March 29, 2016

GHI Fellow Jan C. Jansen publishes comparative volume on mass migrations

After 1945 and 1962, Germany and France received millions of refugees and expellees from Middle and Eastern Europe and from North Africa. Bringing together leading international scholars from both fields, Vertriebene and Pieds-Noirs in Postwar Germany and France: Comparative Perspectives compares one of the largest instances of 'ethnic cleansing' — the Germans from the East (Vertriebene) — with the most important case of decolonization migration — the French repatriates of Algeria (pieds-noirs). The volume, edited by Manuel Borutta and Jan C. Jansen, shifts the focus away from the origins and forms to the aftermath of these two examples of mass migration. It thus explores to which extent postwar Europe was shaped by the integration of migrants. How did this process impact on the definition of citizenship and the construction of the welfare state in postwar Germany and France? How did it alter the associational and political landscape of both countries? Which marks did it leave on the public memory of crucial chapters in their national histories?


'Vertriebene and Pieds-Noirs in Postwar Germany and France is an essential and timely publication. Engaging leading scholars in a vivid dialogue, it links two academic fields that have remained isolated from each other. At a time when the continent is facing an unprecedented wave of people seeking asylum, it is a powerful reminder of how much postwar Europe has been shaped by mass migrations.'
- Jürgen Osterhammel, Professor of Modern History at the University of Konstanz, Germany

This crisply edited volume placing German Vertriebene and French Pieds-noirs in critical comparison is groundbreaking. Beautifully wrought, through its careful pairing of topical chapters, it reveals unexpected commonalities and surprising contrasts, causing us to see Germany's former eastern settlements, postcolonial Europe, and even comparative historiography in new light.'
- Andrea L. Smith, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lafayette College, USA