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ERIC Number: EJ1354552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2022
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0042-062X
EISSN: EISSN-1756-1221
"Migrationsland DDR?" Recuperating the Histories of Non-European "Vertragsarbeiter*innen" in the GDR and Beyond
Nenno, Nancy P.
Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, v55 n2 p237-257 Fall 2022
The current focus on diversity and inclusion amid calls to decolonize the German curriculum prompts us once again to examine what we understand to be "German" about German Studies. This article pursues this agenda by addressing a lacuna in our understanding and representation of migrants to Germany, specifically the presence, history, and legacies of labor migrants to East Germany. The first half of this article contextualizes the German Democratic Republic's (GDR) recruitment of foreign workers and examines key similarities and differences between the East and West German guest worker program models. This section focuses particularly on the labor migrants recruited from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the People's Republic of Mozambique -- the largest cohorts of non-European workers recruited by the GDR -- and concludes with a brief overview of the long afterlife of the "Vertragsarbeiter*innen" through the "Wende," reunification, and beyond. The second section offers a range of texts and assignments keyed to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) guidelines for integrating the narratives of "Vertragsarbeiter*innen" into German language and Studies curricula. Recuperating the history of non-European contract workers in East Germany serves to expand our conception of German Studies and to dismantle artificially exclusive boundaries, thereby working toward the deterritorialization of the discipline.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vietnam; Mozambique; East Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A