20 May

Expellees, Returnees, and Labor Migration in the Reconstruction of Dortmund 1945-65

  • 15:15 - 17:00

Open Urban Seminars

This presentation explores how the municipal government of Dortmund negotiated a postwar concept of city-citizenship and belonging for new city arrivals by mediating between expellee, refugee and migrant communities and representatives of “native” civil society in the 1940s-1960s. Within semi-corporatist structures, in expellee congresses, and in municipal events to greet new arrivals we observe sustained municipal efforts to exert social control over native and in-coming arrivals not only to deflect anger rooted in popular frustrations at the poor conditions of the reconstruction period away from municipal officials but also to inculcate among city residents a set of taboos based on peace and democratic norms designed also to delegitimize the politics of inter-community resentment.

Speaker: Brian Shaev, University Lecturer at the Institute for History, Leiden University