The Holocaust
The Holocaust

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

The Holocaust

5.2 The aftermath of the Holocaust

In interwar Europe ethnic Germans had been in an overwhelming majority in the populations of both Germany and Austria. In addition, the two largest minorities spread across the states of interwar Europe, and particularly the states of the centre and east, had been Germans and Jews. The war and the Holocaust produced ‘solutions’ to the questions of both minorities. The Jews of central and eastern Europe who survived were often unwilling to return to their former homes; indeed, many of those who did return home found their property destroyed or occupied by others who would not give it up. Thousands of them moved westwards; and thousands more moved westwards from Poland, from Hungary, and from elsewhere following a wave of anti-Semitic pogroms in 1946 which left many dead. But the states of western Europe were reluctant to absorb these Jewish refugees, and those who sought to travel to Palestine were prevented by the British, who held the territory under a League of Nations mandate. The creation of Israel in 1948 finally opened the door to them, but led, in turn, to the displacement of Palestinian Arabs. The Holocaust and its aftermath did not eliminate Jews from Europe, but it resulted in the continent being far less a central focus of the life of the Jewish people.

German minorities in eastern Europe also fled westwards in the aftermath of the war; 5 million went in 1944–45. Over the next three years the governments of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia expelled another 7 million. Rather than being Hitler's dream of empty land for German settlers, central and eastern Europe, which had witnessed most of the Holocaust, now became empty of Germans as well as Jews.

AA312_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus