the number of Jews remaining in the
General Government is in any case uncertain. 2
Total Number of Uprooted Jews
On the basis of the data presented above, the numbers of Jews
expelled and deported from Germany and countries under German
occupation or control since the outbreak of war in September 1939
may be estimated as follows :
Germany and Austria 180,000
France (excluding Alsace-Lorraine) 70,000
Incorporated Polish Provinces 400,000
Old Rumania, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia. 185,000
1 The high mortality by non-violent death is exemplified by the death rate
for Warsaw. During the first half of the year 1941 there were 12,900 deaths, the
total population of the ghetto numbering about 500,000 (Survey of Central and
Eastern Europe, No. 2, 1942). For the second half of 1941 a great increase is
reported. For the whole of 1941 the figure is 47,000, according to the Institute
of Jewish Affairs, and 49,000, according to Polish Government sources. The
mortality rate was undoubtedly still higher in 1942 owing to the deterioration
in conditions. Thus the "biological deficit" amounted to over 20 per cent, for
1941 and 1942.
2 According to Ostland (Berlin), 1 Dec. 1942, the Jewish population of the
General Government numbered 2,093,000. This statement has been contested
as incredible, the places of Jewish residence listed by the same source being
inadequate to house so large a population, even assuming that they were over-
crowded to the extent of 50 per cent, beyond their normal capacity. Furthermore,
it has been pointed out that the same paper reported that on 1 Dec. 1942 the
Warsaw ghetto still had a population of about half a million, whereas according
to information of the Institute of Jewish Affairs at the end of 1942 it was
only 36,000 at that time. However, the question of the number of Jews remaining
in Warsaw is in any case dubious. Reports of the liquidation of the Warsaw
ghetto (obtained only indirectly) seem to be corroborated by the Nazi Donau
Zeitung, which stated that its suppression raised the serious problem of disinfect-
ing the whole district. On the other hand, according to a message which reached
the Polish Government in London through underground channels, there were
still some 200,000 Jews within the confines of the Warsaw ghetto ( Congress Weekly,
issued by the American Jewish Congress, 26 Mar. 1943). It may be noted as a
curious coincidence that practically the same figure (2,092,000) was given for Jews
living in the General Government in summer 1942 (Krakauer Zeitung, 15 July
1942, quoting Europttische Revue), i.e. before the new deportations to the east
had started. On this point, cf. J. SCHECHTMAN: "More Circumspection", in
Zionews, 28 Feb. 1943, pp. 16-18.
112 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
In addition, some tens of thousands have been deported from
the Bulgarian controlled parts of Yugoslavia and Greece. This
brings the total number of expelled and deported Jews up to some
1,100,000.! Of this total, 9,000 Jews from Baden and the Palatinate,
22,000 from Alsace-Lorraine, some of the 70,000 from Slovakia,
some of the 2,000 from Luxemburg, and the first 300,000 from the
Incorporated Provinces of Poland, were expelled; the others have
Only a few thousand of these deportees were sent to western
Europe; all the others went to the General Government, and further
east to the German and Rumanian-occupied territories of the
Soviet Union. It should be noted that some of the Jews of Alsace-
Lorraine and Germany may possibly appear twice in the calculation,
since the 70,000 Jews deported from France to the east probably
include a number of those expelled at an earlier date from Alsace-
Lorraine and south-western Germany. In any case, a total of
1,050,000 would make allowance for any double counting.
In order to estimate the total number of uprooted Jews, how-
ever, this figure must be increased by the addition of those who
were evacuated, fled or emigrated. According to the data given
above, these figures are as follows:
Refugees from Poland to and through Rumania, Hun-
gary and Lithuania 50,000
Refugees from the Incorporated Provinces to the
General Government 60,000
Refugees from German-occupied Poland to Soviet-
occupied territory 200,000
Refugees from Bessarabia 100,000
Evacuees from the Baltic States 30,000
Evacuees from Western Bielorussia and Western Ukraine. 500,000
Evacuees from the pre-1939 territory of the Soviet Union 1 ,100,000
Emigrants to overseas and neutral European countries . . 1 60,000
This number again includes some refugees who have been count-
ed twice, among the following groups: (1) 50,000 refugees from
Poland who went to European countries ; many of these emigrated
later, while others were afterwards deported; (2) 200,000 Jews
who went from German-occupied Poland to Soviet-occupied ter-
ritory in 1939; some of them were afterwards removed to the east,
and therefore figure in the total of 500,000 Jews removed from
Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine. To avoid the possi-
bility of double counting, half of both these groups may be deducted,
thus giving a total of 2,100,000.
1 Many Jews, transferred from Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine
to Asiatic Russia shortly after the occupation of these territories by the Soviet
Union, should also be added to the number of those forcibly removed from their
country of residence. They are included in the total of 500,000 evacuees from
Western Bielorussia and the Western Ukraine, given in the second table.
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS 113
Summing up both sets of figures, i.e. figures relating to Jews
deported and expelled and to those otherwise displaced, a total of
3,150,000 is obtained.
This figure does not include: (a) the hundreds of thousands of
Polish Jews deported eastward from the General Government,
and (b) hundreds of thousands of Jews transferred by compulsion
within the limits of the same country or territory to be segregated
in ghettos and special Jewish towns, in particular in the General
Government and in the German-occupied Eastern Territories.
Assuming that only a third of the resident Jews who remained in
these territories were affected by (a) and (6), nearly 1,000,000
Jews must have been compulsorily removed eastward or from one
town to another. Accordingly, the number of Jews compulsorily
removed from their homes would be about 2,100,000, or in any case
over 2,000,000, and the total of all uprooted Jews 4,150,000, or in
any case over 4,000,000.
It is difficult, for several reasons, to present the population
movements described in the foregoing chapter in the form of a sys-
One difficulty lies in the frontier changes which have taken
place and in the transfer of whole territories from one national
sovereignty to another. In the case of Rumania, for instance, some
of the figures relate to the whole of the country before its dismem-
berment in 1940; others to Rumania after the loss of Northern
Transylvania, Southern Dobruja, Bessarabia, and Northern Buko-
vina; others again to Rumanian territory after the re-annexation
of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. In Poland the partition of
the whole country and the various changes which have since been
made in the frontiers of the Incorporated Provinces and the General
Government often make it impossible to determine precisely which
territories are concerned in the comings and goings of migrants
even when the total volume of migration is more or less accurately
Another difficulty arises out of the fact that in some territories
there have been successive incoming and outgoing movements
and that it is impossible to tell how far the same people were in-
volved. For instance, the evacuations from Bielorussia and the
Western Ukraine just before or at the time of the German invasion
in June 1941 doubtless affected many people who had come to
these provinces earlier from the Polish territory under German
THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS
Number of persons
Germany (including Aus-
Germany (Baden and
Remaining part of
20,000-30,000 Czechs and
car path ia
(frontiers of 1940)
Palestine and other
Rumania and Hun-
and Western Ukraine
and Western Ukraine
Western Bielorussia and
Western Ukraine (fron-
(113,000 beyond to
tiers of 1940)
Iran, India and
MOVEMENTS OP NON-GBRMAN POPULATIONS
Number of persons
France and over-
Other parts of France
Provinces and Gen-
Spain and Switzer-
North Africa, Englanc
Coastal areas of France,
Belgium and Nether-
I talian-an nexed
and the Croatian coastal
( Bulgarian-occupied )
Bosnia and Rumanian
250,000 Serbs and
Old Serbia and
Serbia and Macedonia
Western Thrace (Bulga-
Middle East and
Old Rumania, Transyl-
Bessarabia and North
vania and Dobruja
Bessarabia and North
Bessarabia and North
North Dobruja (Ruma-
German- and Rumanian-
occupied old Soviet
116 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN
A third difficulty is due to the variety of the population classes
transferred. In many cases certain national or ethnical groups
were specifically affected, as for instance the Jews in all the coun-
tries under Axis control, and certain national minorities trans-
ferred or exchanged by several of the countries of south-eastern
Europe. In others, and in particular in the case of the flight of war
refugees and evacuation, every class of the population was involved
in the movement.
In these circumstances it has proved impossible to classify the
available figures in a methodical table. It seemed useful how-
ever, in closing the present chapter, to summarise all the movements
which have been described in it.
The movements shown in the table are obviously very varied
in character. In some cases the people concerned left their homes
of their own accord at the approach of the enemy armies and found
refuge either in another part of their own country or abroad. Others
were transferred by the authorities, either to remove them from
the range of enemy action or to facilitate military operations,
or again to ensure that they remained in the service of their own
Government to play their part in national defence by serving in
the armed forces or working in industry. In other cases population
transfers were organised methodically; the Bulgarian, Hungarian,
and Rumanian minorities from other countries who were repatriated
were usually resettled by their own Governments and provided
with a new home to replace the one they had left. The position
of the populations of the whole of Europe under Axis occupation
who have been deported and expelled is very different, however.
Driven from their homes to make room for newcomers, concen-
trated at given places or scattered far and wide, deprived of every
possibility of carrying on their usual occupation and making a new
home, these uprooted people are living a precarious life under the
constant threat of further transfers. Unlike the majority of the
workers individually recruited or conscripted, as described in the
following chapter, they have left behind no home or family which
awaits their return. All their moorings have been cut, and they
can rely on no-one to protect them. This uprooting of populations
is one of the most tragic features of the present situation in Europe,
and will be one of the gravest problems calling for solution in the
MAP II. MOVEMENTS OF NON-GERMAN POPULATIONS
NOTE: the arrows Indicate the area of origin of
the main groups of refugees, evacuees, deported,
expelled or otherwise transferred non-German
people who were living away from their homes
towards the end of 1942. They do not indicate the
actual location of the people concerned but only
the general direction in which they moved or were
removed when leaving their homes. Transfers
over short distances, or affecting groups of less
than 10,000, concentrations in camps or ghettos,
transfers of workers and most evacuations from
bombed cities inside each country are not shown.
For fuller explanations and for sources of the
figures, see chapter II.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY
IMMIGRATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BEFORE THE WAR
The use of foreign labour, especially in rural employment, is tra-
ditional in Germany. Before 1914 it formed one of the links in the
migratory chain which crossed the country from east to west.
Between 1871 and 1910, the number of Russian and Austro-Hun-
garian nationals in Germany (largely Poles in both cases) increased
from 90,000 to 805,000, that of Italians from 4,000 to 104,000,
and that of Netherlanders from 22,000 to 144,000. In addition to
these large numbers of permanent migrants, there were also hun-
dreds of thousands of seasonal workers. The rural exodus was
especially marked in the east of Germany, and the vacuum
created by the migration of German country boys and girls to the
towns was filled by Polish seasonal workers from Russian Poland
and Galicia. 1 Numerous workers from Italy, Serbia and the Austro-
Hungarian Empire were also employed in agriculture, building and
construction, and mining. On the eve of the war of 1914-1918 there
were in all more than one million foreign workers in Germany,
about evenly distributed between agriculture and industry. During
the war itself the compulsory or semi-compulsory labour of enemy
aliens made a very important contribution to the German war
effort. The campaigns on the eastern front, in particular, provided
Germany with a valuable source of manpower which was drawn
upon mainly for agricultural work.
From 1914 to 1918, 2,500,000 prisoners of war, of whom nearly
1,500,000 were Russian, entered German prison camps. Towards
the end of the war, on 10 October 1918, there were in Germany
over two million (2,072,000) prisoners, this total including 1,200,000
Russians whom the Germans had not yet freed despite the treaty
of Brest-Li to vsk, signed in the previous March. 2 Nearly a million
1 A. and E. KULISCHER: op. cit., pp. 195-196 and 159-160.
2 W. DOEGBN: Kriegsgefangene VQlker (published by the German Ministry
of War, Berlin, 1919), pp. 26-29. Up to 10 Oct. 1918, 219,000 prisoners had been
freed or exchanged and 107,000 had escaped. According to the Reichszentralstelle
fur Kriegsgefangene. the precise number of prisoners held in Oct. 1918 was
118 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
were employed in agriculture. In addition, the German authorities
organised the impressment of men and young women in the occupied
countries, while other workers volunteered for work in Germany
when they became unemployed in their own countries, where the
Germans had carried off plant and raw materials and obstructed
the organisation of relief. 1 The majority of the workers recruited,
forcibly or otherwise, were employed in the occupied countries
themselves, but a number of them were sent to Germany. From
Belgium, 107,000 workers went to Germany voluntarily and 60,000
were forcibly deported. It was intended that they should replace
German workers called up from war industry for the forces, but
owing to Belgian resistance the results of the scheme wer6 meagre.
In 1917 most of the deportees were sent back to Belgium; there
were, however, still 90,000 Belgian volunteers and 12,000 deportees
in Germany in January 1918. 2 On a far greater 3cale was the influx
of workers from the east. At least 350,000 workers were forcibly
transferred to Germany from Russian Poland alone 3 , and workers
in other parts of Russia conquered by the Germans were similarly
rounded up and deported, especially for agricultural work. This
process continued even after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and
right on until the end of the German occupation. 4
After 1918, although the current of migration into Germany
continued to flow mainly from the east, its composition changed.
Henceforward, the migrants were mainly of German extraction;
special permits and registration cards were introduced to restrict
the number of immigrant seasonal workers to a minimum (28,000
on the average during the years 1920-1924). "During the years
1925-1927 the shortage of German agricultural workers involved
a steady increase in the annual quota of immigrants and the average
number of immigrants rose to 57,000 in 1925-1927. The alien
workers who thus immigrated to Germany came mostly from
Poland, but in certain years there were also a number from Czecho-
slovakia." 5 The number of foreign agricultural workers employed
in the Reich was 374,000 in 1918; it varied from 138,000 to 151,000
1 F. PASSELECQ: Deportation et travail forcS des ouvriers de la population
civile de la Belgique occupSe (published by the Carnegie Endowment for Inter-
national Peace, Division of Economics and History, New York, 1927), p. 11, and
J. van der HOEVEN LEONARD: Les deportations beiges (1931), p. 34.
2 F. PASSELECQ: op. cit. t pp. 323, 349-350, 378-390, 395-399.
8 S. T. RUZIEWICZ: Le problbme de I 1 emigration polonaise en Allemagne (Paris,
1930), pp. 26, 91-92.
4 For an account of the deportations from the region of Pskov, cf . the memoirs
of P. SAYANOV, in Zvezda, Aug. 1937, p. 71.
8 INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE, Studies and Reports, Series O, No. 4:
Migration Movements 1925-1927 (Geneva, 1929), pp. 33-34. The introduction
of Hungarians was an experiment of short duration. In industry, only Austrian
unemployed were admitted as an exceptional measure.
MOBIUSATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 119
in the years 1919-1922, fell to 110,000-119,000 in 1923-1924, and
rose again to 133,000-146,000 in 1925-1930. After the latter date
the entry of foreign workers was completely stopped. In 1931
there were only 30,000 still employed in the Reich and in 1932,
43,000. Those who remained were workers holding permanent
work permits granted to a few foreign residents in Germany and
to aliens covered by the special reciprocity agreements. 1
In 1937, however, in view of the growing labour shortage created
by the rearmament programme, the German Government decided
not only to reopen the frontiers to seasonal workers from abroad,
but also to recruit a certain number. As a result, immigration from
Poland brought 17,000 agricultural workers into Germany in that
year and 60,000 in 1938. In the following spring Poland refused
to put Polish agricultural workers at Germany's disposal in view
of the tense political situation, but the German authorities "did
not interfere with the large-scale illegal immigration of Polish
workers". 2 A new and important source of seasonal agricultural
labour was found in Italy, whence some 30,000 workers went to
Germany both in 1938 and 1939. During the harvest season, from
1937 onwards, immigration was also organised from Austria and
The expansion of the Reich with the annexation of Austria in
March 1938 and of the Sudetenland in the following October, the
submission of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939, and the crea-
tion of the vassal state of Slovakia, opened up abundant sources
of manpower for German agriculture and industry. These bloodless
conquests were the prelude to the German drive to the east and
south-east after the outbreak of war in September 1939, with the
defeat of Poland and Yugoslavia and the invasion of Russia. Ac-
cording to one of the favourite theories of National Socialism, this
Drang nach Osten was intended to enlarge the "living space" of the
German nation. But the victories of German diplomacy and Ger-
man arms did not change the traditional pattern of population
movements. On the contrary, the removal of the frontier barriers
opened the door still wider to immigration from the countries
falling under German domination.
The immigration of workers from the east and south-east began
with the annexation of Austria, which gave the Austrian unem-
ployed access to the German labour market. From 1934 to 1939
Austria lost 140,000 of its population through migration. German
1 Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, Vol. 441, p. 81.
Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1, Part V, p. 2.
