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the crisis in Poland became obvious. Many preferred to remain in the West and, one year later, 200 thousand were still in Western Europe. Austria, followed by West Germany saw the greatest numbers of Polish refugees. In their majority, however, they were considfed to be economic migrants and were encouraged to return home when the situation there seemed to be less tense. Yet it is difficult to say how many of these 200 thousand remained in spite of this. On the contrary, the post-"Solidarity" era led to an increased number of defections and people seeking refuge abroad. And, once again, we do not know what the exact figures are.
In general, it would seem that Poland will continue to see big numbers of people trying to flee its borders. The economic situation is most certainly a major factor; but we should not forget that economy is only one of the multiple facets of a given political system.
In this total amount of defections there were 522 tourists. Articles carrying this information usually give the number of those defecting without breaking them up by categories of sex and age. We must therefore assume that there are many more women and families (thus children) than we can account for.
Education | Profession
In 810 cases (minus the children) no data is available. It is therefore difficult to accept the above as a representative sample. We have however been able to obtain some data from other sources. In 1968, IRC's German agency studied the professional profiles of East European refugees. It turned out that 23% of the Poles were white collar workers and 63% were manual workers. We do not know whether these proportions have shifted in later years. This would be an interesting subject of study.
Place of defection
In the 1960s, Sweden was the most defected-to place for those Poles who chose the Baltic as their escape route. At present, Austria followed by West Germany have taken over as first choices for asylum. In view of this, the data we have obtained does not reflect the true situation. It must however be mentioned that the first country of asylum is not necessarily the final destination and this may be one of the reasons for the difference in our data. In fact, under "place of defection", we shall see that the greatest numbers defect in West fermany and Austria. But under "final destination", it turns out that they
do not always remain there. Needles to say, this type of information 18 not available for all defectors.
In addition, there were 228 defectors in Amsterdam and Travemunde in the month of December 1984.
Fate of defectors
In four cases, death in absentia sentences have been pronounced by Polish authorities. In all the cases documented by us, there have been no suicides and no executions of the said death sentences.
Where hijacking was involved (7 cases), there was only one instance when the defector stood trial (in the FRG).
As far as personal and professional lives in the countries of adoption are concerned, the fate of defectors, as usual, is unknown unless prominent figures or high-ranking defectors are concerned (unless the latter prefer to retain anonimity). 7 out of the over 902 defectors have follow-ups in our files.
In all the remaining cases (885+) the motivations are not cited.