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Forced Migration, Staying Minorities, and New Societies: Evidence from Post-war Czechoslovakia

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Listed:
  • Jakub Grossmann
  • Stepan Jurajda
  • Felix Roesel

Abstract

Forced migration traumatizes millions displaced from their homes, but little is known about the few who manage to stay and become a minority in a new society. We study the case of German stayers in Sudetenland, a region from which Czechoslovakia expelled ethnic Germans after World War Two. The unexpected presence of the US Army in parts of 1945 Czechoslovakia resulted in more anti-fascist Germans avoiding displacement compared to regions liberated by the Red Army. We study the long-run impacts of this local variation in the presence of left-leaning stayers and find that Communist party support and local party cell frequencies, as well as far-left values and social policies are more pronounced today where anti-fascist Germans stayed in larger numbers. Our findings also suggest that political identity supplanted German ethnic identity among anti-fascist stayers. The German staying minority shaped the political identity of newly formed local societies after ethnic cleansing by providing the ‘small seed’ of political development.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakub Grossmann & Stepan Jurajda & Felix Roesel, 2021. "Forced Migration, Staying Minorities, and New Societies: Evidence from Post-war Czechoslovakia," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp683, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp683
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    forced migration; displacement; ethnic cleansing; stayers; minorities; identity; Communist party; Czechoslovakia; Sudetenland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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