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that you have to have a closer look, when talking about migration.

On the second floor of the building there is a part we are working on at the moment, where we will have an immigration office showing the bureaucratic steps necessary for people coming to Germany today. At the moment, we are looking for objects and for more information. We also have a cinema, with the atmosphere of the 1950s, and we are showing productions about the descendants from German migrants to the USA and Argentina.

At the beginning of the visit every visitor gets a boarding pass—the entrance ticket—, and with that he gets to know the biographies of two migrants: one emigrant and one immigrant. We chose the couples very carefully: for the emigrants we have groups of settlers, workers, housewives, academics, inventors etc., while for the immigrants we chose 15 immigration groups, among whom there are Huguenots, forced migrants, students, contract workers, travelling merchants, etc. We chose these groups not only because of their large numbers, but also of their importance for German immigration history. For example, we have 4,000 Italian icemakers, but they are important because in every German city you can see their business. Let me give you two examples: one is Martha Hüner, who emigrated in 1923 to the USA, and the other is Mai Phuong Kollath, who came to Germany in 1981. Both were very young when they emigrated, both had to change their professional lives. Martha opened two bakeries in New York together with her husband, and Mai became an intercultural coach after the fall of the Berlin wall.

Both of them suffered discrimination. When World War I broke out, Martha lost her bakeries because the shops were in a neighbourhood where many Czech people lived and they did not want to buy bread from the Germans. Mai lived in Rostock, in the north of Germany, where in the 90s there were violent attacks on the houses of the Vietnamese community. Both women kept objects from their parents. Martha kept a horse brush her father gave her, and Mai kept a letter from her parents and a pair of jeans. The fake Diesel jeans mentioned above.

Source: Speech by Simone Eick, Director of the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven, at the AEMI Conference in Cracow, 20 September 2012.

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European Museums in the 21st Century: Setting the Framework - Vol. 2  

This book grew out of the earliest work of the MeLa Research Field 6, “Envisioning 21st Century Museums,” aimed at exploring current trends...

European Museums in the 21st Century: Setting the Framework - Vol. 2  

This book grew out of the earliest work of the MeLa Research Field 6, “Envisioning 21st Century Museums,” aimed at exploring current trends...

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