Studies in the History of Overseas Migrations
Tobias Brinkmann: From Oświęcim to Ellis Island: Jewish and Other Transmigrants and the Evolution of Border Controls Along Germany’s Eastern Border, 1885-1914
From Oświęcim to Ellis Island: Jewish and Other Transmigrants and the Evolution of Border Controls Along Germany’s Eastern Border, 1885-1914 Tobias Brinkmann (Penn State University) Since the establishment of migration studies as a (loosely organized) field in the 1960s historians and social scientists covering the period after 1800 have pre- dominantly concentrated on processes of immigration or emigration. In the United States and to a lesser extent in Britain, Australia, France and other coun- tries, which experienced significant immigration in the last two hundred years, scholars examine primarily arrival, community building, and adaptation pro- cesses, frequently of a specific group at a specific place. Another closely studied subject is the immigration policy of a specific state. The concentration on arrival and immigration policy is hardly surprising. After 1800 the emerging nation state defined the terms of inclusion and exclusion, of belonging, and access – for its citizens and non-citizens. Immigration has an obvious relevance because of the impact new arrivals made (or are making) on host societies, and the sources are concentrated at the point of arrival and thus relatively easy to retrieve. In contrast, retracing the routes taken by migrants through several countries and determining the causes of migration for larger groups can be challenging. Not all states have kept records on emigrants, let alone transmigrants. In fact, many subjects of the Russian Empire left illegally because it was often difficult and costly to obtain the officially required paperwork.1 In the American context, authors tend to concentrate on...
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