Eugene M. Kulischer

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Eugene M. Kulischer (born September 4, 1881 in Kyiv – April 2, 1956) was a Russian American sociologist, an authority on demography, migration, and manpower, and an expert on Russia. Kulischer was among the first to seek to document the number of persons lost in the Holocaust as well as the subsequent relocation of millions of Europeans after World War II.


  • In the course of history the refugee was the first peaceful immigrant. In a social structure offering no place for a stranger, the unfortunate who had" taken the flight and so evaded death and black fate" at the hands of his enemies was sheltered under the sacred law of hospitality, since he came "as a fugative and a suppliant".
    • Kulischer (1949) "Displaced Persons in the Modern World" in: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 262, Reappraising Our Immigration Policy (Mar., 1949), p. 166
  • The question of the size of the postwar population of the Soviet Union is not the least of the enigmas which have been baffling students of Russian affairs. Hardly any estimate or evaluation of an economic, sociological or military character for the U.S.S.R. can be made meaningful without an accurate knowledge of the demographic base.
    • Kulischer (1949) "The Russian Population Enigma". in: Foreign affairs. Vol 27. April 1949. p. 497

The Displacement Of Population In Europe, 1943


Eugene M. Kulischer (1943) The Displacement Of Population In Europe. The International labour Office.

  • The resettlement of populations scattered by war and by enemy occupation is one of the problems with which Europe will be most urgently faced when the occupied countries are set free. Since hostilities began, millions of people have left homes destroyed or threatened with destruction; millions more have been transplanted, deported, or expelled to make room for foreign newcomers who have taken over their property; millions of others again have been taken prisoner or individually recruited as workers and sent away from their countries to serve the occupying power.
    • Prefatory note
  • From time immemorial war has always caused widespread displacements of population. Driven abroad by the destruction of their homes, fleeing from the neighbourhood of the battlefields or from the threat of enemy occupation, floods of refugees have always taken to the roads in search of a haven which is never easy to find.
    • p. i
  • "Ethnic Germans were transferred into Germany, mainly from eastern Europe; it has been estimated that approximately 600,000 persons had been transferred into the German Reich by the spring of 1942."
    • p. 25 as cited in: David L. Sills (1968) International encyclopedia of the social sciences - Volumes 13-14. p. 363
  • The modern age did not so much invent new forms of migration as alter drastically the means and conditions of the old forms.
    • p. 96 cited in: S. Collinson (1999) New Issues in Refugee Research, at
  • Today a host of foreigners unprecedented in number and unparalleled in character is living and working in Germary like a gigantic pump, the new German Reich is sucking in all it resources of Europe and masses of Europe's working population.
    • p. 164

Europe on the Move: War and Population Changes, 1917-1947, 1948


Eugene Kulischer (1948). Europe on the Move: War and Population Changes 1917- 1947. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • War is a mass phenomenon. To penetrate the basic causes of war, we must discern the factors which have made millions of people abandon their habitual modes of life, their occupations, and their moral concepts to participate in murder and destruction. We should therefore put greater stress upon the simple conscious and .subconscious impulses which rule the behavior of the masses.
    • p. 3
  • Man's history is the story of his wanderings. Some epochs of the remote past have frequently been called 'periods of great migrations.' This terminology presumes that at other times migratory movements were at a standstill, especially in the case of a so-called 'sedentary' people. Every epoch is a period of "great migrations".
    • p. 8 as cited in: Susanne Schätzle (2004) Migration und Integration in Deutschland. p. 10
  • Like a gigantic pump, the German Reich sucked in Europe's resources and working population.
    • p. 264

Quotes about Eugene M. Kulischer

  • Eugene M. Kulischer, who introduced the phrase "displaced persons", is best known as an authority on human migration, and secondarily as an expert on Russia... He titled almost everything he published... as "migration", "displaced persons", or some other term designating migration.
    • Eugene M. Kulischer and A. J. Jaffe (1962) "Notes on the Population Theory of Eugene M. Kulischer". in: The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly. Vol. 40, No. 2 (Apr., 1962), pp. 187
  • "According to Eugene Kulischer's compilation... the largest flows within Europe and the adjacent sections of Asia from 1918 to 1939 were:
    1.2 million Greeks to Greece from Turkey (1922-1923)
    1.15 million Russians to Europe outside the Soviet Union (1918-1922) 1.1 million repatriated from Russia to Poland (1918-1925)
    900 thousand Poles from former Russian and Austrian Poland to former German Poland (1918-1921)
    700 thousand Germans from Western Poland, Danzig and Memel to Germany (1918-1925)
... These numbers are large. They are, however, modest compared to the figures for World War II and its aftermath. To again take the leaders in Kulischer's compilation...:
6 million Reich Germans from New Poland to Germany (1944-1947)
5 million Jews from Germany to extermination camps in Poland and elsewhere (1940-1944)
4 million Reich Germans from the Soviet Zone to the U.S. and British Zones (1945-1946)
3 million Poles from Old Poland to New Poland (1945-1947)
2.7 million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia to Germany and Austria (1945-1946)
1.8 million Czechs and Slovaks from Inner Czechoslovakia to the former Sudetenland (1946-1947)
1 million ethnic Germans from Old Poland to Germany (1944-1945)
The list goes on..."
  • To illustrate how dramatically populations can displace each other over time, the historian E.M. Kulischer once reminded his readers that in A.D. 900 Berlin had no Germans, Moscow had no Russians, Budapest had no Hungarians, Madrid was a Moorish settlement, and Constantinople had hardly any Turks. He added that the Normans had not yet settled in Great Britain and before the sixteenth century there were no Europeans living in North or South America, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.
    • Neil Howe, Richard Jackson (2008) The Graying of the Great Powers: Demography and Geopolitics in the 21st Century. p. 15
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