Political Migration (Exile)

von by Delphine Diaz Original aufOriginal in English, angezeigt aufdisplayed in English
PublishedErschienen: 2024-03-12
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    In the wake of the "Atlantic Revolutions" of the years 1770–1800, exile movements grew in importance, and political motives became their prominent causes. In the Europe of the Congress of Vienna, exile became a rite of passage for patriots and liberals fighting for the building of their nation-states. Through the 19th century, new legislations were adopted to rule on the status of "refugees", an administrative category that slowly emerged. Nonetheless, the beginning of the 20th century profoundly transformed political exile, at a time when wars forced millions of Europeans to be displaced, and when several regimes deprived large numbers of their citizens in exile of their nationality.

    InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents


    What was meant by "exile" in late-18th-century ? A dive into the dictionaries of the timeDictionnaire de la Langue Franque IMG allows us to answer – even if only partially – this terminological question that reveals the conceptual borders of the period's contemporaries. In 1798, the fifth edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie françaiseDarbietung des Dictionnaire de l'Académie IMG implicitly defined the word "exil" as a punishment of political nature, in opposition to "bannissement", which was the result of court sentencing.1 On the other side of the Channel, "exile" was a synonym of "banishment,"2 designating both the obligation to leave one's country and the state in which those who have been obliged to seek refuge abroad find themselves.3 We could continue such a survey into other dictionaries and other languages; it would reveal the salience of the Latin word exilium and of the representations that have been associated with it since AntiquityEugène Delacroix, Ovid bei den Skythen, 1859. Exile is a forced removal that originates from a form of contrarian engagement in public life.

    If the phenomenon of exile was not new at the time of the 1770–1780 revolutions, it remains nonetheless that, at the dawn of the contemporary period, the term was acquiring new meanings and, above all, that exiles were then not the only figures of uprooting, far from it. Beside "exiles", we also talk about "emigrants", "outcasts" (or "banished" – "proscrits" in French) and "deported". Can we consider these categories of individuals on a par with each other, all of them having to, in one way or another, leave their country in order to remain faithful to their ideas? How did the figure of the exile gradually become distinct from the other victims and actors of forced migration? This article endeavours to consider the way in which exile has been redefined in the 19th century, no longer as a geographical removal, some distance away from central power, the court and the capital, but as a form of international migration. Exile, by obliging its victims to cross the borders of their states, was thus a forced expatriation, often experienced as a rupture within a political, familial, and personal journey. If it was imposed, exile could also, at the same time, constitute an opportunity for outcasts in several respects. By living abroad, they were likely to pursue and even diversify their modes of engagement, they could also make their causes known to different audiences, by transcending the borders of nation-states, which were becoming more and more impervious. 

    Exile at the time of the "Atlantic Revolutions" and the Napoleonic Wars

    If, undoubtedly, exile was not unheard of at the end of the 18th century, the revolutionary caesura, and later the Napoleonic Wars, deeply transformed it. This type of political punishment became an essential tool in the repertoire of the repressive laws of Europe and the world. With the advent of the "Atlantic Revolutions" of the years 1770–1780, the new political era entrenched within the Western landscape the phenomenon of the forced emigration of free people.4

    The modern period had admittedly witnessed important exile movements: exile could then be solely internal – affecting for instance disgraced individuals brutally removed from royal courts, centres of power – or imply the crossing of borders. Religious motives were then a decisive reason for the international mobility of exiles: take for instance the Huguenots' emigration from Der Große Kurfürst empfängt die Glaubensflüchtlinge IMG before and after the Revocation of the Edict of Edikt von Nantes by Louis XIV (1638–1715) in 1685Die Auswanderung der Hugenotten nach dem Edikt von Fontainebleau, Bildquelle: Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Kartengrundlage: IEG-MAPS Server für digitale historische Karten, Bearbeiter: A. Kunz / R. Moeschl, Kartographie: Joachim Robert Moeschl, Herausgeber Editor: Andreas Kunz, © IEG / A. Kunz 2008, http://www.ieg-maps.uni-mainz.de/mapsp/mappEu699Serie1.htm..5

