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The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

The suffering of The Last Million Eastern Europeans in Germany did not cease on V.E. Day, but continued as World War morphed into Cold War. While the Soviet Union demanded their repatriation, the US and the UK refused to return them to Soviet-dominated homelands. The Last Million, including nearly 250,000 Jewish survivors, would remain in displaced persons camps in Germany for the next three to five years. Nazi collaborators and war criminals, promoting themselves as anti-Communist activists, would eventually gain entry to the US, the UK, and elsewhere, while the Jewish survivors, accused of being Communist sympathizers or agents, were denied access.

Date & Time

Monday
Jan. 11, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

The suffering of The Last Million Eastern Europeans in Germany did not cease on V.E. Day, but continued as World War morphed into Cold War. While the Soviet Union demanded their repatriation, the US and the UK refused to return them to Soviet-dominated homelands. The Last Million, including nearly 250,000 Jewish survivors, would remain in displaced persons camps in Germany for the next three to five years. Nazi collaborators and war criminals, promoting themselves as anti-Communist activists, would eventually gain entry to the US, the UK, and elsewhere, while the Jewish survivors, accused of being Communist sympathizers or agents, were denied access.

David Nasaw was, until January, 2020, the Arthur M. Schlesinger Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center. His publications include The Chief (2000), the Bancroft Prize-winning biography of William Randolph Hearst; Andrew Carnegie (2006), a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the New-York Historical Society Prize in American History; and, most recently, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy (2012), a Pulitzer Prize finalist and chosen by the New York Times as one of the best five non-fiction books of the year.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Read more

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.  Read more

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