historical note (possible spoiler)
Discussion of this fine film on IMDb seems to have died out - the last previous post was six months ago (so not sure if anyone will read this). Given that it received a best-foreign-film Oscar not that long ago, I wonder why - maybe because it's not available from Netflix (although it is available from Facets).
In any case, while the Redlichs were debating their return to Germany after the war, I missed any reference to the fact that their actual former homeland, Silesia (where Leobschutz and Breslau were located), had ceased to exist. After the Nazis made it (temporarily) unlivable for them in the 1930s, the other side, our side (US/GB/USSR), eliminated it altogether, assigning it to Poland and decreeing the forcible removal of its 4.5 million overwhelmingly German residents, to be replaced by Polish settlers.
So taking a position in Frankfurt, on the other side of Germany, represented a "return" only in the loosest sense (as if, having been driven from New England, I was to land in Texas!); and from photographs of what Frankfurt looked like in 1946/7, after allied bombers had finished with it, it seems pretty obvious that Walter was motivated more by an understandable attachment to his profession than by homesickness for Germany itself (even those places not reduced to rubble). [On the other hand, daughter Regina/Stephanie, author of this account, must have become pretty attached to Frankfurt, where she remained until her death a couple of years ago.]
Altogether a fine film - glad I was finally able to view it.