‘There is no such thing as an unrepatriable Pole’: Polish Displaced Persons in the British zone of occupation in Germany

Knapton, Sam (2020) ‘There is no such thing as an unrepatriable Pole’: Polish Displaced Persons in the British zone of occupation in Germany. European History Quarterly, 50 (4). pp. 689-710. ISSN 0265-6914

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Abstract

A group of Polish Displaced Persons (DPs) were stranded in the British zone of occupation in 1945, a smaller part of a much broader population upheaval in Europe in the 1940s that included Nazi forced labour and resettlement plans, as well as the expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe. The relationship between British military officials, welfare workers, and the Polish DPs within the British zone deteriorated quickly after German surrender. Using the issue of repatriation as a focal point this article will explore the growing tensions between the British and Polish who had fought alongside one another and place it within the wider context of increasing east-west tensions in the immediate post-war world. As the British tendency to look upon the Polish DPs as a troublesome ‘nuisance’ can be viewed as a by-product of pressure on an economically weakened Britain straining to live up to its pre-war stature, the need to help the very people who embodied the provocation for going to war became irrelevant.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: history ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1202
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2020 00:16
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2020 23:53
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/75580
DOI: 10.1177/0265691420960379

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