Stefan Manz: A history of German migration to the UK in the 19th century


In his informative and well-received book, Dr. Stefan Manz looks at migration patterns of German immigrants to the UK in the 19th century:

Für deutsche Migranten des 19. Jahrhunderts war Großbritannien eines der wichtigsten Zielländer innerhalb Europas. Zum ersten Mal wird eine der zahlreichen deutsch-ethnischen Kolonien einer mikrohistorischen Untersuchung unterzogen. Die Perspektive erlaubt quellengestützt genauere Aussagen zu Themenkomplexen wie Wanderungsverhalten, Berufsstruktur oder ethnischer Selbstorganisation. In Glasgow bildete sich ein dichtes Netz an ethnischen Vereinigungen, das sich nach Kriegsausbruch unter dem germanophoben Druck der britischen Öffentlichkeit sowie staatlichen Maßnahmen wie Internierung, Repatriierung oder Enteignung fast vollständig auflöste. Die Glasgower Fallstudie wird durch zahlreiche Querverweise auf andere Regionen und Länder in einen größeren migrationsgeschichtlichen Rahmen eingeordnet.

“…an outstanding piece of scholarship, whose strengths lie in all its facets. […] deserves a very wide readership.” (Scottish Historical Review, April 2006)

“…an important contribution to European migration history in the Atlantic context.” (Vierteljahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 92/2, 2005)

“Scholars as well as informed members of the general public who read German will enjoy this well-researched work.” (History 298, April 2005)

“Anyone conducting research into Germans in Britain will have to refer to this book in the future. Through its theoretical approaches the study constitutes an important contribution to historical migration research.” (Jahrbuch für Europäische Überseegeschichte 6, 2006)

“convincing…meticulously researched…intriguing…impressive” (English Historical Review, December 2006)

1. Deutsches Currywurstmuseum

Many cities and regions in Northern Germany lay claim to the invention of the Currywurst, a grilled sausage smothered in tomato sauce and sprinkled with curry powder. From Herbert Grönemeyer’s popular 1980s hymn to the “Currywurst” to Uwe Timm’s canonical 1993 novella “Die Entdeckung der Currywurst”, this spicy dish has inspired writers, songwriters and comedians for years and is now considered the most German of snacks. Not surprising, then, that it has even been used to teach German, although the lesson is to be taken with a pinch of salt 🙂


In August 2009, Germany’s first museum dedicated to the Currywurst opened its doors in Berlin. The interactive exhibition includes an overview of the history of the Currywurst as well as of fast food in general; it explains how eating habits have changed over the years and traces the pop-cultural influence of this staple snack in German literature, TV and film. Visitors are invited to step into a typical Currywurstbude, to smell the different spices that give the curry sauce its typical flavour, and to try their hand at the Currywurst arcade game.


In der Currywurstbude-klein








Herta Heuwer-klein







While the museum is as entertaining as it is instructive, when our intrepid explorers were there in early May, the entrance fee of €11 seemed a little steep for what the museum offers – disappointingly, visitors didn’t even get to taste a real Currywurst. However, complaining seems to have done the trick: since May 7, visitors are now invited to try different versions of this German institution.




Watch a short video about the museum.

And another clip about the museum (in English), by Deutsche Welle

Aston PhD graduate interviewed by “Die Zeit”

Yvonne Henze and supervisor

Yvonne A. Henze, a former colleague, who taught at Aston from 2002 to 2007, has now completed her ph.d and graduated as Dr phil in March (supervised by Dr. Claudia Gremler).

Yvonne’s thesis focused on the deployment of overseas employees in German multinational companies and on the cultural challenges they face when coming to work in the German headquarters. Yvonne’s research specifically looked at the implications of intercultural training measures for these employees, asking questions such as “How are these people prepared for their stay in Germany and at the headquarters? What are the problems they encounter and how can intercultural training alleviate them?”  Her thesis revealed a complex interplay of national and corporate culture that develops when people arrive from an overseas subsidiary – and sometimes have to realise that working for a company they think they knew well can lead to unexpected challenges.

Yvonne now works at the University of Göttingen where she conducts intercultural competence trainings for students and staff and teaches postgraduate courses on intercultural communication. She was recently interviewed by major German weekly “Die Zeit” in an article on the experience of culture shock.

Uwe Schütte introducing “Heiner Müller”

Heiner Müller-Uwe

Uwe Schütte’s latest publication:

Heiner Müller (1929–1995) was an East German dramatist, poet, writer, essayist and theatre director. Described as “the theatre’s greatest living poet” since Samuel Beckett, Müller is arguably the most important German dramatist of the 20th century after Bertolt Brecht. His enigmatic, fragmentary pieces are a significant contribution to postmodern drama and postdramatic theatre.

This general introduction is published in the prestigious UTB series which is widely used at universities in the German-speaking world. 

Go here for more information.

Stefan Manz meets Rick Stein!



In series 6 of the BBC’s hugely successful programme “Who do you think you are?”, tracing the family history of well-known Britons, celebrity chef Rick Stein delved into his father’s tragic experiences during World War I due to his German ancestry. To learn more, Rick met up with our own Dr. Stefan Manz whose research expertise shed light on the difficulties facing German immigrants during this period.


Here are some screen shots of Stefan’s chat with Rick Stein:

Rick Stein 1





(c) Wall to Wall Media Ltd

rick stein 5





(c) Wall to Wall Media Ltd

rick stein 8





(c) Wall to Wall Media Ltd

Recent publications by Claudia Gremler

Here are links to two of Claudia’s most recent publications:

“Sympathisch ergriffen”: Der Zusammenhang von (queerer) Emotionalität und Intertextualität bei Thomas Mann am Beispiel seiner Rezeption von Herman Bangs Werken


Looking for Redemption in a Globalised North: Representations of the Arctic in Judith Hermann’s Short Stories “Kaltblau” (“Cold –Blue”) and “Die Liebe zu Ari Oskarsson” (“Love for Ari Oskarsson”).

Nordlit 23 (2008), pp. 119-130.