A certain aspect needs to be pointed out from the beginning. There is a great difference between, on the one hand, the historical information within the telegrams which were sent by the German Embassy to Bucharest and to Germany’s Consulate in Cernăuți and, on the other hand, the subsequent accounts of the Germans which left Romania for the Reich. One may consider that the official institutions and appointed persons from Germany to Romania present an official point of view, not devoid of subjectivity, however. The displaced Germans, on the other side, show a personal point of view, as subjective or even more so. It is sure that both perspectives are formed in a space placed in the immediate vicinity of the development of the Second World War (Poland, state which has a common border with Romania, is occupied by the Germans and the Soviets, whilst a number of Romanian citizens of German origin, on visit to Poland, are registered as missing ), a space of violence defined by the exercise of brutal force of the states against their own populations and/or against populations of other states. According to Jӧrg Baberowski, these spaces of violence change mentalities, attitudes, societies, because people find themselves, all of a sudden, in totally different situations, in which they need to act differently as before.
People who wrote their memoirs or articles provide the historian with an additional source of information. Naturally, this sourse should be analized with a critical eye, due to the fact that it is essentially subjective. It is impossible for an eyewitness of the historical process of the population transfer to record in writing what he or she experienced and saw in an objective, scientific manner. It stands to doubt whether the author of the memoirs is sincere, if he desires to justify his actions with thought to other persons or only wishes to remake his own biography. Similarly, debate ranged over the issue whether these texts have a certain public, whether they have been written for a wide-ranging public, out of interest for history and the preservation of the collective identity of the community out of which the author descended. The emmigration of the German ethnics of Eastern Europeto Germany during the Second World War has to be researched in the context of the expulsion and extermination of milions of Jews, Poles and other Slavic populations. These transfers of population and, afterwards, their colonization into new territories cannot be properly described without at least mentioning the crimes and genocide of the Jewish and Polish people in order to evacuate houses, villages and cities where ethnic Germans would be accomodated. This way, a policy of Germanization of the occupied territories was under way.
A fragment of the memoirs written by Didymus Hasenkopf as an autobiography is revealing in this sense. Born near Cernăuți, in Augustendorf, Diymus Hasenkopf remembers how, after Heim ins Reich, he did not really arrive in the Motherland, but in one of the provinces occupied by the German Army, endlessly disputed by the Germans and Poles: Oberschlesien. He was literally colonized in Oberschlesien , in the village of Wadowice , close to Auschwitz. In 1943, at the age of ten, nearing winter, Didymus Hasenkopf subsequently acknowledged that he did not posess an overcoat. Through Winterhilfswerk (Winter Aid), his parents bought him the much-needed coat. On closer inspection, the child Hasenkopf discovers the impression of the seam of the star of David on its left shoulder. At the time he wrote his memoirs, tens of years later, Hasenkopf speaks about this short episode of the history of a family which, in fact, renders the history of a continent. These clothes came from Auschwitz, from children exterminated there. Soviet historians have written for the first time about the crimes against the Jews of Bucovina and, implicitly, about the Holocaust in the territories which belonged to the Soviet Union between 1945-1989. The Russian historian Ilya Al`tman has written about Bucovina and this insufficiently recearched subject.
The German space is pervaded by a strong culture of the collective memory, it being more powerful when it bears the reminiscence of a lost object. Henceforth, we encounter a whole mithology enveloping people, places, moments. This sort of process is present also in the culture of the Romanian people, not just that of the Germans. In the case under observation (about the migration of Germans from Northern Bucovina), one may find several memoirs published in collective or individual volumes, articles or essays: a wealth and diversity of documents. Memoirs offer us a short, but useful introduction in the historical context. Written by German refugees in the West, newspapers do the same. But archives and works of scientific research remain the essential materials for the historian.
In 1930, out of a total population of 112.427, only 16.359 inhabitants of Cernăuți are ethnic Germans. A part of these are of Jewish religion. The extent to which Jews of Cernăuți considered themselves to be Germans is debated. Gregor von Rezzori and Rose Auslӓnder probably did not considered themselves quite Germans , and a similar situation would caracterize other writers of German language, but of Jewish ethnicity. The most renowned case is that of the poet Paul Celan, who survived the Holocaust and the Second World War. From these reasons, the dislocation of the group of ethnic Germans of Bucovina and their subsequent colonization in another territory of Europe cannot be presented as independend of the destruction of the Jewish community and, implicitly, the Holocaust. Germans were transported towards a new address, albeit temporal or, at times, represented by an admission camp, whilst Jews of Europe were being transported to extermination camps and forced labor camps. In this way, the German domination of Europe based itself on the desintegration of society, on destruction, chaos and disorder. In the case of Bucovina, things could not have gone differently because of the essential contribution of the Jewish community to the cultural, economic and social development of the province. The difference between the ethnic Germans and the members of the Jewish community who, although, spoke German, or the members of mixt families was more marked due to the fact that the Heim ins Reich plan was not accepted by persons of Jewish descent.