February 14 marks the 65 anniversary of the official start of post-war resettlement of Germans from Polish territory.
The action lasted till 1947 and embraced more than 2 million people from the so-called Regained Lands, mainly in the northern, western and south western parts of the country’s new territorial borders established by the Allies at the Yalta Conference.
The erstwhile communist authorities in Poland undertook the deportation actions on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement of 1945 and, later, a Polish-British agreement on the matter signed on 14 February 1946 and an agreement between the Warsaw government and the Soviet Military Administration in Germany of 5 May the same year.
The respective documents provided for the resettlement of ethnic Germans to the British and Soviet occupation zones in post-war Germany.
The validity of this decision had been confirmed by the Allied Control Council which was then the highest authority on former III Reich territories.
It was chaired by representatives of the four Allied powers: General Eisenhower of the United States, Marshal Montgomery of Britain, Marshal Zhukov of the USSR and General de Tassigny of France. The main proponent of German resettlement had been the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.
As a result of this and following operations a total of some 3.5 million Germans had been relocated from Polish territories up till 1950. Similar resettlement of German population groups on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement had been carried out in Czechoslovakia and Hungary
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