‘Not a Difference of Principle, but a Difference of Emphasis’

Matthew Frank

in Expelling the Germans

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199233649
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191716294 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

 ‘Not a Difference of Principle, but a Difference of Emphasis’

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This chapter discusses the impact of the Second World War on British thinking on population transfer in general, and on a transfer of Germans in particular. Four ‘case studies’ are examined which illustrate the nature and scope of the debate within Britain: three of these involve national organizations which studied the question of population transfer (the Foreign Research and Press Service, the League of Nations Union, and the Labour Party); the fourth is a re-examination of a key wartime statement on population transfer by Churchill, and the debates surrounding it. What emerges from these case studies is that despite there being near unanimity across the political spectrum on the principle of population transfer there were sharp differences of opinion over its practicality, which became more rather than less pronounced as the war progressed and the shape of the post-war settlement became clearer.

Keywords: Second World War; case studies; Britain; League of Nations Union; Labour Party; Churchill; post-war settlement

Chapter.  24043 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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