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Title: 'Prisoners of peace' : British policy towards displaced persons and political refugees within occupied Germany 1945-1951.
Author: Danylyszyn, John William.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2666 995X
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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Prisoners of Peace provides an analysis of British responses to the post-war European refugee problem. The study commences by examining the British Government's agreement to the compulsory repatriation of Soviet citizens in 1945. In this way it is established at the outset that political calculations provided the fundamental determinant of British refugee policy. And this focus is offered in deliberate contrast to the cosily restricted 'humanitarian' interpretations which have characterised much prior writing on refugee problems. The present study is not concerned with everyday reality of refugee life. Instead it seeks both to interpret refugee responses by reference to the changing pattern of international relations at this time and to examine the impact which the refugee problem exerted upon wider British policy concerns. Hence, the second chapter incorporates an assessment of the continuous influx of German 'expellees' into the British zone of Germany between 1945 and 1947. These 'expellees' greatly complicated the British occupation by perpetually intensifying the strain upon decimated housing stocks and scarce supplies of food. At the same time the British were obliged to maintain substantial popUlations of Eastern European refugees who stubbornly refused to be pressured into repatriation. These groupings were segregated from the expanding German population in order to reduce the likelihood of ethnic-nationalistic friction. It was quickly discovered that British concerns in these matters could not be made compatible with those of the Soviets. Similarly, British prescriptions in regard to Jewish refugees conflicted with those advanced by the United States. This conflict is the subject of the third chapter. Chapter four describes how the Attlee Government came to perceive able-bodied refugees as a labour resource and how the United States also elected to champion this perspective during discussions which ultimately led to the creation of the International Refugee Organization in 1947-48. The final chapter examines the various political motivations which determined the character of UNHCR and also focuses upon the problems which were engendered for the emergent West German state by the residue populations of 'UN refugees' and the vast numbers of expelled 'Germans from the East' .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available