    Nevertheless, the insurrections and revolutions of the 1770s1780s changed the situation: where, before, religious motives were still the pre-eminent catalyst for the mobility of exiles, political causes started to dominate during this decade. The American Revolution and the War of Independence gave rise to mobilities of volunteers, but also of exiles defeated after 1783 – 60,000, or so, "loyalists" who left the young to take refuge in and other colonies of the British Empire.6 Meanwhile, the European continent was coming to the boil. The canton of thus witnessed the birth of a revolution, repressed by , that led to the departure into exile of the insurgents, before it was the turn of the Republic of to enter a similarly tumultuous phase. The Genevese represented, after American loyalists, the first "exiles produced by the revolutionary upheaval of the end of the 18th century",7 as well as full-fledged revolutionary go-betweens.8

    The French Revolution further amplified this phenomenon of spatial circulation brought about by political repression, whether it was revolutionary or counter-revolutionary in its origin. The most important collective movement of the revolutionary decade (17891799) was no doubt the one formed by "l'Émigration" – emigration with a capital "e" to identify and single out the particular exile of counter-revolutionariesEmigrantenliste des Departements Rhône-et-Loire 1793 and those in their wake.9 In summer 1789, the first departures of French Émigrés were already taking place, continuing up until the beginning of the 19th century and affecting some 150,000 people, scattered around various countries in Europe and even America and the . Emigration constituted one of the most spectacular consequences of the French Revolution.10 To start with, it affected princes and aristocrats, even if they were undeniably not the only actors of this multifarious and gradual movement.

    The entry of the European continent into the war, in spring 1792, modified the equilibrium of the ebb and flow of Émigrés and outcasts who were increasingly restrained by the obligation to present their passports at borders,11 and by the passing of laws that were aimed at controlling the arriving exiles. Such was the case in Great Britain with the Aliens Act adopted in 1793, at a time when the country was estimated to be harbouring some 12,000 French emigrants.12 Thereupon, revolutionary France was not only a land of departure, it was also a land of asylum, where, during the Directory, were circulating: the "patriots" who had arrived since 1787 onwards;13 the of the 17931795 war; and republicans from and .14 Nonetheless, from summer 1793 onwards, foreigners in exile became more and more associated with the hate figures of the traitor or the spy. Like the French, they fell victim to repression, as exemplified by the execution of Anacharsis Cloots (17551794)[Anacharsis Cloots IMG], the self-proclaimed "ambassador of human kind" during the Fête de la Fédération of 14 July 1790, guillotined in public some four years later.

    "Exile" and "emigration" thus constituted two distinct yet indissociable realities, both products of the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary context that had prevailed in Europe since the mid-1770s. At the same time, "exile" was distinct from another form of forced mobility: "deportation", a sentence given to common law convicts and political opponents. In Great Britain, "transportation", employed essentially against common law convicts, was also used as a political weapon.15 And thus, in this way, opponents were deported, following the 1798 United Irish Rebellion that ended in ferocious repression – martial law in Ireland gave officers the right to decide on the life and death of insurgents. Those who were left alive could be subjected to a sentence of "transportation". Hence 3,450 Irish political prisoners were deported to and between 1798 and 1802.

    On the Continent, in France as in its neighbouring countries, the Napoleonic period intensified the forced mobilities of populations, not of outcasts primarily, but rather of Napoleonic armies' draftees, deserters, objectors who had to flee conscription, and prisoners of war.16 In certain cases, the retreat of French troops was marked by mass political exile, as in Spain, where the departure of King Joseph Bonaparte (1768–1844) led to the fleeing of no less than 12,000 Spaniards, compromised by association with the French regime and therefore compelled to seek refuge on the other side of the .

    Banishment in Congress of Vienna Europe: "the century of the exiles"

    In the wake of the Napoleonic WarsAlfred Baldamus (1856–1908), Europa nach dem Wiener Kongress 1815, kolorierte Zeichnung, Digitalisat: Massimo Macconi, in: F. W. Putzgers historischer Schul-Atlas zur alten, mittleren und neuen Geschichte, Bielefeld u.a. 1918, S. 104; Bildquelle: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Europa1814.jpg?uselang=de., following the Congress of Vienna's Final ActLa Sainte Alliance ou la fête de la Paix, in 1815, the number of opponents banished from their country for political reasons grew and became more frequently qualified in French as "exilés" ("exile") or "proscrits" ("outcasts" or "banished"). As Victor Hugo (1802–1885)[Victor Hugo (1802–1885) IMG] later wrote in Toilers of the Sea, the vocabulary itself contributed in distinguishing the displacements of patriots and liberals – "proscriptions" ("banishments") – from those of counter-revolutionaries during the French Revolution – "émigrations" ("emigrations").17 At the beginning of the 1820s, in the Europe of monarchical Restorations, and with Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) reaching the end of his life in exile on the island of Napoléon I in Exile at Saint Helena IMG, the revolutions that had taken place in cast out , and Spanish exiles onto the roads.18 In the following decade, the revolutions suppressed in and central , in 1831, amplified those movements. It was in the context of Polish patriots fleeing repressionLos des Frankfurter Frauen- und Mädchenvereins zur Unterstützung der verbannten Polen, 1832 IMG arriving in France in their thousands – 7,000 of them were to be aided by the government in 1832 – that the July Monarchy passed a first law on "foreign refugees". This text, dated April 1832, still ambiguous in its definition of the term, was supplemented by an extensive set of ministerial regulations that outlined in more detail this particularly controlled group.19 "Refugee" became prominent in as a new administrative category, which did not hinder those who had been forced to leave from claiming other designations: that of "exilé" in French, "exile" in English or "esule" in Italian.20

    Whereas the revolutions of the 1830sRevolutionäre Situationen in Europa 1830/1831 IMG had merely shaken the European political order while provoking substantial population displacements, notably after the Congress Kingdom of ,21 the 18481849 revolutions created a much more profound commotion throughout the continent.  The near simultaneous outbreaks of revolutions between January and March 1848, in Naples, , , , and , using the same repertoires of actions, sparked new exile movements throughout the continent and beyond.

    At the same time as the number of people affected by forced displacement was swelling, the locations of their departure and reception were diversifying. 1849, a year that witnessed the triumph of repression, was crucial from this point of view: some 11,000 republicans sought refuge in , where they received financial aid before being impelled to find asylum across the Atlantic, in the United States. To the , more than 5,000 army soldiers defeated in , to whom could be added numerous Italians and Poles who had fought alongside them, had temporarily settled in the ,22 reinforcing in this way its already strong position as a territory of asylum. In contrast, the asylum function of other countries was withering away. Such was the case of France, a land of asylum that slowly became a land of exile, due to a conservative turn in 1849 and, most of all, to Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's (1808–1873) coup against the Republic in December 1851.23 During all these years, some 10,000 French outcasts were forced into exile, essentially towards , Switzerland, the , and the United Kingdom.

    The 1850s–1860s: mass flows to Eastern Europe

    In the aftermath of the 18481849 revolutions, the insurrectional after-shocks of the 1850s continued to fuel forced displacements, whether they were exiles, expulsions, or deportations. Nevertheless, outcasts who were fighting to build their homeland, while defending liberal or democratic ideas, no longer formed the majority of exiles. New motives of expatriation appeared in the mid-1850s: no longer linked to revolutions, but instead to the conflicts that were splitting powers apart, and to their ethnic and religious background. Thus, the Crimean War (1853–1856), which took place for the most part on the of the same name, annexed by the Russians in 1783, brought about important migratory flows, such as the mass exile of Crimean Tartars, a native Muslim population, considered hostile by the Russians and forced to take refuge in vast numbers, from 1854 onwards, in the zone occupied by the Anglo-French allied troopsTatar aus Kazan IMG. In total, between 20,000 and 25,000 Tatars took part in these movements, lasting until 1857, a year after the end of the Crimean War, enacted by the Treaty of Paris. 

