Expellees outside Germany

The Danube Swabian Postwar Migrations to La Roque-sur-Pernes (France) and Entre Rios (Brazil)

This project investigates the under-researched migrations of Danube Swabians to France (La Roque-sur-Pernes, Provence) and Brazil (Entre Rios, Paraná), which took place in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It aims to situate research on German expellees in a broader methodological and conceptual framework. Moreover, the project will meet the scholarly desideratum to write German history beyond the nation-state, whilst also addressing the pitfalls of such a programmatic endeavour. Consequently, the project looks at the transnational migration processes of Germans expelled or fleeing from South-Eastern Europe by means of an approach indebted to global history. On the empirical level, the project has the following three objectives: 1) bringing to the foreground the barely known history of the Danube Swabian postwar migrations to France and Brazil, and placing it in the context of the twentieth-century history of global migrations; 2) linking the development of the Danube Swabian settlements in La Roque and Entre Rios with postwar globalization by placing an emphasis on the relationships between ethnicity and socio-economic and political processes; 3) highlighting the identity and memory discourses and practices in Entre Rios in their historical and contemporary dimensions, connecting this with a critical questioning of the analytical value of the “identity” and “diaspora” vocabular.



  • Placing the history of German expellees in transnational and global contexts
  • Broadening the empirical knowledge on the history of German expellees
  • Gaining new insights into the theoretical and methodological implications related to the integration of Germans abroad in German historiography
  • Gaining new insights on the transnational migration processes in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War
  • Using the case studies of the Danube Swabian settlements in La Roque and Entre Rios in order to link German with French, respectively Brazilian historiography – all this with a focus on transnationalism and global history
  • Using both case studies in order to show how local history is entwined not only with national, but also with transnational and global phenomena and processes
  • Improving our understanding on Danube Swabian identity constructions outside of South-Eastern Europe and Germany
  • Improving our knowledge on the influence of economic and socio-political developments on identification discourses and practices
  • Critical questioning of the use of concepts such as „identity“, „ethnicity“, and „diaspora"

For further info get in touch with: 

Dr. Cristian Cercel


Project coordinator:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger


Dr. Cristian Cercel

Advisory Board: 

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Fabian Lemmes

Prof. Dr. Manuela Boatcă

Dr. James Koranyi

Prof. Ruth Wittlinger (1961-2020)


The project is funded by a grant of the BKM (The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media). 


nach oben

Public Talk (Zoom)

14. September 2021, 18.00 - 19.30

Unbinding Germans' Transnational Histories - Prof. Dr. Glenny Penny (University of Iowa)

CFP - Call For Papers

Transnational Germans: Competing Ideas of Germanness since the 19th Century (Deadline: 24 January 2020)