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A Transformation of National Identity?

Refugees and German Society after World War II
  • Uta Gerhardt
  • Birgitta Hohenester
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Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 9)

Abstract

In 1989/1991, when the division between an Eastern block and a Western world ended in unprecedented oneness of the globe, a new era obviously began. In sociology, this new age has been characterized under two equally tentative labels. One is globalization, and the other is civil society.

Keywords

Civil Society Social Theory National Identity German Society Typification Scheme 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    We wish to thank Mathias Bös for his patience while this paper slowly took shape, and his helpful comments all along.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ulrich Beck (1986): Risikogesellschaft. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main); idem (1997): Was ist Globalisierung? (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Martin Albrow (1996): The Global Age (Polity, Cambridge); Albrow (1998): Abschied von der Heimat, Gesellschaft in der globalen Ara (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Roland Robertson insists that global and local structures merge into what he addresses as glocalization, an apparent link of global enterprises with local cultural scenarios which, in turn, situate worldviews in different parts of a fragmentized rather than unitary world; cf. Roland Robertson (1992): “Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity — Heterogeneity;” Mike Featherstone/Scott Lash/Roland Robertson (eds.): Globalization — Social Theory and Global Culture (Sage, London) pp. 25–44.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Martin Ferguson (1992): “The Mythology about Globalization,” European Journal of Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 69–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    In 1943, when World War II was still ongoing, Wendell Willkies’s book One World signaled a future of humankind subsequent to the end of the most terrible of all wars. Willkies’s book which sold over two million copies in the first weeks after publication alone, was the Republican Senate Leader’s report on a trip around the world which he undertook on a war-related presidential mission. “If I had ever had any doubts that the world has become small and completely interdependent, this trip would have dispelled them altogether”, he began, judging globalization to have become viable: “There are no distant points in the world any longer.... Our thinking in the future must be world-wide ” (pp. 5,6). As to America’s röle in such future “one world”, he rejected isolationism (“narrow nationalism”) or “international imperialism” but endorsed “the creation of a world in which there shall be an equality of opportunity for every race and every nation” (p. 202). The road to choose, he recommended, was designated along the lines where America represented “a reservoir of good will” (Chapter 10). The latter fostered internationalism, not only as a political accomplishment but also as economic internationalism, that is, free trade supplemented by aid for the weak nations in the interest of welfare for entire humankind. In this scenario, the idea of liberation, replacing that of political domination or economic autarchy, creating a world of active solidarity was, for him, what made the Second World War worth fighting for (Chapter 11). That Russia, in a postwar future world order, would be a power and nation that America had to learn to live with, and that the Russian people despite even Stalin’s government were a forceful source of humane strength, was, for Willkie, a lasting lesson learnt from his trip. It goes without saying that his suggestion for the post-war world was that Americans avoid the post-World War I mistake of retreat to isolationism, and go forward instead with their war-time allies to form a United Nations globalized structure of interdependent free countries. To be sure, much of Willkie’s judgment on what he encountered in late 1942 does, in fact, appear amazingly familiar in the present-day situation labeled global. Cf., Wendell Willkie (1943): One World (New York, Simon and Schuster).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jean Cohen/Andrew Arato (1992): Civil Society and Political Theory (MIT Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid., p. 451.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    E.g., Elmar Rieger (ed.) (1992): Bürgerrechte and soziale Klassen: Zur Soziologie des Wohlfahrtsstaates/ Thomas H. Marshall (Campus, Frankfurt/Main/New York).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    William R. Brubaker (1989): “Citizenship and Naturalization: Policies and Politics,” idem, (ed.), Immigration and the Politics of Citizenship in Europe and North America (University Press of America, Lanham) pp. 99–128.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bryan S. Turner (1993): “Contemporary Problems in the Theory of Citizenship,” idem (ed.), Citizenship and Social Theory ( Sage, London ) pp. 1–18.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Turner: “Outline of the Theory of Human Rights,” idem (ed.), Citizenship and Social Theory, op. cit., p. 186.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid., pp. 179ff.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    To be sure, such criticism does not hold for, e.g., Saskia Sassen (1991): The Global City — New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton University Press, Princeton), or idem (1995): Cities in a World Economy (Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks) whose more focused argument is based on systematic interpretation of extensive statistical material.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Immanuel Wallerstein (1974–1989): The Modern World System 1 — III (Academic Press, New York). Wallerstein based his conception of a world system on the hypothesis that a world capitalist system emerged which failed to be challenged by political revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries. While Wallerstein thus took a globalization stance, he also embraced a Marxist baseline what reveals his detailed analysis nevertheless as a deterministic account of economic forces in history which he followed between the16 16th and the 19th centuries.Google Scholar
