Establishing the Right to Education for Children of Refugees (1949–1955)
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During the 1940s, millions of individuals were displaced on account of Nazi atrocities and the brutal aftermath of victory. As the dust settled, the new Federal Republic of Germany had to decide how the displaced persons left in the country as well as hundreds of thousands of refugees and exiles (including Aussiedler) from the East fit into West German society. Determined to reshape its international reputation, the West German government turned to the new United Nations and Council of Europe for guidance. Following international recommendations and the requirements of the Allied High Command, the new Länder sought to enable “stateless and homeless” children to attend public schools but also maintain their ethnic heritage, a decision which would establish trends for subsequent waves of migration.