in Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany
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The triumph of the newly established Bloc of Expellees and Dispossessed Persons (BHE) at Landtag Elections in Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein in 1950-1951 indicated that many refugees and expellees had become alienated from the mainstream political parties. Since 1990, the flight and expulsion of the refugees and expellees from their homelands has formed an important part of a wider public debate about the role of Germans as victims and as perpetrators of the Second World War. While relations between the refugee and native populations in rural parts of West Germany improved during the 1950s, newcomers continued to be 'outsiders' and gradually secured access to clubs and associations which had been the preserve of the indigenous villagers. Allied and German politicians voiced fears that the newcomers' extreme economic hardship would make them vulnerable to the overtures of both radical right-wing groups and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).


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