Comparing Migrant Workers in Germany in its Recent History & Those Currently in Korea
Solutions To Migrant Workers in Korea

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

Chapter II.2.4
Bibliography, 1st Update
Chapter II.2.1
Working Table of Contents
List of Korean Language Sources

Chapter II.2.4 (as of December 11th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Polish Migrant Workers in Germany

Poles in Germany - their Status Quo
            Calling Polish in Germany a minority can be ¡°misleading¡± (1), as people of Polish ethnic background residing in Germany number as much as two million. Including people of German-Polish mixed family, this number goes up to as far as three million. Among the total 82.5 million officially recognized people in Germany (2), Poles or Polish descendents compose about 3.6%, possibly too much to be counted as a mere minority, though many of them consider themselves as Germans. Second largest Polonia in the world and largest in Europe, Poles in Germany are not officially recognized as minority. Polonia, originally a Latin name of Poland, is a title used for people of Polish descendent living outside Poland, or where these people live. Well-known Polish organizations in Germany include Union of Poles in Germany and Congress of Polonia in Germany.

            Strictly speaking, Polish migrant workers in Germany came with the 1955 initiation of the recruitment by the German government. This is considered the first step of Germany towards changing from ethnically homogenous society to a multicultural one (3). However, it can be safely presumed that the real migration of Polish people to Germany, whether it was forced or voluntary, began before the Treaty of Versailles (4). One of the biggest Polish organizations in Germany, Union of Poles in Germany, ¡°compromised the Polish-native population of the former East German provinces which remained with Germany under the condition of the Treaty of Versailles (Upper Silesia, East Brandenburg, Pomerania, Warmia or areas where Poles settled in Middle Ages (East Prussia) ? mostly farmers and workers ? and partly the Polish immigrants in the Ruhr area.¡± (5) From this, it can be inferred that Polish migrants increased by a significant number in Ruhr area before the Treaty took place.
            During the 19th century, as Ruhr area in Germany developed enormously in its industry, it attracted up to ¡°500,000 ethnic Poles, Masurians and Silesians from East Prussia and Silesia in a migration known as Ostflucht¡± (6). Ostflucht is a phenomenon referring to a large scale movement of residents of former eastern-regions of Germany to the more industrialized western Germany, namely Rhine and Ruhr provinces, marking the origin of migrant workers in Germany.
            Also, because of the Treaty of Versailles, which granted Germany of the former East-German provinces, Ostflucht was intensified. Those Polish natives were residing in those areas, and although they did not exactly ¡®migrate¡¯ as in ¡°to go from one country, region, or place to another" (7), a large number of Polish technically moved into Germany under the treaty.
            When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, it marked the start of World War II in Europe. This created many involuntary immigration of Polish to Germany. Poland had been preparing for the attack, but most plans expected Germany to attack after 1942 (8). The 1939 invasion was too abrupt, and although the Polish Army had approximately a million soldiers, ¡°less than half of them were mobilized by 1 September¡± (9). In result, many soldiers were killed and captured, who were sent to Germany to various places and concentration camps. After the war was over, many were left behind. Some chose to stay in Germany ? however, many more were forced to stay. Because of the overwhelming number of their European prisoners, the Germans could not guarantee every prisoner¡¯s way back home. ¡°¡¦around 400,000 men by the German forces and over 200,000 by Soviet troops. Until February 1940, the German authorities gave the ICRC lists of the Polish prisoners of war they held, but after that date they stopped.¡± (10) Not even the number of war prisoners were properly grasped, and many were left behind to find a way to live in Germany.
            Presumably, that is why the government of Germany, in making its treaty with several nations, did not include one with Poland. Due to a labor shortage in Germany while rising from the ashes of World War II, German government set many bilateral recruitment agreements with Italy (1955), Greece (1960), Turkey (1961), Portugal (1964) and Yugoslavia (1968, consequently). There was never a contract between the governments of Poland and Germany.

