Approximately eight million foreign displaced persons lived in Germany at the end of the war; the majority of whom were forced laborers and prisoners, including about 400,000 from the concentration camp system, survivors from a much greater number of people who had died of starvation, harsh conditions, murder, or from being worked to death.
From 1944 to 1950, some 12-14 million German-speaking refugees and exiles arrived in western and central Germany from eastern provinces and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It is estimated that 2 million of them died on the route.
The Allies divided Berlin and Germany’s remaining territory into four occupation zones following the surrender of Nazi Germany. The western sectors, controlled by France, Britain, and the United States, merged on 23 May 1949 to form the Federal Republic of Germany; on 7 October 1949, the Soviet Zone became the German Democratic Republic.
Below are some stunning photos from Ann Longmore-Etheridge were taken by her father, James Arthur Longmore, that show Germany in 1946 and 1947.