Join the Army and Learn a Trade

U.S. Army recruitment poster from 1918, just after the Great War. One wonders how much the prospective recruit would have known about the far-flung U.S military activities indicated on the map. Uncle Sam, it seems, was banking on at least some interest in the greater world but even more on the attractiveness of the skills and more practical inducements he could offer. Source: Library of Congress, PPOC, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002719778/.

Practical Knowledge and Inner-German Migration

But within a week I’d already found work.
—Herr Winter
 

Citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) who moved to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the 1980s later incorporated their migration experience into their biographies as success stories. When they relocated, they were between thirty and forty years old and had families. They migrated at a point in their lives when they had already acquired a lot of practical knowledge, if through experience in a different context. Their relocation was about much more than a change of residence, however. GDR citizens also had to come to terms with a new political system, bureaucracy, and society.[1] What practical knowledge could they use to master their new situation? How did they experience their initial encounters with the new system, their search for employment, and their children’s education? Continue reading “Practical Knowledge and Inner-German Migration”