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Living in different regions, including several countries within Europe, and in parts of Russia, there was a common thread, which held a group of diverse people together. Often these people had different traditions and backgrounds as well as different dialects of one language. These people had different feelings towards their ancestral homeland, and they would relate to it in different ways, because of these feelings. Yet, it was their ancestral homeland, which would, in the twentieth century, both unite and affect them in unimaginable ways. They were all of Germanic background and migrated to their new homelands, in many instances, centuries prior to the formation of the German Empire in 1871. At the conclusion First World War, these diverse people received a new name, the Volksdeutsche from the German government. This name would affect their standing within their own countries, and would require them to look at their history and that of Germany in a different light.