Memory, Politics, and Yugoslav Migrations to Postwar Germany
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Memory, Politics, and Yugoslav Migrations to Postwar Germany


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During Europe's 2015 refugee crisis, more than a hundred thousand asylum seekers from the western Balkans sought refuge in Germany. This was nothing new, however; immigrants from the Balkans have streamed into West Germany in massive numbers throughout the long postwar era. Memory, Politics, and Yugoslav Migrations to Postwar Germany tells the story of how Germans received the many thousands of Yugoslavs who migrated to Germany as political emigres, labor migrants, asylum seekers, and war refugees from 1945 to the mid-1990s. While Yugoslavs made up the second largest immigrant group in the country, their impact has received little critical attention until now. With a particular focus on German policies and attitudes toward immigrants, Christopher Molnar argues that considerations of race played only a marginal role in German attitudes and policies towards Yugoslavs. Rather, the history of Yugoslavs in postwar Germany was most profoundly shaped by the memory of World War II and the shifting Cold War context. Molnar shows how immigration was a key way in which Germany negotiated the meaning and legacy of the war.



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Date de parution 11 janvier 2019
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EAN13 9780253037749
Langue English

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Christopher A. Molnar
Indiana University Press
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2018 by Christopher A. Molnar
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1 2 3 4 5 23 22 21 20 19 18
For Beth, Isabella, and Joe
Note on Terms
List of Abbreviations
1 Communities of Victims: Croatian migr s and Germans in the 1950s
2 History on Trial: Migration, Political Violence, and Memories of World War II
3 Second-Class Refugees: The West German-Yugoslav Migration Regime and the Asylum Problem
4 Imagining Yugoslavs: From Communist Agents to Ambassadors of Peace
5 The Return of the Nation: Bosnian Refugees in the New Germany
T HIS BOOK COULD not have been written without the support and generosity of many individuals and institutions, and it is a pleasure to thank them here. The research and writing of this book was supported by grants and fellowships from Indiana University s Department of History, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office for the Vice President of International Affairs, the Graduate School, the Russian and East European Institute, and Western European Studies. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provided a year-long fellowship in Germany that allowed me to conduct the bulk of my archival research. The Department of History at the University of Michigan-Flint has generously funded my research and writing through Wyatt Faculty Development Grants.
I conducted research for this book in more than ten German archives as well as wonderful research libraries in Munich and Berlin. In each of these locations, archivists and librarians provided invaluable guidance and pointed me toward useful sources. I especially want to thank the dedicated archivists and staff at my home archive, the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv. An early version of chapter 4 appeared as Imagining Yugoslavs: Migration and the Cold War in Postwar West Germany, Central European History 47, no. (2014): 138-69, and I thank the publisher for permission to publish a revised version in this book. I also want to extend my appreciation to Indiana University Press. Gary Dunham showed an interest in this project at an early stage and Jennika Baines has been a responsive and supportive editor.
At Indiana University, where this project began, Mark Roseman was an excellent adviser and intellectual model, and he continues to be a friend and source of advice. He always pushed me to make this book address Germany s postwar history more broadly, and I hope he thinks that has now been accomplished. I also benefited enormously from the time and thoughtfulness that John Bodnar, Carl Ipsen, Padraic Kenney, and Julia Roos put into my work. Rob Schneider and Kon Dierks provided an intellectually stimulating environment at the American Historical Review s Bloomington headquarters during my last two years of writing at Indiana University. My friends Brendan Fay, Patrick Gilner, Ramajana Hidi -Demirovi , Jim Seaver, and Ben Stellwagen helped make Bloomington an enjoyable place to pursue graduate study.
Work on this book continued at the University of Michigan-Flint, which has been a great place to teach and write. I thank all my departmental colleagues-especially John Ellis, Roy Hanashiro, Thomas Henthorn, and the late Bruce Rubinstein-for warmly welcoming me into the history department and helping me quickly settle in and get to work. Although a teaching-focused institution, my department chair Roy Hanashiro always reminded me to keep writing and did whatever was possible to support my research. Conversations with Peggy Kahn helped me put my thoughts on the 2015 refugee crisis into coherent form. I am also inspired by the dedication and intelligence of so many of my students, who so often have too much on their plates, but still come to class with ideas and enthusiasm.
Friends, colleagues, and institutions beyond Bloomington and Flint provided invaluable support in bringing this project to fruition. Martin Geyer and Martin Baumann of Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich took an interest in my research and supported my extended stay in that city. Rozita Dimova, Karolina Novin ak K lker, and Karen Sch nw lder were kind enough to meet to talk about my research when I had just embarked upon this study. Ulf Brunnbauer and Karolina Novin ak K lker invited me to present the early results of my research at the S dost-Institut in Regensburg and Heidi Hein-Kircher did the same at the Herder-Institut in Marburg. Mark Roseman, Elizabeth Heineman, and Glenn Penny invited me to take part in Midwest German History Workshops in Bloomington and Iowa City. I benefited greatly from each of these opportunities.
Numerous scholars have encouraged me to rethink and refine parts of this work through their comments and critiques at conferences and other academic gatherings. These include Rita Chin, Annika Frieberg, Stephen Gross, Steven Seegel, Quinn Slobodian, Mark Spicka, Lauren Stokes, Mate Toki , and Mirna Zaki . In Berlin, Bernd Robionek gave me a copy of his hard-to-find but excellent study of Croatian migr s and the Western Allies. Will Gray introduced me to the field of post-1945 German history during our brief overlap at Purdue University and has remained a friend and sounding board. Ari Sammartino made detailed comments at a critical time that changed the shape of the book. Brendan Fay, Michael Geyer, Patrick Gilner, Will Gray, and Bob Moeller all read chapters at various stages of the project and provided helpful feedback. The anonymous peer reviewers for Indiana University Press provided insightful comments that significantly improved the final product. All errors, of course, remain my own.
I could have never completed this book without the friends and family who provided encouragement, love, and support over the long duration of this project. My close-knit family has been a constant source of strength. My parents, Tom and Kathy Molnar, always insisted on the value of education, taught me a sense of curiosity about the world, visited in Europe on multiple occasions, and have helped in too many ways to enumerate. Hanging out-preferably at a lake house!-with my siblings Andy, Amy, and Becca and their families has always been great fun and a much-needed break from the grind of teaching and writing. My funny, smart, and all-around amazing kids, Isabella and Joe, have grown up with this book and all things Germany. They bring joy into my world every day and help me keep life in perspective. My wife, Beth, is my best friend and has been a wonderful companion on every step of this long journey, from Gary, Indiana, to Central Europe, Bloomington, and now Michigan. Her love, support, and sacrifice made this book possible.
Note on Terms
Y UGOSLAVIA WAS COMPOSED of many ethnic groups. In the postwar era, the largest groups were Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Macedonians, Slovenians, and Montenegrins. When discussing immigrants from Yugoslavia in general terms and when my sources do not make clear the ethnicity of the immigrants they describe, I use the term Yugoslavs . German archival and print sources tend to refer to labor migrants from Yugoslavia simply as Yugoslavs. But sources almost always refer to postwar political migr s and refugees during the 1990s specifically as ethnic Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, or members of other ethnic groups. Whenever it is relevant and possible, I provide the ethnic identity of the immigrants under discussion. I have preferred Roma rather than the derogatory Gypsy, which is used herein only when it appears in sources or to highlight the language of historical actors. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from German are my own.
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands / Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern / Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Displaced Persons
Freie Demokratische Partei / Free Democratic Party
Federal Republic of Germany
German Democratic Republic
Hrvatski Narodni Odbor / Croatian National Committee
Hrvatski Oslobodila ki Pokret / Croatian Liberation Movement
International Refugee Organization
Nezavisna Dr ava Hrvatska / Independent State of Croatia
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands / Social Democratic Party of Germany
Uprava Dr avne Bezbednosti / State Security Administration
Ujedinjeni Hrvati Njema ke / United Croats of Germany
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
B RANCO P ETROVI , a twenty-five-year-old Muslim from a rural part of Macedonia that he called the poor house of Europe, migrated to West Germany in 1967 to escape the poverty and hopelessness of his homeland. 1 Unlike many Gastarbeiter who migrated to West Germany between 1955 and 1973, Branco was not leaving behind a spouse or children. Nonetheless, his decision to head to Germany was a difficult one. But it was difficult for different reasons than we are accustomed to hearing. His whole family-his brothers, sisters, and especially his mother and father-were completely set against his going. They undoubtedly did not want to be separated from him. But it was more than that. They specifically did not want him going to Germany. His grandmother had always told him that during World War II German soldiers in Yugoslavia were more brutal than the Turkish occupiers of decades past had ever been. His father had spent 1941 and 1942 in a German prisoner-of-war camp. When he was released, he headed to the mountains, where he joined the Partisans and their war against the German occupiers. On a number of occasions, German troops entered the family s village, demanding that Branco s mother and grandmother tell them where his father was or else they would all be shot. This was no idle threat, for German counterinsurgency campaigns in Yugoslavia were notable for their extreme brutality. 2
The Petrovi family survived the war, but bitter memories of the war and German cruelty lived on in the family, as in much of Yugoslavia in the postwar era. Indeed, after he had already been working in Germany for a short time, Branco had what he recalled as the only major conflict he ever had with his father. The Germans, his father angrily told him, first attacked and then for years occupied our land, and they murdered as not even the Turks had done, they exhausted our land and hunted the people, and now our sons must work for them? Where is the difference there? Where is the justice there? Branco strenuously rejected his father s linking of the war experience with his employment as a guest worker in Germany. He responded that he didn t care where he made his money. His father ended the dispute with a comment that Branco never understood: You too will understand yet. 3
Despite these hard feelings, Branco s father hailed West Germany s social democratic chancellor Willy Brandt-who defused Cold War tensions by improving West Germany s relations with communist Eastern Europe and who forthrightly acknowledged German crimes during World War II-as a true hero. 4 Branco agreed. He held Brandt in the same high esteem he held Tito and thought that perhaps Brandt would have become a good Partisan if he had had the chance. 5 Before a Bundestag election, Branco even hung a picture of Brandt on the wall of his living room in Ingolstadt, which his German girlfriend promptly had him take down. 6
This book tells the story of how Germany received Branco and the hundreds of thousands of others who migrated from Yugoslavia to Germany between 1945 and 1995, sometimes as labor migrants like Branco, but at other times as political migr s, asylum seekers, and war refugees. 7 It is particularly focused on German policies and attitudes toward immigrants from Yugoslavia, examining how they shaped immigrants experiences and illuminate important transitions in West Germany s politics and culture. 8 As Branco s story suggests, the history of Yugoslavs in postwar Germany was profoundly shaped by the experience and memory of World War II and the shifting Cold War context. This study contends that immigration was one of the ways in which Germans negotiated the meaning and legacy of the war, not just in the first postwar decades, but into the 1990s and beyond. At the same time, the history of Yugoslav migrations to the Federal Republic highlights the salience of the Cold War for understanding Germany s postwar migration history. The bipolar Cold War world, and Germany and Yugoslavia s unique positions in that world-Germany divided into two states by the Iron Curtain and Yugoslavia as a nonaligned communist state balancing precariously between the communist East and the capitalist West-structured Yugoslavs experiences in Germany and German perceptions of Yugoslavs. This study therefore brings together three subjects of inquiry that have rarely been analyzed together: the memory of World War II, the Cold War, and immigration in Germany s postwar history. 9
Europe has a long history of immigration, but the movement of people within and toward the European continent has been one of the defining characteristics of Europe s postwar era. 10 World War II set Europe in motion; more than fifty million people were forcibly uprooted between 1939 and 1947. 11 At the war s end, Europe s roads were clogged with people, including millions of displaced persons (DPs) and ethnic German expellees from Eastern Europe. Both these groups were concentrated in Germany, a landscape of ruins that was occupied by the Allied powers and ceased to exist as an independent state. Most DPs would leave Germany as soon as the opportunity presented itself, but as the West German economy took off in the 1950s, people from Europe and throughout the wider world continued to migrate to Germany in massive numbers. Indeed, in the second half of the twentieth century, more people migrated to the western part of Germany than to any other state or region in Europe, most often as labor migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. 12 Having waged a terrible war and committed genocide in order to create a racially pure German empire, in the postwar period West Germany was transformed into one of the leading countries of immigration in the Western world.