    Russian repression was also the origin of new departures, in the subsequent decade, that can be defined as exile. In Warsaw, an insurrection broke out in January 1863, involving substantially more members of the working classes than during the previous uprising of November 1830, which had left its mark on the city at the time of Congress Poland. The Warsaw insurgents, defeated in 1864, left for the West, like Jaroslaw Dombrowski (1836–1871)[Jaroslaw Dombrowski (1836–1871) IMG], a Polish outcast who, later on, would play a decisive military role in the Paris Commune, in spring 1871. The borders of Western Europe's traditional lands of refuge turned out to be much more closed to Poles than they had been ten years earlier, at the arrival of the "Great Emigration"24 – arguably a consequence of the lower social status of the new Polish exiles, who were met with more suspiciousness.

    From honourable exiles to potential criminals

    The25 last third of the 19th century marked a turning point in the way in which people – constrained to leave their countries because of their ideas – were considered and treated across the European continent. From this point of view, the repression of the Communards in Paris, following the Bloody Week of 2128 May 1871, constituted a pivotal moment. 41,000 people were arrested in Paris,26 including 1,554 who were born abroad.27 Some of these men and women were sentenced, but many were condemned in absentia, as the convicts were in hiding or had fled abroad: such was the case of Jules Vallès (1832–1885), who first hid in , then reached Belgium in August 1871, before settling in to escape a death sentence pronounced in absentia in July 1872. The several thousand men and women who had left the repression of the Paris Commune in the spring of 1871, were particularly badly received in countries of asylum that merely tolerated them – Great Britain and Switzerland most notablyRefugees from the Commune of 1871 at the Café du Levant in Geneva IMG – and were sometimes denounced as potential terrorists. This trend became more entrenched at the end of the century, with the intensification of transnational anarchist circulations: political exiles were less and less welcomed and found themselves more frequently assimilated to the figure of the criminal than to that of the hero.

    In the United Kingdom, the anarchist presence led to heightened questionings regarding the reception of foreign potential "terrorists". The Conservatives considered that the system protecting political exile was too generous but, in fact, police archives show the existence of an "efficient and discreet surveillance system, poles apart from the 'liberal myth' disseminated by the British authorities of the time".28 Between 1880 and 1914, thanks to surveillance reports, we can estimate that around 450 French-speaking anarchists were living in exile in London, where they had settled in and Fitzrovia. It was in this context, marked also by the presence, in much larger number, of Jewish emigrants originating from the tsarist Empire and fleeing the antisemitic persecution of the pogroms, that the British Parliament resorted to put forward, as early as 1894, some legal restrictions that would have limited the influx of foreigners. The project only came to fruition with the 1905 Aliens ActThe Aliens Act at work, 1906 IMG. The text aimed at establishing a clearer differentiation between economic migrants and persecuted refugees: the law laid out that foreigners should be a priori considered undesirable unless they were seeking to "flee criminal proceedings or punishments on the basis of religion or politics".

    At the beginning of the 20th century, the protection of refugees was thus hotly debated in Europe. Not only had Jewish migrations from and Eastern Europe contributed to the blurring of the "refugee" and "emigrant" identity, but the circulation of anarchists also tended to call into question the protection offered to exiles of left and far-left leaning in Europe's traditional lands of asylum (Great Britain, France, Belgium and Switzerland).

    Towards an international treatment of refugees

    With the two Balkan Wars (1912–1913)Die Wölfe (Balkankrieg) IMG, and later the two World Wars, the 20th century thrusted the Continent into an era in which armed conflicts became the main cause of forced departure to a foreign country, to a greater extent than with the suppression of insurrections and revolutions. Exile was no longer the sole lot of political opponents per se, but of entire groups of civilians targeted by the progressing of battles or by mass political deportationDeportation von Juden ins Ghetto von Lodz IMG. The Balkan Wars inaugurated a time when mass forced migration – suffered by civilians compelled to flee under threat from persecution, confiscation or rape – was not per se a form of political exile. Similarly, at the onset of the Great War, the exodus of Belgian civilians, provoked by the German invasion of a yet neutral "Poor Little Belgium", set in motion around 1.5 million people – roughly twenty percent of the country's population – dispersed for the most part between France, the and the United Kingdom.29 But the fact that Belgium symbolically relocated its government in exile to France, in Sainte-Adresse, Belgian Ministry of War 1914 IMG (near the Port of ), was not trivial, politically speaking, and its defence of Belgian refugees in France and in Europe fully participated in the so called "anti-Kraut crusade", "la croisade anti-boche".30

    The Armistice of 11 November 1918 did not entirely put an end to conflicts in Europe and to forced migrations that, in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, affected, for the most, people persecuted for their ideas and, more and more commonly, deprived of their nationality of origin. In Bolshevik Russia, where civil war was raging, hundreds of thousands of exiles were pushed outside of the borders of the former tsarist Empire, well into the early 1920s.31 Often transiting first via and then through the , many of them were to continue their journey towards Germany – notably Berlin where the main part of the intellectual bourgeoisie settled – and towards Paris. While white Russians, stemming from the elites of the former Empire, were warmly welcomed in Western Europe, working class civilians, who were fleeing war and/or the pogroms' antisemitic persecution, were commonly designated as "bad" or "false" refugees.32 

    These distinctions carried out among exiles, directly mirroring their social status, were not entirely new. By contrast, the phenomenon of statelessness, to which many Russian exiles had fallen victim, was more unusual. A first Soviet decree on the forfeiting of citizenship rights for Russians abroad was enacted in December 1921, more than a year after the retreat of the white armies from southern Russia. In fact, it was in response to the growing number of stateless people from the former Russian Empire that the League of Nations (LN), a new international organisation with a global scope, fixed in in 1919, took hold of the issue by creating the High Commission for Refugees. Presided over by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930)[Fridtjof Nansen IMG], this authority, the fruit of a collaboration between the LN, states and private organisations, contributed to the creation of the "Nansen passport"League passport for Russian refugees (left),  Fridtjof Nansen (right), Schwarz-Weiß-Photographie, ca. 1924–1930, unbekannter Photograph; Bildquelle: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-121987, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c21987, gemeinfrei., a certificate of identity and travel, first valid for Russian refugees, but progressively extended to other nationals. This document was of capital importance in the history of international protection: thanks to it, refugees would receive a form of identification allowing them to escape – admittedly partially – the consequences of statelessness.

    Beside the exiles from the former Russian Empire, the of the Ottoman Empire, persecuted and forced to flee abroad, found themselves in the same situation of statelessness and were able to benefit from the Nansen certificate from 1924. Many of them settled in the south-east of France, in particular , where the overcrowding of refugees at Camp OddoCamp Oddo 1925 IMG was not met without hostilities from the Marseilles population; the journalist Albert Londres (1884–1932) describing it, in his startling report, as this "corner of the kingdom of wrecks".33

    If the reception of exiles in Western Europe in the 1920s was not without difficulties or tensions, the ways in which refugees were apprehended in the inter-war period constituted a real "historical hiatus". A legal definition of "refugee", based on the criteria of nationality, was then elaborated with the help of the League of Nations and its High Commission for RefugeesOrganization of the League of Nations, in: The League of Nations (Hg.): The League of Nations: A Pictorial Survey, Genf 1929, S. 4; Bildquelle: United Nations Archives at Geneva, http://libraryresources.unog.ch/content.php?pid=279421&sid=2301704.. It was the status of belonging to a given group that determined whether exiles could or could not be granted the Nansen certificate. The attribution of the certificate was entrusted, in the countries of refuge, to powerful bureaus managed by refugees themselves, like the Zemgor, representing Russians abroad, founded in 1921 and established in 17 countries. However, not all political exiles could benefit from this preliminary form of international protection: Russian and Armenians refugees of the 1920s were treated more advantageously than other national groups in exile – antifascist Italians fleeing Benito Mussolini's (1883–1945) regime and the Spaniards who had escaped Primo de Rivera's (1870–1930) dictatorship, for instance, did not benefit from it.

