From bestselling author David Nasaw, a sweeping new history of the one million refugees left behind in Germany after WWII
In May 1945, after German forces surrendered to the Allied powers, millions of concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators were left behind in Germany, a nation in ruins. British and American soldiers attempted to repatriate the refugees, but more than a million displaced persons remained in Germany: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. Most would eventually be resettled in lands suffering from postwar labor shortages, but no nation, including the United States, was willing to accept more than a handful of the 200,000 to 250,000 Jewish men, women, and children who remained trapped in Germany. When in June, 1948, the United States Congress passed legislation permitting the immigration of displaced persons, visas were granted to sizable numbers of war criminals and Nazi collaborators, but denied to 90% of the Jewish displaced persons.
A masterwork from acclaimed historian David Nasaw, The Last Million tells the gripping but until now hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness and of the Last Million, as they crossed from a broken past into an unknowable future, carrying with them their wounds, their fears, their hope, and their secrets. Here for the first time, Nasaw illuminates their incredible history and shows us how it is our history as well.