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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

At the end of the Second World War, the victorious Allies and the Eastern European states initiated the greatest forced population transfer in human history. It varied in scope, duration, and intensity, and affected and disrupted the lives of millions of people. An important role in these processes was played by ‘historical places’—defined spatial dimensions where the aspirations of titular majorities and the governing polities frequently collided with target groups. This essay examines the situation in western Poland, Slovakia, and the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia, where the post-war population transfers of minority groups served as tools for nation-building and political homogeneity.

Keywords: population transfer, historical places, majorities, target-groups, Poland, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, minority, nation-building, political homogeneity

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