Volksdeutsche. In Nazi terminology Germans who resided outside German territory. Under the provisions of the Nazi-Soviet pacts of 18 September 1939 (see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) and 5 September 1940 Germany was granted the right of repatriation of Germans who lived in the Western Ukrainian territories that had been incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Over 250,000 of them moved. A number of Ukrainians (about 10,000) who were able to convince the resettling committees of their mixed parentage, or who presented some other claim, left with the Volksdeutsche. Once in Germany the Ukrainians were housed in temporary camps. Some of them took German citizenship, but most remained active in Ukrainian circles in the Generalgouvernement. Some Poles who resettled as Volksdeutsche worked in the German administration in Ukrainian territory, where they displayed anti-Ukrainian attitudes. In time the administrative positions of the German occupation were handed over to actual Volksdeutsche.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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