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Perspectives on Migration lecture series - next two events - 7 March and 6 April 2017


7 March: Professor Johannes Dieter Steinert, University of Wolverhampton


Polish and Soviet child forced labourers in Nazi Germany, 1939-1945  

VENUE:   FAHSS Seminar Room ~ C1079 ~ 1PM



International research has widely neglected that a great number of the forced labourers in National Socialist Germany and German occupied Eastern Europe were children. They worked in all branches of industry, in agriculture and as domestics in German households. The Wehrmacht and SS deployed children in construction work on fortifications, bridges, roads and airfields. Based on a wide range of published and unpublished documents and testimonies, this paper will focus on Polish and Soviet children deported to Germany, who – apart from Jewish forced labourers – had to endure the worst working and living conditions. Moreover, German occupation policies in Poland and the Soviet Union were far more brutal than in any other country, and German deportation practices the most inhuman. While the emphasis of this paper is on the victims and their experiences, these will be placed within the broad and crucial context of the political and ideological imperatives of the National Socialist perpetrators. By addressing age and gender as categories for analysis, the paper will focus in particular on: (1) The process of deportation. (2) Living and working conditions in Germany. (3) Liberation and repatriation.
 Johannes-Dieter Steinert is Professor of Modern European History and Migration Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (2015). His research interests focus on German, British and European social and political history, with special emphasis on international migration and minorities, forced migration, forced labour, survivors of Nazi persecution, and international humanitarian assistance. Most recent book publication: Deportation und Zwangsarbeit. Polnische und sowjetische Kinder im nationalsozialitischen Deutschland und im besetzten Osteuropa 1939-1945, Essen: Klartext 2013. Current research project: Jewish child forced labourers in National Socialist Germany and German occupied Eastern Europe, 1938-1945.
Organised by the Dept of History and the Centre for Irish-German Studies


Part of the LIMERICK HISTORY RESEARCH SEMINARS - SPRING 2016-17 Encountering the Past as Contemporary in association with MIC




6 April 2017: Prof. Dr. Magdalena Nowicka, Faculty of Cultural, Social and Educational Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences, Migration and Transnationalism, Humboldt University, Berlin 


"On an island” - Perceptions of immigration among Britain’s Poles and the Brexit vote'

Venue: Room F1030, Foundation Building  1pm 



In my talk I will juxtapose two different sets of Polish migrants’ narratives collected in England before and after the Brexit-vote to address the continuities of culture and social belonging in a transnational context. I try to explain the obvious discrepancy - if not a paradox - in Poles’ rejection of immigration and their status as immigrants referring to the concept of ‘cultural precariat’ (Eriksen 2014). “On an island” stands metaphorically for the sense of multiple alienation of immigrants who lack alternatives to their current position. I consider migrant Poles’ sense of belonging to different ‘moral communities’ that may span transnationally, as well as their ideas of geopolitical racialized hierarchies, weakening of their old social obligations, and acquired cultural hybridity. The interplay of these positionalities, I will show, results in particular complex and somewhat chaotic socio-cultural formation which might be symptomatic of the current situation in Europe, when someone’s belonging to a category - such as immigrant - does not allow us to predict her or his attitudes and behaviors. 

Bio: Magdalena Nowicka is professor of migration and transnationalism at the Institute of Social Sciences and member in the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM), both at Humboldt University. Her current project is ‘Transforming Migration. Transnational Transfer of Multicultural Habitus’ ( Her publications include The Ashgate Research Companion to Cosmopolitanism (edited with Maria Rovisco, Ashgate 2011) and numerous articles on migration, transnationalism, conviviality, diversity, racism and cosmopolitanism.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology.

Seminar series is organised by Dr Breda Gray, Dr Gisela Holfter, Prof Shane Kilcommins, Prof Anthony McElligott, Dr Tina O’Toole, Prof Bernadette Whelan and supported by the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Teaching Development Fun