Displacement traumatize millions forced to leave their home, but lives change also radically for the few who manage to escape forced migration—and stay. The paper presented in this ZEW Research Seminar studies the German minority in Sudetenland, a region from which Czechoslovakia expelled three million ethnic Germans after World War Two. The unexpected military presence of the US Army in parts of 1945 Czechoslovakia created local loopholes in displacement that allowed some more anti-fascist Germans to stay. The authors find that Communist party support, far-left values, and redistribution policies are pronounced where anti-fascist Germans remained in larger numbers, but German identity disappeared. The findings suggest that staying minorities are more influential than presumed so far and can shape identities of newly formed societies after ethnic cleansing.
Please contact Tommy Krieger if you wish to participate in the online seminar.