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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte

Ed. by Altrichter, Helmut / Möller, Horst / Szöllösi-Janze, Margit / Wirsching, Andreas

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CiteScore 2017: 0.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.104
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.940

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2196-7121
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Volume 56, Issue 1

Issues

Vertriebene im doppelten Deutschland. Integrations- und Erinnerungspolitik in der DDR und in der Bundesrepublik

Michael Schwartz
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2008.0004

Vorspann

Während die Bundesrepublik gegenüber den Heimatvertriebenen aus den deutschen Reichs- und Siedlungsgebieten im Osten nach 1949 lange eine Strategie der „Eingliederung auf Vorbehalt“ verfolgte, betrieb die DDR zur Lösung des sogenannten „Umsiedlerproblems“ eine Politik der Zwangsassimilation. Gründe und Hintergründe dieser gegensätzlichen sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Integrationspolitiken untersucht Michael Schwartz ebenso wie die damit eng zusammenhängenden konkurrierenden Erinnerungskulturen in Ost und West. Bei allen Unterschieden sieht Schwartz aber auch eine wichtige Parallele: Die in beiden Teilen Deutschlands lange verdrängten Erfahrungen der „Gewalt durch Vertreibung“ sowie der „Gewalt durch Integrationskonflikte nach der Vertreibung“. Diese Erfahrungen, so das Plädoyer von Schwartz, müßten behutsam in die kollektive Erinnerung der deutschen Nation und ihrer europäischen Nachbarn eingebettet werden.

Abstract

To be qualified as a German “refugee” or “expellee” in Germany after 1945 was never an honorary title. The long-established inhabitants of Western or Central Germany resented the 12 million newcomers who had been driven out of their own home regions in East Germany or Eastern Europe by Allied force. Also, both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic tried to control the economically deprived and psychologically shocked refugees by creating new interpretative notions: The term “resettler” (Umsiedler), which had been superimposed by the Soviet Military Administration for communist East Germany as early as 1945, played down the violence and terror aspects of the real flight and expulsion acts, emphasized the National Socialist causes of the “resettlement” and stipulated that the fast integration into a “new homeland” west of the Oder-Neisse border was inevitable. Diametrically opposed to this communist interpretation was the notion of the West German term “expellee” (Vertriebener), which focused on the events of 1944/45 (and not their Nazi prehistory) and the forcible aspects of the expulsion. While the communist SED regime terminated its integrative social policy for the “resettlers” as early as 1952/53, the West German “Vertriebenenpolitik” established a long-term social policy by means of “Lastenausgleich”. Core elements of a new interpretation – pushed by leftist intellectuals, but even from within the Christian churches – superseded the older revisionist notion of Vertriebenenpolitik, but also marginalised “Vertriebenen”-identity.

Keywords: Vertriebene; Vertriebenenintegration; Vertriebene in der Erinnerungspolitik

About the article

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2008-01-15


Citation Information: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 56, Issue 1, Pages 101–151, ISSN (Online) 2196-7121, ISSN (Print) 0042-5702, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2008.0004.

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