From the Expulsions to the Rise of the Expellee Organizations
This chapter examines the expulsions and the subsequent rise of expellee organizations in Germany's western occupation zones. An extensive network of expellee representation had developed in West Germany by the beginning of the 1950s. The nonpartisan pressure organizations — the Central Association of Expelled Germans (Zentralverband vertriebener Deutschen, ZvD) and the United East German Homeland Societies (Vereinigte Ostdeutsche Landsmannschaften, VOL) — dominated the scene. Meanwhile, the newly founded Federal Republic was increasingly preoccupied with establishing its international position in the context of the intensifying cold war. Consequently, the Federal Republic's formative years, which culminated in the triumph of Adenauer's Westpolitik in the spring of 1955, as the country acquired both sovereignty and NATO membership, witnessed the emergence of an enduring pattern of interaction among the expellee organizations, the government, and the main parties, particularly in Eastern policy, the expellee lobby's chief area of interest.
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