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East Germans’ sufferings to be subject of lecture

USF international studies students Marco Mizrahi and Laetitia Foiret said they discovered an issue of history that remains virtually unknown because few writings exist on the subject.

“Ethnic Cleansing of the Germans: From Perpetrators to Victims” will be presented tonight at 6 in Marshall Center Room 106. The lecture includes speakers International Studies professor Earl Conteh-Morgan, Georg Kleine, associate dean of the Honors College, and students Mizrahi and Foiret.

Mizrahi’s research on East German expellees in his Regional Conflicts class inspired his decision to organize a lecture about the truths of violence and awful deaths East Germans suffered both during and after World War II.

“We came up with an assignment in class, and we had so much success that we wanted to do a lecture on it,” Foiret said.

The lecture will focus on the discussion of genocide and the historical and geographical perspectives of Europe in relation to the East German expellees. Kleine, a survivor of the East German expulsion, will give his testimony.

Conteh-Morgan said he encourages students to research topics of violence in his class. In-depth examinations are made in the class about psycho-cultural struggles between the military, political and economic structure. Students are encouraged to use aspects outside their discipline, including anthropology and economics, in order to fully investigate the causes of violence.

Foiret said after World War II, 2.2 million East Germans were killed in Eastern Europe (including former Czechoslvakia). Countless awful and cruel acts brought these people to their deaths as they were killed in both their communities and in concentration camps.

“Most people are not even aware that there were Germans that suffered a lot of violence due to the retaliation (after WWII),” Conteh-Morgan said.

“I think in a time like this, when there seems to be an increase in the level of violence, therefore it is important for students to be made aware of violence that are usually not common knowledge,” Conteh-Morgan said.