Part 1 | Escape and Expulsion

Part 2 | Arrival and a New Beginning

Part 3 | Memories and New Times

Author & Director:
Juergen Ast | Kerstin Mauersberger

Commissioning Editor:
Johannes Unger

3 x 45'

astfilm productions | for ORB

Fifty years ago, hundreds of thousands fled from the blaze of battles of the 2nd World War, or they had to leave their homes by orders of the vanquishers. Refugees in never ending tracks headed for west, for a safer place - having just only the bare essentials with them. They came from East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, the so called "Neumark" and the "Sudentenland". They all had to turn over a new leaf and finally about 750.000 people found a new, a second homeland in Brandenburg.

Part 1: Probably no other region in Germany was so much influenced and marked by the dramatic events of the 2nd World War as the land of Brandenburg. The last and decisive battles raged in the sand of the Mark Brandenburg and with the end of the war, the "Neumark", the region east of the Oder River, became lost. Between 1944 and 1950, about three quarter of a million people reached Brandenburg. Most of them without any goods and chattels.

Part 2: The displaced persons amounted to a quarter of the post war population of Brandenburg. On their way off the old homeland, the "newcomers" stayed at the villages and towns between the Havel and the Spree, the Oder and the Elbe River. The local people, the "old" Brandenburgers, they themselves had to endure a hard life in the "no men's land" of Brandenburg. Now they also had to share the already narrow living space and the few food with the strangers. After the land reform and the emerging job market, things slowly improved for many of the "resettlers", as they were bashful called in the GDR.

Part 3: The integration of the new citizens was very difficult and performed inconspicuously. For decades the "resettlers" were not permitted to talk about their experiences and feelings. The "newcomers" of Brandenburg, they remained Brandenburger without a past, without a history. Not until today the reservations slowly break up, and history is becoming present.