Citizens of Memory: Muslim Immigrants and Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary Germany

Collaborative Group

Professor Michael Rothberg, Dr. Andrés J. Nader, Professor Yasemin Yildiz


Germanic Languages and Literatures


Remembrance of the Holocaust has been central to Germany’s national self-understanding in the decades since the genocide. Yet, in the last 50 years, the population of Germany has been significantly transformed by migrations of guestworkers and refugees, many from Muslim countries. Muslim immigrants in particular are often described as unwilling to “integrate” into German society and uninterested in Germany history and the Holocaust. However, much evidence exists to complicate this picture. Drawing on the complementary scholarly expertise of its three collaborators in Holocaust studies, migration studies, and memory studies, this project assembles and analyzes examples of immigrants grappling with the history of Nazism and the Holocaust in a variety of arenas, including community activism, novels, essays, performances, and songs. While the scholars have worked together before, this is their first major collaboration. It will result in a co-authored book that explores the effects of transnational migration on cultural memory, demonstrates the ways many immigrants take on the histories of their adopted societies, and interrogates the presumption of Muslim anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Award period: July 1, 2011 - December 31, 2012