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Expelling the GermansBritish Opinion and Post-1945 Population Transfer in Context$
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Matthew Frank

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233649.001.0001

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(p.274) Conclusion
Expelling the Germans

Matthew Frank (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter underlines the centrality of the notion of ‘population transfer’ for understanding British approaches and responses to the expulsion of the Germans. The failure to reconcile a conviction that transfer was justified in principle with doubts about its practicality resulted in an ambivalence which seemed to mark British responses to the expulsion of the Germans. This ambivalence has given rise to successive misreadings of the British position on population transfer. Just as the expelling countries at the time mistook British criticism of the means for doubts about the very principle of population transfer, so, too, later assessments of the British response to the expulsions have mistaken support for the principle as representing acceptance of the way in which it was being carried out. This section ends by placing British abandonment of population transfer within the wider context of changing attitudes towards minority rights.

Keywords:   population transfer, expulsion, Germans, British, ambivalence, minority rights

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