Minorities Under Occupation

Over a century ago in 1914, all of Europe was in an upheaval. Belligerent nations were at war with one another and different nations occupied other lands in an attempt to reign supreme in the First World War. Militia men were obviously affected by the plunder of World War and civilians who were part of the majority, but one, overlooked, subset of  people who were also directly affected by the fighting were ethnic minorities. This page specifically explores this often undiscussed aspect of the First World War by looking at how different ethnic minorities (whether Russian-German, Jewish, Romanian, or Lithuanians) were treated under occupation during World War I. The four topics explored are:

“The Civilian Experience in Vilnius During the German Occupation, 1914-1919” – This entry by Conor Somervell discusses the Lithuanian experience under German occupation in Vilnius during the First World War. Precisely, he looks at to what extent did Lithuanian minorities actually experience German brutality.

“‘I Think Ur A Contra’: Forced Migration of Ethnic Minorities During The First World War” – This narrative by Sam Yu looks at forced migration as an experience that ethnic minorities faced in World War I. He specifically hones in on forced migration as experienced by Germans and Jews at the hands of Russian militia both within the Russian Empire and the subsequent lands Russia occupied

“Systematic Extraction: Exploitation of Romanians During The First World War” – This piece by Brian Jenkins explores the level of economic exploitation that Romanians faced by the Germans.

“The Melting Pot: How Ethnic Minorities in Austria-Hungary identified themselves during WWI”- This report by Daniel Jarosak will focus on the various ethnic minorities that resided in Austria-Hungary and how they experienced the war. More specifically, it will focus on the numerous ethnicities and their differing relations with the government in Vienna.