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Chapter 2. Ethnic German and Jewish immigrants from post-Soviet countries in Germany

Identity formation and integration prospects

image of Chapter 2. Ethnic German and Jewish immigrants from post-Soviet countries in Germany

Since the early fifties of the last century Germany admitted ethnic Germans (Aussiedler) and at a later point in time Jewish refugees (jüdische Kontingentflüchtlinge) from the Soviet Union and its successor states. While identity formation of ethnic German and Jewish immigrants is based on shared history and cultural characteristics, education and social experiences in post-Soviet states are of high relevance as well. Furthermore, legal and administrative classifications in Germany define the boundaries of belonging to these immigrant groups. Although ethnic Germans and Jewish immigrants differ significantly with respect to their social background and education, both groups experience obstacles concerning their economic and social integration in Germany. However, a considerable part of second generation ethnic German and Jewish immigrants seem to cope quite well with the German educational system and increasingly take advantage of career opportunities.

  • Affiliations: 1: Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg; iza, Bonn; 2: Institute for German as a Second and Foreign Language, University Duisburg-Essen
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