Yugoslavs were the only group of immigrants during this era to come to Germany in significant numbers across the four categories of displaced persons, asylum seekers, labor migrants, and refugees. This book thus engages with more aspects of Germany s immigration and postwar history than is typical in an academic study. By drawing attention to these different waves of migration and the often blurred borders between them, this book takes a step toward overcoming the sharp historiographical divides that currently characterize the literature on Germany s postwar immigration history. There are excellent studies of DPs, guest workers, and non-German refugees, but few authors have explored the continuities or ruptures between these different migratory movements and the German response to them. 13
Yugoslavs have been one of the largest groups of foreign immigrants to arrive in the Federal Republic in the postwar era. In 1969 they became the second-largest immigrant group in Germany, a position they held for the remainder of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. Their population peaked at 1.35 million in 1996, a figure that was still considerably less than the number of Turks in Germany (two million in 1996), but more than twice as large as any other immigrant group by country of origin. 14 Moreover, each of the four groups that are the subject of this study were among the largest groups of immigrants in their respective categories. Individuals from the Yugoslav lands made up a very small portion of the eleven million DPs in Europe at the conclusion of the war, but by early 1952 they constituted, after Poles, the second-largest group of Eastern European DPs still on German soil. 15 Yugoslavs also represented the largest group of asylum seekers from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, the second-largest group of labor migrants from the early 1970s into the twenty-first century, and the largest group of refugees in the early 1990s (see the appendix for statistics on DPs, guest workers, and Bosnian war refugees). 16 Their story cannot be regarded as just an interesting footnote to the history of immigration in postwar Germany.
Germany and Yugoslavia from World War to Cold War
The history of Yugoslav migrations to Germany, and its meaning for our understanding of Germany s postwar history, cannot be comprehended unless it is embedded within the broader story of German-Yugoslav entanglements during World War II and the Cold War. By the time World War II broke out in Europe, Yugoslavia, founded in 1918 on the ashes of the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire, was already in a state of crisis. The multiethnic Yugoslav state, led by the Serbian ruling dynasty, was riven by national conflict from its very inception, primarily between Serbs and Croats, but also by the grievances of Macedonians, Bosnian Muslims, and other minority ethnic groups. In an attempt to overcome these divisions, King Alexander proclaimed a royal dictatorship in 1929. Predictably, this move only intensified national conflict within Yugoslavia. It also led Ante Paveli to establish the Ustasha movement, a Croatian fascist group dedicated to the destruction of Yugoslavia and the creation of an independent Croatian nation-state. The Ustashas most high-profile act during the 1930s was the assassination of King Alexander in 1934. 17 Already facing inner turmoil and a crisis of legitimacy, in 1939 and 1940 the Yugoslav state also faced the specter of the German war machine steamrolling through Europe. Hitler had not initially intended to invade Yugoslavia, but in late March 1941, when he became convinced that Yugoslavia was not sufficiently committed to the Axis powers, he ordered an invasion. It began on April 6, 1941, and ended with Yugoslavia s unconditional surrender on April 17, 1941. The first Yugoslavia had come to an end. 18
Tony Judt wrote that in the Balkans, World War II was experienced above all as a civil war, and a uniquely murderous one at that. 19 This rings especially true for Yugoslavia, where the German invasion in April 1941 unleashed a bloody civil war with numerous fronts and ever-shifting alliances, and during which more than one million people, most of them civilians, died as a result of the war. 20 Germany began carving up Yugoslavia even before the surrender. Germany annexed much of Slovenia; together with Italy established the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), a nominally independent state that included the multiethnic territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and was ruled by Ante Paveli and his clerico-fascist Ustasha movement; allowed the annexation or occupation of considerable territories by Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria; and created a rump Serbian state under General Milan Nedi . 21 The newly established Serbian regime collaborated with the Germans and participated in wartime atrocities, but it had very little autonomy and Nedi understood his state to be the result of a great national tragedy. 22 Ante Paveli and the leadership of the new Croatian state, in contrast, viewed the creation of the NDH as the realization of the Croatian people s centuries-old national aspirations.
Once in power, Paveli and the Ustasha regime almost immediately began the systematic extermination of Jews and Roma. The Ustasha movement considered Serbs, however, to be their greatest enemy. The NDH s population of about six million included nearly two million Serbs. Shortly after the establishment of the NDH, Mile Budak, minister for Religious Affairs and Education, reportedly declared that one-third of the Serbs would be expelled, one-third converted to Catholicism, and the remaining third liquidated. 23 The Ustasha regime began implementing that plan as soon as it came to power. During the course of the war, the Ustasha killed an estimated three hundred thousand Serbs in the NDH, more than four hundred thousand were expelled or fled, and nearly two hundred fifty thousand converted to Catholicism, often under threat of force. 24 Hitler had urged Paveli to continue to pursue a policy of national intolerance toward the Serbs, but the Ustasha regime carried out these policies with such brutality that even Nazis were appalled. 25 In the summer of 1941, Edmund Glaise von Horstenau, the Wehrmacht s representative to the NDH, complained to his superiors about the blind, bloody fury of the Ustasha, particularly about their utterly inhuman treatment of the Serbs. 26 The Ustashas violence, corruption, and general inability to establish a functioning state soon led many Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and others to join the resistance against the NDH. 27

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Map of Occupation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (after the 1941 invasion)

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Occupied and Partitioned Yugoslavia, 1941. David Cox.
Two major resistance movements emerged in Yugoslavia after the German invasion: the Serbian nationalist Chetniks and the communist Partisans. The Chetniks were a loose band of Serbian guerilla groups who initially opposed the German occupation. But they proved to be more interested in battling the Partisans and cleansing Bosnian Muslim and Croatian areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina, hoping to establish an ethnically pure and authoritarian Greater Serbia once the war ended. Initially having received support from the Allies, by 1944 they openly collaborated with the Nazis in the battle against the Partisans. 28 The Partisans were a homegrown communist movement led by Josip Broz Tito. They were committed to the creation of a multinational Yugoslavia in which all national groups would be equals, and they attracted substantial support from Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims, Slovenes, and other groups. 29 They also resisted the German occupation forces much more forcefully and with greater success than did the Chetniks. In September 1941, Hitler responded to these insurgencies by ordering his military leadership in Serbia to reestablish order in the area by the application of the harshest means. 30 Just days later, Hitler ordered that throughout German-occupied Europe, Nazi forces were to execute one hundred people for every German soldier or official killed by insurgents and fifty people for each wounded German. This order was strictly enforced only in Serbia, and it resulted in brutal massacres of thousands of civilians who had not been involved in resistance movements. 31 It was the memory of these massacres that led Branco s parents and grandparents to lament his decision to leave Yugoslavia in 1967 to become a guest worker in West Germany.

Adolf Hitler greets Ante Paveli , leader of the Independent State of Croatia, upon his arrival at the Berghof for a state visit. Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, June 9, 1941. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Muzej Revolucije Narodnosti Jugoslavije.
The war in Yugoslavia, exceptionally bloody from the outset, ended in an orgy of violence. With minimal support from the Russians and the Western Allies, the Partisans managed to liberate Yugoslavia from the Germans, while at the same time defeating the Chetniks and the Ustasha regime in Croatia. 32 As World War II neared its conclusion in early May 1945, Tito s Partisans fought their way through northwestern Yugoslavia. With the German army in full retreat, tens of thousands of anticommunist forces, including Chetniks, Ustashas, Slovenian groups, and civilian refugees pushed desperately toward Yugoslavia s border with Austria, hoping to surrender to the British in order to avoid a final reckoning with Tito s Partisan army. 33 What exactly transpired next continues to be a source of debate, but the end result is clear. At the Austrian border town of Bleiburg and numerous other locations, Partisans slaughtered upwards of seventy thousand anticommunist forces and civilians, perhaps fifty thousand of them Croats. 34 Many Ustasha leaders and sympathizers survived the carnage by melting into the Austrian forest. They soon reemerged throughout the Western world, including West Germany, where they loudly proclaimed themselves innocent victims of communist terror. As we will see, their tales of flight, exile, and suffering at the hands of communists would find sympathetic ears in West Germany.
Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia, known as Danube Swabians ( Donauschwaben ) or by the Nazi term Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans), also suffered terribly at the end of the war and in the immediate postwar years. 35 Germans had settled on the territory of the modern state of Yugoslavia in numerous movements stretching out over nearly a millennium, and they therefore had deep roots in the region. But because they collaborated with and benefited from the German occupation, they earned the hatred of Tito s Partisans and the leadership of the new socialist Yugoslavia. 36 In November 1944, the leadership of Yugoslavia s national liberation movement declared Danube Swabians to be hostile aliens who were collectively guilty for Nazi crimes. 37 As a result, the ethnic German community in Yugoslavia, numbering just over half a million prior to the war, was almost completely destroyed between 1944 and 1948. They were stripped of all their property; about two hundred thousand fled the country at the end of the war, mostly settling in the Federal Republic and Austria; thousands were rounded up and executed by Partisans; twelve thousand were sent as slave laborers to the Soviet Union; and about one hundred fifty thousand-primarily elderly, women, and young children-were placed in concentration camps, where a staggering one third of them died, largely from mistreatment and appalling sanitary conditions. In 1948 there were only fifty-five thousand ethnic Germans left in Yugoslavia. 38 For the two hundred thousand Danube Swabians who had settled in West Germany by the 1950s, their suffering during and after the war led them to conceive of themselves, just like Croats, as innocent victims of communist terror. Their memory of the war resonated in 1950s West Germany. 39 This sense of victimhood, combined with the widespread anticommunism of the first postwar decades, led many Danube Swabians, German expellees from other states, and at least some other Germans to be hostile toward Tito s Yugoslavia and its representatives.
