In the population transfers that occurred at the end of the Second World War in Central and Eastern Europe, the case of Poland is unique, as mass population movements there accompanied a westward shift of the entire national territory by over 200 kilometres. While it gave up its eastern border region (Kresy) to the western republics of the USSR (Ukraine, Belorussia, Lithuania), Poland drifted towards the west into the formerly German areas of Silesia and Pomerania. In the history of population displacements in this country, this example represents the most accomplished of the great post-war ethno-demographic surgeries, as Poles evacuated from the new Soviet eastern territories settled into the annexed western territories from where Germans had been expelled. But the history of this enormous movement has until now been unequally explored; research concerning the new western territories has long been conducted and flourished, while the history of population displacements in the eastern areas has yet to be written. Apart from the significant and long-established taboo on this chapter of Polish-Soviet relations, different explanations can be given as to why historians have taken less interest in the population transfers in this particular area. In the international context, the settlement of the new border and subsequent population transfers were considered a solution to an old problem, rather than a post-war question.

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