Duitse immigrasie na Suid-Afrika ná 1945: 'n transnasionale geskiedenis, met die fokus op Wolfgang Wehrmeyer (1933-2008)
Wehrmeyer, Hermann Wilfried
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The presence of German immigrants - especially the German orphans of 1948, was a known phenomenon to the South African community during the 20th century. After the Second World War, South Africa’s economy developed rapidly and the skills shortage drew immigrants from all over the world. For Germans, South Africa became a prime destination. They were mostly welcomed with open arms. Many of them also played an important role in South African society. Knowledge regarding these Germans, especially those who immigrated between 1945 and 1980, is fading in the 21st century, a century of dramatic changes and challenges. It appears that very little is known with regard to the contribution these German immigrants made towards the development of South Africa and how they integrated into the South African community. Each immigrant brings his own identity, worldview and concepts of how institutions should function. They bridge national borders and entered a new society with its own identity, or in the case of South Africa, multi ethnic identities. The immigrants have to integrate and adapt to the new culture and ways, while they still retain their old cultures. In the process, they develop a new identity, a trans nationality. They influence their environment and the people they came into contact with. In the 1970‟s, it was especially the German historians who developed a new historiography, known as transnational history writing. After the Second World War, the relationships of the Germans and the French became intertwined in Europe. This necessitated a new approach to the communal coexistence of communities in a fast - changing Europe. Previously history was largely written within the context of the national state and within geographic borders. Now history was developing over national borders and people of different nations were starting to live shared lives. By making comparisons and emphasizing differences, a new theory and principles of transnationalism and trans nationality surfaced. This study approaches transnationalism from the context of a family history, with a biographical case study of a single citizen who emigrated from Germany to South Africa. The focus is on how Wolfgang Wehrmeyer was transplanted to a new country and how he developed a transnational identity. This biographical case study is incorporated into a prosopography with the personal experiences of fellow German immigrants in order to gain a comprehensive insight on trans nationality. The findings are analysed and synthesised to come to a comprehensive conclusion as to how German immigrants experienced transnationalism. The purpose of the study is to make a contribution to our knowledge of transnational historiography in South Africa, as well as to our knowledge about the German immigrants and their experiences.
- Humanities