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Germany is a country that only formally acknowledged itself as a country of immigration in 2005. This reflects a long‐standing view of immigrants as guest‐workers, that is, persons who came to Germany to satisfy labour needs that implicitly were considered to be temporary and who were to return to their countries of origin when the need for their services no longer existed. The term "guest‐worker" (gastarbeiter) is itself a German neologism. At the same time, however, Germany was the destination country for significant numbers of immigrants of a different kind but that were not considered immigrants because of their German origin. These are the so‐called ethnic Germans (Aussiedler) who arrived in Germany from Central and Eastern Europe in the years following World War II.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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