The relationship of those who stayed home to the emigrants was ambivalent. Behind the numerous requests for their speedy return was hidden the accusation, in some cases, that the emigrants had withdrawn from the problems and dangers in Germany and led comfortable lives abroad; that they should now participate in the reconstruction of the destroyed country was, accordingly, only right and proper.
Thomas Mann defended himself against such accusations in a open letter of October 1945 as follows: «Hard enough, suffocating enough was [...] the shock of the loss of the accustomed basis of living, of house and country, books, memories and property, accompanied by deplorable acts at home, being booted out, refusals [...] What then followed was hard enough, the life of a wanderer from country to country; the passport worries, the hotel existence, whilst one's ears resounded with the shameful stories that arrived daily from the lost country, running wild, completely strange. All those who swore allegiance to the ‹charismatic leader› [...] and carried on culture under Goebbels didn't experience that. I don't forget that you went through far worse later, things that I escaped; but you haven't known these: the cardiac asthma of exile, the uprooted existence, the nervous horrors of homelessness.»