Expulsion of Germans: Telegram to the War Department, 18 October 1945
Published: 1945-10-18

18 October 1945

At the conclusion of World War II more than fifteen million Germans were driven from their homes in central and eastern Europe. It has been estimated that 2,111,000 Germans died directly as a result of these mass expulsions. The primary reference on this subject is: Alfred M. de Zayas, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans from the East, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, ISBN 0-8032-9907-9.

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CRYPTOGRAPHIC SECURITY DOES NOT APPLY. HANDLE AS TOP SECRET CORRESPONDENCE PER PARAS 44g AND 53a AR 380-5

From: CG US Forces European Theater Main Frankfurt Germany
To: War Department
Nr: S 28399..... 18 October 1945

S 28399 to for action War Dept for G 2 attn Major General Clayton Bissell from Hqs US Forces European Theater Main from Connor from Sibert sgd Eisenhower cite ETGBI. TOP SECRET.

Detailed reports from reliable observers including an officer from G 2 Div confirm indications of critical situation developing in area Silesia and eastern Germany.

In Silesia, Polish administration and methods are causing a mass exodus westward of German inhabitants. Germans are being ordered out of their homes and to evacuate New Poland. Many unable to move are placed in camps on meager rations and under poor sanitary conditions. Death and disease rate in camps extremely high. Germans who attempt to hold onto homes and land are terrorized into "Voluntary" evacuation. Methods used by Poles definitely do not conform to Potsdam agreement. Polish administration disorganized in Silesia and no security exists for inhabitants of region.

Due to mass migrations into Brandenberg and Saxony, health conditions in these regions tragically low. There is unprecedented lack of food, medical supplies, and doctors. Reasonable estimates predict between 2.5 and 3 million victims of malnutrition and disease between Oder and Elbe by next spring.

CM-IN-8742 (18 Oct 45)


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From: CG US Forces European Theater, Main Frankfurt Germany
Nr: S28399 18 October 1945

Breslau death rate increased ten fold, and death rate reported to be 75% of all births. Typhoid, typhus, dysentery, and diphtheria are spreading.

Total number potentially involved in westward movement to Russian Zone of Germany from Poland and Czechoslovakia in range of 10 million. Estimate 65 to 75 per cent already departed or on the road westward. No coordinated measures yet taken to direct stream of refugees into specific regions or provide food and shelter. Tendency of refugees is to move into cities, and cities of Saxony, especially are becoming dangerously over crowded. Attention is invited in this connection to serious danger of epidemic of such great proportion as to menace all Europe, including our troops, and to probability of mass starvation unprecedented scale.

Copies of special reports for your information are being forwarded by Mail Annex Nbr 3 to our Special Intelligence Bulletin Nbr 3 gives a preview of this problem.

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ACTION : Gen Bissell

INFO: Gen Arnold, Gen Hull, C of S

CM-In-8742 (18 Oct 45) DTG 181435A da

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Source: National Archives, Washington, D.C., RG165


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Author(s): Dwight D. Eisenhower
Title: Expulsion of Germans: Telegram to the War Department, 18 October 1945
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Published: 1945-10-18
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.
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