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The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

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The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

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From bestselling author David Nasaw, a sweeping new history of the one million refugees left behind in Germany after WWII

In May 1945, after German forces surrendered to the Allied powers, millions of concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators were left behind in Germany, a nation in ruins. British and American soldiers attempted to repatriate the refugees, but more than a million displaced persons remained in Germany: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. Most would eventually be resettled in lands suffering from postwar labor shortages, but no nation, including the United States, was willing to accept more than a handful of the 200,000 to 250,000 Jewish men, women, and children who remained trapped in Germany. When in June, 1948, the United States Congress passed legislation permitting the immigration of displaced persons, visas were granted to sizable numbers of war criminals and Nazi collaborators, but denied to 90% of the Jewish displaced persons. 

A masterwork from acclaimed historian David Nasaw, The Last Million tells the gripping but until now hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness and of the Last Million, as they crossed from a broken past into an unknowable future, carrying with them their wounds, their fears, their hope, and their secrets. Here for the first time, Nasaw illuminates their incredible history and shows us how it is our history as well.
 

David Nasaw is the author of The Patriarch, selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year and a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; Andrew Carnegie, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New-York Historical Society's American History Book Prize, and a 2007 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; and The Chief, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize for History and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Nonfiction. He is a past president of the Society of American Historians, and until 2019 he served as the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center.

ISBN: 9780143110996

ISBN-10: 9780143110996

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: 09/14/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/14/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 672

Language: English

Categories

History / Modern / 20th Century

History / Military / World War II

Social Science / Emigration & Immigration

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