The First World War and its immediate formed a key turning point in the persecution of minorities. Although they have received little attention, a key group which faced hostility on a global scale consisted of the Germans, who had developed communities throughout the world as a result of mass migration during the nineteenth century.
The aim of the meeting is to bring together the leading scholars in their field to examine the experiences of German minorities during the First World War.
In particular, the team will be asked to examine the following key themes in their own case studies:
1. To what extent did an established German community exist before the outbreak of the First World War and did it survive the conflict?
2. How did ‘public opinion’ in the form of the press, parliament and ordinary citizens react towards the presence of German enemy aliens in their midst?
3. How did governments treat their German populations during the First World War?
4. Why did nation states and their populations throughout the world behave in a similarly intolerant manner towards Germans in their midst? Was World War One a significant turning point in the evolution of nationalism and xenophobia? Was there a copycat element amongst both state behaviour and the attitudes of populations towards Germans throughout the world from New Zealand to Russia?
5. Using the example of the experience of Germans, can we regard the regard the First World War as a turning point in the mistreatment of minorities, which would lead to the even worse manifestations of racism which peaked between 1939 and 1945?
This event will take place between 30 June and 1 July in Leicester, UK.If you would like to participate in this event, please could you contact Professor Panikos Panayi on firstname.lastname@example.org
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