    Exile, deportation and forced displacement

    The 1930s have been described as new times of crisis during this "century of refugees" that was the 20th century.34 In 1933, Nazism's access to power provoked, until the outbreak of the Second World War, the departure of 500,000 Germans who were forced into exile for political motives and/or to escape the racist laws aimed at eliminating the "non-Aryans" from public and economic life.35 At the inception of Nazi repression, France became the first country for the reception of German fugitives in Europe – already about 25,000 of them arrived in 1933. The choice of France could be explained by its geographic proximity, the openness of the country at the time and the relations formed between friends and parents who had established themselves there, in particular in Paris and in , annexed by Germany in 1871 and 1918.36 Moreover, the reaction of the French government to those refugees was, at first, welcoming. However, French rules regarding refugees hardened considerably in the second half of the 1930s. On 6 February 1935, a law reinforcing the regulations on the residence of foreigners was passed, its restrictive dispositions also affecting refugees. If their situation in France improved, later on, under the Front Populaire government, it became much more precarious with the passing of the 1938 Daladier decree-law (2 May and 12 November). These texts considered foreign refugees as "undesirables" who, by nature, were likely to cause a breach of the peace and of national security, thus destined them to suffer administrative internment in "concentration camps".

    From then on, such tightening of the conditions under which asylum was granted to refugees could be observed throughout a Western Europe stricken by economic crisis. For instance, as early as 1933, Switzerland had, via a 31 March circular, required German refugees to declare their arrival at the border and request residence permits of extremely short length. Similarly, though slightly out-of-phase chronologically with Switzerland, it was the year 1936 that marked a significant hardening in the treatment of Jewish refugees of German origin in Great Britain, as the country was putting an end to their resettlement in , a territory under British mandate since 1920.

    During that same year, as the policies in place in European states were becoming increasingly frosty in terms of their reception of German refugees, the League of Nations decided to tackle this question once again and in July 1936 signed an international arrangement allowing them to receive the Nansen certificate.37 But the attribution of this asylum status came with a restrictive definition of "refugees" that excluded all Germans who had fled for personal convenience. Yet, the line between personal reasons and political motives per se was very difficult to trace in the context of Nazi Germany.

    The so-called "Kristallnacht" (9–10 November 1938) intensified even more the process of departure and pushed into exile numerous German and Jews, but the difficulties they encountered on their way to a place of haven in Europe was not easing. At the beginning of 1939, the Reich's refugee crisis was showing no signs of abating.38 Quite on the contrary, in March, the Nazis invaded what was left of , sparking the departure of new exiles towards the west: "in , after 15 March 1939, many anti-Nazis and Jews who had not been able to leave until then, found themselves in a fish-trap and, from then on, had to live in hiding, while still attempting to leave the country".39

    While in 1939, the situation of Jewish and anti-Nazis was far from settled, the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) opened, in Europe, "an entirely new front in the refugee crisis"40 that was once again fuelled by the departures of hundreds of thousands of individuals – men, women and children – who had to seek refuge to save their lives. The conflict that had begun in July 1936 was won by Spanish nationalists, with the decisive help of Nazi and fascist regimesAsturian miners' strike of 1934  IMG who supplied men – around 50,000 Italians and 15,500 Germans – and military equipment. The defeat of Spanish republicans against the troops of Francisco Franco (1892–1975) contributed, in turn, in the "making" of refugees, started since after the First World War. This new mass exile, which culminated with the Retirada (retreat) in January–February 1939, involved no less than 500,000 Spanish republicans forced to leave their country, now in the hands of insurgent military officers.41 The crossing of the border took place in dramatic circumstances: the populations were weakened by three years of fighting and privations, the Pyrenees passes were covered in snow and Francoist aviation was bombarding refugees on the roads of . Civilians and soldiers had often left in a hurry, with few possessions, and were reaching France in utter destitution, often with only a blanket thrown over their shoulders against the cold of winter. The type of asylum reserved for Spanish republicans in the French Republic has been described as "recalcitrant",42 so harsh were the conditions of internment – in "concentration camps" for men old enough to fight, in "hosting centres" for the elderly, women and children. From a symbolic point of view, Spanish refugees embodied the figure of the refugee par excellence, as can be seen in the numerous photographs taken as they crossed the border; the iconic images of Robert Capa (1913–1954) and David Seymour (1911–1956), for instance, come to mind.


