People can also partly agree with Steinbach. I am Polish on my mother's side and expellee German on my father's side. So, obviously I have no beef with either the Poles or the Germans. In fact, I feel happiest when I see the past put where it belongs, and the two countries getting along well.
It makes me feel terrible to see either of the two groups of people picking on each other. My heart bleeds for the suffering that Poles experienced in WWII, and for all the partitions that wiped Poland off the map. Yet, I can also sympathize with people who had to leave their homeland. I do know that it was not the fault of Poland, the big powers made the decision.
Sadly, many of the expellees were not those who were sent into Poland during the occupation of WWII, but simple farmers who had lived in Poland for hundreds of years. They had nothing in common with Germany, other than German ancestry from 250 years earlier. When they got to Germany, it was a foreign land where they were often called Pollacks. Yet because of the war, in Poland they were considered Krauts.
My father's cousin is 90 years old now and lives in Germany. For most of her life, she missed home. Home for her was Poland. It has only been recently that she stopped missing the house she was born in. I did not know her growing up, the family was very split up after the war. Through my interest in genealogy I was able to find living family in both Poland and Germany and have been able to get an update on what happened to my father's family that were expelled.
(My grandmother came to the USA before the first world war, so it did not effect my father, his mother or me.) But my grandmother's siblings went through hell that they did not bring on themselves. They were the victims of the war just as much as Polish victims of war. Nevertheless, I am not excusing Hitler in anyway. The volume of suffering he brought is unmatched. Besides Polish and Jewish suffering, he also brought suffering to 12 million ethnic Germans in Russia, Poland, Czech lands and other places east of Germany. In my mind there is nothing wrong with acknowledging the suffering of all the people during those awful times.
One of my grandmother's sisters refused to flee in 1945 and her family attempted to stay as Polish citizens. Out of a family of seven, only two remained alive. My father's living 90 year old cousin says that the horrors of WWII for both Poles and ethnic Germans were unspeakable. She cannot tell me of it other than that. And when I had a Polish boyfriend, his family had also horrible stories of what happened to their grandparents, uncles and other family. Maybe all of us should feel sympathy for what happened to all of the people back then. BUT.....
as has been said on other threads, most people alive now had little to do with what happened then. Acknowledge that people suffered, but train yourself to avoid bringing the past suffering into present day relations. To do that only encourages problems in the future and the possibility of more suffering.