In the aftermath of World War II, Austria once again achieved notoriety as a “prison of peoples.” In 1951, the Ost-West Kurier, a newspaper in Essen, decried the degrading mistreatment of Austria's so-called “prisoners of the postwar.” Men, women, and children were wasting away in former concentration camps and were denied citizenship rights, the right to work or to travel freely, and basic social protections, the newspaper reported. These “prisoners” were not, however, former Jewish concentration camp inmates, prisoners of war (POWs), or displaced persons (DPs). They were German expellees from Eastern Europe—the very Germans on whose behalf the Nazi war for Lebensraum had allegedly been fought. “In the entire Western world, there is today no group of human beings who has been sentenced to live with so few rights as the so-called Volksdeutsche in Austria,” the newspaper's editors proclaimed:
300,000 people, whose homes and property have been torn from them through the expulsions, all too often by their closest neighbors, endured a hard journey to Austria, where they believed upon arrival that it could be something like a greater Heimat for them. Because only three decades ago, they too were Austrians.