            It can be hard to use the ¡®Polish migrant worker in Germany¡¯, since Polish minority has not moved to Germany following a certain contract like the Greeks, Italians or Turkish. Even whether Polish are minority or not is still controversial, since Polish are not officially recognized minority. However, it is certain that the origin of these migrants, through the movement of Ostflucht, migrated to find work as a migrant worker in developing industries, not so different from migrant workers of the later ages under specific contracts. Also, Polish people benefited a lot from the new law set in 2005, granting children born in Germany the citizenship even if he or she was born between foreigners. (11)


(1)      Lightbot, " Poles in Germany," in Wikipedia, 12 Nov 2008 ed. ¡°Polish Minority in Germany¡±., accessed 10 December 2008.
(2)      Gordeeva, Tatyana. 2007. ¡°German Population¡±. German, accessed 10 December 2008.
(3)      See Warchol-Schlottmann, Malgorzata. ¡°Polonia in Germany¡±. Apr 19 2001. THE SARMATIAN REVIEW., accessed 10 December 2008.
(4)      ID: Smith2006, Wikipedia. 5 December 2008. ¡°Union of Poles in Germany¡±. Wikipedia
(5)      ID: Smith2006, Wikipedia.
(6)      ID: GraemeLeggett, Wikipedia. 9 December 2008. ¡°Ruhr Area¡±. Wikipedia,, accessed 10 December 2008.
(7)      Migrate: to go from one country, region, or place to another. from, accessed 10 December 2008.
(8)      ID: Molobo, Wikipedia. 7 December 2008. ¡°Invasion of Poland¡±. Wikipedia,, accessed 10 December 2008.
(9)      ID: Molobo, Wikipedia
(10)      International Committee of the Red Cross. 2008. ¡°ICRC in WW II: Polish prisoners of war in Germany¡±., accessed 10 December 2008.
(11) /


(1)      User:Dbachmann. "Polish minority in Germany." Wikipedia, . Ed. User:TaBOT-zerem. 3 July 2006. 7 Sept. 2008 <
(2)      Warchol-Schlottmann, Malgorzata. "Polonia in Germany." Polonia in Germany. 19 Apr. 2001. The Sarmatian Review. 5 Sept. 2008 .
(3)      Special:Contributions/ "Polonia." Wikipedia, Ed. User:Tymek. 6 May 2008. 6 Sept. 2008 .
(4) "Polonia in Germany." Worldwide Polonia. 8 Sept. 2008 .
(5)      Kubicki, Michal. "Berlin ? Warsaw relations improve." Polskie Radio DLA Zagranicy 19 Mar. 2007.
(6)      "Minority workers or minority human beings? A European dilemma." International Review of Education/Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft/Revue internationale l'education 42 (1996). abstract
(7)      SPIEGEL Staff. "A History of Hostility between Poland and Germany." The Unloved Neighbors: A History of Hostility between Poland and Germany. 20 June 2007.SPIEGEL Online News.22 Sept. 2008 .
(8)      Nelson, M. "Invasion of Poland (1939)." Wikipedia, 17 Sept. 2008. 22 Sept. 2008 .

Bibliography, 1st Update (as of June 11th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. Migration as a Whole
1.) Cohen, Robin, ed. The Cambridge Survey of World Migration. Vol. 1. Cambridge: UP, 1995. 570 p.
2.) Livi-Bacci, Massimo. A Concise History of World Population. translated by Carl Ipsen. 2nd ed. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1997, 249 p.

II.Korean Minorities
1.) "Migrant worker" , our friends 2005 Full detail available here

