Increasingly diverse and colourful: Germany, land of immigration
Germany ranks as the second most popular destination for immigrants directly after the USA. The exhibition "Increasingly colourful: Germany, land of immigration" at the Haus der Geschichte (House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany) in Bonn provides an overview of the past 60 years of immigration to Germany. The exhibition will run until 9 August 2015. Impressions by Hans Joachim Hennig
Living diversity: a "D" car sticker in a window alongside a sticker for the Turkish football club Galatasaray Istanbul
In the 1950s, West Germany experienced its "economic miracle". In order to deal with the shortage of labour in the country, the government began recruiting so-called "guest workers" (Gastarbeiter) from abroad. Most of those who came to work in Germany had lived in poverty in their home countries, and many set off for Germany with nothing more than a suitcase.
Between 1955 and 1968, West Germany concluded a total of nine work recruitment agreements with other countries, including Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Special placement bureaus were set up in these countries so that workers could apply for jobs in Germany. Pictured here: Turkish men queue to get into a placement bureau in Turkey.
Before workers were permitted to leave for Germany to earn money, they were required to undergo a medical examination. The procedures took place in their country of origin. Only those deemed healthy and fit for work received the coveted jobs in West Germany. Pictured here: a man conducts a health check on men who would like to work in Germany
In 1964, the one-millionth guest worker was welcomed to West Germany: the Portuguese carpenter Armando Rodrigues de Sa (standing beside the scooter in the dark jacket holding flowers). The 38-year-old was presented with a Mokick scooter as a present by the German Employers' Association. When he heard his name being called on the loudspeaker at Cologne-Deutz train station, he suspected the worst and hid himself out of fear of being deported.
1967: Greek guest workers gather around a radio in Germany to listen to a news broadcast from home. Many guest workers came from Greece and Turkey. Some 1.2 million people immigrated to Germany in 2013. Today's immigrants primarily come from new EU member states.
Turkish grocer Sabri Guler travelled right across Europe, not on a moped, but with his Ford Transit (pictured here). He bought the vehicle as a delivery van for his shop and for trips to Turkey. This model was very popular among Turkish immigrants, as practically no other vehicle offered as much storage space. This is why the Transit was commonly referred to in Germany as the "Tuerkenkutsche" (Turkish carriage).
In the mid-1960s, East Germany was also suffering from a labour shortage. "Contract workers" (as they were known in the GDR) were primarily employed in the textile industry and came from socialist states such as Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria. There were far fewer labour immigrants in East Germany than there were in the West. In 1989, there were only 190,000 in the East as opposed to five million in the West.
Many of the temporary "guest workers" decided to stay in West Germany and were later joined by their families. They officially became immigrants, bringing many of their customs and traditions with them. This cultural diversity has become an integral part of Germany. It is particularly evident in restaurants and take-aways around the country. Pictured here: an old restaurant sign advertising Kolsch beer from Cologne as well as Greek, Turkish, Spanish and Italian food
In the 1980s und 1990s, the mood in Germany began to change. People became anxious about the emergence of ghettos and the rise in crime committed by young people with a migrant background. Naturally, these concerns were taken up by the media. Pictured here, back issues of "Der Spiegel" magazine highlight immigration-related topics. From left: "Borders closed for foreigners? ", "The onslaught of the poor", "Trek from the East". In the 1990s, xenophobic crimes began to increase.
There were also cultural conflicts within many immigrant families. The German–Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin examined the clash between a traditional Turkish Muslim upbringing and the Western lifestyle in Germany in his film "Gegen die Wand" (Head-On). In 2004, the film was the first German production for 17 years to win the Golden Bear at the Berlinale film festival.
Carnival is hugely popular in Germany. Each year, carnival associations up and down the country appoint their "troika" for that year. This troika is made up of a "prince", a "virgin", and a "farmer". In 2011, Balam Byarubanga from Uganda was named carnival prince in Aachen. Prince Balam I was the first "dark-skinned" carnival prince in Germany. With his appointment, his carnival association wanted to take a stand against racism and to promote integration.