Constructing a German Diaspora

Manz, Stefan
Date published: 
June 2014

German unification in 1871 changed the status of Germans who found themselves living outside, or migrating across, the borders of the newly founded Empire. Migrants were increasingly represented as outposts of ‘Germanness’ whose ethnic links with the mother country had to be preserved. German migrants worldwide became a transnational ‘community of spirit’. This book is the first to specifically focus on the construction of an imagined homogeneous and Reich-focused diaspora through public discourse. It shows the ways in which the ‘Greater German Empire’ did not remain a fictitious construct but became embedded in migrants’ sense of national and ethnic identity.