This is one of several pages linking to information about the immigration and emigration policies and outcomes of specific countries, and implications for discussions of open borders.
Germany is significant in discussions of migration and open borders in the following ways:
- From 1949 to 1989, Germany was partitioned into East Germany and West Germany. The communist government of East Germany did not allow people (other than senior citizens) to leave the country. Their efforts to seal the border to emigration offer interesting historical lessons on border control.
- West Germany had an extensive guest worker program called Gastarbeiter intended to meet labor shortages in various industries. While many of the guest workers, many others did not, and instead set down roots in Germany. German society is still faced with the challenges of integrating these migrants into German society.
- Germany has historically been a country with net emigration. This has been changed in the second half of the 20th century. Thus, Germany has experience both as a country with net emigration and as a country with net immigration.
Blog posts on Germany in the context of migration and open borders:
- Did Open Borders Change the Course of World History? by Hansjoerg Walther, Open Borders: The Case, July 28, 2013. This discusses how the historical emigration from Germany to the United States might have been critical in influencing the relative populations and levels of power of the countries during World War II, thereby enabling the Allies to win the war.
- How to Seal a Border by Hansjoerg Walther, Open Borders: The Case, August 22, 2013. This discusses the East German government’s efforts at preventing emigration, the cost of these efforts, and their partial success.
- Germany is thinking about abolishing visas by John Lee, Open Borders: The Case, May 21, 2013.
- Open borders encourages assimilation: a lesson from the EU? by John Lee, Open Borders: The Case, March 4, 2013.
- Who favors open borders? by Nathan Smith, Open Borders: The Case, December 3, 2012. Germany ranks #31 out of 48 countries in extent of pro-open borders attitudes.