This project focuses on the observation of displaced persons' organizations and functionaries by the socialist intelligence services.
A conference on the subject will be hosted in September 2021 in Oldenburg by the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa, BKGE). It will explore surveillance by Eastern European socialist states (
deu. Polen, pol. Polska

Poland is a state in Central Eastern Europe and is home to approximately 38 million people. The country is the sixth largest member state of the European Union. The capital and biggest city of Poland is Warsaw. Poland is made up of 16 voivodships. The largest river in the country is the Vistula (Polish: Wisła).

ces. Československo, deu. Tschechoslowakei, slk. Česko-Slovensko, eng. Czecho-Slovakia

Czechoslovakia was a state existing between 1918 and 1992 with changing borders and under changing names and political systems, the former parts of which were absorbed into the present-day states of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine (Carpathian Ukraine, already occupied by Hungary in 1939, from 1945 to the Soviet Union). After 1945, Czechoslovakia was under the political influence of the Soviet Union, was part of the so-called Eastern Bloc as a satellite state, and from 1955 was a member of the Warsaw Pact. Between 1960 and 1990, the communist country's official name was Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (abbreviated ČSSR). The democratic political change was initiated in 1989 with the Velvet Revolution and resulted in the establishment of the independent Czech and Slovak republics in 1992.

, the , the 
Soviet Union
deu. Union der Sozialistischen Sowjetrepubliken, deu. Sowjetunion, rus. Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, rus. Sovetskiy Soyuz, rus. Советский Союз

The Soviet Union (SU or USSR, Russian: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, СССР) was a state in Eastern Europe, Central and Northern Asia existing from 1922 to 1991. The USSR was inhabited by about 290 million people and formed the largest territorial state in the world, with about 22.5 million square km. The Soviet Union was a socialist soviet republic with a one-party system.

srp. Југославија, hrv. Jugoslavija, deu. Jugoslawien, slv. Jugoslavija, sqi. Jugosllavia

Yugoslavia was a southeastern European state that existed, with interruptions and in slightly changing borders, from 1918 to 1992 and 2003, respectively. The capital and largest city of the country was Belgrade. Historically, a distinction is made in particular between the period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1941 (also called 'First Yugoslavia') and communist Yugoslavia from 1945 (the so-called 'Second Yugoslavia') under the dictatorial ruling head of state Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980). The disintegration of Yugoslavia from 1991 and the independence aspirations of several parts of the country eventually led to the Yugoslav Wars (also called the Balkan Wars or post-Yugoslav Wars). Today, the successor states of Yugoslavia are Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

) of expellee organizations and institutions established in the Federal Republic, from the late 1940s onwards. Following the conference, selected papers will be published in a thematic issue of the Journal für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa (JKGE) / Journal for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe.
After the Second World War, Germans fled or were expelled not only from state territories in Eastern Europe where, until 1939, they had formed a minority population, but also from the eastern territories of the German Reich lost in the War. Those expellees who settled in the Federal Republic and engaged in political activity became the subject of close surveillance by the Eastern European socialist states. Most persons under observation were former residents of Poland and Czechoslovakia. In both these countries, relationships between the majority population and the German minority during the interwar years had been problematic. During the Second World War, both Poles and Czechs had suffered due to crimes committed by the National Socialists. In many cases, local ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) had been involved. These negative experiences, combined with the territorial claims by expellee organizations in the Federal Republic, exacerbated the poor image of Germans in these two countries. Ideology and mistrust therefore heavily influenced the perception of ‘the enemy’ during the Cold War.
The observation of displaced persons' organizations and functionaries by the socialist intelligence services is the focus of this project. A further aim is to seek to understand what importance the top politicians in the Eastern European states attached to the reports they were receiving about the expellee organizations from their security services, and how this affected their political decisions. The state-controlled media in some socialist countries used the claims from the expellee organizations as propaganda material in order to foster fear of the Germans among their own populations. To what extent did the political leaders really feel threatened by these claims? In this context, questions also arise about the changes that occurred between 1949 and 1989: How, for example, did the countries of Eastern Europe react to the gradually decreasing significance of the expellee organizations? What was the effect of political upheavals and realignments, such as Willy Brandt’s social-liberal coalition and its ‘new policy towards the East [Neue Ostpolitik]’ from 1969, and the CDU-FDP coalition government from 1982? The conference and the special thematic issue of the journal aim to address this research desideratum and to contribute to a greater understanding of how expellee communities in the Federal Republic were observed and perceived in the states of Eastern Europe.

Siehe auch