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Center for Southeast Asian Studies pres.

CSEAS Friday Lecture Series. German and Vietnamese Refugees: Interactions and Comparisons

Peter van der Veer, Professor of Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen

This paper examines Germany as a country of and for refugees by focusing on two waves of refugees. The first is the influx of German refugees from Eastern Europe after the Second World War; the second is the influx of Vietnamese refugees to Western Germany and Vietnamese contract laborers to Eastern Germany around 1979. The paper asks a number of questions about the concept of ‘empathy’, about humanitarian ethics, and about global and national politics. It attempts to develop a comparative approach.

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