8 P. WAKLBROBCK and I.BESSLING: "Some Aspects of German Social Policy
under the National Socialist Regime", in International Labour Review, Vol. XLIII,
No. 2, Feb. 1941, p. 135.
120 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
statisticians attribute this to two important migration movements
which took place after the annexation: the flight of the Jews and
the migration of Austrian workers into the Reich to find work. 1
During the same period Bavaria, which borders on Austria on the
west and north-west, and where huge building schemes were being
carried out at the time, gained 95,000 migrants. Thus the current
of Austrian migration, which had flowed internally but always
from east to west since the war of 1914-1918, gained with the an-
nexation of Austria a broad outlet into Germany.
In Czechoslovakia, the international crisis provoked by the
Sudeten question led to the same result; the Sudeten Germans
obtained access to the Reich. Germany could not refuse to take in
those whom German propaganda had represented as persecuted
brothers; they were not only admitted, but were supported at the
expense of the German Government. The number of these so-called
refugees registered in Germany was stated by Chancellor Hitler
to be 200,000.
While, at the time, the exodus of the Sudeten was attributed
to political persecution, its real nature was explained differently
later. In 1941, the official publication of the German Ministry of
Labour, dealing with the movement of the Sudeten Germans to
Germany just before the annexation of the country, made no
mention of any political motives. The movement was attributed
solely to the unemployment which had been rife in the country
since the crisis of 1929, and which had reached a figure of 250,000
by October 1938. Attracted by the vast employment opportunities
which the German armaments programme had opened up on the
other side of the frontier, the Sudeten Germans "crossed the green
frontier 2 in their thousands and tens of thousands and found a
warm welcome in the Old Reich, where the labour shortage was
already acute". 3
An immediate result of the annexation was to aggravate the
situation in the Sudetenland by severing its economic ties with
Bohemia. In December 1938 a million people nearly a quarter of the
total population of the Sudetenland received relief from the Ger-
man "Winter Help" fund. This still further stimulated immigration
into the Reich, which was no longer barred by a frontier. The
recruitment of workers for Germany was organised by the em-
ployment offices. 4 The results were seen in the census returns of
17 May 1939, which show a migratory loss of 317,000 since the
1 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1940, No. 2, and 1941, No. 20.
2 A German phrase used for illegal emigration.
3 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 May 1941, No. 13, Part V, p. 223.
MOBILISATION Otf FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 121
previous census of 1 December 1930. Before 1938, emigration from
the Sudetenland to Germany was insignificant; this tremendous
loss of nearly 9 per cent, of the population must therefore be at-
tributed to the exodus which took place just before and after the
annexation. To some extent this movement was directed towards
the interior, of Bohemia so far, that is, as concerns the flight of
the Jews before and after the Germans obtained control of the
Sudetenland 1 , the flight of Czechoslovak officials after the an-
nexation, and the expulsion of 40,000 Czdch peasants. But the
overwhelming majority of the migrants were Sudeten Germans
moving into the Reich. This is confirmed by the German statis-
ticians, who state that "the political events of 1938 led to the emi-
gration of non-German inhabitants, but workers mainly flowed
into the Old Reich in an urgent search for work and bread". 2
The occupation of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939 provid-
ed Germany with a new source of manpower. Even before, there
had been a steady movement of migration from Czechoslovakia
to Germany. 3 After taking over Bohemia and Moravia, however,
the German Government encouraged Czech emigration. Some
Czech factories were dismantled and part of their equipment was
transferred to Germany. Direct encouragement was also given;
in the first four months following the annexation (March to June
1939), 52,000 Czechs were engaged in the Reich, including Austria. 4
Germany's political expansion facilitated the migratory move-
ment not only of the Czechs but of the Slovaks. One of the results
of the creation of the vassal state of Slovakia was the movement
of 40,000 Slovak workers into the Reich. 6 The census of 17 May
1939 showed 56,600 seasonal workers from Slovakia. 6
Up to 1938, the foreign workers entering Germany had been
mostly agricultural labourers. In 1938 there were in all 120,000
foreign agricultural workers in the Reich. In the spring of 1939,
however, the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia brought to
Germany, for the first time, a large body of industrial immigrants.
On the eve of the present war the total number of foreign workers
1 Comparing the figures of the last Czechoslovak census in 1930 and the
German census in 1939, the Jewish population of the Sudetenland fell from 27,400
to 2,600 between these two dates.
2 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1940, No. 2.
8 This is shown by a comparison between the figures for aliens in the censuses
of 1933 and 1939. The returns for 1933 show 28,000 Czechoslovaks and those
for 1939, 86,000 Czechs and 40,000 Slovaks, apart from a further 59,000 seasonal
workers (Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1940, No. 11). Concerning Czechoslovak
movements before 1933, cf. INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE: Migration Move-
ments 1925-1927, pp. 34 and 66.
4 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 Oct. 1940, No. 29, Part V, p. 511. By Nov. 1939 this
figure had risen to 85,000.
6 Idem, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1, Part V, p. 6.
6 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 12.
122 TH DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
in Germany exceeded half a million 1 , this figure excluding the Sude-
ten and Austrians who had gone to work in the Old Reich.
It was not until the outbreak of war in the autumn of 1939,
however, followed by Germany's military conquests, that a flood
of foreign labour began to pour into the country and the number
of foreign workers employed in Germany rose from some hundreds
of thousands to several millions.
GENERAL SURVEY OF FOREIGN LABOUR MOBILISATION
DURING THE WAR
Several phases may be distinguished in Germany's progressive
mobilisation of foreign labour since the beginning of the war. These
phases correspond to the development of military operations, which
at first gave Germany access to vast reserves of labour, but also
caused ever-growing losses of manpower which had to be made good
while maintaining the labour force at the highest possible level.
On the eve of the war, 24,461,000 wage-earning and salaried
workers were employed in Germany, including 16,331,000 men and
8,130,000 women. 2 Even at that time the country's labour reserves
were already at a low ebb, and the effects of mobilisation were felt
immediately in a shortage of labour, especially in agriculture. When,
therefore, the rapid termination of the Polish campaign opened
up a new and abundant source of manpower, it was immediately
utilised to the full. Prisoners of war were the first source tapped,
but all kinds of methods were adopted to recruit civilian Polish
workers as well. Propaganda, indirect pressure and compulsion
were all employed to maintain a steady stream of Polish manpower.
One of the first acts of the German civil administration in the
General Government was the introduction of compulsory labour
service for Poles and forced labour for Jews. All unemployed Poles
from 18 to 60 years of age were subject to labour service. Compul-
sory registration for work in Germany was introduced by a procla-
mation of the Governor General issued on 24 April 1940, requiring
the inhabitants of the General Government, at the invitation of
their local authorities, to register for agricultural work in Germany.
This requirement applied especially to men and women born in the
years 1915 to 1924. Failure to register entailed severe penalties
and those who did not comply with the requirement were liable to
prosecution by the police. 3
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 609.
8 Idem, 25 Aug. 1940, No. 24, Part V, p. 405.
8 Cf. S. SEGAV. The New Order in Poland (published by the Research Institute
on Peace and Post- War Problems of the American Jewish Committee, New York,
1942), pp. 162 et seq. Forced labour for Jews is dealt with in Chapter II, above.
MOBIUSATJON Otf FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 123
In addition to this orderly, if compulsory, form of recruiting,
Polish labour for Germany was also secured by means of round-ups,
both in the Polish Provinces annexed by Germany and in the
General Government. These round-ups, followed by mass arrests
and deportations, began as early as October 1939. Their object
was, of course, not merely to provide labour for Germany; those
arrested included politicians, members of the clergy and of the
bourgeoisie, and intellectuals, who were sent to concentration
camps. In Western Poland the main purpose of the wholesale
arrests and deportations was to clean up the provinces incorporated
in the Reich and destined to be completely germanised. The great
majority of the Poles rounded up there in their homes or in the
streets were deported to the General Government, but those capable
of physical labour were separated from the women and children,
the aged and the unfit, and were deported directly from Western
Poland to Germany. Apart from these political transfers, however,
the main objective of the coercive methods employed by the German
authorities was to supply Germany with labour.
In this way the agricultural labour Germany so urgently needed
was procured without delay. Train after train brought thousands
of Poles to replace the mobilised German peasants.
Having thus strengthened its economic basis, Germany occupied
Denmark and Norway and then undertook the great offensive in
the west. The months which followed the collapse of France marked
the climax of Germany's economic as well as military successes.
An enormous booty of arms, munitions and other materials had
fallen into German hands. The food situation was greatly relieved
by drawing on stocks which had been piled up in the occupied coun-
tries before the invasion. A million and a half German soldiers
were living on the rich resources of France. The satisfactory de-
velopment of the military situation and the temporary lull in land
operations enabled leave to be granted to a great many peasants
and industrial workers.
At the same time as the pressure on Germany's domestic labour
supply was relieved, further apparently inexhaustible reserves of
foreign manpower were opened up. Nearly 2,000,000 prisoners of
war had been taken. Another 2,000,000 workers had been thrown
out of employment in the countries of Western Europe as a result
of the destruction and economic dislocation due to their defeat.
Demobilised soldiers and returning refugees swelled the masses of
the unemployed, while the shortage of food and rising prices made
living conditions difficult. Moderate pressure was sufficient to
provide German industry and agriculture with the workers they
required. Where necessary, the withholding of relief from the
124 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
unemployed who refused to go to Germany acted as an effective
The political control of the countries of South-Eastern Europe
secured by the Reich during the summer and autumn of 1940
further increased the labour supply available. Indeed, during this
second stage of the war, extending from the time of the Compi^gne
Armistice to the opening of the Russian campaign, Germany could
afford to pick and choose. "We are in a position to-day ", said
Chancellor Hitler, "to mobilise the manpower of almost the whole
of Europe, and that I shall do so industrially you may well believe. "
Germany could obtain from prisoners-of-war camps, from the
occupied countries, and from its allies, all the workers that were
needed; the only problem was to regulate and distribute the stream
of labour. During the closing months of 1940, German labour
requirements were so amply satisfied that recruitment was tem-
porarily suspended in certain territories and surplus workers were
sent home. No serious effort was made at that time to mobilise the
manpower reserves of France, where there was considerable unem-
ployment; French prisoners of war provided all the labour that was
During this period it was still agriculture that benefited most
from the foreign labour supply. According to a survey issued by
the German Ministry of Labour, the employment of prisoners of
war and foreign civilian workers proved to be of decisive importance
in harvesting the grain and root crops of the Reich in the summer
and fall of 1940 and in maintaining plantings and agricultural pro-
duction generally at or close to peacetime levels. 2 After the occupa-
tion of the industrial countries of the west however, foreign workers
were employed in increasing numbers in non-agricultural work.
At the same time, the prisoners of war who had first been sent into
agriculture were carefully sifted and redistributed with due regard
to their special skills. 3 Although the total number of foreign workers
employed in agriculture was constantly rising, the proportion of
1 The following press controversy between the Polish and German Govern-
ments is characteristic. On 4 Apr. 1940, the Polish Government in exile (then in
France) produced a copy of a confidential circular letter issued by Dr. Frank
to show that the devastation of Poland and deportation of Polish workers was
carried out according to a plan worked out by Field-Marshal Goering. In reply,
the German Embassy in Washington stated that: "If such a letter, referring to
measures taken concerning the Polish working population, exists, it must concern
the following facts: the Governor General has given orders to the sub-delegate
authorities to suspend relief payments to those workmen who refuse to accept
the kind of work offered them in the General Government or in the Reich." (New
York Times, 4 and 13 Apr. 1940.)
2 Foreign Commerce Weekly (published by the United States Department of
Commerce), 26 Apr. 1941, Vol. Ill, No. 4, p. 175.
* Cf. "The Employment of Prisoners of War in Germany' 1 , in International
Labour Review, Vol. XLVIII, No. 3, Sept. 1943, p. 316.
MOBIUSATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 125
agricultural to industrial workers was falling throughout 1940,
and this trend became more pronounced from the spring of 1941
onward, when the call-up of fresh men for the forces in preparation
for the war against the U.S.S.R. made gaps in the ranks of German
labour which had to be filled up. In spite of the seasonal require-
ments of agriculture, which the Reich usually meets by shifting
prisoners of war between agriculture and industry, the proportion
of prisoners employed in agriculture was lower in the summer of
1941 than during the preceding winter.
The following figures illustrate the change in the employment
distribution of prisoners of war in Germany during this period 1 :
Agriculture and forestry . .
Mining, transport, indus-
try, public administration
For civilian workers, the following figures are available 2 :
1 April 1941
Industrial workers, employees, domestic
service. . .
These figures do not show a very pronounced rise in the per-
centage of non-agricultural employment. There was, however, an
important change in the nature of this employment. At the end
of 1940, half the workers classified as industrial were employed in
building and construction, whereas the newcomers were chiefly fac-
tory workers. Unskilled and agricultural workers were recruited
in eastern and later in south-eastern Europe, while western
Europe had to supply skilled workers for German industry, and
in particular for the armament factories.
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V. p. 257. The figures for Sept.
1941 are taken from // Sole (Milan), 9 Jan. 1942.
2 The percentages for autumn 1940 are calculated on the basis of absolute
numbers given by the Official German News Agency (D.N.B.) and cited in Europe
under Hitler (edited by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1941),
p. 22. The figures for 1 Apr. 1941 are taken from Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July 1941,
No. 20, Part V, p. 339.
126 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
With the opening of the campaign against the U.S.S.R. and the
gradual realisation that this time a long war, costly in manpower,
was involved, German labour mobilisation entered on a new phase.
At the beginning of 1941 the position of the labour force in
Germany was approximately as follows. The number of workers
and salaried employees in employment, which had been 24,500,000
at the beginning of the hostilities, was still about 24,000,000. * To
fill up the gaps in the ranks of male workers left by men drafted
into the forces, 1,500,000 older workers and boys had been recruited,
so that the number of male workers, which had been 16,400,000 2 on
the eve of the war, was still 13,200,000. 3 Furthermore, the number
of women employed, which had at first fallen from 8,100,000 to
7,600,000 as a result of the economic dislocation which followed
mobilisation for the armed forces, had steadily risen until it exceeded
the pre-war figure by 300,000. 4 To these 21,600,000 German work-
ers, 1,100,000 foreign civilians and over 1,000,000 prisoners of war
had been added. 5
To make good the growing shortage of male German labour
caused by the demands of the war in Russia, Germany had recourse
to the further recruitment of women and of foreign labour. In a
speech delivered on 4 May 1941, Chancellor Hitler announced an
expansion of the industrial mobilisation of women. The number of
wage-earning women rose by 1,000,000 between 1 January and the
end of September 1941; at the end of 1941 it had reached 9,400,000 6
and in September 1942 it was 9,700,000. 7 But this increased contri-
bution of woman-power could not in itself replace all the male
workers called to the forces. To satisfy its economic needs, Ger-
many turned both to allied countries and to the occupied territories
for fresh supplies of labour.
An increasingly prolific source of foreign labour was provided
by Germany's allies. It has already been noted that Germany had
begun to recruit workers from Italy and south-eastern Europe
before the war under special arrangements concluded for the pur-
pose. This system was developed after the outbreak of the war
1 The German Ministry of Labour indicates that at the turn of the year 1940-
1941 the number of occupied workers and employees was 22,670,000 (14,250,000
men and 8,420,000 women). This number includes foreign civilian workers, but
not prisoners of war (Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 5). The corresponding
figures in May 1941 were 23,083,000 and in Feb. 1942, 24,084,000 (Reichsarbeits-
blatt, 25 May 1942, No. 15, Part V, p. 284), and about the same in July (Die
Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 20, July 1942).
2 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 Aug. 1940, No. 23, Part V, p. 395.
8 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 5. The total figure given is 14,250,000
including "over one million foreigners".
* Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 Feb. 1941, No. 5, Part V, pp. 85-93.
6 Statement by Dr. SYRUP (Frankfurter Zeitung, 29 Oct. 1940).
6 Der Vierjahresplan, 1942, No. 1.
7 Statement made by State-Secretary KORNER at a German labour conference,
reported by the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 14 Sept. 1942.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 127
for the recruitment both of seasonal workers and of permanent
agricultural and industrial workers, the recruitment being so organ-
ised as to make the Government of the workers* country of origin
responsible for recruiting the contingents specified in the agree-
ments and for applying any compulsion that might be necessary.
