Immigrants and Foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe during the Twentieth Century  book cover
1st Edition

Immigrants and Foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe during the Twentieth Century

ISBN 9780367085827
Published February 21, 2020 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Immigrants and Foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe during the Twentieth Century challenges widespread conceptions of Central and Eastern European countries as merely countries of origin. It sheds light on their experience of immigration and the establishment of refugee regimes at different stages in the history of the region.

The book brings together a variety of case studies on Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and the experiences of return migrants from the United States, displaced Hungarian Jews, desperate German social democrats, resettled Magyars, resourceful tourists, labour migrants, and Zionists. In doing so, it highlights and explores the variety of experience across different forms of immigration and discusses its broader social and political framework.

Presenting the challenges within the history of immigration in Eastern Europe and considering both immigration to the region and emigration from it, Immigrants and Foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe during the Twentieth Century provides a new perspective on, and contribution to, this ongoing subject of debate.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Refugees and Migrants: Perceptions and Categorizations of Moving People 1789–1938

Michael G. Esch

Chapter 2: Return Migration and Social Disruption in the Polish Second Republic: A Reassessment of Resettlement Regimes

Keely Stauter-Halsted

Chapter 3: Jewish Railway Car Dwellers in 1920s Hungary: Citizenship and UprootednessIlse

Josepha Lazaroms

Chapter 4: ‘In the long run, people will go down here’. Refugees from Nazi Germany in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s

Katerina Capková

Chapter 5: Communities of Resettlement: Integrating Migrants from the Czechoslovak–Hungarian Population Exchange in Post-war Hungary

Leslie Waters

Chapter 6: Passports and Profits: Foreigners on the Trade Routes of the Polish People’s Republic (PPR)

Jerzy Kochanowski

Chapter 7: Socialist Mobility, Postcolonialism and Global Solidarity: The Movement of People from the Global South to Socialist Hungary

Péter Apor

Chapter 8: Migration, Gender and Family: A Bottom-Up Perspective on Migration, Return Migration and Nation-building in 1950s Poland and Israel

Marcos Silber

Chapter 9: East-Central Europe and the Making of the Modern Refugee

Peter Gatrell


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odzimierz Borodziej is Professor of History at Warsaw University, Poland, and Joachim von Puttkamer is Professor of Eastern European History at Jena University, Germany, and co-director of the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, Germany.


This collection from editors Borodziej (Warsaw Univ., Poland) and von Puttkamer (Jena Univ., Germany) covers relatively little-known cases of refugees and migrants: Jewish refugees living in railway cars near Budapest in the 1920s, the thousands involved in the Czecholovak–Hungarian population exchanges following WW II, and refugees from Nazi Germany in Czechoslovakia. The most recent case in the book is that of southeast Asian and African refugees arriving in Hungary in the 1960s. One case, about Poles returning from the US in the 1920s, shows how difficult it is even for immigrants to reintegrate in the country they had left only years before. The common theme binding these diverse chapters is that movements of people generate social, economic, and political disruption. The final essay sketches refugee crises that followed great wars and the domestic and international efforts to address them. A particularly difficult case was that of displaced persons (DPs) in defeated Germany as Moscow sought to forcibly repatriate Balts and others who had fled the Soviet Union during the war. Although these essays add only slivers of information to the narratives of migrant issues, the book is recommended for its histories—with rich footnoting—of obscure migrant cases.

- - R. P. Peters, Harvard University, CHOICE magazine