Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Germans to Poles
Communism, Nationalism and Ethnic Cleansing after the Second World War

$34.00 ( ) USD

Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: July 2013
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781107240797

$ 34.00 USD ( )
Adobe eBook Reader

You will be taken to for this purchase
Buy eBook Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, Hardback

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • At the end of the Second World War, mass forced migration and population movement accompanied the collapse of Nazi Germany's occupation and the start of Soviet domination in East-Central Europe. Hugo Service examines the experience of Poland's new territories, exploring the Polish Communist attempt to 'cleanse' these territories in line with a nationalist vision, against the legacy of brutal wartime occupations of Central and Eastern Europe by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The expulsion of over three million Germans was intertwined with the arrival of millions of Polish settlers. Around one million German citizens were categorised as 'native Poles' and urged to adopt a Polish national identity. The most visible traces of German culture were erased. Jewish Holocaust survivors arrived and, for the most part, soon left again. Drawing on two case studies, the book exposes how these events varied by region and locality.

    • Takes a detailed look at one of the most significant episodes of forced migration witnessed in Europe in the course of the twentieth century
    • Makes clear that the expulsion of Germans was not an isolated process, but one of a series of interlocking transformative processes across Central and Eastern Europe and across wartime and post-war settings
    • Draws on both Polish and German sources and contemporary accounts
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "A magisterial overview of forced population movements across all of Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War and in its aftermath. Service’s monograph thus serves as a highly useful introduction to the phenomenon for non-specialist historians and social scientists with limited familiarity with the phenomenon, even as the detailed case studies are essential reading for researchers in this burgeoning field of study."
    James Bjork, Slavonic and East European Review

    "In this admirable new book, "Germans" did not become "Poles" but were banished, silenced, or murdered by them … Germans to Poles deepens recent study of the long-neglected destruction of German life in eastern Europe … Service supplies valuable and student-friendly chapters."
    William W. Hagen, Slavic Review

    "… specialists in the field of postwar Eastern European history will value the richness of the book’s narration of the disorder and disruption that defined everyday life in early postwar Poland …"
    Michael Meng, American Historical Review

    "Service offers an extensively researched synthesis which brings to light significant archival materials on the population movements that remade a broad swathe of Central Europe. From the vantage point of two small and contrasting centres, Service helps his scholarly readership understand mechanisms that made ethnic cleansing a part of everyday life."
    Andrew Demshuk, European History Quarterly

    "[Hugo Service] knowledgably places Poland’s state-driven policy of resettlement and expulsion … within the long-term national conflicts between Germany and Poland from the time [of] the Kaiser’s Empire though to the post-WWII years … With [his] important stud[y] … Service ha[s] rightly drawn attention to the fact that only by accepting this chronology is the contextualisation … and, ultimately, a pluralisation of memory possible."
    Björn Hofmeister, Translated from Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft

    "Services's work excels at painting a vivid portrait of … communities in flux. … [He] provides excellent on-the-ground details of these myriad local tensions … Germans to Poles serves as a useful comparative study that relates the violent remaking of east central Europe along ethno-national lines to the diverse local-level consequences of this grand project."
    Brendan Karch, German History

    "Hugo Service's monograph is a significant step forward to a better understanding of the complicated migration and nationalization processes that were under way in Poland's northern and western territories between 1939 and 1949 … The book is clearly written and structured and will therefore reach out not only to academics from the field but also to a more general public … One of the most excellent features of the book is its rich archival base."
    Jan Musekamp, Polish-Studies.Interdisciplinary (

    "This work is valuable as an overview and summary … and thanks to extensive use of documents from Polish archives this work throws extensive light on the process of "verification" in Upper Silesia."
    Matthias E. Cichon, Translated from Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung

    "Service's thoughtful tome builds upon prior works by Michael Fleming and Gregor Thum that addressed questions of defining and creating Polish identities … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
    R. K. Byczkiewicz, Choice

    'Hugo Service's monograph is a significant step forward to a better understanding of the complicated migration and nationalization processes that were under way in Poland's northern and western territories between 1939 and 1949. … One of the most excellent features of the book is its rich archival base.' Jan Musekamp, Pol-Int

    'With his study Germans to Poles, Hugo Service provides a deep insight into and understanding of these complex processes and offers a step toward studying this area of postwar European history … Based on a rich variety of sources, Service’s study is clearly written and well structured.' Agnes Laba, H-Poland

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2013
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781107240797
    • contains: 7 maps
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Eastern Europe, 1939–44: occupation, expulsion, killing
    2. Poland, 1939–49: territory and Communism
    3. War and peace
    4. Expulsion
    5. Repopulation
    6. Verification
    7. Expellees, settlers, natives
    8. Holocaust survivors and foreigners
    9. Assimilation
    10. Culture, religion, society
    Conclusion: Eastern Europe, 1944–9: Communism, nationalism, expulsion

  • Author

    Hugo Service, University of York
    Hugo Service is Departmental Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Oxford.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.