Expulsion of the Germans of Czechoslovakia after the Second World War

The Zentrales Denkmal Flucht und Vertreibung 1945 [Central Memorial for the Flight and Expulsion of 1945], conceived by Joachim Bandau and inaugurated in 1999, Nuremberg.

The expulsion of the Germans of Czechoslovakia in 1945-1946 brought an end to the centuries-long presence of German-speaking populations in this part of Central Europe. The German-Czech disagreement regarding these expulsions remained strong throughout the second half of the twentieth century. The suffering endured by Czechoslovaks under Nazi domination, as well as that experienced by the German-speaking population upon their expulsion have fuelled strong resentment on both sides since 1945. This rancour on the part of those who were expelled was reinforced by the silence that the communist regime imposed on this thorny subject in Czechoslovakia, leaving West Germany with the task of granting reparations. The initiation of a reconciliation process was almost impossible in these conditions. The discussions initiated since 1989 have nevertheless enabled a return to calmer relations, which are more in step with the evolution of memories of the Second World War in Europe.