German Refugees of 1945 and their Integration into West German Society


Using methods from qualitative cultural analysis, the author has investigated aspects of social and cultural integration of between 12 and 15 million people who were forced in the years 1944 and 1945, to leave German settlements in middle, south-east and eastern Europe and settle in West Germany and the later German Democratic Republic. He describes and analyses acculturation: as a process which is extended over three generations, inquires after the function of oral traditions, the general significance of lost properties and objects of material culture for the individual and collective memory, and the meaning of journeys back to the former settlements. Thereby are general questions raised that attend the present task of research into the processes of world-wide migration.

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Lehmann, A., (1993) “German Refugees of 1945 and their Integration into West German Society”, Ethnologia Europaea 23(2), 125-134. doi:


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Albrecht Lehmann (Universität Hamburg)



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