All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights

The All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (German: Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten or GB/BHE) was a right-wing political party in West Germany, which acted as an advocacy group of the Germans fled and expelled in and after World War II.

The German Federal Expellee Law is considered a major achievement of the GB/BHE.

All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights

Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten
LeaderWaldemar Kraft (1951–1954)
Theodor Oberländer (1954–1955)
Founded8 January 1950
Dissolved15 April 1961
merger with German Party (DP)
Membership (1954)165,000
IdeologyConservatism[1]
Nationalism
National conservatism[2][1][3]
Political positionRight-wing[4]

History

Founding

Waldemar Kraft founded the grouping in 1950 as BHE (Block der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten, Bloc of Expellees and of those Deprived of Rights, the latter term serving as a euphemism for ex-Nazis) at Kiel, capital of Schleswig-Holstein, the state with the largest proportion (34%) of expellees. Kraft, a former member of the Nazi Party and President of the Chamber of Agriculture in the annexed Reichsgau Wartheland at Posen, from where he had fled to Ratzeburg in Schleswig-Holstein, had become spokesman of the Landmannschaft WeichselWarthe association within the German Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen, BdV) in 1949. Theodor Oberländer joined Kraft: he had had involvement in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, had joined the Nazi Party and the SA member in 1933, had become chairman of the Bund Deutscher Osten organisation and professor at the German Charles University in Prague until 1945.

Before World War II the Nazi Party had achieved some strong results in the eastern territories of Germany. Moreover, as flight and expulsions from there had been instigated by advancing Red Army forces in the late days of the war and were continued by the authorities of the newly established People's Republics in eastern and central Europe, most expellees had strong anti-communist attitudes. The Allies at first had prevented any associations of expellees, but gave in upon the establishment of the West German state with the proclamation of its Basic Law in 1949.

Political activity

In the Schleswig-Holstein state election of 9 July 1950, the party gained 23.4% of the votes as second party behind the Social Democrats (SPD), outnumbering the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Kraft nevertheless joined the CDU-led coalition government in Schleswig-Holstein as deputy minister-president.

In order to integrate further nationalist voters, the party changed its name to GB/BHE in 1952. In the 1953 federal election it reached 5.9% of the votes and entered the Bundestag parliament with 27 seats. The party became coalition partner in Adenauer's second cabinet, with Oberländer and Kraft as Minister for Displaced Persons and Minister for Special Affairs respectively. However, with their ongoing integration in the West German society of the Wirtschaftswunder era, more and more expellees saw no need for a parliamentary representation beside the BdV pressure-group, and the role of the party dwindled away. In addition, the GB/BHE ministers were reproached by their party fellows for supporting Adenauer's policies to integrate the Federal Republic into the West. After an open conflict over the future status of the Saarland as an independent entity of the Western European Union, Chairman Kraft resigned from his post in 1954, when at a party convention his aide Eva Gräfin Finck von Finckenstein had not been re-elected as member of the executive committee. One year later, Kraft and Oberländer left the party to join the CDU. Kraft also left the federal government in 1956.

At the 1957 federal election the GB/BHE gained 4.6% of the votes and failed to re-enter the Bundestag due to the 5% election threshold. Until the end, it had somewhat more success in state elections, still represented in the state diets (Landtage) of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, and participating in the states' governments. Several of its prominent members eventually became members of the CDU or CSU after 1955.

Former Nazi officials (Walter Eckhardt), propaganda writers (Walter Becher), SA and SS officers (Wilhelm Schepmann) and war criminals (Heinz Reinefarth, Hans Krueger) were activists of the party. Former BDM-leader Trude Bürkner-Mohr stood as a GB/BHE candidate in the 1953 state and federal elections.[5] Oberländer endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Polish population during the war.[6]

Demise

In 1961 the party merged with the remnants of the German Party (Deutsche Partei, DP) to form the All-German Party (Gesamtdeutsche Partei, GDP),[7] which however in turn failed to enter the Bundestag, winning only 2.8% of the votes in the 1961 election.

References

  1. ^ a b Frenzel, Eike (2008). Vom Block der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten zur Gesamtdeutschen Partei. Verlag Dr. Kovač. ISBN 978-3-8300-3587-9.
  2. ^ "Als die Vertriebenen in Niedersachsen regierten". HAZ.
  3. ^ "Der Henker von Westerland". fluter.
  4. ^ "Stramm rechts - und im Parlament". Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  5. ^ Klinkhardt Lexikon Erziehungswissenschaft (KLE), Band 1 (in German). UTB. 2011. p. 217. ISBN 9783825284688.
  6. ^ DER GENERALPLAN OST: EIN FINSTERES KAPITEL BERLINER WISSENSCHAFTSGESCHICHTE
  7. ^ Political Parties (Germany) - List of German political parties since 1949.

External links

1953 West German federal election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 6 September 1953 to elect the second Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union emerged as the largest party.

1957 West German federal election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 15 September 1957 to elect the third Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union and its longtime ally, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, won a sweeping victory, taking 277 seats in the Bundestag to win the first--and to date, only--absolute majority for a single German parliamentary group in a free election.

1961 West German federal election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 17 September 1961 to elect the members of the fourth Bundestag. CDU/CSU remained the largest faction, while the Social Democratic Party narrowly became the largest individual party in the Bundestag, winning 203 of the 521 seats.

Deutsch-Baltische Gesellschaft

The Deutsch-Baltische Gesellschaft ("German-Baltic Society") is an organization which represents Baltic German refugees expelled from Estonia and Latvia during World War II and its aftermath. It was established in 1950 as the Deutsch-Baltische Landsmannschaft im Bundesgebiet.

The organization is based in Darmstadt, Hesse. Its youth organization is the Deutschbaltischer Jugend- und Studentenring.

Deutsche Reichspartei

The Deutsche Reichspartei (DRP, German Reich Party, German Imperial Party or German Empire Party) was a nationalist political party in West Germany. It was founded in 1950 from the German Right Party (German: Deutsche Rechtspartei), which had been set up in Lower Saxony in 1946 and had five members in the first Bundestag.

Economic Reconstruction Union

The Economic Reconstruction Union (Wirtschaftliche Aufbau-Vereinigung or WAV) was a German political party that was active immediately after the Second World War. Although usually translated into English as the Economic Reconstruction Union it is also sometimes known as the Union for Economic Reconstruction, the Economic Reconstruction Association, or the Economic Reconstruction Party.

Egon Erzum

Egon Erzum (22 September 1904 – 14 October 1974) was a German politician from the GB/BHE and later of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria.He was one of the co-founders of the GB/BHE and member of the Landtag of Bavaria between 1954 and 1958. Following the demise of the party he affiliated to the Christian Social Union of Bavaria. He was also Mayor of Leutershausen from 1962 to 1965.

Eva Gräfin Finck von Finckenstein

Eva Gräfin Finck von Finckenstein, née Schubring (3 December 1903, in Berlin – 13 March 1994) was a German politician, representative of the German Christian Democratic Union.Schubring was born in Berlin to the art historian Professor Schubring. She visited school in Berlin and studied national economics at the University of Berlin. In 1928-33 she was the managing editor for foreign affairs of the Vossische Zeitung in Berlin. After the Nazis took over power in Germany she retreated from politics.She was first married to an Indian named Tendulkar and after her divorce she married Gottfried Graf Finck von Finckenstein in 1934, with whom she had five children. After her marriage she lived in Terpen in East Prussia. At the end of World War II she fled to Schleswig-Holstein, where she published a journal "Die Hausfrau" (The housewife) in 1949/50. In 1950 she joined the League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (BHE) and became the personal assistant of BHE Chairman Waldemar Kraft and the party's press referent. In 1953 she was elected a member of the German Bundestag.

In 1954 she was not reelected into the BHE board, which led to the resignation of Waldemar Kraft as BHE Chairman. In 1956 Kraft, Finckenstein and Theodor Oberländer joined the CDU Fraction, which led to the decline of influence of the BHE in German politics.

Finck von Finckenstein was not again elected to the Bundestag and retreated from politics.

Federal Expellee Law

The Federal Law on Refugees and Exiles (German: Bundesvertriebenengesetz, BVFG; Gesetz über die Angelegenheiten der Vertriebenen und Flüchtlinge; literally: Law on the affairs of the expellees and refugees) is a federal law passed by the Federal Republic of Germany on 19 May 1953 to regulate the legal situation of ethnic German refugees and expellees who fled or were expelled after World War II from the former eastern territories of the German Reich and other areas of Central and Eastern Europe. The law was amended on 3 September 1971.

The major force behind the law was the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights party, which had among its supporters - besides German citizens, who had fled or were expelled from formerly German territory annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union - many formerly non-citizens, who experienced by the end of World War II and the post-war years of ethnic cleansing, denaturalisation, robbing and humiliation (1945 until 1950) carried out by the governments of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

German Party (1961)

The German Party was a minor conservative party active in Germany between 1961 and 1980.

It was founded by former members of the conservative German Party founded in 1947 who were dissatisfied with its failure to gain electoral representation after their merger with the refugees' party the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights.

The newly formed German Party contested the state election of Lower Saxony in 1963. However, with 2.7 per cent of the vote (as compared to the "old" party's 12.3 per cent in 1959) it failed to win representation. Cut off from the conservative mainstream a number of German Party's functionaries participated in the foundation of the far-right National Democratic Party. Party activist Friedrich Thielen was chosen as the leader of the new party but was ousted in 1967 by Adolf von Thadden.

Thielen left, as he felt von Thadden was too sympathetic to Nazism, and tried to re-found the German Party. However the new incarnation failed to become even a local force and ceased to operate as a political party in 1980.

Heinz Reinefarth

Heinz Reinefarth, 26 December 1903 – 7 May 1979) was a German SS commander during World War II and government official in West Germany after the war. During the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 his troops committed numerous atrocities. After the war Reinefarth became the mayor of the town of Westerland, on the isle of Sylt, and member of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag. Polish demands for extradition were never honoured, nor was Dr. Reinefarth ever convicted of any war crime.

List of minority political parties

This is a list of political parties of minorities.

Politics of Hesse

The Politics of Hesse takes place within a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, where the Federal Government of Germany exercises sovereign rights with certain powers reserved to the states of Germany including Hesse. The state has a multi-party system where, as in most other states of former Western Germany and the federal level, the two main parties are the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

Theodor Oberländer

Theodor Oberländer (1 May 1905 – 4 May 1998) was a Nazi German politician who after Second World War served as Federal Minister for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Victims of War in West Germany from 1953 to 1960, and as a Member of the Bundestag from 1953 to 1961 and from 1963 to 1965.

Oberländer earned a doctorate in agriculture in 1929 and a second doctorate in economics in 1930. He spent time in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and early 1930s, including as an employee of DRUSAG, a German company involved in developing Soviet agriculture in cooperation with the Soviet government. Subsequently he became active in Ostforschung, area studies of the Soviet Union, the Baltic states, Poland and other countries of Eastern and Central Europe, advocating elimination of Jews and subjugation of Polish people in Poland which in his writings he described as having "eight million inhabitants too many". In 1933, he became Director of the Institute for East German Economy in Königsberg, and in 1938 he became Professor of Agriculture at the University of Greifswald. He served as a lieutenant in the German military intelligence service in the Soviet Union during the Second World War and was promoted to captain of the reserve before his discharge in 1943; in the same year he became Director of the Institute for Economic Sciences. From 1944, he was affiliated with the staff of Andrey Vlasov's anti-Stalinist Russian Liberation Army. He became a member of the Nazi Party in 1933. However, from 1937 until the end of Nazi rule, he was under surveillance by the Sicherheitsdienst, as he was suspected of being disloyal to the Nazi cause.In 1940, he endorsed ethnic cleansing of Poland.He later became the leader of the mixed German and Caucasian Sonderverband Bergmann, which was active in anti-partisan warfare. Both army groups were later claimed to have participated in war crimes.

After the war, he worked for American intelligence as an expert on Eastern Europe until 1949. He entered politics for the liberal Free Democratic Party from 1948. In 1950, he was a co-founder of the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights and served as its chairman from 1954 to 1955. He served as a member of the Parliament of Bavaria from 1950 to 1953 and as Secretary of State for Refugee Affairs in the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior from 1951 to 1953. He then served as Federal Minister for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Victims of War in the Second and Third Cabinets of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer from 1953 to 1960, and as a Member of the Bundestag from 1953 to 1961 and from 1963 to 1965, during which time he represented Hildesheim from 1957 to 1961. In 1956, Oberländer became a member of the Christian Democratic Union. Oberländer was one of the most staunch anti-communists in the German government. He received the Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bavarian Order of Merit and the Legion of Honour.

Trude Mohr

Trude Mohr (later Trude Bürkner-Mohr) (1902–1989) was the first Reichsreferentin of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM).

Waldemar Kraft

Waldemar Kraft (19 February 1898 in Brzustow, Jarotschin district, in the Province of Posen (today Brzostów, Poland) – 12 July 1977 in Bonn) was a German politician who served as Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the Cabinet of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer from 1953 to 1956. From 1950 to 1953 he served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, and from 1951 to 1953 as Acting Minister of Justice. He was a member of the Bundestag from 1953 to 1961, and a member of the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein from 1950 to 1953.

Kraft initially represented the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights and served as its chairman from 1951 to 1954. In 1956, he became a member of the Christian Democratic Union.

Walter Becher

Walter Becher (1 October 1912 – 25 August 2005) was a German Bohemian politician, representative of the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (GB/BHE), All German Party (German: Gesamtdeutsche Partei) (GDP) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria.

He was an associate of the pro-Nazi politician Konrad Henlein. Later, he became a writer for the Nazi newspaper "Die Zeit" published in Sudetenland.

Walter Eckhardt

Walter Eckhardt (March 23, 1906 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Hesse-Nassau – January 1, 1994) was a German politician, who represented the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (GB/BHE) and subsequently the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU). He was a member of the Parliament of Bavaria, a member of the Bundestag and a Member of the European Parliament.

Eckhardt was until 1943 a high-ranking official (Ministerialrat) in the Reichs Ministry of Finance. In 1943 he joined the German army and was captured in early 1945 by the British. He remained in captivity until 1948. Following his repatriation he settled in Munich where he worked as a lawyer and became politically active. In 1949 he was elected president of the German Union and became a member of the directorate of the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights the following year. He was elected to the Parliament of Bavaria in 1950, serving until 1954. He was elected to the Bundestag, serving from 1953 to 1957. In 1955 he left the BHE and joined the CDU/CSU faction in March 1956. Following the resignation of Otto von Feury, Eckhardt, who had not been elected in the first place, rejoined the Bundestag for the rest of the term. Similarly, he only rejoined the Bundestag after the next elections as replacement candidate from 1964 to 1969. Additionally, Eckhardt served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1954 to 1956.

The Walter Eckhardt Award for Contemporary History of the Zeitgeschichtliche Forschungsstelle Ingolstadt is awarded in his memory.

Eckhardt was married with two daughters.

Wilhelm Stuckart

Wilhelm Stuckart (16 November 1902 – 15 November 1953) was a Nazi Party lawyer, official and a state secretary in the German Interior Ministry during the Nazi era. Stuckart was convicted as a war criminal at the Ministries Trial in 1949.

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