Event

Christopher Molnar, University of Michigan-Flint

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Asylum Seekers, Antiforeigner Violence, and Coming to Terms with the Past after German Reunification, Christopher Molnar, University of Michigan-Flint

In the early 1990s, more asylum seekers entered Germany than at any previous time in its history, sparking a wave of antiforeigner violence. In the midst of this crisis, thousands of Germans wrote to their president. Many turned to the experience and memory of World War II in order to explain their attitudes towards asylum seekers and antiforeigner violence. While some letter writers proclaimed “never again,” more marshalled memories of the war to argue that Germany had no responsibility to care for asylum seekers. This research sheds new light on German attitudes towards refugees and memory of World War II.