III. Minorities in Germany
1.) "Germany, France, Austria." Migration News 2nd ser. 14 (2008). 17 April 2008 .
Summary : Germany: Roland Koch, Christian Democrat Union governor (often considered a candidate for the future chancellor) of the state of Hessen (where Frankfurt is) suggested deporting young foreigners convicted of crime in Germany, triggered by a December 20, 2007 attack on a retired school principal by Turkish and Greek youth in Munich that was caught on tape.
France: "outskirts" five million people, unemployment rate tops 30% under age of 25, several riots
Carrot and Sticks - employment training for youth, second-chance schools, Marshall plan
Austria : Austria issued out a common European complaint in April 2008, saying Austria receives too many unskilled migrants and not enough foreign professionals - complaint about not enough 'qualified' workers in Austria
2.) Lechner, Robert. "Arbeitsmigration." Wikipedia German edition. 3 May 2008. 20 April 2008
II.1 Turks in Germany
3.) Article : "Turks in Germany." Wikipedia. 28 May 2008. 29 May 2008 .
4.) Turkish Migrant Workers in Germany (
Summary : After WWII, European labor market faced many shortage of labor forces because of the death of many of the people of working age
Many countries, incl. Germany, 1950s and 1960s, esp. Turkey. German gov. short term contracts, expected these migrant workers to go back BUT THEY DIDN¡¯T
Started family during their contract terms German gov. still expected them to go home START OF THE PROBLEM
No large scale effort to encourage integration
Citizenship law : more to the parentage than place of birth Numbers: German population 80M, 7M foreigners currently living in Germany, over 2.6M are Turks (about 3.25%)
Opinion : Not that much of a help, except for the general overview of the situation some of the references in the bibliography might be useful
5.) 3rd Article works (Manco, Ural. "Turks in Western Europe." Centrum voor Islam in Eeuropa (C.I.E.). Ghent Centre for Islam in Europe. .)
6.) 4th Article does not work, but the site is a sub page under int¡¯nal labor organization, which might help (
7.) International Migration: Promoting Management and Integration. European Population Forum. European Population Forum, 2004. 17 Apr. 2008 .
8.) The situation of Turkish Migrant Workers in Europe (
Comment : Perfect! Shows German migration status in the age
9.) D STATIS - German Bureau of Statistics - some of the info might be useful, only if I use Babel Fish
10.) Turks in Germany: Overview of the Literature, Middle East Studies Association, University of Arizona ( )
Comment : Good, but only limited to Turks in Germany still, a wonderful resource, of 1995 status of Turks in Germany

Chapter II.2.1 (as of June 11th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

II.2.1) The Turks - How they Came to be in Germany
            Turks constituted quite a large number of the population in Germany in the 1970s. It was quite reasonable for people to predict that the German government would devise a plan to assimilate these guest workers. But the government didn¡¯'. That was the beginning of all the problems.
            The story started when the labor shortage in the whole Europe occurred. Because of the Second World War, many people died, especially young men of the working age. This caused intense shortage of labor, and was general phenomenon happening all around Europe. The situation was worse for Germany. Germany had started two world wars against the whole Europe (if not the whole world), and lost ? consequently, many battles were fought in German lands toward the end of the wars, killing many men and destroying innumerable facilities. Moreover, as the miraculous Wirtschaftswunder (literally meaning "economic miracle") took place in post-war West Germany, the shortage problem aggravated, void space demanding more and more workers. A series of low inflation followed by rapid industrial growth, plus the money provided by the United States in the name of Marshall Plan, raised the concern of government officials as much as the overall economic status of West Germany. As general European nations began to absorb foreign workers into their boundaries, Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) quickly followed the lead, inviting workers from many countries to come and work for the Federal Republic. Government officials usually made contracts and agreements with developing nations such as Italy (1955) and Greece (1960). In hot pursuit after these two nations was the Republic of Turkey, agreement made in 1961 before that with Portugal (1964) and Yugoslavia (1968). So came Turks, and representatives of both nations welcomed the decisions of many "temporary" workers.
            It was a good deal for both of the nations. Turkey, like many nations in developing stage, was suffering too large a number of workers. They had no place to work, and many of them suffered from the lack of or shortage of income. In that situation, the Federal Republic, with an opposite condition of problem (i. e. shortage of person) could only be seen as a help so necessary. This view explains the course of action the government of Turkey went through when the German government later asked Turkey to take the gastarbeiter (literally meaning "guest workers" in German) back home ? Turkey declined the issue. They, after all, were grateful only to reduce the population in the poor economic condition (and if the reduced population earned money from other countries, it was even better).

