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Chapter 10: Separation—Only Separation
 
 
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234 THEY MUST GO

ba Pole, or a European who had harbored a snake in his house band been bitten for his pains. An inscription on the gate of the bCzech Internment Center at Budweis read: “An eye for an eye band a tooth for a tooth.” The same Time magazine article ad- bmitted: “But the Poles and Czechs who expel them will be think- bing of the past and of the future. The German minorities in beastern Europe were not harmless, either as guests or, later, as bmasters.”

bHungary, which also received “approval” at Potsdam, im- bmediately expelled some 260,000 of its Germans. Rumania, Yu- bgoslavia, and the Soviet Union did not bother even to raise the bquestion—they simply acted. By 1950 the following number of bGermans had been removed by their host countries:

Oder-Neisse Territories 6,817,000
Sudetenland 2,921,400
Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Rumania,  
   Yugoslavia, Memel-Danzig) 1,865,000

bThis total of 11,603,400 does not include the German ethnics bwithin the Soviet Union whose fate was not fully clear.

bIn pre-World War II Europe, a huge German population bhad brought misery to the countries in which they resided as a bminority. They would never do so again.

bThe period between World War I and II in Eastern and bCentral Europe had seen the curse of the national minority bgroups. Each felt a far greater loyalty to its communal, ethnic bpeople across the border than to its host country. Every area in bwhich they lived in sizable numbers became a hotbed of irreden- btist calls for “autonomy” and separation. At least in the case of bthe Germans, the nations of the region determined to eliminate bthe problem.

bIt is interesting to note, however, that in February 1946 bHungary and Czechoslovakia eliminated the mutual minority bproblem that had plagued them for decades. They agreed on a bvoluntary exchange of their respective minorities, transferring b31,000 Magyars to Hungary and 33,000 Slovaks to Czechoslo- bvakia.

bWhen two people are heirs to wide and fundamental differ- bences—ethnic, religious, linguistic, and cultural—and when bthose differences have led to decades of hate, hostility, and war, bthe most drastic solution is sometimes the most obvious and b 

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Chapter 10: Separation—Only Separation