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    Max Weber (1968): “Die ‘Objektivität’ sozialwissenschaftlicher and sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis (1904),” idem, Gesammelte Schriften zur Wissenschaftslehre, 3rd ed., ed. Johannes Winckelmann (Mohr, Tübingen), pp. 146–214, and “Der Sinn der ‘Wertfreiheit,” der soziologischen and ökonomischen Wissenschaften (1917),“ ibid., pp. 489 — 540.Google Scholar
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    See also, Birgitta Hohenester/Uta Gerhardt: “Identität durch Integration. Vertriebene, Flüchtlinge and die Entstehung der deutschen Gesellschaftsgemeinschaft in der ersten Nachkriegszeit”. To be published: Alois Hahn/Herbert Willems (eds.), Identität and Modern (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    For references to Simmel quoted merely as a witness to the early history of the idea of inclusion/exclusion, cf., e.g., Ann Game: “Time, Space, Memory, with Reference to Bachelard,” Mike Featherstone et al. (eds), Global Modernities, esp. p. 207, or Ulrich Beck (1996): “Wie aus Nachbarn Juden wurden,” Max Miller/ Hans-Georg Soeffner (eds): Modernität and Barbarei (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main) esp. p. 323; for a comprehensive study using Simmel’s as well as Schütz’s viewpoints as a point of departure, see Lesley D. Harman (1988): The Modern Stranger. On Language and Membership (Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin etc.). Harman recognizes that Simmel conceived of the stranger as an ideal type and cites related images in American sociology such as that of the marginal man, and he appreciates Schütz’s conception as related to language. Where Schütz stopped, however, and where this inquiry must begin, he writes, is with the notion that membership competence can be achieved (p. 38). “This book is an attempt to free the stranger from being an outsider,” he clarifies his intention to show that membership means that in the midst of a community are all sorts of strangers that are keen to become or want to be full-fledged members. Indeed. Harman suggests, society consists of “a world of strangers” where the modem stranger is engaged in an ongoing quest for membership from within (p. 44). With modernity has come the need on behalf of the modern stranger to recognize community with potential others and negotiate membership on the basis of minimal indicators of commonality (p. 127). In this, Harman holds against Simmel and Schütz that they presumed an “inner-directed” individual who either does or does not belong to a community, that is, either is a member or a stranger. This he wishes to contest by showing how most individuals, indeed, are both. Our point is, however, that this neglects the basis of identification which constitutes membership; it appears noteworthy that Harman fails to recognize how important identification is for identity constituting membership. In this respect, our approach differs from the analysis which Harman presents.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Georg Simmel (1892): Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie (Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig), and idem (1908): Soziologie. Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung (Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig), and Alfred Schutz (1932): Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt (Julius Spring, Vienna), transl. (1967): Phenomenology of the Social World (Northwestern University Press, Chicago ).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Alfred Schutz: “The Stranger: An Essay in Social Psychology,” reprinted in Arvid Brodersen: (ed.) (1964): Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers, II, Studies in Social Theory (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague) pp. 91–106.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., p. 96.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Alfred Schütz: “Equality and the Meaning Structure of the Social World,” reprinted in Arvid Brodersen, (ed.) (1964): Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers, Il, Studies in Social Theory (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague) pp. 226 — 274.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid., p. 246.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., p. 257.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    Georg Simmel (1908): “Exkurs über den Fremden,” Soziologie (Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig), translated The Stranger (1971): Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms, ed. and with an introduction by Donald N. Levine (Chicago University Press, Chicago ).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ibid., p. 143.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ibid., p. 146.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ibid., p. 148.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schutz, Equality, op. cit., p. 232.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Uta Gerhardt (1971): Rollenanalyse als kritische Soziologie. Ein konzeptueller Rahmen zur empirischen and methodologischen Begründung einer Theorie der Vergesellschaftung (Luchterhand, Neuwied-Berlin) and idem. (1980): “Toward a Critical Analysis of Role,” Social Forces, Vol. 27, pp. 556 — 569.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ibid., p. 246.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    It is this group with which the present paper mainly will be concerned.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    See, for instance Rainer Geissler (1992): Die Sozialstruktur Deutschlands (Leske and Budrich, Opladen).Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Robert L. Koehl (1957): RKFDV: Resettlement and Population Policy 1939–1945. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    It may be noted that, in terms of the Bundesvertriebenengesetz (Expelle Rights Act), newcomers from regions East of the Oder and Neisse rivers were called expellees. (Only those who arrived from Eastern Germany, i.e. regions West of the Oder and Neisse rivers, were refugees in official terms). However, locals usually labeled all newcomers refugees, and these themselves frequently did the same. Therefore, refugee (Flüchtling) was the category under which both locals and expellees referred to these newcomers in most contexts.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Personal accounts are remarkably similar in these research findings that have been documented for expellees and refugees who arrived in all parts of Western Germany (see, for detailed documentation, Eugen Lemberg/Friedrich Edding (eds.) (1959): Die Vertriebenen in Westdeutschland — Ihre Eingliederung und ihr Einfluß auf Gesellschaft, Politik und Geistesleben, 3 vol. (Ferdinand Hirt, Kiel); Wolfgang Benz (ed.) (1985): Die Vertreibung der Deutschen aus dem Osten. Ursachen, Ereignisse, Folgen (Fischer, Frankfurt/Main); Alexander von Plato (1985): “Fremde Heimat. Zur Integration von Flüchtlingen und Einheimischen in die Neue Zeit,” Lutz Niethammer/Alexander von Plato (eds.), ‘Wir kriegen jetzt andere Zeiten’. Auf der Suche nach der Erfahrung des Volkes in nachfaschistischen Ländern, vol. 3 (Dietz Nachf. Publ., Berlin-Bonn) pp. 172 — 219; Christiane Grosser/Thomas Grosser/Rita Müller/Sylvia Schraut (1993): Flüchtlingsfrage — das Zeitproblem. Amerikanische Besatzungspolitik, deutsche Verwaltung und die Flüchtlinge in Württemberg-Baden 1945 — 1949 (Selbstverlag, Mannheim).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Albrecht Lehmann (1990): Im Fremden ungewollt zuhaus. Flüchtlinge und Vertriebene in Westdeutschland 1945 — 1990 (C.H. Beck, München), p. 32, 33. (Our translation).Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ibid., p. 33. (Our translation).Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Immo Eberl (1993): Flucht, Vertreibung, Eingliederung. Baden-Württemberg als neue Heimat, Begleitband zur Ausstellung, ed. Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg (Thorbecke, Sigmaringen), p. 158. Our translations from contemporaneous texts attempt to preserve the somewhat accusatory but equally matter-of-fact character of these accounts.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    The German word used was “Einlieferung” whose literal translation would be admission or delivery.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Mathias Beer (ed.) (1994): Zur Integration der Flüchtlinge und Vertriebenen im deutschen Südwesten nach 1945. Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven der Forschung. Ergebnisse des Kolloquiums vom 11. Bis 12. November 1993 in Tübingen (Thorbecke, Sigmaringen), p. 151. (Our translation).Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ibid.; “Treck” was the word used for the mass exodus when expellees walked or were transported westward, often in freight trains over hundreds/thousands of miles in 1944–1947.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    ICD surveys were only carried out in the American zone of occupation, comprising the Laender of Bavaria, Wucrttemberg-Baden, Greater Hesse, Bremen, and the three Western-occupied sectors of Berlin.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Surveys Branch: Information Control Division, Surveys Branche, OMGUS (1946): Report No. 14A, “German Attitudes Toward the Expulsion of German Nationals from Neighboring Countries,” 8 July, p. 3.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ibid., pp. 3–4.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ibid., p. I.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Surveys Branch: Information Control Division, Surveys Branche, OMGUS (1946): Report No. 28, “An Investigation To Determine Any Changes in Attitudes of Native Germans Toward the Expellees in Wuerttemberg-Baden,” 14. November.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Ibid., p. 1.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ibid., p. 2.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ibid., p. 3.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ibid., p. 4. A “no opinion” category was usually provided in the questionnaires but data analysis for this question in the report did not show the proportion of “no opinion”s.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Ibid., p. 4.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Ibid., p. 6.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Ibid., p. 6.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Opinion Surveys Unit, Office of the Director of Information Control, OMGUS (1947): Report No. 47, Office of the Director of Information Control, OMGUS (1947): Report No. 47, “Opinions on the Expellee Problem, ” February 20, 1947.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Ibid., p.3.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Ibid., p. 5. PG, for former member of the National Socialist German Workers,“ Party (NSDAP), was the colloquial expression among Germans at the time for ”Parteigenosse“ of the Nazi Party.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ibid., p. 7.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Opinion Surveys Unit, OMGUS: Report No. 47, p. 3.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Schütz, Equality, op. cit., p. 257; see also above.Google Scholar
  62. This degrading characterization, which was here used against locals, had been a Nazi label scapegoating persons who were accused of lack of effort to work hard in the service of Nazism.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    See above.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Schutz, Equality, op. cit., p. 267.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Ibid., p. 272.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Ibid., p. 246.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    See, OMGUS documents in Badisches Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe, RG 260, 12/63–1/7.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Lucius D. Clay (1950): Decision in Germany (Garden City: Doubleday), p. 100.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Ibid., p. 314.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    See OMGUS documents in Badisches Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe, RG 260, 12/22–1/29.Google Scholar