II.2.1.1) How They Settled
            As constantly emphasized by both government (although the Turk would have been eager to make the deal a lasting one), the deal was 'temporary'. The Turkish guest workers were never meant to stay as a resident. Both governments well perceived that the Turkish workers would work for 60-80 hours a week, for three or four years, and return home to make room for more Turkish workers to come. Regardless of the term of the agreement, their numbers increased annually. Soon, they became the largest minority group in Germany.
            However, their ¡®temporary¡¯ contracts soon became clear that it won¡¯t last long. Being distressed and pressed to the long hours of work, the workers began to ask for their family. "Temporary" broke loose and the workers¡¯ families started coming over to Germany, reuniting the family and settling down in Germany for good. As the time passed, it became clear that the numbers of Turks in Germany would not increase dramatically in a few years. People began to expect something from the German government, to begin its effort to actively assimilate the migrants and their families in Germany. The difference in the culture between Islam and Christianity also caused many difficulties, pushing Turks to believe the government would do something for them.

II.2.1.2) Governmental Effort to Assimilate Turks into German Society
            The government did not do anything for long. Since the German government still expected these workers to return home, there was no large-scale effort to encourage these migrant workers to integrate. Under previous German law, which lasted until the year 2000, citizenship was given according to the citizenship of the parents, not the land born. This means that the children born of Turkish workers yet to become citizens of Germany (and German government did not actively issued its citizenship to Turkish workers, making them illegal residents) are not granted permission to live in the country. This is the reason why as much as 36% of all Turks living in Germany were not granted citizenship, despite their birth in Germany. Although legislation concerning the German-born children of foreigners passed in 2000, accepting them as German citizens, Germany is still reluctant to accept them wholeheartedly, banning dual-citizenship over the age of 23. Despite the increasing concern over the Turk and other minorities in Germany, their influence in German politics is still low. Only few people were in political offices before 2000s, and a large part of Germany is still hostile towards them. Still their importance is slowly being recognized and the term ¡®gastarbeiters¡¯ is deemed inaccurate, and is no longer in use to refer to German Turks.

II.2.1.3) Comparison with Ethnic Minorities Consisting of Foreign Migrant Workers in Korea
            Korean minorities share the same fate of German Turks, except they are not in Korea as officially as under the guidance of agreement between two countries. Migrant workers in Korea suffered much harsher fate ? dangerous working condition without adequate safety equipment, nor enough pay, to sustain their living in Korea. They also faced inhumane treatment, occasional threat to send them back to their own country or even report the police in their illegal residence in Korea.
            Korean government is acting to change their status, such as making the position of ¡°Industrial Trainee¡±. However, the system is not even welcomed by the to-be-trainees themselves. Many illegal residents would rather stay illegal, since many employers employ ¡®industrial trainees¡¯ in a cheaper price. Industrial trainees have to go through very complicated process in order to be in Korea, and they would still have to go through a lot of trouble with their company. Because of this disadvantage, the employers are not favoring industrial trainees but rather, illegal residential migrant workers. Besides, there is no real benefit to them. Moreover, depending on Korean government¡¯s decision, industrial trainees can be kicked out from the country anytime.

Working Table of Contents (as of May 28th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. Introduction
II. The Need and Purpose of this Research
     1.) Problems Concerning Migrant Workers in Present-Day Korea
     2.) Can a Solution be Found in Korea's Past ?
     3.) To Find a Solution to Build on
III. Historical Section
     1.) International Relations in Europe since the 1950es
     2.) The German "Gastarbeiter" - how they were brought into the country
          1.) Turks
          2.) Greeks
          3.) "Yugoslavs" - Croats, Serbs, Bosnians etc.
          4.) Poles
          5.) East Germany - Vietnamese etc.
          6.) Italians
          7.) Spaniards
          8.) Others, if there are
     3.) Contrast of the situation of "Gastarbeiter" in Germany and Migrant Workers in Korea
IV. The Present Situation
     1.) How the Minorities Adjusted
          1.) How Germany (and Other Countries) Treated Them
          2.) How They Settled
     2.) How is the Social Recognition of the People ?
          1.) How Germany (and Other Countries) Treat them Now
          2.) How the German People Treat Them Now
V. Similar Examples
VI. Conclusion
     1.) Methods
     2.) Categorized Examples
     3.) How the Minorities Adjusted
          1.) Reminding the Readers what the Original Topic Was
          2.) How much I Found out about the German Migrant Workers
          3.) How I can Adopt these into the Korean Case
          4.) How much Was Achieved through this Paper
VII. Notes
VIII. Bibliography