Shifting memories of the war among Germans and Yugoslavs make up half the backdrop against which the history of Yugoslav migration to Germany must be understood. The second half is the Cold War. In June 1948, Stalin expelled Yugoslavia from the Cominform, a move that decisively shaped socialist Yugoslavia s history. The Tito-Stalin split had many causes, but at root it was a result of Tito s insistence that Yugoslavia be an independent Soviet ally, not a satellite state. 40 Cast out of the international communist movement, Yugoslavia became a nonaligned communist state. When Tito turned to the West for support, leaders in the West, and particularly the United States, were happy to oblige, because they viewed Yugoslavia s break with the Soviet Union as a promising challenge to the Soviet Union s domination of Eastern Europe. The United States and other Western states sent Yugoslavia billions of dollars of economic aid between the early 1950s and early 1960s, and Tito quickly became the West s favorite communist. 41
West Germany s relationship with Yugoslavia started off on a positive note, but things turned sour fairly quickly. The Federal Republic and Yugoslavia established diplomatic relations in 1951, making Yugoslavia the first communist state to recognize West Germany. The Federal Republic took this step for a number of reasons: it saw Yugoslavia as an ally in the Cold War, sought to facilitate the return of German POWs and Danube Swabians, and, perhaps most important, because Tito endorsed the West German position that the two Germanys should be reunified. Yugoslavia s leaders condemned the ruthlessness and brutality of Soviet terror in East Germany, called for German reunification, and refused to extend diplomatic recognition to the German Democratic Republic (GDR). 42 But in 1955, two years after Stalin s death, Tito sought a rapprochement with the Soviet Union. As part of his effort to curry favor with Nikita Khrushchev, Tito extended diplomatic recognition to East Germany in 1957 and thereby recognized and accepted Germany s division. Yugoslavia thus became the first country outside of the Sino-Soviet Bloc to recognize the GDR. West Germany responded to the affront by immediately breaking off diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and relations between the two states wavered between cool and hostile for the next decade. 43 West Germany and Yugoslavia would resume diplomatic relations only in 1968, when Tito again moved toward the West, and the Federal Republic, and particularly Foreign Minister Willy Brandt, sought improved relations with Eastern Europe. 44
For the history of Yugoslav migration to West Germany, the damaged relations came at a critical juncture. The break in diplomatic relations covered the years in which West Germany, facing labor shortages during its economic miracle, signed labor recruitment agreements with most of the states of southern Europe. 45 Yugoslav workers were in great demand by German employers, but, without the benefit of a labor recruitment treaty, Yugoslav workers were forced to pave their own ways into the country until 1969. These pathways were often illegal and sometimes risky, and they had negative implications for how Yugoslavs were viewed and treated in West Germany.
Yugoslavs in Germany
Four groups of immigrants from Yugoslavia arrived on German territory in the half-century after the end of World War II: political migr s in the immediate postwar years, asylum seekers in the 1950s and 1960s, labor migrants primarily during the 1960s and early 1970s, and Bosnian war refugees in the 1990s. 46 Some of these groups overlapped with each other, blurring the distinctions between the groups. This was particularly the case from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, when, for example, it would have been possible for Yugoslavs to leave their country as labor migrants, apply for asylum in West Germany, and then join a political migr group. While keeping this messiness in mind, it nonetheless can be stated that each group left Yugoslavia for different reasons, had different attitudes toward their homeland, and different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Each group was also treated differently by their German hosts. This was in part a result of each group s different profile and means of entering the country. Political migr s, in other words, were treated differently from labor migrants, and labor migrants differently from asylum seekers and war refugees. But it was also because these groups settled in Germany during different eras, each shaped in various ways by the shifting Cold War context, the German process of working through the Nazi past, and changes in the broader social, cultural, and political environment.
Immigrants from Yugoslavia entered Germany in four distinct phases. In the first phase, political migr s, mostly Serbs and Croats, settled in the western occupation zones of Germany immediately after World War II. The migr community in West Germany was deeply fragmented along national and political lines, but all the leading migr organizations were fiercely anticommunist and sought the destruction of communist Yugoslavia and the establishment of new states based on the maximalist programs of their respective national groups. Croats, in particular, established vibrant political organizations. They were characterized by significant continuities with the Ustasha movement, in terms of both ideology and membership. By the early 1960s, they would become by far the most radical and violent of all the Eastern European migr groups in West Germany. Their reception in West Germany was heavily influenced by the conservative sociopolitical environment and especially the pervasive anticommunism of the 1950s and early 1960s. 47 Despite their radicalism and often compromised pasts, Croatian migr s found significant sympathy and support in West Germany. This was because many West Germans saw them as allies in the wider Cold War struggle against the communist East and because Croats shrewdly tapped into the widespread West German belief that Germans were the true victims of World War II. But in the early 1960s, when Croats began to carry out acts of violence against representatives of the Yugoslav state on German soil, German support for Croatian migr s began to wane. By this time, Germans had begun more earnestly working through their own Nazi past, and as a result, they were able to more clearly see the links between Croatian migr s, the Nazi past, and the horrors of the wartime Ustasha regime.
The second phase, beginning in the mid-1950s and ending in 1968, was characterized by large-scale migration of Yugoslavs to Germany at a time in which West Germany and Yugoslavia had neither diplomatic relations nor a labor recruitment agreement. This meant that Yugoslavs often entered Germany through difficult and time-consuming pathways, some of which were illegal. This was a transitional phase in the history of Yugoslav migration to Germany. It was transitional in the sense that a significant number of immigrants entered Germany as asylum seekers, but most entered as labor migrants, and the proportion of labor migrants to asylum seekers grew steadily throughout the period. During this era, Yugoslavs arrived in a West Germany that was also in transition, gradually moving from the social and political conservatism and anticommunism of the 1950s toward d tente and the social and political liberalization of the 1960s. In the conservative sociopolitical order of the 1950s and early 1960s, Germans often feared that Yugoslav laborers were potential communist agents, and German officials deemed Yugoslav asylum seekers to be economic refugees who were attempting to take advantage of German generosity. This led authorities to place significant restrictions on Yugoslavs entry into Germany and put them under a cloud of suspicion. But by the early to mid-1960s, most West Germans outside the halls of government no longer saw Yugoslavs or Yugoslavia as a threat.
The third phase, beginning in the late 1960s and ending in late 1973, when West Germany halted its labor recruitment program, consisted almost completely of labor migrants. Their experiences were shaped in important ways by the emergence of a more liberal cultural and political environment in West Germany, and particularly by Willy Brandt s efforts to defuse Cold War tensions by improving West German relations with communist Eastern Europe. Yugoslav labor migrants shared many of the characteristics of guest workers from other states. They were mostly young men and women who headed to the Federal Republic with the intention of working for two or three years, earning and saving as much as they could, and returning to Yugoslavia to build a house and take part in Yugoslavia s consumerism-driven good life. 48 Like other guest workers, they faced discrimination and various disadvantages in their daily lives. By the early 1970s, however, many officials and members of the press came to regard the presence of Yugoslav labor migrants in West Germany as living proof that the long shadow of the war and the Cold War struggle between East and West could be overcome and that communists and capitalists could live together in peace.
During the fourth and final phase of Yugoslav migration to Germany to be examined in this book, Bosnian war refugees, overwhelmingly Muslims, fled to Germany in the early 1990s to escape war and ethnic violence in their homeland. Many Bosnian refugees came from the middle class and were educated and skilled workers. Most hoped to return to their homes in Bosnia, but many could not because Serbs, and to a lesser extent Croats, had ethnically cleansed large portions of their homeland, creating mono-ethnic communities where multicultural communities had long thrived. Germany provided a safe haven to more Bosnian refugees than the rest of the European Union member states combined, but Bosnians entered the country at an inauspicious time. The end of the Cold War and German reunification led to an upsurge of nationalism that soon manifested itself in violent attacks on foreigners, particularly on refugees. Although this violence was rarely directed specifically at Bosnians, it created an environment in which Germans increasingly viewed Bosnian refugees as an unwanted burden. At the same time, some Germans, in a triumphalist reimagining of their own war experience, argued that Bosnian refugees should return home to rebuild their homeland just as German expellees from Eastern Europe had done at the end of World War II. In the end, Germany pursued a policy of deportation and return earlier and more aggressively than any other state in Europe.
Migration in Postwar Germany
Migration has been a fundamental and constant feature of German society in the modern era. 49 In the twentieth century, in particular, Germany was a profoundly unsettled society in which wars and economic developments led to millions of Germans and foreigners crisscrossing Germany, Europe, and frequently lands beyond, sometimes voluntarily but just as often involuntarily. 50 Despite the centrality of migration in Germany s modern history, Germans have tended to see migration as an exception rather than the norm. 51 Indeed, throughout the postwar era, politicians in the Federal Republic repeatedly intoned that Germany is not a land of immigration, a position that stood strikingly at odds with Germany s demographic reality. Between 1945 and the early 1990s, more than twenty million people, more than half of them Germans, had immigrated to Germany s western territories. That represents roughly a quarter of Germany s population at reunification in 1990, but even that high figure obscures the scale of migration in postwar Germany because it does not include the millions of DPs and rotating guest workers who remained only briefly on German territory. 52
Historians have long neglected German immigration history, a neglect that both reflected and reinforced the notion that Germany was not a land of immigration. But that has begun to change in recent decades. The first breakthrough came in in the 1980s, when Klaus J. Bade and Ulrich Herbert published pioneering studies that described and analyzed the numerous and highly differentiated waves of migration into Germany during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 53 These two studies were, in some sense, works of recovery. By documenting the long history of immigration in Germany, they sought to show their German readers that Germany was, and had for a long time been, a land of immigration. Bade s and Herbert s works thus directly engaged with the heated political debates surrounding immigration that were taking place in West Germany at the time.
If German politics provided one impulse for historians to examine the history of immigration in Germany, other impulses came from developments within the field of history. The turn away from social-science history and toward postmodern approaches in the discipline of history during the 1980 and 1990s resulted in European historians increasingly studying groups on the margins of society, including ethnic minorities and immigrants. 54 The transnational turn that began in the 1990s and picked up steam in the first decade of the twenty-first century has likewise led to greater interest in Germany s immigration history. 55 The confluence of these historiographical trends and the emergence of immigration as a major political issue in Germany has prompted an outpouring of research on Germany s immigration history. Much work remains to be done, but we now know much more about immigration in German history-from Polish immigrants in the Kaiserreich to displaced persons after World War II and guest workers in the postwar era-than we did just two decades ago. 56
People from throughout Europe and the world migrated to West Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, arriving as displaced persons, guest workers, students, and asylum seekers. But in the popular imagination, the great diversity of West Germany s postwar immigration history has often been obscured by a focus on a single group of immigrants: Turkish guest workers and their families. By the 1980s, public and policy discourse on immigrants in West Germany came to focus overwhelmingly on Turks and the problems raised by their alien Islamic cultural practices. By the 1990s, the words immigrant and Turk came to be nearly synonymous in Germany. That West Germany s guest worker program had resulted in the permanent settlement of hundreds of thousands of Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Yugoslavs was largely forgotten. 57 There are good reasons for this: Turks have been the largest group of foreigners in Germany since the early 1970s, for many Germans Turks have stood out from other immigrants because of their different religious and cultural practices, and as has already been mentioned, public and political discourse on immigration in Germany has overwhelmingly concentrated on Turks.
