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School of Government & International Affairs

Staff Profiles

Publication details for Dr Ruth Wittlinger

James Koranyi & Ruth Wittlinger (2011). 'From Diaspora to Diaspora: The Case of Transylvanian Saxons in Romania and Germany.'. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 17(1): 96-115.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between Transylvanian Saxons (Siebenbürger Sachsen) and their perceived “external homeland.” The authors consider the history of German minorities in East-Central Europe and, more specifically, briefly outline the history of Transylvanian Saxons. Against this backdrop, this article examines the changing nature of minority policies promoted by the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) until the present day, whilst juxtaposing this with Transylvanian Saxon discourses on identity and nationhood. In so doing, this article argues that the discrepancy between the mutual expectations of the FRG and Transylvanian Saxon émigrés became very pronounced after 1989. This then has led to what appears to be the end of the Saxon community, as émigrés have found themselves torn between assimilation and a longing for a return to Transylvania.