By David Turton, Julia González
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The other minorities mentioned above received official minority status in 1997, in accordance with the European convention on minority rights (HECKMANN, 1992). As in other European countries, post-war labour migration and, from the eighties onward, refugee movements, formed new minorities in Germany, although it is still open to question whether the migrant communities will persist as stable minorities. The labour shortage in 52 CULTURAL IDENTITIES AND ETHNIC MINORITIES IN EUROPE Germany's economic miracle of the fifties led to the guest worker programme in which official recruiting facilities were installed in some of the relevant countries.
Educational policy was restricted to some language compensation programmes. In the eighties the emphasis changed from compensation programmes to differentiation programmes. The paradigm of those years 38 CULTURAL IDENTITIES AND ETHNIC MINORITIES IN EUROPE was that it was not the migrant but the school system that caused marginalisation, because that system was based on the modal white pupil and did not answer to the needs and preferences of the migrants. In this respect changes in curricula were implemented, with such courses as “Dutch as a second language”, “mother tongue education”, and Islamic religion.
Not at all, even if their Italian is often very fluent and natural. When asked, they say that they feel “German”, in the cultural but not political sense of the word. Unlike their grandparents, they are not interested at all in a possible reincorporation into Austria, and the more so in this post-Schengen era, when the Brenner frontier, cleaving the very heart of a once single and united Tirol, is becoming, for all practical purposes, irrelevant. If asked about their language, they will unhesitatingly answer “German”, and consider Italian as no more than a beautiful, practical acquisition.
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