    The Second World War set in motion millions of people: displaced or deported civilians, forced labourers, expellees and refugees probably constituted a total of around ten per cent of the European population.43 In 1945, the migratory crisis provoked by World War II was not brought to an end by the Armistice; far from it. In Western Europe, forced migration then represented a mass experience, to which millions of "displaced persons" (DPs) were subjected. This category, forged by the Allies, allowed them to designate individuals finding themselves in situations of uprooting after the war: concentration camp survivors in transit, former forced labourers, freed prisoners of war, but also expellees from eastern territories. Among those so-called "displaced" people, were also entire groups who, for political reasons, were refusing to go back to their home countries, as was the case of countless Russians who objected to returning to the USSR. More and more, they began to argue that they had to live in exile in Western Europe, because returning home would mean arrest or deportation to the Gulag.

    While immediately after the war, the category of "displaced persons" (DPs)Registration card for 'displaced persons' IMG became prevalent, it was in the context of the Cold War that new international laws on refugees were elaborated. The creation by the League of Nations of the "High Commission for Refugees" in 1950, and the signing of the Geneva Convention the following year, once again contributed to placing in the centre stage the refugee in a situation of exile. The 1951 Convention was the first to put forward a legal and internationally recognised definition of the status, based on the central criterion of persecution. Contrary to the attribution system of the Nansen certificate, progressively elaborated in the 1920s and for which the criterion of belonging to a national community in a situation of statelessness was decisive in the granting of the asylum status, the touchstone of the new international status became individual persecution. In practice, the granting of the status of refugee was generous in Western Europe during the Cold War,44 and did not always follow the Geneva Convention to the letter.