This focus on Turks has also exerted an influence on scholars of immigration in Germany. During the 1980s, German social scientists devoted more and more of their attention to Turkish immigrants, to the exclusion of other immigrant groups, a trend that continued into the 1990s. 58 When historians, anthropologists, and scholars in other disciplines began taking more interest in Germany s migration history in recent decades, they too focused overwhelmingly on Turks. 59 In the last decade, scholarship on German immigration history has begun to more accurately reflect the diverse origins of Germany s immigrant populations, most notably with an outpouring of studies on DPs and Italian labor migrants, but the history of Turkish immigrants continues to frame historians understanding of immigration in Germany s postwar history. 60 For example, in her pioneering work on Germany s postwar immigration history, Rita Chin claims that West Germany s guest worker program and the resulting settlement of millions of foreigners on German soil led Germans to racialize cultural difference, which resulted in the unexpected return of race in the Federal Republic. 61 Chin convincingly demonstrates that Germans increasingly described Turks in racialized terms but does not extend her analysis to other groups. But Turks, although the largest group of immigrants in Germany, have never represented more than 33 percent of the foreign population. 62 They certainly never supplanted the earlier multinational guest worker community. 63 One of the goals of this study is to show that the history of Turks in Germany cannot be made to stand in for the history of immigration in postwar Germany writ large.
Historians have made clear that questions of race continued to inform German thinking and policies in the second half of the twentieth century, even if the language of race became taboo as a result of the crimes of the Third Reich. 64 Rita Chin and Heide Fehrenbach call for a historiographical reorientation that puts the category of race and the process of racialization at the center of Germany s postwar history. They are undoubtedly right to claim that we cannot grasp the full range of social experience in postwar West Germany without this critical perspective. 65 As vital and productive as these insights have been for our understanding of Germany s postwar history, considerations of race nonetheless played only a marginal and by no means clear-cut role in the history of Yugoslavs in postwar Germany. In his classic study of racism, George Fredrickson writes that racism originates from a mindset that regards them as different from us in ways that are permanent and unbridgeable. 66 Like all immigrants in Germany, Yugoslavs generally could not become German citizens prior to the citizenship reform of 1999. But in the half century that this book spans, Germans only very rarely portrayed Yugoslavs as being fundamentally different from themselves. Germans also did not stereotype them as violent and backward Balkan others. 67
This is not to suggest that considerations of cultural or racial difference did not inform German views of Yugoslavs. In the 1960s, for instance, some West German employees and government officials came to see Yugoslavs as highly desirable workers in part because they deemed them to be culturally closer to Germans than other immigrant groups and therefore more assimilable. Germans never viewed Turks in this light. But during the same era, some Bavarian authorities described Yugoslav asylum seekers as criminal asocials. Although it falls outside the temporal scope of this book, Thilo Sarrazin s description of Yugoslavs in his best-selling anti-immigrant polemic, Germany Abolishes Itself , also reminds us that Germans have not invariably perceived Yugoslavs as a racially desirable immigrant group. According to Sarrazin, immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, Turkey, and Arab states constitute the core of the integration problem. . . Their difficulties in the school system, on the labor market, and in society in general arise from the groups themselves, not from the surrounding society. 68 But these sort of fixed racial evaluations of Yugoslavs, as either particularly desirable or problematic, were not the norm in the Federal Republic. What stands out much more is the fluidity and frequent redrawing of the boundary that defined groups of immigrants as either desirable or unwanted. The drawing and redrawing of this boundary was generally not based on German perceptions of Yugoslavs racial or cultural characteristics, but rather on the complex interaction of a number of factors, chief among them shifts in international and national Cold War politics, German attitudes toward the Nazi past, and the varying pathways by which immigrants from Yugoslavia entered the country.
Many Germans, for instance, embraced Croatian nationalist migr s during the 1950s but then came to see them as a problematic group in the 1960s. Germans had not suddenly come to view Croats as more culturally distant and therefore unassimilable. Rather, the political and memory culture of 1950s West Germany-characterized by anticommunism, German victim discourses, and relative silence about the Nazi past-created a hospitable and supportive environment for Croatian migr s, who were also fiercely anticommunist and had their own victim discourse. But dramatic shifts in West Germany s political and memory culture in the 1960s, particularly the end of the anticommunist consensus and the beginning of a more robust discussion of the crimes of the Nazi era, created an environment in which many Germans became more critical of Croatian migr groups, particularly when their links to Croatian fascism became apparent. To take another example, in the 1990s Germans did not racialize Bosnian refugees. This is remarkable when one considers that Bosnians made up the largest group of foreign new arrivals during the early 1990s and that they were overwhelmingly Muslims, an already stigmatized group in Germany. Despite not being racialized, they were nonetheless considered an unwanted group of foreigners and were forced, at times with great cruelty, to return to their former homeland. Donald Bloxham argues that states that have perpetrated genocide have not required a racial ideology in order to treat other peoples as collectively dangerous or disposable. 69 Along the same lines, the forced return of Bosnian refugees shows quite clearly that Germans have not needed to racialize immigrant groups in order to carry out harsh and punitive measures against them.
Despite representing the second-largest group of immigrants in the Federal Republic, immigrants from Yugoslavia have garnered relatively scant attention from historians. 70 This is primarily because, unlike Turks, they have generally not been seen as a problematic immigrant group in Germany. Until very recently, the sparse literature on Yugoslavs in Germany tended to focus on the impact of West German-Yugoslav foreign relations on migration from Yugoslavia to the Federal Republic. Indeed, by far the best-researched aspect of Yugoslav migration to Germany is the years-long process of negotiating a labor recruitment agreement, a process that was shaped by economic considerations but also by international Cold War politics. 71 The few works on Croatian migr s likewise emphasize the impact of the Cold War and West German foreign relations on German policy and attitudes toward the migr s. 72 Scholars have also recently begun to explore the social history of Yugoslav immigrant communities. A major focus of this research has been Yugoslavs long-term orientation toward their homeland, the means by which that orientation was maintained, and the impact that it has had on their integration into the German host society. 73 Vladimir Ivanovi s comparative social history of Yugoslavs in Austria and West Germany from 1965 to 1973 is the most authoritative history of migration from Yugoslavia in the postwar era, but it examines only labor migrants and covers a fairly short period. 74 Although most of these studies discuss the impact of the Cold War on the history of migration from Yugoslavia to Germany, this is the first book to systematically examine how the experience and memory of World War II interacted with the politics and culture of the Cold War to shape German policy and attitudes toward all groups of immigrants from Yugoslavia. 75 Moreover, this is the first study to examine the entire spectrum of Yugoslav migrations to the Federal Republic in the postwar era: migr s and guest workers, but also asylum seekers and war refugees in the early decades of the Cold War and again at its conclusion. 76
Approach and Chapter Summaries
For decades, the historiography of the postwar era in Europe and Germany was shaped by the Cold War. This work was characterized by a sharp East-West divide that mirrored the Cold War, and much of it focused on high politics. When did the Cold War start? Who started it? What was the nature of the relationship between European states and their Soviet or American hegemons? To what extent were European societies Sovietized or Americanized? But the end of the Cold War in 1989-91 has opened up new perspectives on the history of the European postwar era. 77 As Frank Biess notes, recent research on Europe s postwar history no longer treats the post-1945 period primarily as the incubation period of a new Cold War order that was shaped by the antagonistic influences of Americanization and Sovietization. Rather, it makes central the lasting and persistent after effects of the Second World War for the history of European societies after 1945. 78 This new historiography of the European postwar thus rejects the notion of a Stunde Null , the idea that the end of the war in 1945 marked a clean historical rupture between the violence of the first half of the century and the beginning of a new and more peaceful epoch. Instead, it attempts to unearth and render visible the persistent hidden-and sometimes not-so-hidden-traces of the Second World War within postwar societies. 79
Drawing inspiration from the new emphasis on Europe as a postwar society, this book identifies migration as an area in which the war had a profound impact on the postwar era. In recent years, scholars such as Anna Holian, Atina Grossmann, and others have drawn our attention to how the war created millions of uprooted, stateless refugees. 80 The presence of Jewish and Eastern European DPs, mostly huddled in refugee camps in occupied Germany, was both a direct result of the war and a constant reminder to Germans of their past misdeeds. But virtually all the new histories of displaced persons end by 1951 or shortly thereafter, when most DPs had been repatriated or adopted new homelands. 81 The experience and memory of the war, however, left much longer-term traces in Germany s postwar immigration history. Many Croatian migr s who had fled to Germany at the end of the war remained wedded to their radical-nationalist ideology decades later. They found their strongest support among Germans who had been forcibly expelled from their Eastern European homelands. Subsequent waves of immigration from Yugoslavia, particularly guest workers and Bosnian war refugees, gave rise to public discussions of the war that focused on how its legacy could be overcome or how it could be mined for lessons about the present. The links connecting the war and people on the move, so visible in the transitory DP era, persisted throughout the postwar era.
This focus on how the war and its legacy shaped Germany s immigration history does not mean that the Cold War frame can be swept into the historiographical dustbin. Far from it. The problems of the postwar era, including the administration of millions of DPs, were structured by and often constitutive of the Cold War. 82 Moreover, virtually every aspect of Yugoslavs experiences in West Germany-from who could enter the country legally or be granted asylum to how they were viewed by Germans-was shaped by the Cold War. Because Germany was divided into two hostile states by the Iron Curtain, historians of Germany s Cold War have often remained riveted on the unfolding of the German-German drama. 83 This book, however, pushes in the opposite direction. Following the example of historians such as William Gray and Quinn Slobodian, I explore the transnational dimensions of Germany s Cold War. 84 I do so not by focusing on foreign policy or political elites, traditional concerns of scholarship on the Cold War, but on the impact the bipolar world order had on West German policies and attitudes toward immigrants from Yugoslavia.
Geographically, this book moves back and forth from the national to the regional level, where the focus is on Bavaria and Munich. Much of the policy that affected Yugoslavs in the Federal Republic-who could come to Germany, who had a claim to asylum, and what sort of assistance they received-was made at the federal level. Accordingly, when analyzing immigration policy, the focus is primarily on Bonn. When examining political and media discourses about Yugoslavs, I also concentrate on the national level, because these discourses were strongly shaped by West Germany s shifting Cold War politics and were not significantly differentiated at the state level.
