Last stop expulsion - The minority question and forced migration in East-Central Europe: 1918-49

Cattaruzza, Marina (2010). Last stop expulsion - The minority question and forced migration in East-Central Europe: 1918-49. Nations and nationalism, 16(1), pp. 108-126. Oxford: Blackwell 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00416.x

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This article deals with the European minorities in the period between the two world wars and with their final expulsion from nation-states at the end of World War II. First, the tensions which arose between the organised minorities and the successor states of the Habsburg Monarchy are accounted for primarily by the argument that the various minorities located within the successor states had already undergone a comprehensive processes of nationalisation within the Habsburg Empire. Therefore they were able to resist assimilation by the political elites of the new titular nations (Czechs, Poles, Rumanians, Serbs). A second topic is that of the use made of the minorities issue by Adolf Hitler to help achieve his expansionist aims. The minorities issue was central to the international destabilisation of interwar Europe. Finally, the mass expulsion of minorities (above all, Germans) after the end of the war is explained by strategic considerations on the part of the Allied powers as well as involving the nation-state regimes. It is argued, against a commonly held view, that German atrocities during the period of occupation had little to do with the decision to expel most ethnic Germans from their territories of settlement in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The article shows that it is necessary to treat national minorities in the first half of the twentieth century as a single phenomenon which shares similar features across the various nation-states of East-Central Europe.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History

UniBE Contributor:

Cattaruzza, Marina Silva








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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:18

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2017 11:24

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URI: (FactScience: 210386)

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