    Delphine Diaz



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    1. ^ See "Exil" in Dictionnaire de l’Académie française 1798: "Exile […]. Banishment. Long, unfortunate exile. Send into exile. Go into exile. Exiled. [..] It must be noted that Banishment is only used regarding legal court sentencing, and that Exile is a punishment imposed by sovereign authority. Banishment is defamatory, exile is not." ("Exil […]. Bannissement. Long, fâcheux exil. Envoyer en exil. Aller en exil. Être en exil. [..] Il faut remarquer que Bannissement ne se dit que des condamnations faites en Justice, et qu’Exil est une peine imposée par l'autorité souveraine. Le bannissement est infamant, et l’exil ne l’est pas.").
    2. ^ Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language 1792: "Exile": "Banishment; state of being banished".
    3. ^ Johnson and Walker, A Dictionary of the English Language 1828: "To exile": "to banish, to drive from a country", p. 263.
    4. ^ In contrast with enslaved people victims of transatlantic slave trade, who constituted the main forced mobility of the modern era, in terms of the number of people it affected.
    5. ^ See Lachenicht, Hugenotten in Europa und Nordamerika 2010.
    6. ^ Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles 2011.
    7. ^ Markovits, "Transplanter" la République 2013, p. 95.
    8. ^ Bénétruy, L’Atelier de Mirabeau 1962.
    9. ^ See Pestel, French Revolution and Migration 2017.
    10. ^ Dupuy, Dictionnaire historique de la Révolution française 1989, p. 413.
    11. ^ Torpey, The Invention of the Passport 2000.
    12. ^ This Aliens Act became obsolete in 1826, so much so that between that date and 1905 there was no British legislation restricting the entry of foreigners on UK soil. See Porter, The Refugee Question in mid-Victorian Politics 1979.
    13. ^ Schama, Patriots and Liberators 1977.
    14. ^ Rao, L’emigrazione politica italiana in Francia 1992.
    15. ^ Enacted in 1790 in Great Britain, the Transportation Act made into law previous orders in council (orders made by the Monarch on the advice of the Privy Council) outlining for sentenced subjects to be convoyed and transported toward the eastern coast of New South Wales.
    16. ^ Aaslestad, "Napoleonic Empire and Migration" 2013, p. 2266–2270.
    17. ^ Hugo, Travailleurs de la mer 1876, p. 114.
    18. ^ Regarding exile in 19th-century Europe, see Diaz, Les Réprouvés 2021.
    19. ^ See the ministerial circulars gathered on the website of the scientific programme AsileuropeXIX, Circulaires sur les réfugiés.
    20. ^ See a first draft of a European lexicon on exile and asylum for the 19th century put forward by the website of the scientific programme AsileuropeXIX, Le vocabulaire de l'exil.
    21. ^ The Final Act of the Congress of Vienna had confirmed a new sharing of Poland between Russia, Austria and Prussia. Russia gained the Congress Poland, a Polish entity placed under its trusteeship and successor to Napoleon’s Duchy of Warsaw.
    22. ^ See Tóth, An Exiled Generation 2014.
    23. ^ See Aprile, Le Siècle des exilés 2010.
    24. ^ On the "Great Emigration" in Poland, see Kalembka, Wielka emigracja 2003.
    25. ^ The title "From honorable exiles to potential criminals" is inspired by Jeanne Moisand, De l’exilé honorable au criminel potentiel 2018, p. 101–104.
    26. ^ An inventory of the 41,375 people sentenced by military courts and the Seine magistrates’ court (Tribunal correctionnel de la Seine) for their participation in the Paris Commune, with the exception of provincial communalist movements, can be found on the database established by Farcy, La répression judiciaire de la Commune de Paris.
    27. ^ According to the statistics established by Farcy (those of General Appert giving an estimation of 1,725 foreigners, out of 36,309 people arrested).
    28. ^ Bantman, "Anarchistes de la bombe, anarchistes de l'idée" 2014, p. 49.
    29. ^ See Amara, Des Belges à l’épreuve de l’exil 2008.
    30. ^ Amara, Des Belges à l’épreuve de l’exil 2008, p. 62.
    31. ^ Gousseff, L’Exil russe 2008.
    32. ^ Chopard, Rapatriés et expulsés 2015, p. 175–198.
    33. ^ Londres, Marseille 1927. Original quote in French: "Ce coin du royaume des épaves."
    34. ^ Nevertheless, one can moderate the slightly schematic opposition between a 19th-century "century of exile" (Aprile, Le Siècle des exiles 2010) and a 20th-century "century of refugees", as the first status protecting and assisting refugees was elaborated, in Europe, in the 19th century. See Diaz, From Exile to Refugee 2021.
    35. ^ Krohn, Emigration 2015.
    36. ^ Caron, L’Asile incertain 2008, p. 35.
    37. ^ Société des Nations, Recueil des Traités, vol. 171, no. 3952.
    38. ^ Caron, L’Asile incertain 2008, p. 283. Original: "Aucun signe d’accalmie".
    39. ^ Original quotation: "A Prague, après le 15 mars 1939, nombre d’antinazis et de Juifs qui n’avaient pas encore pu partir se trouvèrent pris dans la nasse et durent dès lors vivre cachés tout en essayant de quitter le pays". See Lowy, La destruction des communautés juives des Sudètes 2013, p. 426.
    40. ^ Caron, L’Asile incertain 2008, p. 283.
    41. ^ Dreyfus-Armand, L’Exil des républicains espagnols en France 1999.
    42. ^ I am quoting here French historian Maëlle Maugendre, Femmes en exil 2019.
    43. ^ Bade, L’Europe en mouvement 2002, p. 357.
    44. ^ See, for France, the book by Karen Akoka on the establishment of the OFPRA (French office for the protection of refugees and stateless people) and the attribution of the refugee status: Akoka, L’Asile et l’Exil 2020.

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