Synopses & Reviews
“Orderly and Humane is an outstanding and well-written work that fills a significant gap in books written in English about this large subject and the very period of its compass. It ought to be in every serious American library and should be required reading for scholars interested in the history of the end of the Second World War and the years thereafter in Europe.”—John Lukacs, author of The Future of History and Five Days in London, May 1940 John Lukacs
“R.M. Douglas has written a fair-minded, deeply researched and courageous book that carefully demystifies the claims and accusations surrounding the awful history of the expulsion of the ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe. A first-rate work, Orderly and Humane compels us to admit that the postwar expulsions were not simply a regrettable accident but a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing on a breathtaking scale that decisively shaped postwar Europes history.”—William I. Hitchcock, author of The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Consequences of Allied Victory in World War II Europe William I. Hitchcock
“The tragedy of the post-World War II ethnic German refugees and expellees has been told before but no account is based on so many original documents from so many countries as Douglass eminently readable work.”—Istvan Deak, Columbia University Istvan Deak
“It is one of the darkest episodes in modern history, yet it is extraordinary how little notice it receives in western societies, because the victims were Germans. This is the saga documented and vividly portrayed here by Douglas. It is an important book, deserving of the widest readership.”—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times Max Hastings
Immediately after the Second World War, the victorious Alliesauthorized and helped to carry outthe forced relocation of German speakers from their homes across central and southern Europe to Germany. The numbers were almost unimaginable between 12,000,000 and 14,000,000 civilians, most of them women and children and the losses horrifying at least 500,000 people, and perhaps many more, died while detained in former concentrationcamps, while locked in trains en route, or after arriving in Germany exhausted, malnourished, and homeless. This book is the first in any language to tell the full story of this immense man-made catastrophe.
Based mainly on archival records of the countries that carried out the forced migrations and of the international humanitarian organizations that tried but failed to prevent the disastrous results, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War is an authoritative and objective account. It examines an aspect of European history that few have wished to confront, exploring how the expulsions were conceived, planned, and executed and how their legacy reverberates throughout central Europe today. The book is an important study of the largest recorded episode of what we now call "ethnic cleansing," and it may also be the most significant untold story of the Second World War."
About the Author
R. M. Douglas is associate professor of history, Colgate University. He lives in Hamilton, NY.