After years of being overlooked, there has been a growing interest among academic historians in the history of Turkish Guest Workers in West Germany. In her new book, Turkish Germans in the Federal Republic of Germany: Immigration, Space, and Belonging, 1961-1990
(Cambridge University Press, 2018), Sarah Thomsen Vierra
examines the experience of Turkish immigrants in Berlin. Focused on social history, she synthesized evidence from oral histories, archives, memoirs, and newspapers. Building upon research from a dissertation that won the German Historical Institute’s Fritz Stern Prize, the book analyzes how the first and second generations of Turkish Germans created local spaces where they belonged despite feelings of disillusionment with nationalist xenophobia. It also includes much analysis about the role of women in the guest worker program and its aftermath. Thomsen’s book is essential for anyone interested in the modern history of European migration. Sarah Thomsen Vierra teaches at New England College.
Michael E. O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of History at Marist College
where he teaches courses about Modern Europe. He published Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965
with University of Toronto Press in 2018.