This is the first book to trace the history of all ethnic minorities in Germany during the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. It argues that all of the different types of states in Germany since 1800 have displayed some level of hostility towards ethnic minorities. While this reached its peak under the Nazis, the book suggests a continuity of intolerance towards ethnic minorities from 1800 that continued into the Federal Republic.
During this long period German states were home to three different types of ethnic minorities in the form of- dispersed Jews and Gypsies; localised minorities such as Serbs, Poles and Danes; and immigrants from the 1880s. Taking a chronological approach that runs into the new Millennium, the author traces the history of all of these ethnic groups, illustrating their relationship with the German government and with the rest of the German populace. He demonstrates that Germany provides a perfect testing ground for examining how different forms of rule deal with minorities, including monarchy, liberal democracy, fascism and communism.
Chapter 1: Majorities and minorities in German history. Chapter 2: The emergence of the German nation state and the position of Ethnic minorities. Chapter 3: The Kaiserreich, 1871 - 1918: Prejudice, exploitation and full emancipation.
Chapter 4: A liberal interlude? The weimar Republic, 1919-33. Chapter 5: The triumph of the racists: nazism and its consequences. Chapter 6: The age of mass migration: Germanies after 1945. Chapter 7: The new Germany and its minorities. Bibliography. Index.