Some 250,000 additional workers were acquired in this way during
the first nine months of 1941. But the bulk of the foreign workers
needed were sought in the occupied areas. The total of foreign
civilians employed in the Reich increased from 1 million at the end
of 1940 to 2,140,000 in September 1941. Not only men, but women
too were now flocking in from abroad. In 1940, the number of
women was insignificant; on 1 April 1941 there were 250,000 1 ,
representing one-sixth of all foreign civilian workers, and on 25
September 1941, 470,000, or about one-fourth of the total. 2
Between the end of 1940 and September 1941, the number of
all foreign workers (prisoners of war and civilians together) increased
by nearly 1,500,000 to a total of over 3,700,000. This number
did not vary in the course of the autumn or throughout the winter
of 1941-1942. The figure for foreign civilian workers for 30 January
1942 was given as 2,138,000. 3 But with the preparation of the new
spring offensive against Russia the manpower problem became
particularly acute. The Russian campaign had become a bloody
war demanding the constant call-up of fresh men to the forces and
an endless supply of armaments. The age groups newly available
for military service, youths of 17 and 18 years old, could not satisfy
the ever-growing demands of the army. Older classes were also
called to the colours, and the comb-out in the civil service affected
even the central Government departments. Meanwhile, the results
of the American war effort were also beginning to be seriously felt.
To increase industrial production, Germany took three kinds
of measures. First, a further contraction of non-essential industries,
such as house building and textile factories, was ordered so as to
release labour for the production of war supplies. Secondly, an
effort was made to increase the efficiency of labour, partly by
developing the piecework system. Thirdly, intensive mobilisation
of all the manpower reserves of Europe was decided upon, and to
organise this, Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel was appointed General Con-
troller of Labour on 21 March 1942. In the Reich itself, all reserves
of manpower had to be utilised. In the spring of 1942, school-
children down to 10 years of age and women not already engaged
in war work were called in to help farmers with their sowing. Even
tubercular workers, formerly on sickness allowances, were drawn
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V, p. 339.
2 Idem, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
' Idem, 25 May 1942, No. 15, Part V, p. 284.
128 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
into employment, and the blind were specially trained for certain
unskilled jobs. But the mainstay of Germany's war effort had to be
found in the conquered or allied countries.
To justify this general mobilisation of European labour it was
represented as the duty of all European countries to help Germany
in the struggle against Bolshevism. One form of this help was
military. The Italians, Rumanians, Hungarians, Croats and Slo-
vaks sent fresh auxiliary forces to the eastern front, while token
legions of volunteers were formed in France, Belgium, the Nether-
lands, Denmark, Norway, the Baltic States and Spain. But by far
the major part of the assistance required by Germany from her
allies and from the conquered countries was in the form of their
agricultural and industrial production and their working population.
Recruitment facilities, however, no longer corresponded to
German needs. Unemployment had to a large extent been eliminat-
ed. 1 This was due in part to the German war orders placed in the
occupied countries and to the increasing number of workers em-
ployed by the Todt Organisation in building defence works along
the coast. But an important part had also been played during the
first two years of occupation by the action taken by national and
local authorities in these countries to reduce the number of unem-
ployed to a minimum by spreading available employment among
the greatest possible number of workers and by organising recon-
struction or relief works. These measures were encouraged at first
by the occupation authorities, who relied on the propaganda effect
of a rapid abolition of unemployment. By the beginning of 1942,
however, they were no longer compatible with the satisfaction of
the greatly increased demands of Germany's war economy for
labour. As there were no more high-grade workers to be found
among those who were still unemployed, Germany began to
squeeze out the required workers from the undertakings of the
To this end, uniform measures were adopted, although at
different dates, throughout Europe. Complete control over the
distribution of war materials and fuel enabled all industries which
were not working for Germany to be restricted or closed down.
Public works and reconstruction work regarded as unnecessary
for war purposes were suspended. Hours of work were compulsorily
extended, industries were concentrated to save labour, employers
were forced to dismiss their surplus workers, to make regular re-
turns of their staffs to the German authorities, and to provide the
latter with any workers they demanded. All unemployed persons
1 Idem, 25 Aug. 1941, No. 24, Part V, pp. 413-417. Cf. also INTERNATIONAL
LABOUR OFFICE: Year-Book of Labour Statistics, 1942, pp. 53-59.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 129
were obliged to register, and compulsory labour service, which
had been established in Poland immediately after the occupation,
was now introduced in all the countries of western Europe. Restricted
at first to employment in the occupied countries, it was soon extend-
ed to include employment in Germany or in any other territory.
In the Netherlands, this extension took place as early as March
1942; in Belgium, in October. On 22 August 1942, Dr. Sauckel issued
an Order establishing a general order of priority for the employ-
ment of labour in all the occupied territories, in which first priority
was given to the requirements of the civilian and military occupa-
tion authorities and of all undertakings working for the German
armament industries. 1 At the same time strong pressure was brought
to bear on the French Government, which after trying in vain to
recruit the workers demanded by Germany by methods of persua-
sion, in turn introduced compulsory labour in September 1942. 2
The countries allied to Germany were also required to comb out
their labour in order to be able to provide Germany with a larger
supply. In Italy, new decrees concerning the mobilisation of civilian
labour were published on 26 February and 7 December. In Slovakia,
compulsory labour was introduced in March 1942 on the German
model. But it was mainly to the occupied territory of the U.S.S.R.
that recourse was had from the spring of 1942 onward to make
good the growing labour shortage in the German war economy.
After the opening of the Russian campaign, some objections and
difficulties had been raised to the importation of Russian workers,
but these were overcome, and an endless stream of Russian labour
also began to flow into Germany.
During the spring of 1942, the number of foreign civilians
employed in Germany was 2,500,000, the total of all foreign
labour being about 4,000,000. 3 This total increased to approxi-
mately 5,000,000 in August 1942 4 and to 6,000,000 by the end of
October. 5 The estimate for the beginning of 1943 was 6,500,000 and
the increase during the later months has been considerable. 6
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Sept. 1942, No. 25, Part I, p. 382, quoted in International
Labour Review, Vol. XLVI, No. 6, Dec. 1942, pp. 732-733.
2 Cf. "The Recruitment of French Labour for Germany ", in International
Labour Review, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, Mar. 1943, pp. 312-343.
8 Frankfurter Zeitung, 4 Aug. 1942.
4 Ibid., In July 1942 it was estimated that since Dr. Sauckel's appointment
in March, the number of foreign workers had increased by 900,000 (Der Deut-
sche Volkswirt, 17 July 1942).
6 The Brusseler Zeitung, 9 Oct. 1942, gave the figure of 6,000,000. The same
number was quoted in Izvestia, 29 Oct. 1942, on the basis of "official German data' 1 .
6 A Moscow radio broadcast by Ilya Ehrenburg on 3 Jan. 1943 spoke of
"7,000,000 foreign slaves in Germany". The Vichy radio, on 6 Jan. 1943, reported
authorised circles in Berlin as stating that between 6,000,000 and 8,000,000
foreign workers were employed in industry and agriculture in the Reich. Accord-
ing to one German source (Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 30 June 1943), the
total of all foreign labour employed in Germany on 31 May 1943 would have
reached 12 million.
130 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
This huge mass of workers was employed in the most varied
occupations. A large proportion of them naturally continued to
be absorbed by agriculture. According to a statement made by Dr.
Sauckel, more labour was employed in agriculture in Greater
Germany in June 1942 than in 1938, and Germany's labour prob-
lems were practically solved in the field of food production. 1
During the first two years of the war, the employment of foreign
labour in the engineering and metal industries was held up to some
extent by German reluctance to give foreigners access to the secrets
of armament production. By the end of 1942, however, 17 per cent,
of all industrial workers in Germany were foreign, either civilians
or prisoners of war, and according to the statement by Dr. Sauckel
quoted above, in September a large number of foreign workers
were employed in armament production. 2 The difficulty of provid-
ing these industries with skilled workers has become particularly
acute since the Russians, in 1942 still more than in 1941, system-
atically transferred such workers to the east before retreating. As
a result, skilled workers have been particularly sought in the Western
European countries and definite quotas have been demanded from
France since the summer of 1942. Training for skilled industrial
work has now become the watchword, not only for Germans, but
also for foreign workers. All objections to training foreign workers,
according to Dr. Sauckel, must give way before the need to obtain
maximum production in the highly skilled armament industries. 3
As a leading German paper puts it 4 , "a continued supply of foreign
labour remains the only means whereby Germany's war effort
can be still further expanded 1 '.
Agriculture and industry, moreover, are not the only fields to
which foreign workers have been admitted. They are to be found
in every occupation. "The Reich capital", wrote a foreign corres-
pondent in January 1942, "is rapidly becoming cosmopolitan, in
that foreign workers whom circumstances have made a vital factor
in Germany's war effort, together with war prisoners of many
nations, especially Polish and French, with pick-and-shovel tasks,
have forced themselves on the streets to the extent that in some
sections of the city they seem to be crowding off the natives". 5
In restaurants, the Italian or French waiter is a customary figure.
Even a sleeping-car conductor may be a Frenchman. 6
Lastly, Germany is not the sole destination of the foreign work-
ers, who are transferred from one occupied territory to another as
1 Svenska Dag bladet, 26 Sept. 1942.
*Der Deutsche Volkswirt, 17 July 1942.
4 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 15 Sept. 1942.
8 New York Times, 19 Jan. 1942.
* Howard SMITH: Last Train from Berlin (NewJYork, 1942), p. 355.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 131
need arises. Danes, Belgians and Netherlanders have been sent to
reinforce the army of 100,000 Norwegian workers engaged in build-
ing fortifications along the coast. Skilled workers and farmers from
the west have been transferred to Poland and Russia, to direct the
work of the local inhabitants or to manage farms, while increasing
numbers of Russians, Czechs and Poles are reported to be working
in the countries of Western Europe.
Great care is taken to prevent any of the undesirable consequen-
ces which might be expected to arise from this mixture of nation-
alities. The different national groups of workers are housed in
separate barracks and employed as far as possible in different work-
shops. An Italian press correspondent has described a huge factory
built near Linz for the production of aircraft, motor vehicles and
other armaments which employs workers from all over Europe.
Italians in particular are very numerous, especially building and
metal workers. Finland is the only country which is not represented
in the working population of this region, which includes many
Russian prisoners, and even some British prisoners who, in the
writer's words, "also have to lay their stone in building the new
Europe in order to earn the right to eat their daily bread". 1 Another
description of these concentrations of humdnity was given recently
by a German press correspondent:
Thousands of foreigners live in the barrack towns in the valley of the Erzberg
and in the surroundings of the great foundries. The long winter cuts them off
for by far the greater part of the year from the rest of the world while they per-
form the very hard labour of surface mining, and for good or ill they are pressed
into the traditional ways of the mining community. Europeans of all tongues,
men and women from the Stakhanov factories of the Rostov district inflate the
old manageable mining communities and represent, apart from the dominating
economic questions, a new social problem, the solution of which strongly influences
the functioning of production. 2
But Germany's opportunities for obtaining foreign labour are
no longer so unlimited as they appeared to be during the first three
years of the war. The manpower reserves of Western Europe are
nearing exhaustion. In south-eastern Europe, some of Germany's
allies have even recalled their workers, whom they needed urgently
for their own purposes 3 , and the recruitment of labour from the
Eastern Territories is increasingly impeded by the latters' own
pressing economic needs, bound up with Germany's war effort,
and by the demands of the army. "The predominance of eastern
workers", writes a German economic review, "will increase still
further in the near future, but it must not lead to the erroneous
1 Popolo d* Italia, 28 Feb. 1943, despatch from the Berlin correspondent.
8 Vdlkischer Beobachter (Vienna edition), 21 Jan. 1943.
* Cf. also below, under Italy, p. 157.
132 THB DISPLACEMENT OX POPULATION IN EUROPE
belief that this source of labour is inexhaustible. There is a limit
to the number of workers who can be withdrawn from eastern
In spite of all these difficulties, Germany is persevering with the
total mobilisation of all the labour resources of Europe, and is
resorting more and more to coercion to overcome the growing
resistance in the occupied countries. Recruitment is now taking
the form of mass deportation. In preparation for future military
operations, a supreme effort to make use of all available resources
has been undertaken since February 1943. Two Decrees of 27 and
29 January 1943 prescribed further drastic measures to comb out
the last reserves of labour in Germany itself, and similar measures
have been imposed on the occupied territories. It may be expected
that during the coming months maximum pressure will be exerted,
without consideration for the requirements of the countries con-
cerned, to squeeze out the extra supply of labour necessary to main-
tain Germany's war production at the highest possible level. In a
speech delivered at Amsterdam in January 1943, Dr. Sauckel
proclaimed "the conqueror's right to use all the power he needs
for his own preservation" 2 , and the Fiihrer himself declared, in a
proclamation of 24 February 1943, that: "We shall not hesitate a
single second to call upon the countries which are responsible for
the outbreak of this war to do their bit in the fatal struggle. We
shall not scruple about foreign lives at a time when such hard
sacrifices are expected from our own lives. 1 '
In the following pages a brief description is given of the pro-
gressive development of the recruitment of labour in each of the
countries under German domination.
ANALYSIS BY COUNTRY
The migration into the Reich of some 200,000 Sudeten Germans,
including tens of thousands of workers, has already been mentioned;
this took place just before the annexation of the Sudetenland as
well as afterwards. After the annexation, this great movement of
voluntary migration was swelled by the forced transfer of Czech
workers. The incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany gave
the German authorities the power to employ workers from that
region in any part of the Reich. The German Government wanted
* Der Deutsche Volkswirt, 20 Nov. 1942.
* Deutsche Zeitung in den Niederlanden, 21 Jan. 1943.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 133
to rid the Sudetenland of the Czechoslovak minority, which had
already been severely reduced by the flight of Czechoslovak officials
and the expulsion of the peasants, and after the outbreak of war
almost all Czech workers (in particular those from Teschen and
Tropau) were forced to leave their homes and go into Germany.
In the meantime, the scarcity of skilled labour, due mainly
to the departure of the Sudeten Germans, became more and more
acute and began to alarm the German authorities. On 5 December
1940 a Decree was issued to promote the return of Sudeten Germans
to the Sudetenland. Nevertheless, the shortage of labour continued,
especially in the metal industries and in mining, while there was
also a great lack of building workers. To fill the gap, migration of
frontier workers from the Protectorate was permitted on a wider
scale, but the reserve of manpower mobilised in this way was soon
Information supplied by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Recon-
struction in London suggests that the labour supply position in the
Sudetenland is now worse than ever. Communications from econo-
mic experts in this region, all of which have passed the censor-
ship, complain of a terrible scarcity of skilled labour in industry
and state quite frankly that this is due solely to emigration to
Figures for the total number of workers who moved into Ger-
many from the Sudetenland are not available, as this region has
been entirely incorporated into the German Reich and no separate
statistics of Sudeten Germans working in Germany are published.
So far as can be ascertained, workers from the Sudetenland are
employed in all parts of the Old Reich.
Bohemia and Moravia.
As already stated, the recruiting of Czech workers for Germany
had begun before the war. From March to June 1939, 52,000 Czechs
were engaged for work in Germany; 55,000 more were recruited
between July 1939 and March 1940, and another 23,000 from March
1940 up to the end of 1940. In the spring of 1941, 150,000 Czechs
were employed in the Reich. On 25 September 1941 the number
was given as 140,000, of whom 28,200 were women. 2 This figure
does not include 24,000 Czechs living on the frontiers within the
Protectorate but working in the industries of the Sudetenland, Silesia
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 May 1941, No. 13, Part V, pp. 223-224.
2 Idem, 15 Oct. 1940, No. 29, Part V, p. 512; 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V,
p. 339; and 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610; Wirtschaft und Statistik,
1941, No. 5. It should be remembered that in some cases the statistics give the
gross total number of workers recruited, some of whom naturally returned home,
and in others the number of workers who were present at a given date.
134 TH3 DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
and Austria, nor the 35,000 Czech seasonal workers employed in
the beet and hop fields in the adjacent German districts. 1 It seems
that throughout this entire period the Protectorate was not drained
of its labour as ruthlessly as other countries because the Czech
workers were needed for the highly developed metallurgical industry
on the spot. But according to newspaper and other reports, a new
and more powerful drive for labour for Germany was launched in
the Protectorate in the spring of 1942. Only the armament-producing
metallurgical plants still continued to operate at full capacity.
Others were closed or cut down their production to release workers
for employment in the Reich. It is true that the increasingly heavy
British air raids led to the removal to the Protectorate of many war
factories from Germany, in particular from the Ruhr, but these
were transferred along with their own workers. Many Czech work-
ers were also sent-to Austria and to the old Reich at the same time 2 ,
so that an estimate of 200,000 Czechs employed in Greater Germany
by August-September 1942 is probably not exaggerated. 3
Most of the Czech workers are employed in the metallurgical
industry and in building. The largest colony is apparently at Linz
in Upper Austria, where there was a labour shortage due to the
emigration of Austrians who had gone to look for work in Germany
after the annexation. 4 Many others were employed in Brunswick
andfBerlin. 5 Czech building workers are also reported to have
been sent to north-western France and Norway, where they were
employed in 'building 'fortifications.
