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Testimonies from former Angolan and Mozambican labor migrants in East Germany
Examines impact of state-sponsored migration
Follows transnational labor migration patterns through migrants’ perspectives
Part of the book series: Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series (PMSTH)
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Table of contents (8 chapters)
About this book
This book draws on more than 260 life history interviews and uncovers complex and contradictory experiences and transnational encounters. What emerges is a series of dualities that exist side by side in the memories of the former migrants: the state and the individual, work and consumption, integration and exclusion, loss and gain, and the past in the past and the past in the present and future. By uncovering these dualities, the book explores the lives of African migrants moving between the Third and Second worlds.
Devoted to the memories of worker-trainees, this transnational study comes at a time when historians are uncovering the many varied, complicated, and important connections within the global socialist world.
Marcia Schenck, deploying an extraordinary array of oral and documentary resources, tells us what Mozambicans and Angolans who went as worker-trainees to East Germany were able to make of the experience: their hopes, their frustrations, the relationships they made, and the memories and cultural resources they brought back with them. Her book is a compelling reflection on socialism in Africa and Europe and on what it means to move between continents and ways of life.
Frederick Cooper, author of Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present.
The book’s compelling central message is a fundamentally human history of migration to socialist East Germany. Friendship and cooperation, education, professional training, and labor all played a role in shaping this cold war migration to a place that emerged as quite cosmopolitan.
Dito Tembe, Mosambican artist and former contact laborerThe book foregrounds the creation of a socialist world in the spaces in between nations and continents, in the details and places of migrants’ lives and memories. The absolute abundance of interviews conducted by Schenck gives her a source base that is unique among historians of socialist globalization, giving real insight into the experience of socialist encounter for hundreds of non-elite men and women. This close focus on the individual produces a subtle method-as-argument intervention that complicates chronological and geographical divides of African, Cold War and European history in fruitful ways. Following migrants from colonial to post-colonial, socialist to post-socialist, the book illuminates the interwoven histories of GDR, Angola, and Mozambique alongside the interconnected lives of the migrant workers she follows
Elizabeth Banks, European University Institute
Marcia Schenck’s outstanding and richly textured study on socialist mobilities between Angola, Mozambique and East Germany clearly is among the best recent efforts to analyze African history in a global perspective. It also offers a re-reading of the GDR as consumer paradise and the factory as a site of the production of goods, workers, race, and ideology. The portrayal of contract workers from Lusophone Africa as holders of specialized knowledge reveals the myriad ways that migrants adapt to and challenge state migration programs. Finally, the book fills an important gap in the literature on the Global Cold War, as it substantially expands our knowledge of transnational socialist mobility experienced from below. Following closely in the migrants’ footsteps, it demonstrates the degree to which Angolan and Mozambican history is intertwined with that of other socialist nations including East Germany.
Andreas Eckert, Humboldt University Berlin
Authors and Affiliations
University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Marcia C. Schenck
About the author
Book Title: Remembering African Labor Migration to the Second World
Book Subtitle: Socialist Mobilities between Angola, Mozambique, and East Germany
Authors: Marcia C. Schenck
Series Title: Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham
Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-06775-4Published: 25 November 2022
Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-06778-5Published: 25 November 2022
eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-06776-1Published: 24 November 2022
Series ISSN: 2634-6273
Series E-ISSN: 2634-6281
Edition Number: 1
Number of Pages: XXVII, 377
Number of Illustrations: 11 illustrations in colour