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    Cf., for details, Hermann-Josef Rupieper (1993): Die Wurzeln der westdeutschen Nachkriegsdemokratie 1945–1952 (Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen).Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    These were: Julius Isaac, an economist and specialist for migration problems who taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Carlile A. McCartney, a specialist for Eastern Europe and formerly adviser of the League of Nations, and Jane Carey, a professor of social sciences from New York.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Jane C. Carey (1948): Assimilation of Expellees and Refugees in Germany, October 16, p. 20; cf. OMGUS RG 84, POLAD/822/6 (Bibliothek Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich).Google Scholar
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    See also, Christiane Grosser et al., Flüchtlingsfrage — das Zeitproblem, op. cit., pp. 32fí.Google Scholar
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    Careys clarified: “Many newcomers were skilled at various handicrafts previous to their expulsion and flight to Germany. They were used to working in small shops. Thanks to their perseverance, they have set up a number of small industries in western Germany. Thus glass factories have been established by Sudeten Germans long famous for glass manufacture. The writer has seen some of the lace and leather industries which have been developed in various parts of the American occupation zone, together with a number of textile factories, important because of their employment of a large number of women. Some of the artificial flower and handkerchief industries from Czechoslovakia have now appeared in Bavaria, together with glove-making and wood-carving. (...). Further possibilities for loans to such small industries should be explored and the growth of cooperatives should be encouraged. The development of these small expellee workshops and industries must be fitted in with other German manpower needs and should be made part of the economic plan for German and western European industry”. (Carey), op. cit., pp. 15, 17.Google Scholar
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    Marion Frantzioch (1987): Die Vertriebenen. Hemmnisse and Wege ihrer Integration (Georg Reimer, Berlin).Google Scholar
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    Julius Isaac (1948): The Assimilation of Expellees in Germany, p. 4; cf. OMGUS RG 84, POLAD/822/6 (Bibliothek Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich). In a second report a year later Isaac repeated his recommendation; viz. Julius Isaac, German Refugees in the U.S. Zone /948/1949, e.g. p. 17; cf. OMGUS RG 260, 3/168–2/3 (Bibliothek Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich).Google Scholar
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    Isaac 1948, op. cit., pp. 14–15.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    For the tasks of the “Kreis-Residence-Officers,” viz. Rupieper, op. cit., pp. 83–109.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Expellees — Cultural Weeks Oct. 1948; Charles M. LaFollette, Director of the Office of Military Government, Wuerttemberg-Baden, at the opening of the Cultural Weeks for New Citizens in Stuttgart-Bad Cann-statt, at 1030 hours, October 16, 1948, cf. OMGUS RG 260, 12/63–1/5 (Badisches Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe).Google Scholar
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    For further explication, see Talcott Parsons (1945): “The Problem of Controlled Institutional Change: An Essay in Applied Social Science,” reprinted: Uta Gerhardt (ed.) (1993): Talcott Parsons on National Socialism (Aldine de Gruyter, New York), pp. 291 — 314.Google Scholar
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    Kurt Lewin (1943): “Cultural Reconstruction,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol. 38, pp. 166–173.Google Scholar
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    See, fora contemporary source, Richard M. Brickner (1943): Is Germany Incurable? (Lippincott, Philadelphia).Google Scholar
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    Uta Gerhardt (1996): “A Hidden Agenda of Recovery: The Psychiatric Conceptualization of Reeducation for Germany in the United States during World War II,” German History, Vol$114, pp. 297 — 324.Google Scholar
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    Talcott Parsons (1945) (see fn. 80 ). This essay is a social-theoretical analysis of the transformation of Germany at the end of World War II. Parsons relied on his previous analytical approach to Nazi Germany in Weberian terms where he had characterized Hitlerism as charismatic rule in Weberian terms.Google Scholar
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    Hans Peter Schwartz (1980): Vom Reich zur Bundesrepublik (Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart).Google Scholar
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    See, as an account of West German reconstruction, Axel Schildt/Arnold Sywottek (eds.) (1993): Modernisierung and Wiederaufbau. Die westdeutsche Gesellschaft der 50er Jahre (Dietz, Bonn/Berlin).Google Scholar
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    Talcott Parsons (1969): “The Concept of Society: The Components and their Interrelations,” and: “ Theoretical Orientations on Modem Societies,” both in idem., Politics and Social Structure (The Free Press, Collier Macmillan Ltd., New York-London), pp. 5 — 33, pp. 34 — 57; ibid., “Some Theoretical Considerations on the Nature and Trends of Change of Ethnicity,” idem. Nathan Glazer/Daniel P. Moynihan (eds.) (1975): Ethnicity. Theory and Experience (Harvard University Press, Cambridge/Mass), pp. 53 — 84.Google Scholar

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  • Uta Gerhardt
  • Birgitta Hohenester

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