Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert E Blobaum

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine B Aaslestad

Committee Member

Joshua Arthurs


The immediate aftermath of the Second World War brought about considerable uncertainty and a great number of displaced persons (DPs) to post-war Germany. During that time around 40 000 Estonians found themselves in occupied Germany. The aim of this thesis is to provide an in-depth understanding of lives of Estonian DPs in post-war Germany by examining the U.S. occupation zone and to determine how people contextualized their experience in the broader post-war environment. For these purposes two research questions were set: (1) How honestly did Estonian DPs look at their own past history? and (2) How did Estonian DPs represent themselves and their status as DPs to the world? This discourse analysis is based on the discussions in Estonian DP press and to a lesser extent the British press. The analysis showed that Estonian DPs press did present Estonian DPs from a perspective that at times was a bit distorted and ignored the true past of Estonia. The British press by contrast held a neutral position regarding the past and present circumstances of Estonian DPs and did not reproduce the narratives presented in the Estonian DP press.