German evacuation/deportation papers
The expulsion of Germans from liberated countries.
One of the outcomes to the end of hostilities in Europe of 1945 was the mass reprisals and expulsion of Germans from liberated European countries.
The horrific occupation and treatment of civilians under German control was so brutal and inhumane that it was only inevitable that the once “masters of Europe” would receive similar treatment by their former victims when the war ended.
The surge of violence did not end once Germany surrendered. The violence continued to erupt throughout the continent even after the guns have silenced. But the hostilities that continued, were different and where being perpetrated by the ones that where at the receiving end not a long time ago.
Before the war and during the war Germans where placed and shifted and moved from one city to another and from one country to another. This was more severe in connection to the expulsion of Germans from Poland. Before the events of the war turned worse for the German side, over 2 million Poles where expelled out of their homes and their land by Nazi Germany itself from areas annexed into the Greater Reich, murdering close to 3 million of her Jewish population during this process, when implementing their Final Solution.
Many Germans and ethnic Germans where transported to the west, back to the Greater Reich from eastern territories that were captured by the Wehrmacht following their invasion of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. These Volksdeutsche where now “repatriated” back to the Fatherland and were issued in turn new sets of papers and documents that would allow their smooth travel west.
As the war continued, Germans were also sent to the east, to regions of former Poland and even further, where new opportunities where awaiting them, as implementing Hitler’s Lebensraum dream, already envisioned in his Mein Kampf printed 15 years earlier.
All this came to an end towards the end of 1944 and in early 1945, when the outcome was clear and the Red Army was advancing at an amazing speed west. The fear of reprisals was high and many in Germany knew that they will be getting back what they eagerly were dishing out only a few years earlier.
Those who did not flee west, be it in Konigsberg in the far eastern sections of the Reich for example or those living in occupied Czechoslovakia, known then as Bohemia and Moravia, would at the end be forcibly uprooted from their homes and driven back west, back into occupied Germany.
The above can be divided into three types or form to classify the removal of German nationals or ethnic Germans from Eastern European countries:
- The stage from late 1944 to early 1945 where the removal was done by the German Nazi government itself, to evacuate into safety their citizens before their fall into the hands of the vengeful Soviet Army advancing from the East;
- Independent fleeing of Germans west, in a frenzy attempt to avoid being caught by the advancing Red Army;
- Forceful evacuation of Germans by the liberated countries, mainly being done with the encouragement of the occupying Communist forces; something that today we would deem as “ethnic cleansing”.
The set of documents here belonged to a Jewish individual who was being evacuated or deported to Germany after the war ended and who was presented with papers implying that the holder was of German origin and being sent back west.
The set of papers seems to be those that were being issued or handed out to Germans living in what was once part of Germany known as Breslau, and after liberation became Wrocław, part of Poland.
The first document was meant to be issued to a German living in Wrocław (Breslau) and who was returning back to Germany with the local authorities asking that he would do so without delay or any difficulties.
The second paper indicates that the holder has returned from forced labor in Germany, now living in Wrocław, and is traveling to Sosnowiec and again, the local authorities request that this can be done without hindrance in order to facilitate his or her return.
These documents were issued to 43 year old Hilel Lonczkowski which enabled him to arrive safely to UNRRA controlled displaced persons camps. He was issued various DP set of papers and documents, which in the end enabled him to arrive in the State of Israel on May 25th 1949, at the port of Haifa, being issued a temporary immigrants certificate on that date.
Another image is of an evacuation document issued in liberated Czechoslovakia to a German national for deportation west, back to Germany.
Smaller image source: Wikipedia.
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