In Slovakia, with its relatively dense population and undeve-
loped industry, the rural population used to migrate for seasonal work
to the Sudetenland and other neighbouring parts of Bohemia and
Moravia as well as to Austria. After the secession of Slovakia this
movement was organised in Germany's interests, and an agreement
was concluded between Germany and Slovakia under which Slova-
kia undertook to provide from 50,000 to 60,000 workers yearly for
the Reich. According to German sources, the total number of
* Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1942, No. 1, Part V, p. 6.
8 Christian Science Monitor, 11 June 1942.
New York Times, 5 Aug. 1942.
4 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 May 1941, No. 14, Part V, p. 241.
8 Eug. V. ERDBI^EY: op. cit., p. 191. Some conclusions concerning the loca-
tion of the Czech workers may be drawn from the distribution of Bohemian-
Moravian local liaison offices. They have been established: (1) in Linz for
Oberdonau, Salzburg and Tyrol; (2) in Vienna for Vienna, Niederdonau and
Styria; (3) in Berlin for Mark Brandenburg; (4) in Hanover for South Hanover
and Brunswick; (5) in Breslau for Lower and Upper Silesia.
MOBIUSATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 135
Slovak workers in Germany had reached 80,000, of whom 25,000
were women, by 25 September 1941. l This figure does not, however,
reflect the real volume of Slovak labour employed in Germany.
Statistics published in Slovakia give the number of 120,000. 2 As a
result of the intensive recruitment of labour for Germany, a shortage
of labour began to be felt in Slovakia itself, especially in agriculture,
but in industry as well, and many public and private building
schemes had to be postponed or abandoned for this reason. 3
On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. On 27 Septem-
ber Warsaw surrendered, and on 28 September the German and
Soviet Governments fixed the frontiers in Poland, proclaiming the
end of the Polish State.
After the conquest of Poland the German authorities " hastened
to draw on the labour reserves made available by the Polish cam-
paign". 4 These possibilities were twofold: first, prisoners of war,
and secondly, workers recruited in Poland. At first, the rapidly
growing number of Poles who were brought to Germany after the
fall of Poland were chiefly prisoners of war, but during the course
of 1940 the proportion of prisoners to civilian workers changed.
While the number of Polish prisoners of war employed in Germany
diminished, that of other Polish workers rose steadily.
Prisoners of War.
According to German statements, the total number of prisoners
of war captured during the hostilities in Poland was 694,000 includ-
ing the Polish divisions which were surrounded by the Germans
in the last stages of the campaign. Of this number, at least 10,000
died after their capture, and about 140,000 were later released and
sent home. The remainder, some 540,000, were finally transferred
to Germany, where many of them were employed in agriculture
as well as on road building and other public works. During the
course of 1940, large numbers of Polish prisoners, in particular
those who were unfit for work owing to their state of health, were
sent back to Poland. Others were technically released, but detained
as civilian workers. According to an official German source, 180,000
former Polish prisoners of war were employed as free labourers in
German agriculture at the end of 1940. 5 In May 1941 the German
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
2 Stidost Echo, 15 Jan. 1942.
Idem, 17 July 1942; Hospodarsky Dennik, 22 Oct. 1942.
4 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1, Part V, p. 7.
6 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 5.
136 THE DlSPtAC^MfiNT 0# POPULATION IN
authorities stated that only a comparatively small number of Poles
still remained in captivity. 1 According to a well-informed source,
the number was 77,400 in August 1942 and 56,000 in March 1943.
f By this time the compulsory labour of Polish prisoners of war
had been adequately replaced by civilian labour. Some of these
workers were freed prisoners, but the majority were civilians trans-
ferred from Poland, described by the German authorities as "free
The occupation of Poland ' 'opened up the possibility of recruit-
ing free civilian workers in the regions which traditionally supplied
Polish agricultural labour". 2 Indeed, as has already been noted,
emigration to Germany was a route which had long been followed
by migrant labour.
Some six months before the outbreak of war, on 17 January
1939, Mr. Koscialkowski, Polish Minister of Social Welfare, made
a statement to the Committee on Estimates of the Diet on national
social policy, in which he declared that the question of seasonal
emigration was of special importance to the Polish Government.
This problem, he added, was linked up with that of the impossibility
of absorbing all available national labour in the national labour
market. 3 As already noted, the policy of promoting seasonal emigra-
tion at that time did not materialise, and legal immigration to
Germany came to a halt in the following spring on account of the
political tension between Germany and Poland. The resumption
of the movement after the invasion of Poland may therefore be
considered to some extent as a reopening of traditional channels.
To some observers, the recruiting of Polish labour has appeared
in this light from the very beginning. The correspondent of the
New York Times cabled as follows in his first despatch concerning
the recruiting of Polish workers: " Among their number are seasonal
workers who came each year from Poland for harvesting work,
but were forbidden to come this year. These have been sent to the
Reich now by provisional employment bureaux set up in Poland by
the German authorities." 4
However, the scale on which the movement now developed,
and the methods used to develop it, soon entirely transformed its
character. Whereas in the past it had been a normal overflow from
certain overcrowded regions, what now took place was a systematic
l Reichsarbeitsttatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V, p. 258.
8 Idem, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1, Part V, p. 7.
1 Industrial and Labour Information, Vol. LXIX, No. 8, 20 Feb. 1939, p. 228.
* New York Times, 13 Oct. 1939.
MOBIUSAtlON Otf #ORlON tABOUR BY GERMANY 137
draining away of all the resources which could be useful to a foreign
economy, the needs of which were becoming increasingly insatiable.
Polish civilians were recruited for work in Germany throughout
the length and breadth of the occupied territory. Even when the
campaign was still in full swing, Germany began to establish em-
ployment offices in the occupied districts. These offices were sub-
sequently set up in other parts of the country in order to obtain
the labour required for reconstruction and current agricultural work
in Poland, as well as for work in German agriculture. By the end
of 1941, there were in the General Government alone (not including
the former Soviet-occupied districts of Lvov and Bialystok) 20 main
employment offices with 63 branches. 1
By the middle ot October 1939, several trainloads of Polish
workers had proceeded to Germany. Before the end of the year,
agricultural undertakings in the Reich had been supplied with
80,000 civilian workers from the Incorporated Provinces and the
General Government. From January 1940 recruitment became
more intense. From the end of the Polish campaign to 31 December
1940, some 469,000 civilians were recruited in the Incorporated
Provinces and the General Government and sent to Germany for
farm work. 2 According to a German official statistical report, the
number of Poles (besides war prisoners) occupied in Germany,
including both industrial and agricultural workers, amounted to
873,000 on 1 April 1941, and on 25 September 1941 it was 1,007,000.'
In July 1942, a reliable source reported the number as 1,095, 000. 4
The estimated number for the beginning of 1943 would be about
Besides being employed in the Reich, Polish workers are re-
ported to have been conscripted in great numbers as labour troops
for the German army on the Russian front. 8
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1942, No. 1, Part V, p. 6.
2 Idem, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1, Part V, p. 8, and Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941,
8 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V, p. 339, and 5 Dec. 1941,
No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
4 This figure is corroborated by the following calculation. The Krakauer
Zeitung reported that 830,000 Polish workers were sent to Germany by the
General Government only; 400,000 were sent by the Incorporated Provinces
(cf. below, p. 138) and 180,000 were transferred Polish prisoners of war (Wirt-
schaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 5). This gives a total of 1,400,000 Poles sent to the
Reich. Assuming that 15 per cent. Returned home, this gives a figure of 1,200,000
employed in the Reich in Aug. 1942. The number of workers sent in Aug. was
reported as 90,700.
5 The total number of workers sent to Germany from the General Government
up to the end of 1942 was about 940,000 (about 380,000 having been sent in the
course of 1942). It has been announced that the train carrying workers to Ger-
many which left Cracow on 13 Mar. 1943 conveyed the millionth Polish worker
(Krakauer Zeitung, 14 Mar. 1943).
6 New York Times, 16 June 1942, mentioned among other reports the con-
scription of 100,000 from Silesia and about 70,000 from Poznan "during the past
138 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
The number of Polish women working in Germany is given as
262,700, or 25 per cent, of the, total of Polish workers, by German
official statistics of 25 September 1941. One-fourth of these women
are reported to have worked on farms.
According to a reliable source, 700,000 civilian Polish workers
were employed in agriculture on 1 June 1942. The Polish Govern-
ment in London gave the following information about the employ-
ment of Poles in Germany at the beginning of 1942: "About 70
per cent, of them are used for agriculture; the rest are employed in
building, manufacturing, etc. The Germans avoid employing Polish
deportees in important war industry, where sabotage is feared. "
The proportion of industrial workers, however, has been steadily
on the increase. While the first contingents transferred in 1940
were recruited almost entirely for agricultural work, information
from a German source indicates that from January to August 1942,
288,400 industrial Polish workers were sent to work in Germany. 1
Later figures, though fragmentary, suggest that newly recruited
workers have nearly all been placed in industry. In December
1942, the number of workers enlisted in the General Government
for work in the Reich was 31,595. Of these only 600 were for agri-
culture; the rest were for industry. 2
According to information supplied by the Polish Ministry of
Labour in London concerning the geographical origin of the Polish
workers in Germany, of 1,000,000 Polish civilian workers employed
at the beginning of 1942, 400,000 had been brought from the terri-
tory annexed by the Reich. The detailed figures are 250,000 from
Poznan and Lodz (the area known as the Warthegau), and 150,000
from Pomerania and Silesia. The deportees from Silesia were mostly
agricultural workers, as all others were needed for local factories
and coal mines.
Norway and Denmark
Prisoners of War.
On 9 April 1940 Germany occupied Denmark and invaded
Norway. According to an unofficial estimate, 50, 000 prisoners of war
were taken in the Norwegian campaign 8 , but an official German
source states that none were transferred from Norway to Germany.*
With Denmark, "negotiations for the engagement of workers
1 A D.N.B. report of 9 Oct. 1942, quoted in Survey of Central and Eastern
Europe, Nov.-Dec. 1942.
1 Krakauer Zeitung, 28 Jan. 1943.
New York Times, 8 July 1940.
4 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V, p. 258.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 139
were opened immediately after the occupation of the country, in
connection with the supply of coal and raw materials to Denmark.
It was pointed out on the German side that the employment of
Danish labour in Germany would enable that country to give the
labour needed for extracting the coal wanted by Denmark/' 1 On 1
April 1941 there were 31,000 Danes and 1,400 Norwegians employed
in Germany, and on 25 September 1941 the number of Danes was
28,900. 2 According to press reports they were employed as factory
hands and in construction work, mainly in ports in the north-west
of Germany. A report from Sweden states that in August 1942
there were 40,000 Danish workers in Germany 3 , while 5,000 were
sent to German fortification works in Norway. In spring 1943 this
number had risen to 10,000. 4
The situation in the latter country is described by the official
German Reichsarbeitsblatt as follows: "The unemployment which
prevailed at first in the Norwegian war sector was soon transformed
by military construction works into a labour shortage. General
compulsory labour was therefore introduced by an Order of 11 July
1941. This measure was necessary to supply agriculture, for ex-
ample, with the necessary manpower/' 5 But other information
suggests that labour conscription in Norway was applied primarily
for the purposes of military construction. 6 The number of Nor-
wegians employed in Germany was unofficially reported to be still
only 2,000 in the autumn of 1942.
Prisoners of War.
On 10 May 1940 Germany invaded the Netherlands, and on 14
May the Netherlands Army laid clown its arms.
During this brief campaign, according to an unofficial estimate
1 P. WAELBROECK and I. BESvSLiNG: loc. eit., p. 136. In Aug. 1942 it was
reported from a Swedish source that the Germans had not delivered more than
30 to 40 per cent, of the promised quantity of fuel.
2 Wirtschaft und Statistik, 1941, No. 5; Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July 1941, No.
20, Part V, p. 339, and 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
3 The figure of 48,000 was given by Faedrelandet on 22 Nov. 1942.
4 Vestkysten (Esbjerg, Denmark), 12 Apr. 1943.
5 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 Mar. 1942, No. 9, Part V, p. 179.
6 On 9 July 1942 Folketoiljan reported that most of the 75,000 Norwegians
conscripted for employment would be employed in Norway on various defence
schemes. According to Afton-Tidningen, 20 July 1942, between 14,000 and 20,000
men were conscripted from Oslo and other parts of Oestlandet and sent to fortifica-
tion works and aerodromes in Soerlandet, Vestlandet and Troendelag. It is
estimated that, as a whole, the number of Norwegian workers directly engaged
in German building activities and fortification works in the autumn of 1942 was
slightly above 100,000, i.e. one-third of the number of workers engaged in Norwe-
gian manufacturing industries before the war. This figure, it is pointed out,
accounts for the fact that no large-scale transfer of Norwegian workers to Germany
has taken place. On the contrary, a considerable number of foreign workers have
been transferred to Norway.
140 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
by a source already quoted, 331,000 men were captured, but on 1
June 1940 Chancellor Hitler announced that the Netherlands
prisoners would be released. Half of them were set free immediately
and the rest demobilised by degrees. Only a small number, mostly
officers, were kept in captivity. 1
While the Germans thus deprived themselves of the services of
some 330,000 prisoners whom they might have used as workers,
they began immediately after the occupation to recruit the
workers they needed directly from the Netherlands labour market.
As a result of economic dislocation, the release of prisoners of war
and the demobilisation of the army, the number of registered un-
employed had risen at that time to 400,000, and invisible unem-
ployment probably accounted for a further 100, 000. 2 Before the
war a number of workers from the Netherlands were more or less
regularly employed in Germany, mostly as frontier and seasonal
workers. After the occupation this movement was revived and
systematically encouraged. Workers who declined employment
offered in Germany were refused all unemployment relief.
Between 20 June and 30 December 1940, nearly 100,000 workers
were placed in employment in Germany, including over 31,000 as
frontier workers. Recruitment was suspended during the winter,
bjt in January 1941 big groups of workers were being prepared
for departure in the spring. The employment offered was mainly
agricultural work and skilled work in the building industry. 3
During 1941 the number of workers recruited for Germany rose
steadily. From 20 June 1940 it rose to 130,634 (45,478 frontier work-
ers and 85,156 others) at 26 April 1941 and 157,033 (55,239 frontier
workers and 10 1,7 94 others) at 2 August 1941. 4 By 28 December 1941
1 According to a Stockholm report, more than 2,000 former army officers and
cadets released on parole were rounded up on 15 May 1942 and sent to prisoner-
of-war camps in the Reich. A later report indicates that they were subsequently
transferred to a prisoners' camp at Stanislawow in Polish Galicia (Netherlands
News, 15 Dec. 1942). It has recently been announced that all Dutch prisoners
of war who had been .released in 1940 were called to report in order to be interned
and transferred to Germany, as a reprisal measure for sabotage action in the
Netherlands. However, the official D.N.B. agency stated, on 29 Apr. 1943, that
at that time officers and non-commissioned officers of the former army were
merely required to report, and that nothing was yet known about the actual
time of their return to German prisoner-of-war camps.
2 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Mar. 1941, No. 7, Part V, p. 128.
3 The information given , unless otherwise st atecl, is taken from De A rbeidsmarkt,
organ of the Netherlands National Unemployment Council, Dec. 1940- Dec. 1941,
and Arbeidsbesiel, organ of the Netherlands National Labour Council, Jan. 1942 -
4 According to the Rcichsarbeitsblatt (see table, p. 160), the number of civilian
Netherlands workers employed in the Reich on 1 Apr. and 25 Sept. 1941 respect-
ively was 90,000 and 93,000, the difference doubtless being due to the inclusion
of frontier workers in the Netherlands figures.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 141
the figure was 199,655 (67,040 frontier workers and 132,615 others)
and by March 1942, it was 235,793 (74,215 frontier workers and
161,578 others). During the same period, however, there was a
steady return movement of workers whose contracts had expired.
The total number of returns recorded was 61,000 at 28 February
1942, but it was admitted that an unknown number of workers had
also broken their contracts and returned secretly. The total number
of workers employed in Germany at the end of March 1942 may
therefore be estimated at between 160,000 and 170,000. In addi-
tion, 29,472 workers had also been recruited in the Netherlands
since June 1940 for work in France and Belgium. Most of those
recruited for Germany were industrial workers. According to in-
formation published by the Netherlands Central Statistical Bureau
in March 1942 1 , out of 227,000 workers recruited up to the end of
February, 17,000 were employed in farming, 5,000 in domestic
service, 24,000 in transportation and commerce, while 130,000
belonged to various groups of skilled industrial labour, 48,000 were
registered as unskilled and 3,000 were unclassified.
