2 Million Ethnic Germans Perish After World War 2
As history’s most known genocide, the Holocaust was so disturbing and catastrophic that it’s become synonymous in the Western Hemisphere with mass genocide. Hitler’s pathological anti-Semitism wiped out nearly 80% of Europe’s Jews as well as five million of many other oft-targeted minorities, from homosexuals to the disabled to Communists. He wasn’t too keen on Germany’s eastern neighbors either, and in many respects, the secret genocide of World War II is the wholesale slaughter of 1.5 million Romani, 2 Million Poles, and anywhere between 8 to 21 million Soviets at the hands of the Nazis.
As Allied victory became a question of when and not how, Stalin met with President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee to discuss post-war Europe at the Potsdam Conference. Among other tense exchanges, they agreed to the “orderly transfer” of displaced Germans back to their homeland, a vague and uncommitted phrase that would become the justification behind one of history’s worst instances of misplaced aggression.