Jennifer A. Miller
Turkish Guest Workers in Germany
Hidden Lives and Contested Borders, 1960s to 1980s
University of Toronto Press 2018
During the 1960s, West Germany eagerly courted workers from Turkey to manage a labor shortage during the country’s Economic Miracle. This program caused one of the most consequential migrations in Cold War Germany. In her new book, Turkish Guest Workers in Germany: Hidden Lives and Contested Borders, 1960s to 1980s (University of Toronto Press, 2018), Jennifer A. Miller revises several assumptions about the men and women who arrived in West Germany from Turkey during this era. She traces the guest worker experience from recruitment in Turkey through the train ride to Germany, the search for housing, and attempts at social integration. Revising many traditional narratives, Miller uses oral histories as well as state documents to shed light on West German policies, guest worker agency, and gendered experiences. Miller’s work adds much nuance to scholarly understanding about the social history of the guest worker program.
Michael E. O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of History at Marist College where he teaches courses about Modern Europe. He will publish Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965 with University of Toronto Press in the fall of 2018.