After the Nazi Racial State
Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Introduction: What’s Race Got to Do With It? Postwar German History in Context
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In June 2006, just prior to the start of the World Cup in Germany, the New York Times ran a front-page story on a “surge in racist mood” among Germans attending soccer events and anxious officials’ efforts to discourage public displays of racism before a global audience. The article led with the recent experience of Nigerian forward Adebowale Ogungbure, who, af-...
1. Black Occupation Children and the Devolution of the Nazi Racial State
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Prior to 1945, children were a primary target in the Nazi regime’s murderous quest to build a new order based upon fantastical notions of racial purity. In a determined drive to craft an Aryan superstate and realize a racialized empire in Europe, the Nazi regime enacted social policies ranging from sterilization to “euthanasia” and, ultimately, mechanized mass mur-...
2. From Victims to “Homeless Foreigners”: Jewish Survivors in Postwar Germany
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In 1933, at the beginning of the National Socialist regime, Germany counted approximately 500,000 Jews. In 1946–47, three years after Germany had been declared judenrein, some quarter of a million Jews—the numbers are rough and some recent estimates top 300,000—resided in Germany, albeit on occupied and defeated territory, mostly in the American...
3. Guest Worker Migration and the Unexpected Return of Race
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In an attempt to head off a major labor shortage precipitated by the post-war economic boom, the Federal Republic of Germany signed a worker recruitment treaty with Italy in December 1955. The agreement inaugurated an eighteen-year period of foreign labor recruitment that targeted guest workers from many southern Mediterranean countries, including Muslim...
4. German Democracy and the Question of Difference, 1945–1995
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With the collapse of the Third Reich, democratization became one of the most urgent political and ideological tasks facing West Germans. The ideal of democracy (liberty, equality, popular representation) as well as its concrete institutions (a constitution and popularly elected representative bodies) promised to protect the new state against repeating the barbarity of the...
5. The Trouble with “Race”: Migrancy, Cultural Difference, and the Remaking of Europe
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In what follows I want to develop some general thoughts about the acute discomforts experienced by western European politicians, social commentators, and cultural critics whenever “race” enters the agenda of political debate or erupts violently into the main territories of public life. These thoughts might be keyed to any number of major happenings of the past...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Social History, Popular Culture, and Pol