Reimagining German identity through the politics of history: changing interpretations of German past migrations during the ‘Refugee crisis’, 2015/2016
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
GB : Routledge
4172 - 4188 p.
Germany, memory, migration, flight and expulsion, politics of history
This paper brings memory and migration studies together. It focuses on the way the past was used in the context of the ‘refugee crisis’ in Germany in 2015/2016. The analysis concentrates on how politicians and journalists used the memory of Germans’ own migrations to legitimise rhetorically the political decision to open the borders and let more than a million people into the country, as well as to call for a welcoming attitude (Willkommenskultur) towards the refugees. It shows how, by doing so, they have contributed to the reframing of one of the founding identity narratives of the FRG, namely the one about ‘flight and expulsion’, and thus helped to redraw Germany’s identity boundaries in a more inclusive way.