But the consideration of Yugoslavs activities and experiences in West Germany focuses on Bavaria and its capital, Munich. Bavaria has always been an important site for the history of Yugoslav migration to the Federal Republic. Political migr s made Munich their organizational headquarters when they settled in West Germany; the Federal Republic s only two refugee camps for foreign refugees between the mid-1950s and the late 1960s-when Yugoslavs were the largest group of asylum seekers-were both located in Bavaria; Munich has long been home to the largest number of Yugoslavs of any German city; and among the German L nder , Bavaria took in the second greatest number of Bosnian refugees during the 1990s, many of them finding shelter in Munich. 85 Moreover, although West German immigration policy was generally made at the federal level, in at least two instances the Bavarian state government played a key policy role. First, during the 1950s and 1960s, most asylum seekers entered West Germany through Bavaria, which gave Bavarian border police an outsized role in determining who had the right to enter the country. Second, in the mid-1990s, the federal government granted the states substantial flexibility in how they would go about returning Bosnian war refugees to their homeland. Bavarian authorities quickly became vocal proponents of sending back Bosnian refugees as early as possible. Berlin is often presented as the multicultural capital of Germany, while Munich is viewed as the seat of traditional Germany, the land of Oktoberfest and lederhosen. In reality, by the early 1990s, Munich had the third-largest percentage of foreign residents among German cities (22.3% in 1993), and almost exactly double the percentage of foreigners as Berlin. 86 By focusing on Munich and Bavaria, I hope to draw attention to another of Germany s numerous multicultural cities and also to the history of immigration in the Federal Republic s largest and most conservative state. 87
Chapter 1 , Communities of Victims, examines how the conservative political culture of West Germany during the 1950s allowed groups of right-wing political exiles from Yugoslavia, primarily Croats, to find considerable sympathy among Germans. Special attention is paid to Croatian migr s development and strategic deployment of a victim discourse in which they appeared as innocent victims of communist terror at the conclusion of World War II. This discourse, similar in many respects to the West German victim discourse, and their loud denunciations of Titoist terror against Danube Swabians, earned Croats considerable support among Germans, particularly from German expellees from Eastern Europe and the Catholic Church. This chapter demonstrates that the pervasiveness of both anticommunism and the German victim discourse in West Germany during the 1950s had a more profound impact on German attitudes and policies toward Croatian migr s than did shifts in West Germany s relations with Tito s Yugoslavia.
In the early 1960s, some Croatian radicals adopted violent tactics in their struggle against communist Yugoslavia, carrying out high-profile attacks against representatives of the Yugoslav state on German territory. Chapter 2 , History on Trial, explores the prehistory and extended aftermath of Croats first major act of violence in West Germany: the 1962 bombing of the Yugoslav Trade Mission in Bonn. Radical Croatian migr s, including the fascist priest Krunoslav Draganovi -who had earlier played a key role in constructing the ratlines that smuggled high-ranking Nazis and Ustashas out of Europe in the immediate aftermath of the war-used their connections with sympathetic German expellees and the Catholic Church to gain extraordinary influence over young Croats, who began arriving in West Germany in the mid-1950s. Postwar migr s radicalized some of these Croats and encouraged them to carry out acts of violence against representatives of the Yugoslav state in West Germany. Croatian migr s firmly believed that West Germans would support their actions. But changes in German society and politics during the 1960s, specifically the emergence of both a more critical attitude toward the Third Reich and a new conciliatory policy toward communist Eastern Europe, led to a sharp decline in West German support for Croatian radicals and ultimately to their political isolation.
Chapter 3 , Second-Class Refugees, argues that a distinctive West German-Yugoslav migration regime emerged in the mid-1950s that not only had negative consequences for Yugoslav labor migrants but also played a key role in the creation of West Germany s restrictive asylum system. Because West Germany broke off diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia in 1957, it was unwilling to sign a labor recruitment treaty with Yugoslavia, as it did with most countries on Europe s southern fringe. Yugoslavs, who were in great demand as skilled workers, were thus forced to forge their own pathways into West Germany, pathways that were often precarious, were sometimes illegal, and ultimately afforded Yugoslavs fewer protections than labor migrants from other countries. Some Yugoslavs, driven by both economic and political considerations, secured their entry into West Germany by applying for political asylum. In examining German treatment of Yugoslav asylum seekers, chapter 3 offers a fundamentally new history of political asylum in West Germany during the 1950s and 1960s. Scholars of asylum almost universally assert that refugees from communist Eastern Europe during this era were welcomed with open arms and that West Germany s administration of asylum became restrictive only during the 1970s, when the number of asylum seekers exploded and they increasingly came not from Europe but from the developing world. But deeply rooted antiforeigner sentiment in Bavaria and the widespread refusal to believe that Yugoslav asylum seekers were anything but economic refugees contributed to the development of an asylum system that was restrictive already in the 1950s.
Chapter 4 , Imagining Yugoslavs, charts West German perceptions of Yugoslav labor migrants over almost two and a half decades, from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. During this long period, West German perceptions of and attitudes toward Yugoslav labor migrants were shaped much more by the shifting Cold War context and the long shadow of World War II than by considerations of race or other forms of difference. Through the early 1960s, the West German state and security services viewed Yugoslav labor migrants as a security risk and thus an undesirable immigrant group because they came from a communist state. But this negative perception of Yugoslavs changed when Willy Brandt pushed for better relations between West Germany and Yugoslavia and the communist East more generally. During this period, German leaders and the press developed and broadcast a discourse that I call interpersonal Ostpolitik, in which friendly German-Yugoslav encounters on West German shop floors and on sunny Adriatic holiday resorts were held up as proof that the divided continent and the painful memory of World War II could be overcome and a new Europe created. This discourse painted an overly sunny picture of German-Yugoslav encounters, but it created a positive image of Yugoslavs just as Germans were increasingly describing Turkish immigrants as an alien and unassimilable other.
At the end of the Cold War, Yugoslavia was torn apart by a series of violent conflicts while the two German states were reunified. Chapter 5 , The Return of the Nation, explores how the reemergence of nationalism in both states during the early 1990s ushered in a new era in the history of Yugoslav migration to Germany. It focuses on the German reception and treatment of the approximately three hundred fifty thousand Bosnian war refugees who fled from the conflict in their homeland and especially on the German decision in 1996 to begin forcibly returning Bosnian refugees to their shattered homeland. Resurgent nationalism in Germany, together with the fear that their country was being overrun by foreigners, led German officials, particularly in conservative Bavaria, to adopt a uniquely hard line toward Bosnian war refugees. In yet another intersection of the memory of World War II and migration in postwar Germany, many Germans justified the policy of return by drawing historically dubious parallels between conditions in two postwar moments: Germany in 1945 and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995.
In Ali: Fear Eats the Soul , Rainer Werner Fassbinder s classic 1974 Gastarbeiter film, a widowed German cleaning lady named Emmi Kurowski (whose first husband was a Polish immigrant) falls in love with and marries Ali, a much younger Moroccan Arab guest worker. Throughout the film, Fassbinder emphasizes just how exotic Germans found Ali. He hangs out at a guest worker bar playing strange Arabic music, eats couscous, speaks broken German, and has dark skin, dark hair, and a big beard. Emmi s family, coworkers, and neighbors are scandalized that she would marry such an outsider and they turn on her, making her an outcast. Unable to tolerate being ostracized, Emmi begins to exoticize and exploit Ali in order to regain her standing in German society. But as part of this process, Emmi and her coworkers-who had earlier spurned her-also draw a clear boundary between themselves and a new coworker: Yolanda, a blond-haired and light-skinned guest worker from Yugoslavia (played, revealingly, by a German woman). 88 The three German women and Yolanda sit together on the landing of a stairway eating lunch, when the issue of a possible pay raise comes up. The German women, not wanting Yolanda to be part of the conversation, get up and move to the next lower landing, where they whisper about the pay raise and agree to meet later at Emmi s house to discuss the issue. They justify excluding Yolanda by noting that she is already on a different, lower pay scale. Fassbinder then has the camera linger on Yolanda, sitting alone on the stairs self-consciously eating her lunch. The vertical stair railings stand between her and the camera, visually emphasizing her exclusion from German society and almost creating the impression that she is imprisoned. With this brief episode, Fassbinder suggests that even foreigners whom Germans do not exoticize or racialize can find themselves treated like undesirable outsiders, an insight that the following pages explore. At the same time, the brevity of this scene, lasting less than three minutes, reflects the marginal position Yugoslavs have always held in popular and scholarly discussions of immigration in postwar Germany. This book brings their history into sharper focus.
1 . Von der Gr n, Leben , 59, 61-62.
2 . Shepherd, Terror in the Balkans .
3 . Von der Gr n, Leben , 66-67.
4 . Ibid., 63.
5 . Ibid., 71.
6 . Ibid., 70-71.
7 . East Germany had a much smaller foreign population than West Germany, had only a small labor recruitment program, and did not have a labor recruitment agreement with Yugoslavia. This book is therefore a history of the Federal Republic of Germany. On minorities and foreign workers in East Germany, see Dennis and Laporte, State and Minorities in Communist East Germany .
8 . This book is a study of German attitudes and policies toward Yugoslavs, rather than a social history of the Yugoslav community in Germany. It is therefore based on German-language sources.
9 . These subjects are brought together in Holian, Between National Socialism , but her analysis ends in 1951; and in Clarkson, Fragmented Fatherland , where the focus is more on the Cold War and immigration.
10 . Most studies of immigration in European history focus on the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century. For studies that reach back into the early modern era, see Moch, Moving Europeans ; and Lucassen, Migrant Labour .
11 . Holian, Between National Socialism , 3. Also see Marrus, The Unwanted , chs. 3-5.
12 . M nz, Seifert, and Ulrich, Zuwanderung nach Deutschland , 17.
13 . On the benefits of overcoming divisions between categories of immigrants, see Ballinger, Entangled or Extruded Histories?
14 . For statistics on Yugoslavs in Germany, see Herbert, History of Foreign Labor , 203; and Babka von Gostomski, T rkische , 8.
15 . By this time they were referred to as heimatlose Ausl nder (homeless foreigners) or migr s.
16 . For statistics on Yugoslav asylum seekers between 1953 and 1968, see Rosenkranz, Gesamtzugang seit 1. Februar 1953 bis einschlie lich 31. August 1968, nach Staatsangeh rigkeit, September 9, 1968, BHStA, MInn / 88425; and Schoeppe an das Bayerische Staatsministerium des Innern, Betr.: Sammellager f r Ausl nder in Zirndorf; hier: Jahresstatistik 1967; Gesamt bersicht 1953-1967, January 23, 1968, BHStA, MInn / 88425.
17 . On interwar Yugoslavia, see Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 35-111; and Tomasevich, War and Revolution: Occupation , 1-46. On the roots of national conflict in Yugoslavia, see Banac, National Question in Yugoslavia .
18 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 109-11.
19 . Judt, Postwar , 34.
20 . On wartime deaths in Yugoslavia and the attending controversies, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution: Occupation , ch. 17; and Suppan, Hitler-Bene -Tito , 1206-12.
21 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 113. For a detailed description of the partition of Yugoslavia, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution: Occupation , ch. 2.
22 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 129-33.
23 . Ibid., 116-17.
24 . Ibid., 114, 120, 126.
25 . Mazower, Hitler s Empire , 347.
26 . Steinberg, Types of Genocides?, 181.
27 . Lampe, Yugoslavia as History , 223-24.
28 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 145-46. On the Chetniks, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution: The Chetniks ; and on the battle between the Chetniks and the Tito s Partisans, see Hoare, Genocide and Resistance .
29 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 151-58.
30 . Tomasevich, War and Revolution: Occupation , 68-69.
31 . Ibid., 69-70. On the German army s extreme brutality and massacres of civilians in Serbia after this order, see Suppan, Hitler-Bene -Tito , 977-88.
32 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 151-59.
33 . On the various groups fleeing toward the Austrian border, see Rulitz, Tragedy of Bleiburg , 21-23.
34 . The number of people killed at Bleiburg has been the source of continual debate, with numbers varying dramatically. See Tomasevich, War and Revolution: Occupation , 760-65. For the most detailed reconstruction of this episode, see Rulitz, Tragedy of Bleiburg .
35 . The Nazi term Volksdeutsche had clear racial overtones. See Bergen, Nazi Concept of Volksdeutsche.
36 . Sundhaussen, Deutschen in Jugoslawien, 58-62, 66-69; and Zaki , Ethnic Germans .
37 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 159.
38 . In Hitler-Bene -Tito , Suppan provides a detailed account of the fate of the Donauschwaben. For a summary, see 1475-80.
39 . On Germans as victims, see, among others, Moeller, War Stories .
40 . Ramet, Three Yugoslavias , 175-78.
41 . Lampe, Yugoslavia as History , 257-60, 273-76.
42 . Ani de Osona, Erste Anerkennung , 10-11; quote from Sundhaussen, Jugoslawien , 126.
43 . On the FRG s break with Yugoslavia in 1957, see Ani de Osona, Erste Anerkennung ; and Gray, Germany s Cold War , ch. 3.
44 . For Yugoslavia s relationship with the two German states from 1957 to 1968, see Theurer, Bonn, Belgrad, Ost-Berlin .
45 . Only the 1955 labor recruitment agreement with Italy came before West Germany broke diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia.
46 . Two additional waves of migration from Yugoslavia in the postwar era-family reunification migrations, especially after 1973, and war refugees from Kosovo beginning in the late 1990s-will not be treated in this book.
47 . Weitz, Ever-Present Other, 219-32.
48 . On Yugoslavia s consumer culture and the vision of the good life that it inspired, see Patterson, Bought and Sold .
49 . For brief overviews of immigration and emigration in German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, see Bade, Vom Auswanderungsland .
50 . The term unsettled society comes from Jarausch and Geyer, Shattered Past , 219.
51 . Bade, From Emigration to Immigration, 1.
52 . M nz and Ulrich, Changing Patterns, 65-67.
53 . Bade, long the dean of German migration history, has published on nearly every aspect of Germany s modern immigration history. His seminal work is Vom Auswanderungsland zum Einwanderungsland . Herbert s influential study, Geschichte der Ausl nderbesch ftigung , was translated as A History of Foreign Labor in Germany and then republished in a significantly revised and updated version as Geschichte der Ausl nderpolitik in Deutschland . In 1985, Herbert also produced a groundbreaking study of foreign slave labor in Germany during the Third Reich, which was translated as Hitler s Foreign Workers . For an important study that predates these works by Bade and Herbert, see Kle mann, Polnische Bergarbeiter .
54 . On this transformation in German history, see Gregor, Roemer, and Roseman, Introduction to German History from the Margins .
55 . For a brief analysis of the transnational turn in German history, see Pence and Zimmerman, Transnationalism.
56 . For an introduction to this now voluminous bibliography, see Oltmer, Migration , part 3.
57 . Chin, Guest Worker Question , 11, and 11n16; Rieker, Ein St ck Heimat , 11; Huth-Hildebrandt, Das Bild , 55; Miller, On Track, 552.
58 . Huth-Hildebrandt, Das Bild , 55; and Rieker, Ein St ck Heimat, 11.
59 . Important works on Turks in Germany include Chin, Guest Worker Question ; Hunn, N chstes Jahr ; Mandel, Cosmopolitan Anxieties ; and Miller, On Track.
60 . Recent studies of displaced persons include Holian, Between National Socialism ; Grossmann, Jews, Germans, and Others ; Cohen, In War s Wake ; Shephard, Long Road Home ; and essays in Reinisch and White, eds., Disentanglement . Seipp examines the entangled history of DPs, German expellees, and Americans in Strangers . On Italian labor migrants, see, among others, Riecker, Ein St ck Heimat ; Richter and Richter, Gastarbeiter-Welt ; Sala, Fremde Worte ; and Janz and Sala, eds., Dolce Vita? . Also notable for its focus on non-Turkish labor migrants in West Germany is Oltmer, Kreienbrink, and Sanz D az, eds., Gastarbeiter -Systeme .
61 . Chin et al., After the Nazi Racial State , ch. 3; and Chin, Guest Worker Question , ch. 3.
62 . Herbert, History of Foreign Labor , 203; and Babka von Gostomski, T rkische, 8. Turks reached just under 33 percent of the foreign population in Germany in 1980. The number of Turks in Germany has steadily declined since 1999.
63 . Chin et al., After the Nazi Racial State , 87.
64 . For an excellent introduction to recent research focusing on race in postwar West Germany, see Chin et al., After the Nazi Racial State . Other important works that explore the issue of race in postwar Germany are Fehrenbach, Race after Hitler ; Chin, Guest Worker Question ; Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels ; H hn, GIs and Fr uleins ; Sch nw lder, Why Germany s Guestworkers ; Thurman, Black Venus ; Slobodian, Socialist Chromatism ; and Woesthoff, Ambiguities.
65 . Chin et al., After the Nazi Racial State , 1-29, quote from 15.
66 . Fredrickson, Racism , 9.
67 . On this tendency in the West, see Todorova, Imagining the Balkans .
68 . Sarrazin, Deutschland schafft sich ab , 59.
69 . Bloxham, Final Solution , 6.
70 . Yugoslavia was the only state in communist Eastern Europe to allow its citizens to leave the country as labor migrants in significant numbers. Accordingly, since the early 1970s, scholars of Yugoslavia have examined the demographic, economic, political, and social implications and effects of Yugoslavia s decision to allow its citizens to work abroad. These studies have generally sought to illuminate the significance of labor migration for the Yugoslav state, not for the states to which Yugoslavs migrated. Although much of this work is invaluable, it has very little to say about Yugoslavs experiences in West Germany and even less on German attitudes toward Yugoslavs. Key works are Zimmermann, Open Borders ; numerous studies by the Croatian demographer Bau i (see the bibliography); Schierup, Migration ; and Haberl, Abwanderung . More recently, see Goodlett, Yugoslav Worker Emigration ; and the excellent volume edited by Brunnbauer, Transnational Societies . For an excellent history of emigration from the Yugoslav lands reaching back to the late nineteenth century, see Brunnbauer, Globalizing Southeastern Europe .
71 . On the lengthy treat negotiations and the political context that shaped them, see Novin ak, Jugoslawische Gastarbeiter-Export ; Novin ak, Recruiting and Sending ; Novin ak, Auf den Spuren, 133-48; Shonick, Politics, Culture, and Economics ; Had i , Titos Gastarbeiter ; Ivanovi , Geburtstag , 105-20; and Knortz, Diplomatische Tauschgesch fte , 140-52.
72 . On Croatian migr s in Germany, see Clarkson, Fragmented Fatherland , ch. 2; Shonick, migr s, ch. 1; and Ivanovi , Ekstremna emigracija. Toki has also done important work on the radicalization of the Croatian migr community, but while he does discuss West Germany, his focus is primarily on the internal dynamics of the worldwide Croatian separatist diaspora and its adoption of violent tactics. See Toki , Landscapes of Conflict, and Toki , End of Historical-Ideological Bedazzlement.
73 . Goeke, Transnationale Migrationen ; Winterhagen, Transnationaler Katholizismus ; Bakovi , Tending the Oasis of Socialism ; and Ivanda, Kroatische Zuwanderung.
74 . Ivanovi , Geburtstag .
75 . Clarkson, Fragmented Fatherland , and Shonick, migr s, discuss the legacy of World War II on German perceptions of Croatian migr s, but both place a heavier emphasis on Cold War politics. Moreover, they explore the significance of World War II for the history of migr s, whereas I explore this theme for migr s, labor migrants, and war refugees.
76 . Shonick s dissertation, migr s, focuses primarily on migr s and guest workers, with just a brief section on war refugees in the 1990s (248-52).
77 . Eley, Disorder of Peoples, 291-92.
78 . Biess, Introduction to Histories of the Aftermath , 1.
79 . Ibid., 3.
80 . Holian, Between National Socialism ; and Grossmann, Jews, Germans, and Others .
81 . An exception is Cohen, In War s Wake .
82 . See especially ibid.
83 . For an excellent recent example, see Sheffer, Burned Bridge .
84 . Gray, Germany s Cold War ; Slobodian, Foreign Front ; and Slobodian, Comrades of Color . See also Clarkson, Fragmented Fatherland .
85 . J ger and Rezo, Zur sozialen Struktur , 19.
86 . M nz and Ulrich, Changing Patterns, 97.
87 . The conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) has led Bavaria s state government from 1946 to the present (2017), with the exception of the years 1954-57. For a popular history of guest workers in Munich, see Dunkel and Stramaglia-Faggion, Zur Geschichte der Gastarbeiter . On the history of immigration in postwar Stuttgart, another south-German city with a large immigrant population, particularly from the former Yugoslavia, see Spicka, City Policy ; and Spicka, Cultural Centres.
88 . For a wide-ranging exploration of the meaning of the character Yolanda, see Parvulescu, Old Europe, New Europe, Eastern Europe.
1 Communities of Victims: Croatian migr s and Germans in the 1950s
D URING THE T HIRD Reich, and particularly during World War II, Germans committed horrific crimes against Jews, Roma, Russian prisoners of war, homosexuals, and other stigmatized groups. Scholars have long held that until the 1960s, West Germans, unwilling or unable to accept responsibility for their crimes, simply suppressed their memories of National Socialism, resulting in a case of historical amnesia when it came to the Third Reich and the experience of World War II. 1 But pioneering work by Robert Moeller and other historians has overturned this interpretation. 2 Germans, it turns out, had a lot to say about the war. Through the early 1960s they remained mostly silent on German wartime crimes, instead focusing on the suffering that Germans endured during and immediately after the war. 3 German suffering during the war and its aftermath was, indeed, immense. As many as six hundred thousand civilians died during Allied air raids that injured many more and left millions homeless. Between twelve and fourteen million Germans fled west in front of the Red Army at the end of the war or were forcibly expelled from their homes in Eastern Europe in the immediate aftermath of the war. A minimum of half a million Germans were killed during the expulsions. Perhaps as many as one and a half million German women were raped by soldiers in the occupying Red Army. Finally, millions of German soldiers died during the war and in Soviet POW camps after the war. 4 By choosing to remember their own suffering, rather than the violence they inflicted on others, Germans came to see themselves as victims of the war. According to Moeller, in West Germany one of the most powerful integrative myths of the 1950s . . . stressed that Germany was a nation of victims, an imagined community defined by the experience of loss and displacement during the Second World War. 5
In the growing literature on the West German victim discourse in the postwar era, Germans relative silence about Nazi victims in favor of an emphasis on their own victimization is often understood to have led to the reconstitution of the German national community. In this reading, the nationally exclusive Volksgemeinschaft of the Nazi era was transformed into an equally exclusive Opfergemeinschaft -community of suffering-in the postwar era. 6 Although it is true that there was little room for Jews and other Nazi victims in popular memory of the war in West Germany, in the 1950s Germans did embrace at least one group of foreign victims of the war. Germans provided material support and encouragement to the small community of Croatian political migr s that established itself on West German soil in those years. Led by elites who were closely linked to the fascist Ustasha movement that was founded in the early 1930s and ruled the Croatian puppet state from 1941 to 1945, Croatian migr organizations in West Germany and throughout the world developed a collective memory of the war in which Croats were cast as innocent victims who suffered terribly at the hands of Tito s Partisans. This victim discourse focused on communist Yugoslavia s assault on the Catholic Church and the so-called tragedy of Bleiburg, in which Partisans slaughtered tens of thousands of surrendered Croats at the end of the war. This vision of Croatian victimhood resonated with Germans, but especially with leaders of the Catholic Church and expellees from Eastern Europe, two groups that wielded enormous power in West Germany during the 1950s. In addition to casting themselves as victims, Croatian migr s were also able to mobilize German support by tapping into the German sense of victimhood, noting time and time again the terrible punishment that Tito had meted out to German citizens of Yugoslavia in the aftermath of the war.
The German embrace of Croatian migr s suggests that the German victim discourse did not simply reconstruct and circumscribe the borders of the nation in West Germany. Rather, it defined what type of suffering and which victims could be recognized. In the 1950s, Jewish suffering at German hands did not fit neatly into West German memory of the war, because recognition that Germans were perpetrators would have muddied their conception of themselves as victims. 7 Croatian suffering, in contrast, confirmed and strengthened German claims to victim status by emphasizing the brutality of communism. An exploration of the history of the Croatian migr community in West Germany and its relationship with the wider German society makes clear that the experience and memory of the war and its aftermath, together with the emergence of the Cold War, underwrote the construction of a conservative political and social order in 1950s West Germany. Croatian migr s both contributed to and benefited from this conservative postwar order. This chapter also contends that the process of memory making in postwar West Germany was a transnational, rather than purely national, project.
From World War to Postwar Displacement
Many paths led to West Germany for exiles from Yugoslavia. The tens of thousands of anticommunist Yugoslavs who survived the massacre at Bleiburg and other locations and escaped into Austria and Italy at the end of the war were dwarfed by the much larger number of Yugoslavs who were already on German soil at the war s end. The vast majority of the approximately three hundred ninety thousand Yugoslavs on German and Austrian soil at the end of the war had worked under terrible conditions as foreign laborers in the Third Reich. 8 These workers arrived in Germany by three routes. Some had voluntarily agreed to work in Germany prior to the German invasion of Yugoslavia; the Independent State of Croatia ( Nezavisna Dr ava Hrvatska , NDH) signed a labor agreement with Germany, which led to more than one hundred fifty thousand workers being sent to Germany during the course of the war; and in 1941 the German army deported nearly two hundred thousand mostly Serbian members of the surrendered Royal Yugoslav Army to Germany as POWs. 9
With the war over, the Western Allied military forces and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) prioritized the voluntary repatriation of all DPs. By the end of September 1945, the Western Allies and the UNRRA, with Soviet cooperation, had repatriated approximately ten of the eleven million DPs in Europe. 10 The majority of Yugoslav DPs returned to Yugoslavia during this initial phase of repatriations, but a significant number of Yugoslavs, nearly all opposed to Tito, declined to be repatriated. 11 By the end of 1946, just over thirty thousand Yugoslav DPs resided in the three western zones of Germany (for statistics on DPs, see table 1 in the appendix). 12
The remaining Yugoslav DPs had solid grounds for their refusal to be repatriated. Most of them had fought against Tito s communist forces. They remembered the Partisans brutal massacres of tens of thousands of Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, and Bosnian Muslims at Bleiburg and other locations at the very end of the war and feared they would face a similar fate if they returned. Moreover, Tito s Yugoslavia continued to wage a fierce campaign against its domestic opponents in the first few years after the conclusion of the war. After crushing the remains of the Chetnik movement, the new regime tried and executed the Chetnik leader Dra a Mihailovi in the summer of 1946. A year before that, the regime initiated a series of trials of Ustasha leaders, functionaries, and supporters, including numerous priests, most notably Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac, who was convicted of supporting the Ustasha and sentenced to sixteen years in prison. 13 A Yugoslav law of August 1945 stated that all DPs who had been in military formations who did not agree to return by November would be stripped of their citizenship, but because the Yugoslav government was vigorously pursuing its wartime opponents, few of the remaining Yugoslav DPs felt a return to Yugoslavia was in their best interests; therefore, repatriations barely increased as a result of the law. 14
The intensity of some DPs resistance to returning to Yugoslavia can be glimpsed in a Serbian Chetnik camp in Italy in January 1947. A Yugoslav repatriation officer entered a British-administered Chetnik DP camp just outside Naples hoping to persuade the DPs to return to Yugoslavia. Enraged Serbs separated him from his British escorts and beat him to death with bricks and rocks. 15 The Italian government responded by asking the British to remove all Yugoslavs from Italian soil. The British obliged, transferring twelve thousand Yugoslav DPs, mostly Serbs, to the British zone of Germany in summer 1947. 16
Until the end of 1947, the Allies and the UNRRA offered only one solution to Europe s DP problem: repatriation. By late 1946, however, it had become clear that repatriation was not an acceptable solution for the more than one million DPs who remained in Europe. In June 1947 the International Refugee Organization (IRO) replaced the UNRRA and launched an international resettlement program, which lasted until the end of 1951. During this four and a half years, the IRO resettled more than one million DPs, including thousands Yugoslavs, to countries throughout the world, chief among them the United States, Australia, Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 17 Most of the DPs resettled by the IRO had come from the western zones of Germany. 18 Because receiving countries would not accept cripples or the sick, German and Western officials regarded the approximately one hundred fifty thousand DPs who remained in West Germany when the IRO s resettlement program came to an end as the hard core. 19 The IRO also refused to provide aid, including resettlement support, to war criminals and those who had voluntarily collaborated with the Nazis. 20 As a result of this policy, the IRO considered a substantial number of Croats in West Germany to be voluntary collaborators, and so emigration proved nearly impossible for many of them. 21 At the beginning of 1952, after the intensive repatriation efforts of the Allied military forces and UNRRA in the immediate aftermath of the war came to an end, and the massive international resettlement program operated by the IRO had run its course, just over twenty-one thousand Yugoslav DPs still resided in West Germany. This made them, after Poles, the second-largest DP group in West Germany. 22 About thirteen thousand of them were Croats.
The Yugoslavs who remained in West Germany had been a minuscule part of a mass movement of tens of millions of people that had been set in motion by the war and its aftermath. As Alois Kova i s story makes evident, their movements cannot be comprehended by statistics alone. Kova i was born in Zagreb in 1926 and was a member of the Ustasha for the entire existence of the NDH. When the NDH collapsed at the end of the war, he lived in hiding in Yugoslavia for about half a year. While attempting to escape to Austria, he was captured by Russian troops and placed on a POW transport headed to Siberia, but he managed to escape on the Austro-Hungarian border. After once again living in hiding for a short time in Yugoslavia, he escaped to Austria and eventually settled permanently in Munich in 1949. From 1949 to 1952 he lived in Dachau, in the former Nazi concentration camp turned DP camp. While in Dachau, Kova i joined a Croatian nationalist organization, and he would go on to become an important figure in the radical Croatian migr scene. 23
German attitudes toward the DPs were generally negative. As the war came to a close, Allied occupation forces and the UNRRA agreed that DPs should not be put under German control, since so many of them had suffered at German hands during the war. Food and lodging was in short supply in occupied Germany, but the Allies decreed that DPs would have a higher daily caloric intake than Germans and that many Germans would be forced to give up their dwellings in order to house DPs. In Munich alone, the Allies expelled ten thousand Germans from their homes to accommodate DPs. 24 Germans naturally resented these Allied policies. Moreover, Allied support and care for the DPs led Germans to associate the presence of the DPs with defeat in war and military occupation, rather than with the Third Reich s brutal slave labor and extermination programs. Above all, Germans considered DPs to be criminal foreigners. 25 In short, most Germans felt little sympathy for, or obligation toward, the DPs; rather, Germans developed a hatred of the DPs that built on the racist attitudes and abuse of foreigners that had been a hallmark of the Third Reich. 26
After shielding the DPs from German authority for five years, the Allies eventually decided that the IRO would hand over responsibility for the remaining DPs to German authorities on June 30, 1950. The Allied High Commission insisted, however, that the Federal Republic pass a law that would regulate the status of the DPs in West Germany, since by then it was clear that the remaining DPs would likely settle permanently in Germany. The West German government responded by passing the Law on the Status of Homeless Foreigners in April 1951 that, in response to Allied demands, granted DPs status nearly equal to that of German citizens. The law also opened the path to German citizenship for DPs, who were now legally referred to as heimatlose Ausl nder (homeless foreigners). But despite lobbying by the IRO and the DPs, the law did not grant them the numerous economic benefits that German expellees from Eastern Europe enjoyed. 27
Putting Down Roots: The Foundation of migr Organizations
A 1962 S ddeutsche Zeitung article on migr s from Yugoslavia in West Germany noted that it is usually the fate of political migr communities to be led by men who drag the past with them into the present, and whose views are as diverse as their organizations are fragmented. Yugoslav migr s are united in only one regard: the belief that communism must be combated. 28 This was a perceptive description of migr s from Yugoslavia. The common hatred of communism, however, was not enough to bring Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes together in the battle against Tito s Yugoslavia. The national antagonisms that plagued interwar Yugoslavia, and even more so the vicious civil war that engulfed Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945, were formative experiences for most of the migr s in West Germany, and so many Serbs and Croats remained wedded to the radical nationalist ideologies that had made World War II in Yugoslavia such a bloody affair. Like other DP communities, exiles from Yugoslavia established numerous organizations and national committees to provide assistance to their compatriots and represent their interests before Allied and then West German authorities. 29 Serbs and Croats were the only national groups from Yugoslavia to establish sizable and consequential migr organizations in the Federal Republic during the late 1940s and 1950s. The Serbian political and welfare organizations established in West Germany during this time were long-lasting, but for a variety of reasons-especially emigration and fierce political infighting-their memberships dropped during the 1960s, political activity slowed down, and they lost any political influence they might have enjoyed earlier. 30
Out of all the Eastern European migr s in West Germany, and this included sizable groups from most European states under communist rule, Croats proved to be the most radical, and the most inclined to use violence to achieve their goal: the destruction of communist Yugoslavia and the re-creation of an independent Croatian state, which, like the wartime Independent State of Croatia, would incorporate multiethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina. 31 Moreover, they remained active through the 1970s and 1980s, when every other Eastern European migr community with roots in the postwar years had, like the Serbs, drifted into numerical and political insignificance. 32 Croats were united by their anticommunism and the desire to destroy Tito s Yugoslavia. But they were also a deeply fragmented community, in large part due to personal rivalries. All Croatian migr groups, however, agreed on the final goal: the re-creation of an independent Croatian state. This provided, despite the many rifts, significant latitude for cooperation and coordination within the community. Dozens of Croatian migr organizations existed in West Germany, and most remained broadly committed to Ustasha ideology. The two main groups in the Federal Republic during the 1950s were the United Croats of Germany (UHNj- Ujedinjeni Hrvati Njema ke ) and the Croatian National Committee (HNO- Hrvatski Narodni Odbor ).
Despite his status as a notorious war criminal, Ante Paveli , the former dictator of the NDH, played a dominant role in Croatian migr politics in the postwar era. With aid from the Vatican, Paveli and many leading Ustasha officials escaped to Argentina in the late 1940s. Seeking to maintain his standing within the worldwide Ustasha movement, Paveli and other Ustasha functionaries founded the Croatian Statehood Party (Hrvatska Dr avotvorna Stranka), complete with military command centers in Argentina, Australia, the United States, and Europe. 33 In 1956, Paveli and other Ustasha elites established the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP-Hrvatski Oslobodila ki Pokret) as an umbrella organization that sought to bring together all patriotic Croats in preparation for the final battle against Yugoslavia. The HOP hoped that the Western powers would support the creation of a Croatian state if conflict once again erupted in Europe. It accordingly adopted a democratic veneer, but in reality, it was an authoritarian and militant organization that held fast to Ustasha ideology. 34 By the late 1950s, Paveli s HOP had become one of the most powerful groups in the worldwide Croatian nationalist diaspora, and its European headquarters was in Munich. 35
The UHNj was loyal to Paveli and the HOP, and until at least the early 1960s, it was the strongest and largest Croatian migr organization in all of Europe. It was established in 1952 in the Valka DP camp on the outskirts of Nuremberg by Stjepan Kukolja, a Croatian priest who had also cofounded Caritas Croata, the local Croatian chapter of the international Catholic charity Caritas. 36 Its membership surged in the late 1950s, when a new wave of young Croatian immigrants arrived in West Germany. 37 The majority of the members, according to Kukolja, were ideologically oriented toward doctor Paveli and the Ustasha movement he had created, and many were former Ustashas. 38 In 1958, seeking to extend his influence in Europe, Paveli joined together the numerous HOP groups throughout Europe into the Central Committee of Croatian Associations in Europe. This organization was headquartered in Munich, its executive committee was dominated by leaders from the UHNj, and Kukolja was named the honorary chairman, which highlights both the UHNj s loyalty to Paveli and Ustasha ideals and its leading position among Croatian migr organizations in Germany and Europe. 39
The second organization vying for influence within the Croatian migr community in West Germany was the HNO, which Branimir Jeli and a group of Croatian intellectuals and clerics established in Munich in 1950. Like the Croatian groups described above, it identified with the Independent State of Croatia and refused to recognize the brutal and criminal nature of the regime. It distanced itself, however, from Paveli and presented itself as a democratic, Western-oriented organization. As a result, German and Western authorities often considered it to be a moderate group. 40 In terms of ideology and ultimate aims, the HNO differed little from the HOP and the UHNj, but it distinguished itself from these two in that it was dominated by intellectuals and political and religious elites. Croatian intellectuals and priests who had supported the Ustasha regime during the war, and who now wanted to continue the struggle for an independent Croatian state without being burdened by an association with the war criminal Paveli , flocked to the HNO. 41 Its leading members often had compromised pasts. During the 1950s, HNO leaders included the founder of a pro-German Croatian National Socialist Party in interwar Yugoslavia; the last minister of the interior in the NDH, who was a wanted war criminal; a pro-Nazi Croatian diplomat, journalist, and history professor; and Catholic priests who supported the Ustasha regime and operated the ratline that allowed Paveli and other leading Ustashas to escape to safe havens after the collapse of the NDH. 42
Branimir Jeli was the dominating personality within the HNO. He was deeply involved with Croatian nationalist politics from his student days in Zagreb, and in the late 1920s he was forced to leave Yugoslavia because of his politics. In the early 1930s, he and Paveli cofounded the Ustasha movement and, after Paveli , Jeli was the most important Ustasha figure of the interwar period. His home base was Germany, where he reportedly had good connections with leading Nazis, including Hermann G ring, but he spent much of the 1930s traveling in South America and the United States, where he recruited followers and established Ustasha branch organizations. During the 1930s, he and Paveli had a falling out, in part because Paveli viewed Jeli as a powerful rival for leadership within the Ustasha movement, and in part because Paveli wanted to model the Ustasha on Italian fascism, whereas Jeli was more influenced by the Nazis. 43 Jeli was on a fund-raising tour in the United States when World War II broke out in 1939. He immediately set sail for Europe, but the British intercepted his ship and kept him in British prisons for the entirety of the war because they considered him a fascist and a terrorist, but also because the British wanted to maintain good relations with Yugoslavia. 44
Ironically, Jeli s wartime internment proved to be one of his greatest assets in the postwar era. If he had not spent the war in prison, he would have surely occupied a leading position in the NDH and thus would have been implicated in war crimes like most Ustasha leaders, including, of course, Paveli , his main rival in the Croatian migr diaspora. The fascist pasts of many of the HNO s leaders and the organization s uncritical celebration of the creation of the NDH leave serious doubts about its professed commitment to liberal principles and democracy. But Jeli , untainted by association with the NDH, was able to refashion himself as a moderate, democratic, and Western-oriented Croatian leader, and through the HNO he made radical Croatian nationalism salonf hig in West Germany. 45 In 1948, he left England for West Germany, where he established a medical practice in Berlin, married his German girlfriend, and became a German citizen and member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He dedicated the rest of his life to Croatian nationalist politics.
Communities of Victims
Croatian migr s turned to Germans for aid almost immediately after the cessation of hostilities. In a fascinating letter from early summer 1945, Danijel Rodny, a Croatian Catholic priest who had fled to Germany, begged Cardinal Faulhaber, archbishop of Munich and Freising and one of the most powerful church officials in Germany, to protect Croatian refugees in Bavaria from the American military, which he feared would send them back to the slaughterhouse of communist Yugoslavia. 46 Rodny s letter is worth examining at some length, as he employed the arguments that Croatian migr s would repeat over and over again through the years in their bid to win German and international support for their national aspirations. He opened with a plea for help and a powerful depiction of Croatian suffering:
As a Croatian Catholic priest, I turn to you, the leader of the Catholic Church in Bavaria, so that you will hear of our suffering and will take the necessary steps with the American authorities so that they will come to the defense of us Catholics. Throughout the entire history of our people we have stood as the defender of Christianity in battles against the Turks and the Serbian-Orthodox Church. And now, after the collapse of the German Reich, we have experienced our greatest disaster. Our country, soaked in the blood of innocents, has been seized by savage Serbo-communist hordes. Hordes-to whom neither women nor children are holy; hordes-who in a single night annihilated everything that was Catholic and Croatian. Destroyed cloisters, destroyed churches, villages laid to waste, and over four hundred murdered Catholic clergymen speak clearly of the tragedy of a people that fought only for its faith and its freedom. 47
With Rodny s letter, it becomes evident that just weeks after the war ended, and well before migr s had identified the tragedy at Bleiburg as the paradigmatic case of Croatian suffering, many of the features of the Croatian victim discourse were already in place. First, Croatian suffering is presented in religious terms. Violence was directed against them because they were a deeply Catholic people, and because of their religiosity they expected assistance in their time of greatest need. Second, despite the terrible crimes perpetrated by the Ustasha regime during the war, Croats are described as innocent people who fought only for their faith and freedom. Finally, even though Croatians had joined the Partisans in huge numbers by 1944, Rodny identifies Croats enemy as Serbo-communists, so that communist Yugoslavia was implicitly depicted as simply one in a long line of Greater Serbian plots to dominate the Croatian people. 48 Croatian migr s elaborated on these ideas in the 1950s and beyond in order to establish themselves as a community of victims worthy of German and international support.
Yugoslavia s trial and conviction of the Croatian archbishop Aloysius Stepinac served as an early and long-lasting focal point of the Croatian victim discourse. As archbishop of Zagreb during World War II, Stepinac s position brought him into close contact with Paveli and NDH leadership. During the war, Stepinac privately, and occasionally publicly, objected to some of the NDH s policies, particularly its brutal treatment of Jews, Serbs, and others, but he was also a fervent Croatian nationalist who publicly supported Paveli and the NDH throughout the war. In the immediate aftermath of the war, he became a leader of a Croatian anti-Yugoslavia resistance movement that had very close connections to the Ustasha movement. 49 In fall 1946, Yugoslav officials arrested and put Stepinac on trial for supporting the NDH and its policy of forced conversion for Orthodox Serbs, and for encouraging Ustasha resistance after the war had ended. He was convicted and sentenced to sixteen years in prison. 50 The Vatican used the trial as an opportunity to launch an extensive propaganda campaign that emphasized the brutality of communism and its threat to the entire Western world. The Vatican s offensive had the intended effect, particularly in the United States. According to Peter Kent, as a result of the campaign, Stepinac s public image was overnight converted from a sometime collaborator of Ante Paveli to the first martyr to communist expansionism. 51
Croatian migr s in West Germany and throughout the world celebrated Stepinac as a martyr for the Croatian nation and a living symbol of Croatians undying national aspirations. One Croatian migr group in the Federal Republic, for example, named itself after Stepinac, and in its founding resolution the HNO recognized Stepinac as the symbol of the determined will of the Croatian people for the attainment of their religious and national freedom. 52 Catholic apologists and most migr s sought to distance Stepinac from Paveli , so as to preserve the purity of his martyrdom, but some migr s were not so circumspect. For instance, during a public rally in Munich in 1962, members of an Ustasha successor organization carried German-language banners that read through the Poglavnik [F hrer; i.e., Paveli ] and Stepinac the homeland will be made free. 53
Croatian migr s singled out Stepinac as the symbol of the suffering of the Croatian Catholic Church, but, as Danijel Rodny s letter suggests, they also continually emphasized that Tito and the Partisans terrorized Croatian Catholics throughout Yugoslavia. Tito s Partisans did, in fact, launch a violent assault on the Catholic Church in 1945, but this was in part because the Catholic Church in Croatia had been a major supporter of the Ustasha state throughout the war. 54 One of the most prolific migr s in describing the suffering of the Croatian Catholic Church in Yugoslavia was Ivo Omr anin, who was an official in the NDH Foreign Ministry, a key figure in the postwar ratline by which war criminals secretly fled Europe, and an early member of the HNO in Munich. In a German-language booklet, Croatian Priests Murdered by Chetniks and Communists, Omr anin claimed that Serbs and Communists had murdered one million Croats since 1918. His focus, however, was on the genocide that Serbs and communists perpetrated against Croatian priests during and immediately after World War II. This booklet was a martyrology dedicated to Croatian suffering. Omr anin concluded his work by proclaiming that the blood of Croatian priests cannot and should not be spilled for nothing. 55 Their suffering could be redeemed only in one way: the re-creation of an independent state of Croatia. The booklet was meant not just to commemorate the dead but also to earn German sympathy and support for the Croatian national cause. This was a strategy Croatian migr s repeatedly turned to in West Germany.
The Bleiburg myth played an equally important part in Croatian migr s portrayal of themselves, and indeed the entire Croatian nation, as innocent victims of communist terror. The Bleiburg myth was based on the Partisans slaughter of around seventy thousand unarmed anticommunists and civilians, perhaps fifty thousand of them Croats, as they attempted to flee Yugoslavia at the end of the war in May 1945. 56 This was a war crime, one for which no one was ever punished. The Yugoslav government, moreover, used its power to make sure that the massacre would never be discussed openly in Yugoslavia. 57 Croatian

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