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WORLD HISTORY

After World War II, the Soviet Union bit off a large chunk of Eastern Poland and compensated for it by moving Poland’s border with Germany westward. When the German territories of Silesia and Pomerania thus became Polish, more than 3 million Germans fled or were expelled, but hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans remain. In a series of post-war treaties, including the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, signed by 35 states, West Germany has promised not to challenge the new frontiers of Europe. But Bonn insists that the final agreement must await a peace treaty formally ending the war, a step that the Cold War prevented.