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Public International Law and Expulsion of Germans after World War II

Conference on February 17 and 18, 2012, at Freie Universität Berlin to Discuss Relocation Decisions of Potsdam Agreement

№ 24/2012 from Feb 08, 2012

On February 17 and 18 an international conference will be held at Freie Universität to discuss the expulsion of Germans after the Second World War. Polish, Czech, and German scholars will discuss the international and historical context of the relocation provisions of the Potsdam Agreement and their implementation. The event is public; advance registration is requested by sending an e-mail to Admission costs 15 euros, reduced 7 euros.

The speakers will summarize legal and historical research on the relocation decisions and their implementation and will initiate discussions on the topic. Against the background of current debates about population shifts between Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany after World War II, the intention is to consider the events objectively and free of political appropriations. The conference aims to strengthen the factual basis of the debate on the expulsion of the Germans. As part of the conference, a meeting will be held on Friday evening at the Czech Embassy and followed by a reception.

The conference will focus on:

  • an international legal assessment of the relocation decisions of the Potsdam Conference,
  • the history of displacement and resettlement of the German population from the former German eastern territories, Poland, and Czechoslovakia,
  • the political discourse of displacement and resettlement in the countries involved.

Under the auspices of the renowned historian Rudolf von Thadden, the conference is being organized by Christoph Koch, a professor of Indo-European studies at Freie Universität Berlin. It is being co-organized by several nonprofit associations: Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP), Berlin-Brandenburgische Auslandsgesellschaft e. V., the German-Polish Academical Society (NGO), the Deutsch-Polnische Gesellschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e. V., and the Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes/Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten e. V.

Time, Location, and Further Information

  • Friday, February 17, and Saturday, February 18, 2012, 9:15 a.m. Due to the great interest and admission controls, we recommend arriving half an hour before starting time.
  • Please register in advance by sending an e-mail to
  • Seminar Center, Freie Universität Berlin, Room L 115, Otto-von-Simson-Str. 26, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem Dorf or Thielplatz (U3), Bus X11, M11
  • The conference schedule is available online at:

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Christoph Koch, Professor of Indo-European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 321 31 97, Email: