(Re)constructing Community in Berlin: Turks, Jews, and German Responsibility

in German Politics and Society
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An immigration dilemma has confronted the Federal Republic of

Germany since the early 1970s. Postwar labor migrants from predominantly

Muslim countries in the Mediterranean basin were not

officially encouraged to settle long-term, yet many stayed once

immigration was halted in 1973. Though these migrants and their

children have enjoyed most social state benefits and the right to family

reunification, their political influence has remained limited for

the last quarter-century. Foreigners from non-EU countries may not

vote in Germany, migrants are underrepresented in political institutions,

and state recognition of Muslim religious and cultural diversity

has not been forthcoming. Since 1990, however, a much smaller but

significant number of Jewish migrants from eastern Europe and the

former Soviet Union have arrived in Germany. This population of

almost 150,000 has been welcomed at the intersection of reparations

policy and immigrant integration practice.

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