Abstract: New sources from the archives of the Diocese of Passau

How migration modified the diocese of Passau. An archival inventory on this topic

By Herbert Wurster

Abstract to the lecture of Herbert Wurster on 16th February 2016

Germany is a country with a history of emigration. That was the German point of view until quite recently. The latest developments of global history and interior German demographic evolution have changed this phrase dramatically to „Deutschland ist ein Einwanderungsland“ – „Germany is a country of immigration“. Neither statement covers the actual history of emigration and immigration from and to Germany.

A more detailed look at the finding aids of the Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Passau shows that both processes have always taken place during the Early Modern Period as well as the past two centuries of Modern History. The numbers of the people involved, however, have been very different at different stages of history. What is most interesting is that people as well as political leaders as well as historians have nearly forgotten or overlooked these historic developments or have underestimated the complexity of past problems which have been solved through a successful history of integration, on the side of the German emigrants as well as on the side of the immigrants to Germany.

Based on the actual sources of the Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Passau the presentation will highlight major aspects of this history of migration, pinpoint at extraordinary cases and outline fields of possible research. The presentation will cover the integration of Muslim prisoners of war during the early modern Austrian-Turkish wars, the expulsion of secret believers of the Protestant faith from Upper Austria in the 18th century, the immigration of artists, traders and craftsmen from Northern Italy, Switzerland and Savoy during the 17-19th centuries, emigration to Hungary and Poland in the 18th century, the massive emigration to the USA in the decades around 1900, the massive consequences of the Third Reich, the dramatic influx of people into Germany after WW II, but also the integration of  refugees from Hungary after 1945 as well as after the Hungarian rebellion of October 1956, the influx of „guest-workers“ from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Yugoslavia in the 1960ies, the integration of ca. 1.4 million „Aussiedler“, people from (South)Eastern Europe with German origins, from the 1950ies till the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, especially from the late 1970ies, when they became called „Spätaussiedler“.

Church records provide an access to these aspects of our history, which is quite a bit different from the records produced by government and administration.

Beitragsbild: Abschiebung der nach Österreich emigrierten Schwaben, 1712 (ABP, OA, Generalakten, 4927)

Dr. Herbert Wurster ist Historiker und Direktor des Archivs der Diözese Passau (D), sowie Schatzmeister von ICARUS und 2. Vorsitzender des Vereins für Ostbairische Heimatforschung.


Redaktion

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Adelheid Krah ist Senior Lecturer am Institut für Geschichte der Universität Wien; sie forscht und lehrt als habilitierte Universitätsdozentin, SL, in den Bereichen Mittelalterliche Geschichte, eLearning, Geschichte Mittel/Zentraleuropas und Westeuropas. Sie arbeitete auch als Archivarin am Bayerischen Hauptstaatsarchiv in München, ist Fellow des DHI-Paris und im Vorstand von ICARUS.

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