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537 - German-speaking exile in the United States and Latin America (1933-45): Current trends and future perspectives

18.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Prutsch, Ursula (Amerika-Institut, LMU Munich , Munich, Germany / Deutschland)
Convener 2: Eckl, Marlen (LEER/Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil/Brasilien)

Much research work has been done since the 1960s on the United States as well as on several Latin American countries concerning their „qualities“ as providers of „new homes“ for Jewish and non-Jewish refugees from European fascist regimes. Strategies of survival, adaptation, identity conflicts, careers, failures as well as inclusion and exclusion mechanisms by the receptive societies have been discussed by scholars, witnesses and refugees, who actively participated in the reconstruction of exile lives in the respective countries. Despite the numerous contributions, a variety of topics still need to be discussed and reflected: First, there are very few comparative studies such as differences between integration patterns in the United States and Latin America. Second, especially with regard to the comparative approach: There are few reflections on whether or how the refugees, who were stigmatized and persecuted in Europe, reflected racism and stigmatization of other ethnic groups in the United States and Latin America. Did the refugees engage themselves in the enfranchisement or African Americans of Afro-Latins or did they adopt the values of the dominant culture? How did the refugees see Native Americans and did their view differ from that of the dominant discourse in the respective countries of reception? And thirdly, how did the immigrants encounter anti-Semitic feelings and politics in dictatorships (such as Brazil), semi-democratic countries (such as Argentina) and democracies? The symposium hopes to discuss these desideratums as well as to offer new perspectives that will enrich further research on German-speaking exile in the Americas.                    

Keywords: exile, Latin America, United States, jewish refugees

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