Patrice G. Poutrus (Erfurt): Contested Asylum: The History of the 2015 Refugee Crisis

25.02.2021, Vortrag, Online

GHI London Joint Lecture

Patrice G. Poutrus (Erfurt)
Contested Asylum: The History of the 2015 Refugee Crisis

Modern German History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

After 1945, both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic included asylum law, and thus the admission of politically persecuted persons, in their constitutions. Since then, debates about the admission of refugees/displaced persons have continued in West German and East German society, persisting into the decades after reunification. Time and again, issues such as flight, asylum, and admission have mobilized the German public and provoked deep controversies. Patrice G. Poutrus argues that these discussions are not so much about specific questions of admission policy, but more about a fundamental struggle regarding German society’s political and moral self-understanding. They raise questions such as: what consequences should follow from the history of National Socialism? Do we want to live in a pluralistic society? What identity does German society have and who belongs to it? Patrice G. Poutrus is the author of a book about this ‘contested asylum’ in which he examines its history from 1945 to the present.

Patrice G. Poutrus studied history and social sciences at Humboldt University, Berlin and wrote his Ph.D. on the social and economic history of the GDR at the Europa University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder). He works on the history of divided Germany after 1945, and on historical refugee and migration research. He is currently working on a research project at Erfurt University about family memories in the GDR and the post-1990 transformation of Thuringia.

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