Russian German Immigrants
Social characteristics, networks and self-image
At least 2.3 million Russian German immigrants have come to Germany from the Soviet Union and its successor states since 1987. During the 1990s, their integration was frequently called into question. After that, they almost disappeared from public awareness as a group. Many of them achieved a certain degree of prosperity through manual labour and often badly paid jobs in the service sector. A Russian German middle class has now emerged that is well integrated into the labour market. However, this is overshadowed by the attention paid to ‘problem areas’ with a large number of immigrants, to free churches practising strict forms of religious observance or to those individuals who have been receptive to the lure of Moscow’s diaspora policies. Such a focus fails to acknowledge the heterogeneity of Russian Germans as a group today, and the difficulty in identifying them as a separate group in German society overall.
(Special Issue, S. 4160)