The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown

The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown* is an analysis of the Revenge Cleansing in Eastern Europe, 1945–50, as the subtitle describes. The book is very well structured. It starts with details on the Final Solution, how the euthanasia programme started and the gas vans. It goes on with details on countries, starting with Czechoslovakia, followed by Hungary and Poland, before ending with Germany. In each of those chapters Brown presents what the Germans and Nazis did and what happened to the ethnic Germans after the war ended.

On 8 May 1945 Germany surrendered and shortly after that, the Potsdam Conference was held in July-August, where the leaders of UK, Soviets, and US decided what to do next, how to demilitarize and administer Germany. At this conference it was decided that the ethnic Germans and the ones who moved during the Nazi occupation should be transferred to Germany, in a humane manner.

The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown

In reality the humane part was greatly ignored. They lost all their possessions, from their houses to their land. These people were moved into camps, including the ones used by Nazis, as is the case of Buchenwald, where the Russians kept over 28,000 people for 5 years. Of these 7,000 died.

There is no clear figure of how many people were displaced, but the author puts the number at 11.5 million, of whom 3 million died. There were countless accounts of children and women being killed alongside countless accounts of women raped by Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Romanian forces. I did not know about this and the scale of it, so I can’t recommend enough this book. The people who were occupied wanted revenge, but their revenge looks like it was just as pointless as what the Germans did in the first place.

The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword History
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 208

About the author: Peter C. Brown is a writer of local and military history. He was born in 1959, grew up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, moving to Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, with his wife and their cats in 2014, where he continues to write non-fiction. To date he has had sixteen books published.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

6 thoughts on “The Forgotten German Genocide by Peter C Brown”

  • Horrifying. I’m afraid there is very rarely one side in any war that is “good” while the other is “bad”. But it takes a long time for the truth to come out. I was taught that WW2 was a good v evil war, but I was being educated less than thirty years after it finished, often by teachers who had been in it. I always reckon you have to wait till all the participants are dead before you can start to get close to an unbiased account.

  • Yet another horror of war and its aftermath. If I even knew anything about this, I’d forgotten. I sometimes wonder if those who exact revenge ever truly get the peace (or satisfaction) they’re looking for. Years ago I did a little sampler for my husband that said “living well is the best revenge”. It puts a difference focus on the word.
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    • I don’t think many people can get the peace they want by killing or raping, even if they frame it as revenge in their minds.

  • Despite my interest in world history at school, I can’t remember ever hearing mention of the forgotten genocide, however in all fairness I only went as far as GCE level (GCSE to you), although I often wish I had pursued the subject to the next level. I can’t believe that this episode wasn’t treated as a war crime by the Potsdam team. They do say that two wrongs don’t make a right, but I can see why revenge might have been on so many minds. I am definitely adding this book to my ‘wish list’. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    • I can understand the need for revenge, but, at the same time, rape of teenagers (or even pre-teens) is highly unjustified. These children did nothing wrong. It just shows the horrors of war and the aftermath of wars. xx

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