Western Washington University’s Cornelius Partsch, Professor of German, was awarded a grant to sponsor a special exhibition entitled “Germany: Integrating Immigrants,” which will be located in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor), opening on October 24, 2017 and remaining on display through the end of winter quarter.
The exhibition is free and open to the public, and is offered as part of the German Information Center at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany’s annual German Campus Weeks program. “Germany: Integrating Immigrants” explores the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and provides contextual information about Germany’s history, economy, and public policy. The exhibition comprises 30 posters that illustrate individual stories and viewpoints from immigrants and refugees, as well as from German volunteers and professionals who are working towards better integration.
Worldwide, more than 65 million people are fleeing persecution, violence, and human rights violations. In Germany, refugees are granted asylum if they can prove that they have been persecuted in their home countries for political reasons or have fled from a war-torn region. Refugees fleeing civil war and other political catastrophes have found a safe haven in Germany, and the strong German economy continues to attract migrants from inside Europe and from all around the world. Today, the percentage of Germans with at least one parent born abroad is roughly the same as in the United States, with similar opportunities and challenges on both sides of the Atlantic.
The primary goal of the German Campus Weeks program is to preserve and foster the friendship between Germany and the United States through programs and exhibitions in American university and college campuses. This year’s theme, “Germany Making Choices,” refers to the choices and political directions at stake in the September 24 federal elections, in which the future of the EU, the integration of refugees and immigrants into German society, and the transatlantic partnership with the US were among the most important issues voters were considering.
“Germany: Integrating Immigrants” will be available for viewing Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). To schedule a class or group visit, please contact Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts at (360) 650-3193, or via email to Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu. For questions about the exhibition, the German Campus Weeks program, and further events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit, please contact Cornelius Partsch at (360) 650-3929, or via email to Cornelius.Partsch@wwu.edu.
This exhibition is sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington D.C. and is supported through a partnership from Western’s Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Western Libraries, and the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.