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Fragmented Fatherland

Fragmented Fatherland: Immigration and Cold War Conflict in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945-1980

Alexander Clarkson
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 246
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  • Book Info
    Fragmented Fatherland
    Book Description:

    1945 to 1980 marks an extensive period of mass migration of students, refugees, ex-soldiers, and workers from an extraordinarily wide range of countries to West Germany. Turkish, Kurdish, and Italian groups have been studied extensively, and while this book uses these groups as points of comparison, it focuses on ethnic communities of varying social structures-from Spain, Iran, Ukraine, Greece, Croatia, and Algeria-and examines the interaction between immigrant networks and West German state institutions as well as the ways in which patterns of cooperation and conflict differ. This study demonstrates how the social consequences of mass immigration became intertwined with the ideological battles of Cold War Germany and how the political life and popular movements within these immigrant communities played a crucial role in shaping West German society.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-959-6
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Abbreviations and Acronyms
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction New Neighbours, New Challenges: Recognizing Diversity
    (pp. 1-19)

    On a cold winter’s day in 1995, the war for Kurdish independence claimed another victim. Activists belonging to the PKK and other Kurdish nationalist organizations fighting the Turkish Army in Eastern Anatolia had decided to go ahead with a demonstration in a large industrial city, despite a ban on such protests imposed by the local police. With scores of Kurds facing off against a similar number of Turkish nationalists in a volatile neighbourhood, the police decided to send in riot squads to break up the demonstration. This only managed to enflame the situation, leading to running battles between Kurds, the...

  6. Chapter 1 Old Allies in a New World: the Relationship between Émigrés and the German Political Establishment
    (pp. 20-53)

    Though most Germans accepted that national socialist rule had had disastrous consequences, the postwar debate over recent history remained selective. When discussing recent history, many West Germans concentrated on their own suffering during the 1940s, emphasizing the depredation and division visited upon Germany by the Soviets.¹The focus upon collective victimhood rather than collective responsibility, explored by Robert Moeller in his groundbreaking study, War Stories, had a significant impact upon many aspects of West German society.² Widespread attitudes among West Germans towards the historical legacy of the Hitler regime were therefore bound to have a major impact upon immigrant communities. This...

  7. Chapter 2 Support or Suppress? Croatian Nationalists and the West German Security Services
    (pp. 54-86)

    Throughout the Cold War period, police and security services designed to maintain public order and prevent communist infiltration from the Soviet bloc played a crucial role in the development of immigrant movements in the Federal Republic. Immigrant activists willing to use violence to achieve their goals often provoked a drastic response from West German security services, which in turn could further alienate wider immigrant communities from the West German state.¹ A closer examination of the role of political violence in the development of immigrant groups in Germany therefore has to grapple with two key questions. First, at what point did...

  8. Chapter 3 ‘Subversive’ Immigrants and Social Democrats: Shared Memories of a ‘Romantic’ Past
    (pp. 87-119)

    In the immediate postwar period, a Social Democratic Party that had achieved no more than 30 per cent of the popular vote at federal elections remained unable to exert much influence over policy making in Bonn.¹ Even in those fewLänderunder social democratic control, such as Hessen or Hamburg, the police and security services were so heavily dominated by conservative holdovers from the Nazi period that they usually followed the example set for them by their federal counterparts.² As we have seen in the previous chapter, most members of the Left were hostile towards émigré organizations because of the...

  9. Chapter 4 A Battle on Many Fronts: Greek Immigrants and Political Violence
    (pp. 120-150)

    One of the key factors shaping West German politics between 1949 and the late 1970s was the growing power and complexity of the security services. Over this thirty-year period, police and intelligence agencies were established or expanded in reaction to a variety of perceived security threats. The three major West German intelligence services, theBundesnachrichtendienst, theBundesamt für Verfassungsschutzand the counter-espionage departments of theBundeskriminalamttried to maximize their influence in Bonn at each other’s expense. Yet efforts to maintain a coherent security policy were often undermined by the federal structure of the West German political system.While the BND...

  10. Chapter 5 Both Losers and Winners? The Iranian Community and the Student Movement
    (pp. 151-175)

    The existence of a communist East German state overshadowed West German public debate as each political party or organization in the Federal Republic tried to respond to the ideological challenge it posed.¹ As we have seen in the case of Spanish and Greek guest workers, the anti-communist stance that prevailed in all three West German parliamentary parties could affect the fate of many immigrant political movements. Fears that immigrant communities might be vulnerable to communist infiltration were fed by wider anxieties about the extent of covert East German influence over the West German political process. The political division of Germany...

  11. Conclusion Nation and Fragmentation: Managing Diversity
    (pp. 176-190)

    In the first three decades after the foundation of the Federal Republic, the actions of the immigrant movements examined in this book repeatedly forced West German governments to grapple with the consequences of ethnic diversity. While many politicians and state officials continued to assert that Germany was ‘not a country of immigration’ until the late 1990s, in the preceding decades day-to-day contact with groups as diverse as Croatian and Ukrainian nationalists, Spanish anti-Franco activists, Algerian FLN supporters or radical Iranian students meant that for all levels of government immigrants were a political force to be reckoned with. How West German...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 191-218)
  13. Index
    (pp. 219-231)