Mixed Loyalties? German Minorities between Nationalism, Solidarity, and Fascism (1920s-1940s)

Swen Steinberg, Ph.D.'s picture
Call for Papers
February 4, 2021
Indiana, United States

Call for papers for a panel on global German minorities at the German Studies Association’s annual conference, 30 September – 3 October, 2021, Indianapolis, Indiana.


With the rise of the Third Reich, German minorities and partly still German-speaking immigrant communities across the world were pushed into an unprecedented battle over their loyalties and solidarities. Although pride over German culture and history was tenacious among the global German diaspora, Nazism placed old loyalties to Germany under pressure from without and within. During the interwar period, political and cultural identities built on German nationalism were confronted with competing solidarities, intersecting and conflicting with issues of class, gender, politics, knowledge production or circulation and everyday life defined by the diaspora experience. This panel seeks to initiate a critical discussion on how German minorities across the world reacted to the challenges posed by the National Socialist Germany and how German minorities and immigrant communities were swept into the global struggle between anti-fascist and partly refugees movements from Nazi persecution on the one hand and Nazi sympathizers on the other.

We strive to analyze how pre-existing, often conflicting visions of Germany’s past and future evolved in the space between Weimar Germany’s democratic and culturally vibrant moment, and the reactionary, National Socialist vision of a global, imperialist Germany that strived to strengthen the loyalties of people of German descent abroad. The panel’s focus on German minorities will contribute to the global history of fascism and anti-fascism, and invites case studies related to the history of German speaking minorities, refugees and exile, Nazism and anti-fascism. We invite especially contributions on the global German diaspora, 1920s-1940s, that will directly contribute to discussions on how mixed and conflicting loyalties were handled in differing local or even individual contexts and circumstances. This includes the post-war perspective when German minorities had to deal with the connection between ’Germanness’ and the Holocaust.


Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to the organizers by Thursday, 4 February 2021.

A valid membership of the GSA will be required.

Contact Info: 

Swen Steinberg, Carleton University, Canada, / swen.steinberg@carleton.ca



Kasper Braskén, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, kasper.brasken@abo.fi