GERMAN HISTORY IS FILLED WITH NON-GERMANS, BUT MOST GERMANS DON'T STUDY HISTORY MUCH AND IGNORE THE HISTORICAL FACTS (Part 1)
By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany
The late Bernt Engelmann, the author of DU DEUTSCH?, subtitled the "History of Foreigners in German y", makes a very strong case that from the time warring Prussia took over most of what became known as Germany in 1870, there were living in the geographic borders of Germany already a very large number of foreigners. Moreover, Engelmann notes that from the turn of the 20th century census statisticians were fudging the count of foreigners so that these large "foreign" populations within the German Empires' borders, from Kalingrad to Strassbourg were vastly under-counted.
This is something which Germans, especially German civil servants, who abuse foreigners with their rules and arbitrary actions should come to understand about real German history. After all, as part of the current citizenship process, German-citizen-wannabes are required to study German history.
Engelmann began the second chapter of his history with the question "Who are foreigners?" with a quote from Kurt Tucholsky. Tucholsky had stated in the early 20th Century, "Only once in Europe is man a citizen. The other twenty times is he a foreigner [wherever he goes]. . . . Who knows? Maybe that is true 32 times that. This happens when one writes down German Reich as one's address." This was because even within the new Germany, people from one part of the Reich were seen by many other Germans as coming from a foreign place, such as Detmold an der Lippe or East Prussia or the Palatinate or Bavaria--rather than being a local citizen. In many cases, only if the address on the passport-used was clearly of the entire German Reich would local civil servants refer to the person in question specifically as a German national. This is because over many centuries, the local government's civil servants have historically had great powers to define rights of a resident according to German federal development.