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Roads Less Traveled

German-Jewish Exile Experiences in Kenya, 1933–1947

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Natalie Eppelsheimer

Before Nowhere in Africa won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002, the fate of German-Jewish exiles in Africa was not widely discussed. The film, based on the autobiographical work of Stefanie Zweig, tells the story of the Zweig family, who escaped the perils of Nazism and found refuge in the British colony of Kenya.

Taking Zweig’s written works Nowhere in Africa and Nirgendwo war Heimat: Mein Leben auf zwei Kontinenten [Nowhere was Home: My Life on Two Continents] as a point of departure, and drawing on extensive sources – including previously unexplored government files from the Colonial Office and other archival records, correspondence, first-person accounts and personal communication with former refugees – this book provides a detailed historical look at German- Jewish emigration to Kenya. The volume explores British immigration policies and the formation of the Plough Settlement Association, under whose auspices German-Jewish refugees were to be settled in Kenya as farmers. It also traces the difficult lives of refugees, both adults and children, within the complex dynamics of British colonial society in the Kenya of the 1930s and 1940s, paying special attention to the experiences of children in the colony.

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EXILE STUDIES

Edited by Andrea Hammel

A series founded by Alexander Stephan

Exile Studies is a series of monographs and edited collections that takes a broad view of exile, including the life and work of refugees from National Socialism, and beyond. The series explores the different global and cultural spaces of exile and refuge as well as the specific historical, political and social concerns of exile writers and artists. The series engages with recent theoretical approaches to exile to shed new light on the unique conditions of mass flight from National Socialist persecution, with a particular interest in the work of Jewish refugees of the period. A plurality of theoretical approaches is encouraged, featuring research that reaches beyond national frameworks or disciplinary boundaries and takes multi-directional, transcultural or comparative approaches. The series aims to make connections to studies on more recent groups of refugees and to contribute to current debates. Themes include persecution, exclusion and delocalization, legacies of displacement, loss and acculturation as well as the creation of new homes and networks.

The series promotes dialogue among transnational, Jewish and memory studies, and among diaspora, Holocaust and postcolonial studies. It invites research that acknowledges questions of gender, race, class, religion and ethnicity as indispensable tools for understanding the cultural processes connected to the lives and works of refugees and exiles.

Vol.  1 Sonja Maria Hedgepeth, ‘Überall blicke ich nach einem heimat­lichen Boden aus’: Exil im Werk Else Lasker-Schülers....

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