Abstract

This article discusses hardships faced by Germans and groups regarded as Germans in postwar Poland stemming from practices of central and local authorities such as expulsions, forced labor, national verification and rehabilitation procedures, de-Germanization, first and last names changes, etc. Collective and individual fates of the German population in Poland are highlighted by political, legal, and social processes occurring in Poland as well as by international politics. Most importantly, the article emphasizes the impact of ambiguous and inconsistent policies of the Polish communist state, which resulted in mass German emigration from Poland and paradoxical identity choices leaning increasingly toward Germanness away from Polishness.

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