Ann: a conference in Hamburg, 13-15 September
Points of Passage: Jewish Transmigrants from Eastern Europe in Germany, Britain, Scandinavia and other Countries 1860-1929
International Conference, Hamburg, 13-15 September 2008
Hosted by Institute for the History of Jews in Germany, University of Hamburg and organized in conjunction with:
- Institut für Migrationsforschung und Interkulturelle Studien (IMIS), Universität Osnabrück
- Historisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen
- Parkes Institute, University of Southampton
The conference is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Cologne.
Participants need to registrater in advance; please contact Dagmar Wienrich, igdj[at]public.uni-hamburg.de no later than 9 September 2008.
Between 1870 and 1914 several million Eastern Europeans - Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, ethnic Germans, Hungarians and others - migrated West, overwhelmingly to the United States, and to a lesser degree to Western, Northern and Central Europe as well as other destinations such as Argentina, Palestine, and South Africa. While much is known about their immigration experience, notably in the United States, the paths of mass migration across "green borders", through European railway stations and ports have been little studied. The dimension of the transmigration was impressive. It is estimated that several million migrants crossed Germany from East to West between 1880 and 1914; the numbers for Britain and Scandinavia were also high. The First World War interrupted the transatlantic migration almost completely. In its aftermath migration across Europe and beyond was severely restricted.
This conference will focus on Jewish transmigrants - without ignoring others. Most of the two million Jews who left Eastern Europe for the West before the First World War crossed through Germany; probably around a million through Britain. In the West, Jews from the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and Romania were perceived as the most prominent group, not only numerically but also in terms of "visibility".
Negative images of Jews were at the forefront of the perception of and public debates about the mass migration of "strangers" from the "East"
in Britain, Imperial Germany and the United States. The Jewish mass migration was also distinctive as it concerned and involved established Jewish communities in the countries of transmigration and destination.