The Battle of the Refugees

Gerard Daniel Cohen

in In War's Wake

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399684
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918423 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in International History

The Battle of the Refugees

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The chapter examines the negotiations on displaced persons held in 1946 within various organs of the United Nations. Whereas the Soviet Union, Poland and Yugoslavia demanded the compulsory return of their displaced nationals, and in particular those deemed “quislings and collaborators,” Western nations insisted on the rights of individuals to oppose their national governments. On February 14, 1946, the first human rights resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly recognized the right of DPs to temporarily remain in Germany. Deprived of Soviet support, the International Refugee Organization created in December 1946 was mandated to resettle the “last million” of displaced persons across the world.

Keywords: Eleanor Roosevelt; non-refoulement; origins of the Cold War; political persecution; International Refugee Organization; refugee law

Chapter.  9459 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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