The proportion of industrial labour, and more particularly of
skilled labour, rose still higher during the following months. In the
Netherlands, as in France and in Germany itself, the mobilisation
of labour for Germany was intensified under the direction of Dr.
Fritz Sauckel, who was appointed General Controller of Labour in
Berlin on 21 March 1942. A three-months campaign was set on
foot, directed mainly to the recruitment of metal workers, which
resulted in providing about 30,000 metal workers for German in-
dustry. Special commissions were set up by the German authorities
to comb out the labour force of the metal-working undertakings
in the Netherlands and to send those regarded as surplus to require-
ments to Germanyif necessary, by having recourse to the com-
pulsory labour service which had been introduced for work within
the country in March 1941 and extended to cover work in Germany
a year later.
At the beginning of July the commissions had finished their
work and were disbanded and the second stage of the programme
was put in hand, namely the expansion of output with a view to
economising labour and releasing further workers for employment
in the German armament industries. Measures were taken to pro-
mote the retraining of workers in other occupations for the German
metal-working industries at the rate of 2,330 a month. And lastly,
the transfer of whole undertakings together with their staffs, which
had been begun some time earlier, was methodically organised.
1 Quoted in Netherlands News (New York), 11-25 Sept. 1942.
THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
The following figures show the expansion of recruitment, espe-
cially during the months of May, June and October.
Workers in other parts of the Reich
30 March-25 April 1942
27 April-31 May 1942
* No published data
At the end of December 1942, the total number of workers
recruited for Germany since 20 June 1940 had risen from 226,921
at 28 March to 362,956, including 87,514 frontier workers. The
number of workers recorded as having returned was 100,084 so that,
making allowance for secret returns, the number of workers then
employed in Germany was probably between 255,000 and 260, OOO. 1
The number of workers from the Netherlands working in France
and Belgium, which had remained stable for several months, was
At the beginning of 1943 a fresh effort was made to mobilise the
remaining labour reserves in the Netherlands. General civilian
mobilisation was ordered on 22 February on the same system as
had been introduced in Germany in the same month. There was a
drastic combing out of labour from banks, insurance companies,
export and wholesale firms, while all places of amusement, restau-
rants and luxury shops had to be closed. In commenting on this
measure, the Deutsche -Zeitung in den Niederlanden noted on 6
March 1943 that the country still had larger untapped labour
resources than Germany. It was added that the mobilisation Order
would affect a great many of the better-off people in the Netherlands
who had never worked or had worked only occasionally before.
More labour would be released by closing non-essential establish-
ments, but women would be left in the country to work in agri-
culture. 2 A special German commission was set up in January to
carry out the programme. As a result 41,969 more Dutch workers
1 These workers were not necessarily all employed in the Reich. The employ-
ment of workers from the Netherlands on fortification work in Norway has been
reported, and some workers were also sent to the Eastern Provinces. See Chap-
ter II, pp. 65-67.
2 Netherlands News (New York), Vol. VI, No. 2, 11-25 Mar. 1943, pp. 34-35.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 143
were recruited during the first three months of 1943, bringing the
total of workers recruited since 20 June 1940 to 404,725. Taking
into account the return of 109,178 workers, the number of workers
employed in Germany at the end of March 1943 was nearly 300,000.
Prisoners of War.
Belgium was invaded on 10 May 1940 at the same time as the
Netherlands and Luxemburg. On 28 May the Belgian army capitu-
lated. During those eighteen days, 545,000 Belgians were captured,
but only some of them were retained as prisoners and transferred
to Germany. According to a German source 1 , all the Flemish
soldiers were included among those who were released. In February
1942, according to a Belgian report, the total number of Belgian
officers and soldiers in German prison camps was 80,000. 2 For
August 1942, a well-informed source gives the number as 77,000.
There is no indication that this number has since been reduced.
Most of the prisoners have been put to work. 3
The recruiting of civilians for work in Germany developed
gradually in Belgium after the occupation. At that time about
600,000 workers were unemployed 4 as a result of the mass return
of refugees who had fled to France before the invasion and of the
complete disruption of industry and the transportation system due
to destruction and military operations. The enrolment of workers
for Germany was officially announced in June. In August and
September, the number of workers who left for Germany averaged
1,500 to 2,000 a week. The weekly average then fell to 500 or 600,
and on 15 December the movement was interrupted owing to a
seasonal decline in the demand for labour in Germany. By the end
of 1940 the number of Belgian civilians employed in the Reich
totalled 70,000. It was 87,000 on 1 April 1941. 5 Then came a rapid
rise in connection with preparations for the Russian campaign.
On 25 September 1941 the number of Belgian workers in Germany
had reached 121, 500. 6 In March 1942 it was announced from Ger-
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V, p. 257.
2 News from Belgium (New York), 7 Mar. 1942.
8 Recently the Briisseler Zeitung forecast that the Belgian prisoners of war
would soon be put on the same footing as the Belgian civilian workers in Germany
(Nya Dagligt Allehanda, Stockholm, 15 Apr. 1943).
4 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 Aug. 1941, No. 24, Part V, p. 416.
8 Idem, 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V, p. 339.
6 Idem, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
144 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
man sources that the 250,000th Belgian worker had left for Ger-
many 1 and at the end of May the total number of recruited workers
was given as 300,000 2 , but these figures do not indicate how many
Belgian workers were actually employed at those dates in Germany.
The fact that the total number of recruited workers up to the middle
of July 1941 was given as 175, OOO 3 while the number of those actu-
ally working in Germany on 25 September of the same year was
only 121,500 indicates that there had been an important return
movement. In the Netherlands, as stated above, the number
of registered returns amounted to over 83,000 at the end of
August 1942 against a total number of 298,000 recruitments at the
same date. Assuming that the proportion of returning workers
was the same in Belgium as in the Netherlands, the number of
Belgian civilian workers employed in Germany at the end of May
1942 may be estimated at 215,000.
The workers recruited were almost all industrial workers, and
in particular skilled workers. Large numbers of Belgians were
reported to have been sent to the industrial centres of Brunswick
and to various other factories in different parts of Germany. Some
of the Belgian women sent to the Reich were employed on domestic
work, but the majority worked in factories.
The movement slackened during the summer months. As early as
April the organ of the Belgian National Employment Office
announced that the country's manpower reserves were nearly drained
dry, and that recruitment for work abroad was meeting with growing
difficulties, due largely to the fact that the Todt Organisation was
employing a large number of workers in the coastal area of Belgium
itself, while of the remaining 47,000 unemployed 65 per cent, were
over 50, and 20 per cent, between 40 and 50 years of age. 4
There was a fresh increase in the number of departures in the
autumn as a result of the Order of 6 October 1942 5 extending lia-
bility to compulsory labour service to cover employment anywhere
outside Belgium. According to Belgian sources, in the last three
months of 1942 over 50,000 Belgians were sent to the Reich. At
the end of the year the rate of departure exceeded 20,000 a month. 6
On 4 March 1943, a German broadcast, describing the recent mass
call-up of Belgian labour under the compulsory legislation, stated
that 110,000 Belgian workers had been recruited since the Order
1 Wirtschaftsdienst, 27 Mar. 1942. According to the same source, some Bel-
gians were also employed in occupied France.
2 Volkischer Beobachter, 6 Sept. 1942.
3 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 Aug. 1941, No. 24, Part V, p. 417.
4 Article analysed in Arbeidsbestel, organ of the Netherlands National Employ-
ment Office, June 1942, p. 125.
6 Cf. International Labour Review, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, Mar. 1943, p. 372.
6 News from Belgium (New York), 9 Jan. 1943.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 145
of 6 October 1942, bringing the total of workers sent to Germany
to about -436, 000. Taking into account the probable number of
returning workers, it may be estimated that the number of civilian
workers employed in Germany at the beginning of March was
about 300,000. Including the prisoners of war, the Belgian labour
force employed in Germany at that time amounted to some 370,000
The mobilisation of labour, however, had not yet come to an
end. Belgian handicrafts, according to the same source, were to
release many workers for the Reich and the remainder for the
Belgian armament industry. Only the most vital artisans were to
continue their trade. The textile industry, too, was to be combed
out again. There would be a considerable reduction in the number
of luxury shops and places of entertainment.
While more Belgian labour was still being sought for Gerrtiany,
the scarcity of workers in some industries, particularly in coal
mines, had become so acute that foreign labour was being imported.
According to a Belgian source, more than 7,000 Russian prisoners
had been deported to Belgium by the end of 1942 to work in the
Prisoners of War.
On 17 May 1940 German troops began their invasion of France.
On 13 June they marched into Paris, and on 22 June the armistice
was signed in the Forest of Compi&gne. The number of French
prisoners captured during this whirlwind march through France
was estimated at about 1,800,000. A number of them have been
liberated since the armistice. Ill-health rendering them unfit for
work, or advancing age, were the most frequent grounds for release.
Some others were temporarily released en congt de captivite because
they were indispensable for the restoration of normal life in occupied
France; for instance, a baker might be released if he were the only
baker in the town. It has been assumed, on the basis of the high
figures for releases published at intervals by the press and radio,
that the total of prisoners released by the autumn of 1941 amounted
to 800, OOO. 2 But, according to the official statistics of the Vichy
Government, 1,426,000 French prisoners were still in German
camps in January 1942. These camps were first situated not only
in Germany but in occupied France as well, and the prisoners were
put to work, mainly at clearing debris. At the beginning of 1941
1 La Belgique Independante (London), 11 Feb. 1943.
2 "Foreign Labour in Germany", loc. cit. t pp. 1263-1269.
146 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
French prisoners who had formerly been working in France were
removed to Germany, but some remained in occupied France, in
particular the Senegalese and all other coloured French troops.
In the spring of 1941, "far more than one and a half million prisoners
from the west", most of them French, were said to be employed
by the Germans, and probably the majority were already working
in the Reich. 1
In June 1942, the Head of the French Government, Mr. Laval,
obtained a promise from the German Government that in exchange
for the sending of trained workers to Germany some of the French
prisoners of war would be released. This release was conditional,
however, since the prisoners were to be given temporary leave
subject to renewal. It was first provided that 50,000 prisoners of
war would be repatriated if 150,000 trained workers went to work
in Germany. Further negotiations led to the adoption of the ratio
which was ultimately applied that is, the repatriation of 1,000
prisoners for every 5,000 trained workers. 2
In August 1942 the total of French prisoners, as given by a
trustworthy source, was 1,353,000. This number has only slowly
been reduced since. As will be seen below, only 115,000 trained
workers signed contracts for Germany between 1 June and
16 December 1942, so that the proportion of prisoners of war who
were released up to the end of the year under the agreement con-
cluded by Mr. Laval was small. Radio Lyons announced on 29
November 1942 that the first contingent of 25,000 prisoners freed
under the scheme had returned to their homes.
A certain number of prisoners, however, appear to have been
released on condition that they went on working in Germany as
civilian workers. At a press conference held in Vichy on 9 February
1943, Mr. Laval declared that there were about 1,150,000 prisoners
actually working for Germany. 3 The German Government had
promised to free 50,000 prisoners if 250,000 new workers were
sent to Germany. 4 It had also consented to use in a civilian capacity
in German factories nearly 250,000 other prisoners. 5 This informa-
1 The total of prisoners of war, both from the west and the east, working in
Germany at the end of April 1941 was given as 1,300,000 (Reichsarbeitsblatt,
25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V, p. 258), of whom 100,000 were working for military
authorities and 1,200,000 in industry and agriculture. In addition, 135,000 were
at work in the soldiers' camps. After deducting the Polish, Belgian and British
prisoners, it may be estimated that out of the total number of French prisoners
of war in Germany some 1,150,000 had been put to work.
2 "The Recruitment of French Labour for Germany", in International Labour
Review, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, Mar. 1943, p. 325.
8 Free France (Free French Press Information Service, New York), Vol. 3,
No. 5, p. 176.
4 The releases appear to have started only after 1 Apr., when the full contin-
gent of 250,000 workers had been recruited.
6 Official communique* of 22 Feb. 1943.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 147
tion suggests that there may in the future be a decrease in the
number of prisoners of war in Germany as a result not of their
return to France, but of their conversion into civilian workers
forcibly employed in Germany.
The first batch of French civilians employed in the Reich came
from Alsace-Lorraine. Their number was officially given as 24,500
for the months July to November 1940. 1 As these provinces were
then incorporated into the Reich, however, Alsatians do not figure
in the later statistics of foreign workers employed in Germany.
In the rest of occupied France recruitment did not begin until
about a year after the armistice, and made little progress. During
the winter of 1940, the number of workers who accepted the offer
of employment in Germany was insignificant. The few who did
so were mainly foreigners 2 , who were told by the French authorities
that they would be deprived of relief if they did not accept the
German offer. The official statistics show that in April 1941 there
were only 25,000 workers from France in the Reich. 3 In September
1941 the number was 48,600. 4
Later, the lack of raw materials and fuel and other factors
compelled many French factories to close clown, and this, together
with food restrictions, acted as an incentive to workers to agree
to go to Germany or to accept work in the ports and arsenals of the
Channel area. But notwithstanding the constantly worsening con-
ditions of life in France the further progress of recruitment for
Germany was far from rapid. The departure of the hundred-
thousandth French worker for Germany was celebrated in Decem-
ber 1941, but the number of workers actually working in Germany
at that date was far below this figure, as many of those who had
left earlier had since returned to France.
It was in the spring of 1942 that Germany began to press the
French Government and succeeded in obtaining its full co-operation
in supplying an increasing number of workers, in particular
of trained workers, for German factories. At the end of March 1942
the German Government lodged a demand with the French Govern-
ment for a further 350,000 workers, including 150,000 trained work-
ers, for work in Germany, and in the course of the following months
Mr. Laval negotiated an agreement under which he undertook
to supply the required quota before 15 September, obtaining in
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 20 Dec. 1940, Nos. 35-36, Part V, p. 616.
2 Idem, 25 Aug. 1941, No. 24, Part V, p. 414.
3 Idem, 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V, p. 339.
4 Idem, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
148 THE DISPLACEMENT OK POPULATION IN EUROPE
return the promise of the temporary release of some of the French
prisoners. 1 A series of measures was then taken to stimulate the
recruitment of volunteers for factory work in Germany by putting
indirect pressure both on employers and workers; these included
a reorganisation of French industry involving the concentration
of production and the extension of hours of work, with the object
of releasing labour which it was expected would then volunteer for
Germany, and the opening of German employment offices in the
unoccupied as well as in the occupied zone.
As a result of these measures, the rate of departure of French
workers to Germany appears to have risen to a few thousand each
week during the summer months. But the results remained far
below the German demands. Before these demands were presented
at the end of March 1942, between 140,000 and 150,000 workers,
skilled and unskilled, had been recruited in France, women forming
20 per cent, of the total. This figure included not only French
workers but 22 to 23 per cent, of colonial or foreign workers living
in France. 2 Moreover, thousands of these workers had returned
to France under various pretexts, so that the number of civilian
workers actually employed in Germany about that time was prob-
ably not much higher than 100,000. 3
From the end of March up to 30 June 1942 some 20,000 to 30,000
new workers signed contracts. On 20 June 1942 Mr. Laval broad-
cast an urgent appeal to the French people to provide the quotas
of workers he had promised the German Government at the end of
March. In spite of this appeal the movement was still inadequate.
From the end of June up to 7 September, according to a statement
of the Secretary of State for Industry, some 40,000 more French
workers, including 10,800 trained workers, were transferred to
Germany. 4 But there had been a steady flow of workers returning
at the end of their contract and the total number of French workers
actually employed in Germany had only risen to 140, OOO 5 , which
represented an increase of not more than 40,000 since the end of
the previous year.
As a consequence of the measures taken by the French Govern-
ment under the Act of 4 September 1942 concerning the employ-
1 See above, p. 146.
2 "The Recruitment of French Labour for Germany", in International Labour
Review, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, Mar. 1943, p. 342.
8 The New York Times, 8 Feb. 1942, referring to an announcement by the
German authorities in Paris, gives the figure of 100,000. Cf. also Le Temps,
9 Feb. 1942, and // Sole (Milan), 18 Dec. 1941.
4 The number of trained workers having offered their services between 1 June
and 1 Sept. has been given as 17,000 (cf. International Labour Review, loc. cit.,
6 II Sole (Milan), 9-10 Sept. 1942.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 149
ment and direction of labour, recruitment was accelerated during
the autumn of 1942. A press release of the French Information Office
announced on 16 December 1942 that according to official statis-
tics, 205,000 workers had left for Germany since the appeal made
by Mr. Laval (probably the speech broadcast on 20 June 1942).
This number included 115,000 trained workers.