Outline (as of March 27th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Comparing Migrant Workers in Germany in its Recent History & Those Currently in Korea; Solutions To Migrant Workers in Korea

Migrant workers are defined as people of different nationality providing labor force in a certain country, receiving in return wage, salary, pay, or any income. Republic of Korea, switching from labor exporting nation to labor importing nation about the time of 1990s, has approximately 360,000 foreign migrant workers in the country. However, because of unprepared national security of these migrant workers, lack of care, and conservative point of views which do not accept ethnic differences of these people, their human rights and social assimilation into Korean society is becoming a problem more than ever.
Viewing this problem and working for solutions leads to the example of other countries, especially Germany. Though one cannot say Germany is a successful example, the country sure is a predecessor in accepting migrant workers. Germany, as well as other European nations, has a history of migrant workers problems. (refer below for detailed outlines)
         Yugoslavs (Croats, Serbs, Bosnians etc.)
         Poles (came over different periods; prior to 1918 with Prussian passport)
         Russians (East Germany)

The main goal of this paper is to establish and identify a working solution that is both pragmatic as well as desirable for both the host country (in this case, especially Korea) and the migrant workers themselves. For that, this paper compares different minorities in, but not exclusively, Germany, especially migrant workers. (The problem occurs mainly with workers from Muslim countries because they have the most different cultures from that of western nations. Although this paper is written by a Korean student in a Korean high school, because Korean migrant workers consist of only a small part, the relative importance of Korean ethnic minorities in Germany will be less than 20%)
Problem: As Mr. Ganse says, it is hard to get a good deal of resources about minorities and migrant workers living in Germany because there are not many resources that I can read. Most resources will be in German, and the need to be able to read German is almost inevitable to get good quality information. The paper will not be credible to a desirable extent if it leaves out German resources, which "I just cannot read !!"
That is why some other countries came into the perspective ? for example, Great Britain. Britain is, first of all, an English speaking country and has many interaction with European nations, most likely to have accepted many migrant workers in the past. However, the main problem is, the situation is completely different. Unlike Germany, Great Britain, like other once-imperialistic nations, had many colonies and the migrant workers and problems of minorities occurred mostly from people from those colonies. It will be more than difficult to compare things that are completely different.
         ((Ex) The case of Britain and other imperialistic countries
         late colonial empire: in the colonies got the double citizenship.

Britain citizenship to win the colonies' mind --> in Jamaica, top elite people got the dual citizenship just for free --> these people did not think they could manage post - colony Jamaica, so they moved in large numbers into Netherlands, etc --> they became the minorities in the host countries. ex) Ruud Gullit --> soccer player <- sports & popular culture is mostly the only way to lead them out of poverty))

Because of these reasons, Mr. Ganse opposes to choosing this topic, but because this has been one thing I¡¯ve been thinking of for the past few months, I am still hesitant to give up.

Turkish Migrant Workers in Germany (

Take care in looking matters into German perspective, not only Korean perspective.
In these fields, resources in German consist the large majority. Compared to Germany "gastarbeiter," Korean minority consist only a tiny part.
German terms: Gastarbeiter ? guest workers _ prevalent term used in Germany (another term for migrant workers)
Intend to use Babel Fish for some vocabularies that can be useful, but has limits

List of Korean Language Sources (as of March 27th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment