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My great-aunt and her two children were expelled from their family farm in the Prussian Province of Pomerania, at Rummelsburg (now known as Miastko), near Wernershof (now Gołębsko). They were given no compensation. Her father, my great-grandfather, was also expelled but was compensated essentially lunch-money by the evicting Soviets. My aunt was engaged in a court case surrounding the matter the remainder of her life which last through the early 2000s. She told me the case was settled in the late 90s and she was denied compensation despite having paperwork showing ownership. Can anyone tell me about these legal proceedings and how this could be a reasoned settlement?


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Wars often cause so much destruction that compensation is not economically feasible. It was tried after WWI, but the idea was eventually all but dropped after it appeared that Germany could just not pay for all the stuff its army had destroyed in that war.

Given that Germany again caused widespread property damage during WWII (and ignoring the terrible crimes comitted by German forces), the idea of Germany demanding compensation from other countries appears potentially unwise.. Not just on political, but also on financial grounds.

In any case German courts and German politics have repeatedly indicated that Germany is not interested in opening this can of worms (e.g. here and here).

That said, Germany actually tried to provide some limited compensation to German citizens through the Lastenausgleich.

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The problem people of that time had encountered was multiple:

  • They were chased out of land by the Soviet Army, a regional power that did not like them

  • They were dispossessed in a time when property right was wrecked because some guys had weapons and some had not

  • The lands of which they were dispossessed were occupied by Soviets (today's Kaliningrad) or Poles (West of today's Poland). Both of these countries did not give land to Germany in exchange, so no ground was available for compensation. For example, in France after 1871, Alsacians that had fled the Germans were partially compensated by being sent into colonies

  • The new government under which they lived had to obey to the Soviets and its ideology did not consider Germans in general as victims of the war

Thus, the situation was as follow from 1945 to 1990 in East Germany, and partially in West Germany as well:

  • No economic ground for compensation, nor financial ground since Germany was impoverished

  • No ideology in favour of compensation

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  • The map shows half for Soviets and half for Poles. the Polish part is a little bigger. I don't really see the point here since I never mentionned East Prussia specifically in my answer, and since my answer adresses the problem of land given to Poland and land given to Soviet Union Commented Dec 31, 2023 at 18:42

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