Why won’t the minority issue in East Central Europe go away? By 1914 more than half the people in the area belonged to minorities. By the interwar period the proportion had gone down to one-quarter. Since 1945 minorities have never accounted for more than 10 percent of the population, even according to the most extravagant figures. Two of the most prominent minorities, the Jews and the Germans, have virtually disappeared. And the homogenizing effects of modern communications and technology would suggest that the future belongs to the forces of assimilation.
Such considerations, reinforced by communists’ assurances that their regimes had “solved the national question,” lulled Western policy makers into belie...
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