Refugees and political parties, 1945–50
in Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany
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The emergence of a 'refugee party' threatened to intensify the conflicts between the expellee and indigenous populations. This chapter analyses the attitude and policies of the political parties to the German refugees and expellees. It explores the tensions which often developed within the parties between refugees and their indigenous counterparts. The chapter focuses on the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD), the Christian Democratic Union (Christlich-Demokratische Union, CDU)/Christian Social Union (Christlich-Soziale Union, CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP). It evaluates the strenuous efforts of the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) to win support among the newcomers, and examines the attitude of radical rightwing parties to the refugees and expellees. The chapter also analyses the newcomers' voting behaviour between 1946 and 1950 in the three main refugee states of Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

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