Book Review: Orderly and Humane by R.M. Douglas
Full disclosure, Ray Douglas was one of my history professors at Colgate University.
That said, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War delves into a history many people have forgotten, even those who lived it. After World War II ended, millions of German-speakers remained in Eastern Europe. Some of them were settlers sent East by the Nazis, to Germanize the conquered territories, but most of them came from families that had been there since the Middle Ages. The governments of the newly liberated countries, especially Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia, considered the “ethnic Germans,” called Volksdeutsche in the book, as guilty as the Nazis for the war and all the suffering visited upon the peoples of Europe. Furthermore, the continued presence of Volksdeutsche outside of Germany would be a threat to Europe’s future peace. Eastern Europe, with support from the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, began forcing the Volksdeutsche to leave for Germany in mass expulsions that lasted from the end of the war to the early fifties.