On the basis of these figures the total number of workers recruit-
ed for work in Germany from the armistice up to the end of 1942
may be estimated at about 370,000. Taking into account the number
of returning workers 1 , the number of workers from France employed
in Germany at the end of the year 1942 was probably about 300,000.
In January 1943, press reports mentioned that the French
Government had consented to place 60 per cent, of French special-
ised workers at the disposal of Germany, involving the despatch
of a further 250,000 French workers to Germany beyond those
already there. 2 The total number of workers having left for Ger-
many up to 23 February 1943 has been given as 348,000 s , but it is
not clear from what date this figure is counted. If it refers, as is
probably the case, to those who left after the appeal made by Mr.
Laval at the end of June, it would mean that 143,000 workers were
recruited between 16 December 1942 and 23 February 1943, bring-
ing the total number of civilian workers from France employed in
Germany at that date to well over 400,000.
This number has increased still further in recent months. On
22 February 1943 it was officially announced that 250,000 more
workers were to be recruited for Germany, and on 11 April Mr.
Laval stated that this recruitment had been completed on 31
March. It was later reported that a third contingent of 220,000
had been promised and was to be sent to Germany before 30 June. 4
From German sources it was stated that on 21 April 600,000
French workers were employed in Germany. 6 With the addition of
the 220,000 workers who were to be recruited before 30 June 6 the
number of French workers in Germany would therefore exceed
800,000, and the total labour force from France employed in Ger-
many, including the prisoners of war, can be estimated at about
1 According to a statement made by the French Secretary of State and already
quoted, between 50,000 and 60,000 workers who had been employed in Germany
had returned to France by 7 Sept. 1942.
2 Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 24 Jan. 1943.
3 Le Soir (Brussels), 2 Mar. 1943.
4 Frankfurter Zeitung, 7 May 1943; La Suisse (Geneva), 13 May 1943.
6 Pariser Zeitung, 21 Apr. 1943.
6 The recruitment of this last quota seems to have met with some difficulty.
According to the official D.N.B. (25 June 1943), only 100,085 workers had been
sent up to 23 June.
ISO THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN
Yugoslavia and Greece
The Balkan campaign began on 28 October 1940 when Italy
invaded Greece, but this invasion was unsuccessful until the German
army entered Yugoslavia and Greece on 6 April 1941, and occupied
Yugoslavia within a few days. On 27 April the German army
entered Athens, and on 1 June, with the occupation of Crete, the
Balkan campaign came to an end.
The main objective of German policy towards Yugoslavia was
its dismemberment. Some parts of Yugoslav territory were given
to the neighbouring countries allied to Germany, while Croatia
was separated from Serbia. In Greece, the situation was complica-
ted by the fact that not only Germany but Italy and Bulgaria had
hand in the administration of the country.
This political background also affected the employment of
a prisoners of war and labour recruitment.
Prisoners of War.
The total number of prisoners of war captured by the Germans
in the Balkans was 589,000, including both officers and men. Of the
Yugoslav prisoners, however, all those of German, Macedonian,
Hungarian and Albanian origin and all Croats were released, so
that only the Serbs, numbering not more than 200,000, remained
for transfer to Germany. 1 According to the Royal Yugoslav Govern-
ment Information Centre, at the end of 1941 180,000 Yugoslav
prisoners of war were held in Germany and about 40,000 in Italy.
These numbers have decreased since then, as some categories of
prisoners, in particular those who are natives of the Yugoslav terri-
tories annexed by the Axis Powers, have been released. Releases
more particularly affected the prisoners in Italy, whose numbers
had decreased by half towards the end of 1941, while the number
of prisoners in Germany was still at that time not much below
180,000. In August 1942, according to a well-informed source, the
figure for Germany was 149,000. At the beginning of 1943 it was
about 133,200, while in Italy the figure had dropped to 6,500.
According to the Royal Yugoslav Government Information
Centre, all Yugoslav prisoner-of-war camps are located in Germany
and Italy. One or two of them seem, however, to be situated on
Yugoslav territory which Germany claims to have incorporated
into the Reich, i.e. near Maribor in Slovenia. No exact data are
available about the number of Yugoslav prisoners employed as
workers, but it may be assumed that the great majority are so
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15, Part V, p. 259.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 151
employed, the number varying with the seasons, since Yugoslav
prisoners, the great majority of whom are peasants, are employed
mainly for agricultural work. The only information available about
the employment of prisoners on work in mines and quarries (where
the work is very hard) relates to the punishment of refractory
With regard to the Greeks, only the 5,000 prisoners taken by
the Italians were held for some considerable time in Italy or in
Italian camps on the Adriatic. The Germans, on the other hand,
who took more than 200,000 Greek prisoners, liberated all the men,
and probably the officers as well, immediately the war was over.
The recruiting of workers in Yugoslavia began before the country
was invaded. At the end of 1940, Germany employed 4,400 Yugo-
slavs, and by April 1941, on the eve of the German invasion, this
figure had risen to 48,000. A small number of Greeks, about 500,
were also employed. Immediately after the campaign, the recruit-
ing of workers in the new Kingdom of Croatia was begun. Official
German statistics show 108,800 workers from all Yugoslavia in
September 1941, 26,000 of them being women. 1 According to the
Royal Yugoslav Government Information Centre, 100,000 more
workers were sent to Germany between then and the summer
of 1942, and the total (including Croats) exceeded 200,000, em-
ployed mainly in agriculture. 2 In spring 1943 it was over 250,000. 8
A further 50,000 Yugoslav workers are employed in German-
occupied countries. 4
The Greeks were at first mostly employed as sailors on German
ships, 5 It was only in March 1942 that the first group of Greeks
was sent to Germany for agricultural and industrial work. 6 Re-
cruitment was stimulated by the situation in the Greek labour
market. According to the Greek Office of Information, many
factories had been obliged to cease work since the beginning of the
occupation for lack of the necessary raw materials or power, which
1 Idem, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
2 According to information published by the Survey of Central and Eastern
Europe(Apr. 1943), 70,000 Serb workers and 120,000 Croat workers were employed
in Germany by the end of 1942. A number of Slovenes who had been deported
to Germany to make room for the Ljubljana Germans were also recruited for work.
Cf. above, Chapter II, p. 80.
8 Sixty-six thousand from Serbia according to the Deutsche Stimme (Munich),
Feb. 1943, and 200,000 Croats, according to the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung,
13 Apr. 1943, the latter figure including some Croats from France and Belgium.
4 Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, Oct. 1942.
8 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610.
6 Neue Zilrcher Zeitung, 12 Mar. 1942.
152 *H6 f>lSPI,AC$MENt 0# pOPtftATtON IN
depended mainly on imported coal. Only certain kinds of activities
were kept going, such as munition factories and industries producing
materials needed for fortifications. The closing of factories in-
tensified the unemployment problem, while inflation made any
wages earned almost valueless. On 7 September 1942 it was an-
nounced in a broadcast from Rome that 26,000 persons had been
recruited from Northern Greece 'for work in German factories. 1
With regard to workers from Central and Southern Greece, jointly
occupied by the Germans and Italians, a German source quoted by
the Greek Office of Information gives a figure of 8,000 employed in
Germany on 1 1 September 1942. Many thousands of Greek labourers
were also working in the beet fields of Czechoslovakia, while others
were employed in the steel industry of occupied France, according
to information received by the same Office in September 1942.
Prisoners of War.
German information concerning the number of Russian prisoners
of war is contradictory. On 3 October 1941, only three and a half
months after the invasion of Russia, Chancellor Hitler stated that
the number of Russian prisoners had risen to 2,500,000, and on 11
December 1941, in declaring war on the United States, that Russian
prisoners up to 1 December totalled exactly 3,806,865. But on the
anniversary of the invasion of Russia, the official German news
agency (D.N.B.) stated that in one year Russia had lost more than
two million men captured, and on 12 August 1942 the German High
Command announced that 1,044,741 Russian soldiers had been
captured since the resumption of fighting in the spring. The latter
figure caused some surprise, for whereas in the campaign of 1941
whole regiments and even divisions were reported to have been
surrounded by the German armoured troops which pierced the
Russian lines, nothing similar had been announced in the campaign
of 1942, and there seems to be no explanation for such great losses
in prisoners by an army showing stubborn resistance and retiring
in good order.
The explanation given for this contradiction is that the German
figures include not only Russian soldiers captured on the battle-
field, but also civilians who are regarded as prisoners of war and
treated accordingly. A communiqu6 of the Soviet Government
Information Bureau accused Germany of treating every male able
1 It is not clear whether this figure relates to workers who actually left for
Germany or to all those who registered for work in Germany.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 153
to bear arms as a prisoner of war and supported this assertion by
the publication of some Orders of the Day found in the possession
of German detachments. 1
With regard to the territorial distribution of Russian prisoners
of war, the following figures, which give a rough picture of the
situation in February 1942, are derived from a well-informed source.
The total number of persons regarded as prisoners of war was
between two and three million. Of this number, 300,000 were in
camps and labour detachments in Germany and 180,000 in the
General Government. The transfer of Russian prisoners of war
to the we3t was then in full swing, but there is no doubt that the
bulk of the prisoners were still in the area between the fighting
front and the line from which the German offensive started in June
1941. Many of this vast number of prisoners remaining in occupied
Soviet territory were confined in temporary or more permanent
prison camps in different districts, but a constantly increasing
number were brought to work in the Ukraine and in other parts
of the Soviet Union. Thousands of Russian prisoners were reported
to have been sent to German-occupied or German-controlled
countries; for instance, 32,000 to build railways and fortifications
in Norway 2 and 7,000, as already mentioned, to Belgian mines. 3
Thirty-five thousand Russian prisoners in Rumanian hands have
been put to work on farms in Rumania. 4
The system of treating all civilians capable of bearing arms as
prisoners of war may have been primarily intended to put down
guerilla warfare, but it was also a special method of recruiting
labour. In addition, by September 1942, the German authorities
had also set up 238 employment offices in occupied Russia 5 ,
excluding the Bialystok region, which was incorporated into the
1 The following Order issued on 21 Jan. 1941 by the 9th German Tank Divi-
sion was published in Pravda on 9 Feb. 1942: "According to the Secret Order
of the High Command, No. 2974/41 of 6 Dec. 1941, all men liable for military
service from occupied localities must be sent to prisoner-of-war camps".
2 Norsk Tidend, 6 May 1942.
8 According to Ny Dag (Stockholm), 20 Mar. 1943, Swedish sailors who had
been to Danzig stated that only Russian prisoners were working in the docks.
Another report refers to Russian prisoners sent to work on fortifications along
the Aegean coast (Folkviljan, Stockholm, 30 Mar. 1943). According to an Order
issued in the autumn of 1942, Soviet prisoners of war of Ukrainian stock who came
from the Galician district of Lvov were to be released for war work in Germany.
4 Reported on 5 Jan. 1942 from a reliable source.
6 Berliner B or sen- Zeitung, 11 Sept. 1942. Another paper gives this figure as
"about 288" for the whole of the Ostraum, besides a number of labour offices set
UD by the military authorities in the south (Deutsche Bergwerks-Zeitung, 4 Sept,
154 THE DISPLACEMENT Otf POPULATION IN EUROPE
Reich, and Galicia, which became part of the General Government. 1
Nevertheless, in the first months of the German occupation, the
labour supply from Russia was very meagre. The German author-
ities explained this partly by the opposition to the employment of
Russian workers in the Reich on grounds of principle, and partly
by the great shortage of manpower in occupied Russia itself, a
shortage which was caused by the flight of the population before
the advancing German armies and which made it necessary for all
available agricultural labour to be used on the spot. 2 Even in 1942,
for the spring ploughing, 400,000 agricultural workers were requisi-
tioned "from the northern regions of the Eastern Territories for
the Ukraine to remedy the lack of manpower there". 3 For the same
reasons the great majority of the Russian prisoners of war had to be
left in the occupied regions to work in local agriculture and thus to
ensure at least the supply of food necessary for the German army.
During the course of 1942, however, the situation changed
considerably. Measures were taken to isolate the Russians from
other workers. Recruiting was extended to regions more remote
from the main lines of communication. In the summer of 1942 it
was announced that between 14,000 and 20,000 Russian workers
had been brought daily to Germany. 4 These were not only agricul-
tural workers, but also industrial workers in steadily increasing
numbers. The German authorities admitted that in occupied
Russia "the labour supply possibilities in the cities have fallen
to a negligible level owing to the destruction wrought almost
everywhere". B The great majority of skilled workers had of course
been evacuated by the Russians before their retreat. So far as those
who remained were concerned, the German authorities realised that
"it would be unreasonable to employ them for rural labour". The
proper sphere of activity for these skilled industrial workers would
be the armament industry in the Greater German Reich. 6 Great
successes were announced in the recruitment of miners, metal and
other workers. Ukrainian women are reported to have been sent
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 Mar. 1942, No. 9, Part V, p. 168.
3 Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 17, June 1942, p. 554.
4 Der Deutsche Volkswirt, 17 July 1942.
6 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Mar. 1942, No. 7, Part V, p. 131. The scale of the des-
truction is suggested by the German claim to have achieved the clearing of some
dozens of pits in the Donetz region and to have resumed production in a few of
them, so that "many hundreds of men could be put to work in each pit and were
again getting wages and bread " (Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 18, June 1942,
*Die Deutsche Volkswirtschaft, No. 17, June 1942, p. 555. Already in 1941
the German employment offices had been advised to employ the skilled workers
among the Russian prisoners of war in their own trades. Cf. Reichsarbeitsblatt,
5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 629.
MOBILISATION Otf FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 155
as far away as the Westmark, a new province including Lorraine
and the adjacent districts of western Germany; they were found
to be suitable for certain work usually performed by men, such as
transport work, the operation of large machines, and mining. 1 In
some regions wholesale recruitment was carried out and all available
labour taken. In August 1942 it was reported that an acute shortage
of agricultural labour in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had been
caused in this way, so that the German labour authorities permitted
about 400 Estonian "volunteers working in Germany at the time
to return to their homes for three weeks for harvesting. 2
The result of all these recruitment measures was a huge influx
of Russian workers into Germany. 3 The Russian press speaks of
millions of deported Russian workers, these including, of course,
recruited workers as well as those whom the Germans classified as
prisoners of war. "Eastern" workers from the Ukraine, the former
Baltic States and the other territories occupied by the German
army constituted the main supply of foreign labour at that time.
In September 1942 it was stated that 1,200,000 Eastern workers
had already been employed in the Reich for some time, and that
this number was still growing. 4
In all, about 2,000,000 eastern workers were reported to have
been sent to Germany in 1942 5 a figure which was confirmed by
a press release of 13 January 1943 issued by the official German
news agency. 6 Of this number, according to information given by
the German General Commissioner for the Ukraine, 710,000 came
from the Ukraine. 7 There is no reliable information to show where
the remainder came from. It should be remembered that the expres-
sion " Eastern workers" is used in two different ways in Germany.
In connection with regulating working conditions, an Order of 30
June 1942 limited the definition of "Eastern workers" to "all non-
German workers recruited within the German Commissariat of the
Ukraine, the General Commissariat of White Russia and the territo-
ries to the east of these regions and bordering the former free States
of Latvia and Estonia". But in every-day language, the expression
often includes all workers recruited east of the frontier of the
Greater Reich (including territories incorporated into the Reich)
1 Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 21 July 1942.
2 Deutsche Zeitung im Ostland, 18 Aug. 1942.
8 For a more detailed study of the methods of recruitment and conditions of
employment of Eastern workers in Germany, see "Soviet Workers in Germany",
in International Labour Review, Vol. XLVII, No. 5, May 1943, pp. 576-590.
4 Deutsche Bergwerks-Zeitung, 4 Sept. 1942.
6 Monatshefte fur N.S.-Sozialpolitik, Nos. 23-24, Dec. 1942.
6 Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 14 Jan. 1943.
7 Deutsche Ukraine Zeitung, quoted by National Zeitung (Basle), 8 Jan, 1943.
156 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
and thus applies, in addition, to the workers recruited in the territ-
ory of the General Government (including Galicia) and in the
German Commissariat of the East that is, in Lithuania, Latvia
and Estonia. Probably the figure of 2,000,000 published by the
German news agency should be taken to include all workers from
the east in the wider sense of the term. The communiqu6 of the
German Labour Front, already noted above 1 , speaks of "two mil-
lion Poles and Russians who came to the Reich in 1942 for work".
If this is correct, it may be estimated, by subtracting the number
of Polish and Baltic workers and returning seasonal workers, that
1,500,000 workers from the Soviet Union were employed in Ger-
many at the beginning of 1943 and that nearly half of them had
come from the Ukraine.
Among the allied and neutral countries which have provided
Germany with manpower Italy takes first place. Workers came to
Germany from Italy not only far earlier than from the other countries,
but also in far greater numbers. Before the war Germany employed
30,000 Italian seasonal workers and since the outbreak of war the
number of Italians has risen constantly. Before Italy entered the
war, the supply of agricultural workers even exceeded the demand.
When the surplus labour in Italy had been absorbed by mobilisa-
tion, recruiting naturally became more difficult, although the field
was extended over central and southern Italian provinces with a
large agrarian population. According to official German statistics,
47,000 agricultural and 70,000 industrial workers were brought
to Germany by the end of 1940. At the beginning of February 1941
agreements were concluded at Rome between the German and
Italian authorities providing for the expansion of the employment
of Italians in German industrial undertakings, under which the
quota of Italian workers was to be increased by about 200,000.
Furthermore, earlier agreements concerning the seasonal employ-
ment of agricultural workers were renewed and widened in scope,
so that the quota for 1941 was somewhat larger than that for the
previous year. 2 In pursuance of these agreements, especially in so
far as they concerned Italian metal workers, special committees
were set up in Italy to make adjustments in the organisation of
work, and in particular in hours of work, so that workers might be
made available for employment in Germany. 3
On 1 April 1941 there were altogether 130,000 Italian workers
1 Cf. above, p. 132, footnote 1.
2 International Labour Review, Vol. XLIII, No. 5, May 1941, p. 584.
8 Idem, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, Oct. 1941, p. 439.
MOBILISATION OF FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 157
in Germany, and on 25 September 1941, 271,000, of whom 21,700
were women. 1 In the spring of 1942 it was stated that Italy had
provided Germany with 300,000 workers (8 per cent, being women),
and that this number would soon reach 350,000. 2 According to a
German broadcast, Italian workers were also sent to occupied Rus-
sia. As to the occupations of the Italian workers in Germany,
according to a reliable source, 100,000 of them were engaged in the
metal industry and 25,000 in mining in May-June 1942.
It should be noted that the Italian contribution to Germany's
labour reserves was limited by Italy's own needs, especially in res-
pect of skilled metal workers. Already in May 1941 reports received
from the corporative inspection authorities indicated that the num-
ber of workers released for work in Germany was less than the
number demanded. 3 Another indication of the scarcity of skilled
labour in the Italian metal industry came from Italy in August
1942, when it was reported that out of 100,000 metal workers in the
province of Turin 27,000 were women, an unusual feature in Italy. 4
The employment of Hungarians in German agriculture began in
1937. An agreement concerning the recruitment of industrial work-
ers was made in July 1941. On 25 September 1941 there were in
Germany 35,000 Hungarian workers, of whom 9,600 were women,
the latter being employed mainly in agriculture. At the end of
September 1942 the number was 29,000. 6 This figure is lower than
in the summer, and represents the number of permanent workers
who remained after the return of the seasonal workers recruited
for harvesting. The majority of these permanent Hungarian immi-
grants were skilled and semi-skilled workers, but some industrial
apprentices are also included.
At the end of November 1942 all Hungarian agricultural and
1 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July 1941, No. 20, Part V, p. 339; 5 Dec. 1941, No. 34,
Part V, p. 611 ; and 5 Jan. 1942, No. 1, Part V, p. 9. Italian official sources give
a figure of 140,000 for 1939-1940. For 1941 the figure is identical with the German
statistics. Cf. Problemi e informazioni sociali, Jan.-Feb. 1942.
2 Stefani Agency, 5 June 1942; New York Times, 6 Apr. and 9 June 1942.
3 Cf. International Labour Review, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, Oct. 1941, p. 439.
4 Gazzetta del Popolo (Turin), Aug. 1942. Recently rumours have filtered
out of Italy that a large number of the Italians employed in Germany had been
ordered home and that many had already left. It was explained that the workers
were urgently needed in Italy, in particular for fortification building. On the
other hand, in April a German broadcast announced the impending transfer of
new contingents of skilled Italian workers to the Reich. Cf. the article by Edgar
R. ROSEN in the Christian Science Monitor, 14 May 1943. According to a Stock-
holm despatch to the New York Times, 26 May 1943, the Kieler Zeitung announced
that the first contingent of Italians had left the city under a general scheme to
send back all Italian workers from German war industries "so that they can
make their contribution on their own home front".
* Magyar Nemzet, 19 Oct. 1942.
158 THB DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
forestry workers in Germany were informed that they would have
to return to Hungary by the end of December. 1 The Hungarian
News Agency reported at the end of the year that all Hungarian
workers were being recalled from abroad to relieve the labour short-
age at home. 2
On 25 September 1941 there were 14,500 Bulgarian workers,
including 2,000 women, in Germany, and approximately the same
number in the spring of 1942.
In addition to industrial workers Germany also recruits garden-
ers from Bulgaria. Bulgarian gardening specialists used to farm
garden lands in Greater Germany for many years, in particular in
the vicinity of large cities, which they cultivated at their own
expense and under their own management with the aid of Bulgarian
assistants. In 1941, under an agreement between Germany and
Bulgaria, 1,000 of these independent gardeners were permitted to
enter Germany, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the
General Government of Poland, after the Bulgarian Government
had authorised the recruitment of an equal number of gardeners
for employment in German undertakings. 8 In this particular case,
therefore, the promotion of foreign colonisation is combined with
arrangements for recruiting workers.
On 9 February 1943, a new agreement was signed between
Germany and Bulgaria concerning the recruiting of Bulgarian
workers for Germany 4 , but no information is yet available about
Under an agreement concluded between the Rumanian Ministry
of Labour and the competent German authorities at the end of
1941, 16,000 Rumanians of 18 and 19 years of age were to be sent as
apprentices into German industries for a period of 3 years. 5 Accord-
ing to a reliable source, however, only 4,500 actually went. From
the same source it is reported that there are no Rumanian agricul-
tural workers in Germany as they are all needed at home, especially
since the army call-up. The number of 17,000 agricultural workers
published by the foreign press is probably an exaggeration.
1 Magyar Nemzet, 30 Nov. 1942.
2 New York Times, 3 Jan. 1943.
3 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1942, No. 1, Part V, p. 13.
4 Zora, 10 Feb. 1943.
5 Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1942, No. 1, Part V, p. 47. Cf. also International
Labour Review, Vol. XLVI, No. 3, Sept. 1942, p. 349.
MOBIUSAWON OF PORTION LABOUR BY GERMANY 159
As a result of arrangements made by the Spanish National
Trade Union Office in the spring of 1941, the German Labour Front
invited 100,000 Spanish workers to go to work in Germany. 1 Follow-
ing an agreement concluded between the two Governments on 22
August 1941, a recruiting campaign, in which German agents
participated, was launched in September 1941. 2 The campaign is
reported to have had some success among the miners of the Rio
Tinto and the building workers of Madrid, but in the industrial
region of Catalonia the number of registrants was negligible in spite
of the very heavy unemployment prevailing there. The first con-
tingent of recruits left Spain late in November 1941. In August
1942 the official German news agency reported that 9,000 Spanish
workers were employed in the Reich.
The table printed below gives the numbers of foreign workers,
both war prisoners and civilians, employed in Germany at various
dates. It shows how the influx of foreign labour into the Reich has
steadily increased, in spite of seasonal fluctuations in agriculture.
There have been constant changes in the occupational distribu-
tion of the foreign labour employed in Germany. At the beginning
it was used mainly for agriculture. It was next claimed for building
and construction work, and later a constantly growing proportion
was employed in factories. Now the utilisation of foreign labour
for skilled work is the main problem of Germany's war economy.
The geographical origin of foreign workers has also varied con-
tinuously during the course of the war. The first contingent con-
sisted of Poles. In October 1940, when there were already a great
many prisoners of war from the west, workers from the east still
constituted the majority. In September 1941 workers from the
west approximately equalled those from the east and south-east.
After the influx of the Russian prisoners of war and civilian workers,
however, the proportion from the east again rose sharply. Accord-
ing to data for the autumn of 1942, the foreign workers and em-
ployed prisoners in Germany then included over 3,500,000 from
the Slav countries of eastern and south-eastern Europe and about
two million from western European countries. Since then continuous
recruitment from west and east has kept the proportion nearly
1 La Vanguardia Espanola (Barcelona), 18 June 1941; International Labour
Review, Vol. XLIV, No. 5, Nov. 1941, p. 580.
2 ReichsarbeitsUatt, 15 Jan. 1942, No. 2, Part V, p. 31.
THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
FOREIGN LABOUR EMPLOYED IN GERMANY AT VARIOUS DATES
FROM THE END OF 1939 TO THE BEGINNING OF 1943
POLAND: Civilian workers
DENMARK: Civilian workers
NORWAY: Civilian workers
NETHERLANDS: Civilian workers
BELGIUM: Civilian workers
FRANCE: Civilian workers
Employed war prisoners
YUGOSLAVIA: Civilian workers
GREECE: Civilian workers
U.S.S.R.: Civilian workers
Employed war prisoners
SLOVAKIA: Civilian workers
ITALY: Civilian workers
HUNGARY: Civilian workers
BULGARIA: Civilian workers
RUMANIA: Civilian workers
SPAIN: Civilian workers
SWITZERLAND: Civilian workers
SWEDEN: Civilian workers
FINLAND: Civilian workers
PORTUGAL: Civilian workers
TOTAL: Civilian workers
Employed war prisoners
l t !OOP
APPROXIMATE TOTAL FOREIGN
LABOUR EMPLOYED IN GERMANY
The figures for civilian workers in Oct. 1940 are taken from Europe under Hitler (ed. Royal Institute of
International Affairs, London, 1941), p. 22; they are based mostly on German press reports. The numbers of
civilian workers on 1 Apr. and 25 Sept. 1941 are taken from Reichsarbeitsblatt, 15 July, No. 20, Part V, p. 339, and
5 Dec. 1941, No. 34, Part V, p. 610. The following notes give sources and some explanations for other figures,
insofar as the sources are not already given in the text.
a Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1941 , No. 1 , Part V, p. 7.
b Estimate based on information about the release of Polish prisoners of war in the course of 1940, and on
the figure given for 1942.
c According to a press report from London, New York Times, 3 May 1942.
d Included in the total of 189,000 given under the denomination pf "others".
e Estimate based on the figure for Sept. 1941.
/ AJsace-Lorrainers not included. At the end of June 1943 the figure had risen to 800,000.
g Estimate based on the difference between the total of prisoners of war employed and the number of
Polish prisoners employed.
h Estimate based on reports of the total of French war prisoners, of the total of all employed war prisoners
in Germany, and of the number of French war prisoners released in 1941 and 1942.
* Estimate based on the figures for Sept. 1941 and Aug. 1942.
k Deutsche Bergwerks Zeitung, 4 Sept. 1942.
/ Figure for August 1942.
m Figure for spring 1942.
n Statement made by Dr. Syrup (Frankfurter Zeitung, 29 Oct. 1940).
o The Frankfurter Zeitung, 4 Aug. 1 942, states that in the spring of 1942 the number of foreign civilians reached
2,500,000, the total of foreign labour being about four million. Der Angrif, 28 Apr. 1942, mentions nearly
2,500,000 foreign workers.
p This figure is given for the end of 1940 by Reichsminister Seldte in Reichsarbeitsblatt, 5 Jan. 1941, No. 1,
PartV, p. 1.
q Estimate. The Bulletin of the Chamber of Commerce of Berlin, quoted by 11 Sole, 9 Jan. 1942, gives the
figure of 1 ,600,000 "war prisoners occupied as workers" in Germany. This number probably includes some Russian
r Frankfurter Zeitung, 4 Aug. 1942: total of foreign labour.
MOBILISATION Otf FOREIGN LABOUR BY GERMANY 161
The information available concerning the geographical distribu-
tion of foreign labour in Germany is meagre. All that is known about
the workers employed outside agriculture is that they are con-
centrated mainly in the ports on the North Sea and the Baltic, in
the industrial and mining areas of the Ruhr, Upper Silesia and
Westphalia, and in central Germany and Austria.
The problem of prisoners of war and foreign civilian workers is
mainly a manpower problem, but by putting them to work Germany
has set in motion a great migratory movement towards the Reich.
Nevertheless, the demographic changes produced by the employ-
ment of prisoners of war and other foreign workers do not exactly
coincide in extent with the use of foreign labour. There are some
prisoners of war who are not used as workers partly because, as
officers, they are exempted from compulsory labour duty, and
partly because they are not fit for work or because appropriate
work has not yet been organised for them. Thus the total
number of prisoners of war held in Germany is somewhat higher
than the number employed in the German economy. 1 On the
other hand, not all the prisoners captured by the Germans
were sent to Germany, and there is likewise a great difference
between the number of foreign civilians employed by the Germans
and the number employed in Germany. The working population
of the occupied countries is in the first place employed, voluntarily
or under compulsion, in those countries themselves. Millions are
engaged in repairing and constructing roads, railways and water-
ways to connect Germany with its armies throughout the entire
continent from the Atlantic Coast to the Russian steppes; in pro-
ducing grain and meat on the confiscated Polish estates to feed the
German troops; in operating German-managed mines and factories
to provide the German army with armaments; and in building
German fortifications and naval bases. Those of them who are
civilians are mostly employed within their own districts, but many
hundreds of thousands of others have been sent away from their
homes. Thus, throughout German-occupied Europe, a tremendous
internal migration, partly voluntary and partly enforced, has been
set in motion by German rule.
As has been seen, foreign workers have also been transferred
from one part of Europe to another. Information about the German-
occupied territories is very scanty but it has been estimated that
100,000 Czechs, 50,000 Belgians, and 50,000 Yugoslavs are em-
ployed there. Labour appears to have been transferred mainly for
1 The official figures for the spring of 1941 are 1,300,000 prisoners at work
and 135,000 not at work in Stalags (soldiers' camps). The number of prisoners in
Offlags (officers' camps) is not given. Cf. Reichsarbeitsblatt, 25 May 1941, No. 15,
Part V, p. 258.
162 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
two purposes. The first is to work on naval bases and fortifications
along the Atlantic and Channel coasts. In March 1942, Czech
building labourers and Netherlanders are reported to have been
employed in the coastal districts of France and Belgium and Belgian
workers on the Channel Islands. 1 Danes (10,000), Czechs, Poles,
Serbs, Netherlanders (36,500), Belgians, and in particular Russian
prisoners of war (32,000), are working in Norway. Secondly, labour
has been requisitioned to supply the needs of Germany's armies in
Russia and to reconstruct the Eastern Territories under German
occupation. The number of Polish workers thus employed was
particularly large. 2 The Netherlands, Danish and Belgian farmers
who have left for eastern Europe are generally classified as colonists.
Sometimes however they are referred to as "agricultural overseers"
or managers, and there are also reports of the removal of artisans
and industrial workers to Poland 3 and the occupied parts of Russia. 4
But the main and ever-growing stream of foreign workers flows
into the Reich, providing the economic and technical basis of the
German armies. Today a host of foreigners unprecedented in num-
ber and unparalleled in character is living and working in Germany;
like a gigantic pump, the new German Reich is sucking in all the
resources of Europe and masses of Europe's working population.
The total number of foreign workers in Germany, including prisoners
of war and the foreign civilian workers officially recognised as
foreigners, but excluding those workers from Alsace-Lorraine and
the Sudetenland who do not appear in the statistics of foreign
workers, exceeds six and a half million. More than one worker out
of every four employed in Germany is a foreigner. All these workers
have been recruited to operate the vast war machine which has
been built up from the resources of the whole of Europe to support
the German armies.
* O.N.A. despatch, 13 Oct. 1942.
1 E.g., 170,000 Polish workers from Silesia and Poznan employed as labour
troops for the German army (New York Times, 16 June 1942); 12,000 Polish
workers engaged in road building in the Ukraine, being the first group of 50,000
requested by Governor Koch (Novy Swiat, 15 Aug. 1942, reporting a despatch
8 E.g., Netherlands artisans and workers transferred to Poznan. Cf. Kolnische
Zeitung, 10 Nov. 1941; Ostdeutscher Beobachter, 11 July 1942.
4 E.g., more than 2,000 Belgian workers employed in the Ukraine ( Vooruit,
Ghent, 27 Jan. 1942); 800 Netherlands artisans in Kharkov (New York Times,
25 Apr. 1942). A German broadcast has also referred to Italian workers employed
in occupied Russia.
MAP III. FOREIGN WORKERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR EMPLOYED IN GERMANY AT THE BEGINNING OF 1943
NOTE: The arrows show the area off origin and the
number off civilian workers and war prisoners who
were employed in Germany towards the end off
1942 or at the beginning of 1943. For fuller explan-
ations and for sources off figures, see chapter III.
