Europe's New Racism: Causes, Manifestations, and Solutions

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REFUGEE AND ASYLUM POLICY
INFLUENCED BY EUROPEANISATION

Gudrun Hentges

Immediately after the end of World War II, the Allies assumed that the fate of the future Europe primarily depended upon the solution of the refugee problem. In 1946, on the initiative of the United Nations, an international refugee organisation was founded that was meant to take on the fate of the refugees – the millions of ‘displaced persons’ (DPs) – furthermore, a commission was entrusted with the task of drawing up an agreement on the status of refugees – a treaty text that was to be signed in 1951 as the Geneva Convention on Refugees (GCR).1

The central controversy that crystallised, between the British and US American Allies on the one hand, and the Soviets on the other hand, turned on the question of which groups of people were to be considered refugees and so handled correspondingly: the victims of National Socialist rule alone, or also – according to the plea of the Anglo-Saxons – people from the socialist state system as well – ‘political dissidents’ in the eyes of the British and Americans, ‘traitors’ and ‘collaborators’ according to the USSR.

The result of these debates was finally a differentiated listing of the legitimate groups of people: ‘Victims of National Socialism, political dissidents, German and Austrian Jews, orphans and finally all who must fear persecution’.2 Excluded from the definition of refugees were North African Jews, Turks expelled from Bulgaria in 1950, two million Asian refugees and those DPs who could be repatriated within Europe. With the introduction of the concept of collaboration in 1946, the

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