The German Expellees: Victims in War and Peace

In This Review

The German Expellees: Victims in War and Peace

By Alfred M. de Zayas
St. Martin's Press, 1993
169 pp. $35.00

The author has for years been concerned with the fate of millions of Germans who in the final stages of Hitler's war became victims-either by experiencing the initial Soviet onslaught on German territory, or as refugees caught in the "German Hiroshima" (his reference to the Dresden fire storm), or by expulsion from Czechoslovakia and territories assigned to Poland. The book, with a brief gesture toward the history of the German presence in some of these lands, is mostly based on eyewitness accounts of atrocities. de Zayas, an American activist trained in law and history, has written other, more substantial books on this chapter of wartime suffering. Notable and, to my mind, regrettable is the author's speculation with some measure of sympathy that in some 10 or 20 years a German government may wish to negotiate with Poland "for a partial revision of the Oder-Neisse frontier." Such a thought would only alarm the Poles, inflame surviving expellees and yet fail to benefit the original victims-almost all of whom would be dead by then.

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