After 1945: Forced Laborers as "Forgotten Victims"

Repatriation Pass for Guy S. who returned to France after liberation, France, 1945

Repatriation Pass for Guy S. who returned to France after liberation, France, 1945

After the war the forced laborers became the "forgotten victims" of National Socialism. Foreign victims had no voice in Germany; forced labor was not recognized as a specific Nazi crime.

After 1945, many of those who were abducted stayed in camps on German soil as displaced persons. At home, especially in the Soviet Union, those who returned were often suspected of collaboration with the Germans. Some were taken to Stalinist camps; others were discriminated against in choosing a career.

Some people did not even tell their family about their experiences of forced labor. Most of the survivors suffered from the psychological and physical consequences of forced labor; particularly in Eastern Europe, they often live on the verge of the existence minimum.