History of Migration

The GHI’s longstanding engagement with the migration of German-speakers to North America from the seventeenth century to the present is the foundation for the wider reaching program in migration history it launched in 2015. Current GHI-supported projects look beyond the flows of European migrants across the Atlantic and analyze migrant groups and receiving societies around the world. Particular attention is given to forced migration and comparative research on the social and cultural integration of migrants. The roles of migrants as producers and transmitters of distinctive bodies of knowledge is the focus of the “Migrant Knowledge” initiative at the GHI’s Pacific Regional Office. The collaborative project "German Heritage in Letters" draws on the tools of digital history to explore the ways German emigrants and their family and friends at home created transnational spaces of communication and knowledge circulation.

Photo Credit: El Shatt, UNRRA Refugee Camp, 1944. Otto Gilmore/FSA/OWI, Library of Congress.


Albert Manke

Research Fellow, GHI PRO
Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington
Institute of European Studies | University of California, Berkeley | 249 Moses Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720-2316
Phone +1.510.643-4558

manke@ghi-dc.orgRead on


German Heritage in Letters

German Heritage in Letters is a project to create a digital collection of German-language correspondence currently held in private hands, by archives, by special collection libraries, museums, and other institutions.

Events & Conferences

Oct 07, 2020

Research Seminar (Virtual Session)

Speaker: Carolin Liebisch-Gümüş (GHI)

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Oct 12, 2020

Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at GHI PRO at UC Berkeley | Conveners: Christiane Reinecke (Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, Osnabrück) and Andrea Westermann (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley)

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Oct 15, 2020

The Outsiders: Refugees in Europe and the West since 1492

11th Gerald Feldman Lecture at 11am ET (Virtual) | Speaker: Philipp Ther (Universität Wien)

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Nov 18, 2020

Research Seminar (Virtual Session)

Speaker: Jana Keck (GHI)

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Apr 22, 2021

Migration and Racism in the United States and Germany in the Twentieth Century

Workshop at GHI Washington | Conveners: Maria Alexopoulou (University of Mannheim), Elisabeth Engel (GHI Washington)

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Apr 26, 2021

Change in Motion: Environment, Migration, and Mobilities

Workshop at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Sarah Earnshaw (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley) and Samantha Fox (Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School, New York)

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Jun 07, 2021

Mobilities, Exclusion, and Migrants' Agency in the Pacific Realm in a Transregional and Diachronic Perspective

Conference at the University of California, Berkeley | Conveners: Albert Manke (GHI's Regional Office at UC Berkeley) and Sören Urbansky (German Historical Institute Washington)

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Sep 23, 2021

Environments of Exile: Refugees, Nature, and Representations

Biennial Conference of the North American Society for Exile Studies at Queen's University, Kingston, ON | Conveners: Swen Steinberg (Queen’s University, Kingston / GHI PRO) and Helga Schreckenberger (University of Vermont, Burlington)

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Nov 15, 2021

Contested Meanings of Migration Facilitation: Emigration Agents, Coyotes, Rescuers, and Human Traffickers

Annual Academic and Policy Symposium: Innovation through Migration at GHI PRO | Conveners: Ulf Brunnbauer (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies & Regensburg University) and Andrea Westermann (GHI PRO)

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Das Pazifikbüro des DHI Washington. Aufbauphase 2017-2019

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Andrea Westermann & Onur Erdur, eds.

Histories of Migrant Knowledge: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Bulletin Supplement 15 (2020)

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John P.R. Eicher

Exiled Among Nations: German and Mennonite Mythologies in a Transnational Age

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

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Bulletin 65 (Fall 2019)

Forum: The Weimar Republic Reconsidered

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Anne C. Schenderlein

Germany on their Minds: German Jewish Refugees in the United States and Their Relationships with Germany, 1938–1988

Studies in German History. Vol. 25. New York: Berghahn Books, 2020.

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Jan C. Jansen, Jessica Harland-Jacobs & Elizabeth Mancke, eds.

The Fraternal Atlantic, 1770–1930

Special Issue, Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 16.3 (2019)

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Simone Lässig & Swen Steinberg, eds.

Knowledge and Young Migrants

Special Issue, Know: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 3.2 (2019)

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Latest News

Event Report

Archives of Migration: Annual Academic and Policy Symposium "Innovation through Migration"

Conference report by Fatima El-Tayeb (UC San Diego), Katharina Hering (GHI Washington), Andrea Westermann (GHI PRO)

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Global & Transregional History

GHI Research Fellow Jan C. Jansen appointed Junior Professor at the University Duisburg- Essen

Jan C. Jansen has been appointed the Junior Professor (with tenure track) in Global Mobility from 18th to the 20th Century at the University Duisburg-…

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History of Migration

New Miniseries on "Go-Betweens" at Migrant Knowledge

The GHI's Migrant Knowledge blog has published "Go-Betweens: A Miniseries on Youth, Migration, and Knowledge Transfer."

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Event Report

Third Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum: Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Conference report by Levke Harders (GHI / Bielefeld University) and Andrea Westermann (GHI PRO)

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Watch Recording of our Virtual Panel "Migration and Xenophobia across the Pacific"

If you were unable to watch our panel on "Migration and Xenophobia across the Pacific" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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