Forging a New Heimat
Expellees in Post-War West Germany and Canada
1. Edition 2011
Transkulturelle Perspektiven -
|PDF eBook||35,90 €|
In the aftermath of World War II twelve million German expellees lost their homes in Central and Eastern Europe. The overwhelming majority came to occupied Germany. However, often overlooked by researchers and the public, expellees found themselves also stranded in Western Europe, Africa and the Americas. Going beyond the standard narratives of flight, vigilante evictions and transfers, this book follows expellees in West Germany and Canada and shows, for example, how German prisoners-of-war, exilees or immigrants experienced the expulsions in distant Canada. As the author illustrates making extensive use of oral histories, their experiences were an integral part of the multi-faceted expellee story even though they were physically absent from their homes. Juxtaposing the record of two countries with disparate public discourses on immigration, the author also reveals how in both countries expellees eventually adopted national identities which, based on their ethno-regional heritage, reflected their experience of extreme nationalism, war and expulsion as well as the initially difficult settlement into a new political, social and cultural environment.