Taking into account all the information assembled in the forego-
ing chapters, it may be estimated that more than thirty million of
the inhabitants of the continent of Europe have been transplanted
or torn from their homes since the beginning of the war.
This total may possibly include some persons who have been
counted twice over, in spite of every effort made to avoid double
counting. On the other hand, however, the figure of 30,000,000 is
far from including all the people in Europe who are living away
from their pre-war homes to-day. In particular, it takes no account
of the millions of men in the armed forces of the Axis countries
who are stationed abroad or who have been taken prisoner and
scattered over the five continents. The transfers of workers within
the frontiers of individual countries, sometimes to great distances
from their homes, have also been very imperfectly covered.
Both in Germany itself and in the other Axis countries, labour
conscription has snatched hundreds of thousands, perhaps even
millions of workers away from their families. In each of the occupied
territories, enormous transfers have likewise taken place about
which no figures are available. In Norway, in Poland, in the oc-
cupied parts of the U.S.S.R., in the countries of south-eastern
Europe, as in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the Todt
Organisation and the army services are employing vast levies of
the country 's own workers on the construction of defence or military
works, herded together in labour camps which are often far from
Furthermore, the above total does not include the additional
millions of German and Italian refugees who since 1943 have fled
or been evacuated from heavily bombed cities in increasing numbers.
Even the transfers from one country to another have doubtless been
on a larger scale than is assumed in this estimate. Germany has not
only transferred workers from all over Europe to the Reich, but
has redistributed labour on a growing scale between the various
occupied territories, and the extent of this redistribution probably
largely exceeds the figure of some 500,000 quoted in this study
on the basis of fragmentary data.
164 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
If all these movements could be properly taken into account,
the result would certainly be a grand total of over forty million.
This total has piled up progressively. Each phase of the war
has contributed its separate quota. From September 1939 to May
1940, the population movements began with the flight of Polish
war refugees to the Baltic countries, Rumania and Hungary, and
thence to the countries of western Europe, followed immediately
by the movements in opposite directions to which the division of
Poland into a German and a Soviet sphere of influence gave rise;
deportation and expulsion from the Incorporated Provinces to the
General Government; the transfer of hundreds of thousands of
war prisoners and workers to Germany; the transfer to eastern
Russia of further hundreds of thousands of the population of the
provinces occupied by the U.S.S.R. ; and finally, the entry into the
Incorporated Provinces of the Germans "repatriated" from the
Baltic countries and the Eastern Provinces. At the same time,
the policy of germanisation initiated before the war was being
continued in Czechoslovakia, while in the north of Europe the war
between the U.S.S.R. and Finland led to the transfer of 420,000
Finns from the regions annexed by the U.S.S.R. to other parts of
the country and the flight of many war refugees to the Scandinavian
countries. In all, nearly 3,800,000 persons were uprooted from
their homes within eight months.
In May 1940, there arose the next great wave of refugees,
sweeping a few people as far abroad as America and Africa
and leaving in unoccupied France, as it receded, several tens of
thousands of Belgians, Netherlanders, and former German and
Austrian refugees, and over half a million French people from the
occupied zone, including 70,000 Alsatians who were soon joined
by other inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine driven from their
homes by the annexation of their homeland to Germany, and by
the Jews expelled from Baden and the Palatinate. At this time
there began also the progressive transfer to Germany of French
and Belgian prisoners of war and of the first groups of civilian
workers recruited in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the
other end of Europe, new population movements were set in motion
by the incorporation of the Baltic countries, Bessarabia and North-
ern Bukovina into the U.S.S.R., by the frontier changes between
Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania, by the further repatriation
treaties made between these countries and Germany, and by the
invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia and the subsequent dismem-
berment of their territory. When this second stage of the war was
terminated on 22 June 1941 by the opening of the campaign against
the U.S.S.R. , nearly four million persons had been added to those
who had already lost or been transplanted from their homes during
the first stage.
From that time onwards, the population movements in Europe
exceeded all previous bounds. From the Eastern Provinces of
Poland, from the Baltic countries, Bessarabia, and the territories
of the U.S.S.R. invaded by the German armies, a surging tide of
refugees flowed eastward, and the movement became still vaster
when it was organised into a systematic evacuation. Ten million
people were removed from the territories occupied by Germany
in 1941 and another two million were evacuated when the German
armies made their fresh advance in the summer of 1942. Behind
the German lines, the extension of the area under German domina-
tion enabled the Reich to extend and reshape its population policy.
Deportation and expulsion were intensified; in all the territories
annexed from the conquered countries, the Reich and its satellites
pursued their policy of racialism and demographic nationalisation.
From all the countries within its sphere of influence, Germany
recruited an ever-growing army of workers who were used, together
with the prisoners of war, to replace the new quotas of men who
had to be drafted into the army. Lastly, the threat of continental
invasion and air raids led to the evacuation of whole cities and
regions, sometimes to far distant places. In Europe as a whole,
nearly twenty- three million people were transplanted, deported or
dispersed from the middle of 1941 up to the beginning of 1943.
It is impossible to anticipate how much further these population
movements will go during the coming months. Until 1942, their de-
velopment was governed by two factors the advance of the
Axis armies and the labour requirements of the German economy.
The first factor led to the flight or evacuation of millions of people
from the areas menaced by invasion ; it also opened up to the Reich
fresh lands for the application of its demographic policy and the
recruitment of its labour. To-day the German march forward is
checked and even reversed. Not only, is Germany unable to extend
the scope of its activities any further, but outside the ring formed
by the German armies evacuation has come to a stop and the
former inhabitants will gradually return to their homes. Within
this ring, on the other hand, population movements may be ex-
pected to become more violent than ever. Recent information
shows that the Reich is determined to pursue its demographic
policy towards peoples whom Nazi theory condemns as inferior.
Moreover, the necessity of maintaining military strength at the
maximum will create new labour requirements, and since fresh
labour reserves will no longer be available, every effort will be made,
in spite of resistance and difficulties, to exploit the remaining
166 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
resources in the countries still under German occupation or alliance
more ruthlessly than ever. The fear of invasion, or actual invasion
itself, will still further intensify the forced migration of populations
from the outer fringes of the continent to the interior, while con-
tinuous bombing will hasten their removal and flight from the
cities and industrial areas to less endangered regions.
While the value of any general tabular assessment of the dis-
placements of population which have taken place so far must of
necessity be provisional at this stage, a useful purpose may yet
be served, at the close of this study, by the table given below.
The data analysed in the various chapters of this study concern-
ing the number of inhabitants who have left the territory since
the beginning of hostilities and the number of those brought into
it have been assembled for each country in its pre-war form, and
for each part of the country in cases where there have been terri-
torial changes during the war.
Analysis of the post-war problems raised by the present dis-
persal of the peoples of Europe is beyond the scope of this study,
but the table below clearly indicates the magnitude of the task
involved in straightening out the population tangle caused by war
As the invaded lands are progressively set free, many evacuees
and refugees will no doubt be able to return and begin to rebuild
their homes even before the war is over. The retreat of the Axis
armies will automatically be accompanied by the withdrawal to
Germany of the officials, salaried employees and workers sent to
direct the administration and economic activities of the occupied
countries, of the settlers of German origin or nationality who have
taken over property in those countries during the war, and of the
Germans evacuated from bombed areas. At the same time, the
Axis armies will leave in their wake uprooted masses of people of all
nationalities. In the Reich itself, millions of prisoners of war and
workers imported from all the countries of Europe will be deprived
of their employment from one day to the next with the stoppage
of the German war machine and the return of German civilians
The permanent resettlement of all these uprooted people will
be one of the most urgent tasks of post-war reconstruction. It is
an undertaking which will require the greatest possible amount of
international organisation and collaboration.
In most cases, repatriation will be the obvious solution. The
vast majority of the people concerned will ask nothing better.
Their help will be needed to rebuild their countries; and the services
of the skilled workers will be indispensable in setting industry to
work again. Repatriation on so vast a scale will meet with tremend-
ous difficulties, however. Transport systems, severely strained by
the war, may be completely disorganised during the retreat of the
Axis armies. The closest co-ordination, on an over-all basis, of
means of communication will be essential to ensure that the best
use is made of them, and that necessary priorities are observed
in meeting the needs of the armies of occupation, feeding civilians,
re-establishing economic life, and repatriating the scattered popula-
Assistance to those being repatriated should not be restricted
to organising transport for them. Before they can be sent
on their way, they must be fed, clothed, and given medical aid.
If transport facilities are not available for some time, work must
be found for them locally, wherever possible. A special effort should
be made to reunite, at the earliest possible moment, families separ-
ated by flight, expulsion or deportation. Unless there is an organisa-
tion to provide these people with means of subsistence, and to give
them confidence that they have not been forgotten, the highways
of Europe will be blocked by long processions of destitute exiles,
enduring every kind of privation in an effort to return unaided to
Even when these people have returned to their countries, help
will still be needed. Many will find nothing but charred walls,
bomb craters and shell holes on the site of their former homes.
Others will find their fields laid waste and their cattle scattered.
Still others will find the factories where they formerly worked
destroyed, stripped of their equipment, or converted to serve the
needs of German war industry. Here their problem merges into
the general problem of the rehabilitation of the liberated countries,
which comprises not only the reconstruction of the devastated areas,
the re-equipment of industry, and restocking with cattle, seed,
fertilisers and raw materials, but the reorientation of economic
life as a whole. Freed from the bonds which tied it to the German
war economy, each national economy will once again have to find
its place in the world economic order. This problem does not
affect the repatriated exiles alone. It affects the provision of work
for the whole population of the liberated countries. In the last
analysis, its solution will depend on the extent of the international co-
operation offered to the countries set free. All the same, the returned
exiles will meet with special difficulties. Their ties with their country
will have been broken for years in many cases; many will have
become strangers to their usual occupations; and many others will
have had their property confiscated. Special measures will therefore
be needed to help them back into economic life.
168 THE DISPLACEMENT OF POPULATION IN EUROPE
In spite of all endeavours, it can hardly be expected that econo-
mic life will be resumed at the same pace in every country. Some
countries will probably be unable for some time to provide employ-
ment for all those of their inhabitants who were away during the
war. On the other hand, other countries will lack sufficient labour
for their reconstruction. Return to their own countries will there-
fore not be the only choice open to those removed from their homes
by the war. After the last world war, France gave employment to
a large number of foreign workers. After the present war, the coun-
tries which have taken in refugees on a temporary basis may find
need for their services and may offer them an opportunity of settle-
ment. Other countries may be glad to use the services of workers
awaiting repatriation in order to acquire additional labour for their
reconstruction programmes. In other words, labour requirements
in post-war Europe will not necessarily correspond to the pre-war
distribution of the European population. Redistribution of labour
may be necessary if full employment is to exist. Thus, instead of
seeking to solve the whole problem of the scattered populations
by repatriation, it may be wiser to encourage and assist the persons
concerned to remain where they now are or to transfer to other
regions where the prospects of employment and settlement are
better than in their country of origin. This kind of geographical
redistribution of labour, like repatriation, would call for action
on an international scale. It would call for nothing less than the
organisation of an international employment service.
The resettlement of individuals in their country of origin,
permanent settlement in their present location, or transfer to other
liberated countries of Europe will go a long way towards solving
the problem of wartime dispersions of population; but they can
not wholly solve it. The problem is not merely continental. It
must be considered in a world-wide context.
The dispersal of the European populations as a result of the
war has already affected other continents. Many of the refugees
admitted as permanent immigrants to the United States and to
other American countries have settled there and have no intention
of returning. Many others, however, have merely been granted a
temporary refuge; and all of these will not want to return to their
own countries. Clearly the problem of resettling the dispersed
populations of Europe will be simplified if this group of refugees
is allowed to settle overseas. It may be hoped that overseas coun-
tries who have taken them in temporarily will give equally generous
consideration to their requests for permanent settlement, and that
at least they will not expel but rather help to resettle elsewhere those
whom they are not prepared to admit as permanent immigrants.
The problem of extra-European settlement will arise for others
as well as for those already outside Europe. Among the people
who have been scattered over the continent of Europe during the
war, many will look towards emigration away from Europe as a
means of building up a new life.
First of all, there will be the refugees. It may be hoped that after
this war the problem of refugees as such may disappear. In the
coming international order there should be no place for the enforced
migration, political and racial discrimination, expropriation, expul-
sion and mass denationalisation which have been among the most
tragic features of the international anarchy caused by the racial
and nationalistic theoiies of totalitarianism. Nevertheless, it would
be Utopian to hope that after the upheavals of war the whole of
Europe will return to a peaceful way of life from one day to the
next and that obstacles to the repatriation of refugees will disappear
as by the wave of a magic wand. In most cases, it is true, the col-
lapse of the totalitarian r6gimes will reopen to the refugees the
frontiers of their former country; they will therefore cease to be
refugees in the proper sense of the term. In some countries, however,
the political situation may be stormy for some time, and many
refugees may hesitate to risk returning even if the legal obstacles
to their re-entry are removed. There will also undoubtedly be many
refugees who will be unwilling to return to an environment in which
they had suffered racial and religious persecution. Only the resump-
tion of inter-continental migration will enable most of these refugees
or ex-refugees to find permanent homes after the war.
Refugees will not be the only candidates for overseas settlement,
although they are the group most often mentioned in connection
with a resumption of migration. Many other people who have been
uprooted from their old homes will, if they have the opportunity,
prefer to try their luck in an overseas country rather than face the
difficulties of readjustment in their country of origin. Instead of
rebuilding their old homes, they will want to make new ones. After
the vicissitudes of war and deportation, they will look upon emigra-
tion as a means of embarking on a new life and protecting their
children from the insecurity and suffering which they themselves
have endured and which they still fear may return once again.
This will also be the feeling of many who have been forced to suffer
the horrors of war and persecution in their native homes.
Moreover, while the effect of the war on population pressure
in Europe cannot now be forecast, it is possible that, in some
regions at least, the destruction of economic equipment and of the
means of production will have been so extensive that, despite the
probable shrinkage of the population, the need for emigration
170 THE DISPLACEMENT Off POPULATION IN flUROPB
during the early years may be even greater than before the war.
The possible influence of political factors must also be taken into
account changes in systems of government carried out with
violence, for example, or the redrawing of frontiers, which, even
if no force is used, may lead to a movement of population.
The political, economic and moral reconstruction of Europe
depends partly on whether these centrifugal forces can find an
outlet. The suspension of migration movements was a serious
handicap to pre-war Europe. Unless these movements are resumed
in an ordered manner, it will not be possible to solve the problem
of war and pre-war refugees, and this problem may be further
aggravated by a fresh wave of enforced migration.
The refugee problem is thus an integral part of the general
problem of migration. In the last analysis, it can be solved only
within this context. The migration problem will therefore have
to be tackled as a whole after the war, with a view to re-establishing
continuous and normal migration movements embracing all classes
of migrants without distinction, whether their motives for seeking
new homes are economic, social, religious or political.
The general question of the resumption of migration after the
war is outside the scope of this study. Like the problem of resettling
dispersed populations, however, its solution will depend on inter-
national co-operation. It has already been pointed out that the
international co-operation which the liberated countries of Europe
can count upon for assistance in reconstruction will largely condition
their ability to reabsorb and re-employ their scattered populations.
Failing this co-operation, the need for emigration after the war is
likely to reach proportions which will make the problem insoluble.
Moreover, international co-operation will also condition economic
expansion and prosperity in the world as a whole and therefore
determine the development of natural resources and of industrialisa-
tion which will create new employment opportunities in countries
Whatever the coming need for emigration and immigration,
however, the resumption of migration movements will certainly
not be achieved by a mere return to the unregulated migration
which prevailed before the war of 1914-1918. The attempts made
before the present war to revive migration have shown that its
revival will depend in future on the existence of an international
organisation capable of co-ordinating the interests of the countries
of emigration and immigration and of making available the capital
necessary to enable the labour of the former countries to be used
to develop the natural resources of the latter. The age of immense,
free and accessible spaces, of the ultra-rapid growth of resources
of food and raw materials, and of open doors for international
migration this age, unique in the history of the world, is no more.
No Government which is concerned with ensuring full employment
and raising standards of living can neglect immigration and emigra-
tion. In the contracting world economy before the war, Govern-
ment policy necessarily tended to be restrictive. If an expansionist
economy is created after the war through international co-operation,
the organisation canalising this collaboration will have to deal with
movements of men as well as with movements of capital and goods.
In short, the resettlement of millions of people uprooted from
their homes and countries during the war will call for immense
effort in a variety of co-ordinated directions. However the problem
is tackled whether by repatriation, resettlement or emigration
its solution is beyond the powers of any single country. Millions
of people have been victimised by a narrow nationalism which
has had a total disregard for human beings. They can be helped
only by international co-operation and organisation.
Publications of the International Labour Office
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