Die Deutschen Vietnamesen.
By Stefan Canham and Nguyen Phuong-Dan.
Peperoni Books, In German, 2011. 200 pp., 120 color illustrations, 8x13½".
Germany and Vietnam are connected by a special history. Both countries were separated for a long time, both are reunited again nowadays. In different epochs after World War II, there have been migration shifts from Vietnam to Germany for various reasons. Already in the fifties, Vietnamese party cadres were trained in flawless socialism in the GRD, contract workers were employed by the industry. “Boat People” got to Western Germany on their escape from war and poverty, many students completed their studies at German colleges and universities.
Residence permits were principally limited and many “German Vietnamese”– all the more after the collapse of the Berlin Wall – returned to their homeland, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
In an artistic-photographic manner, the book deals with the present life situation and everyday life of those Viet Kieu – the foreign Vietnamese. They all brought a piece of Germany to Vietnam and preserve the long-time relationship to Germany on the most different levels. Their individual stories and present life situations are told with the help of records from conversations, portraits as well as views of their living and working environment. They are completed by reproductions of historical material – family photos, diary entries and souvenirs from the time in Germany, which have a special importance for the particular person.
A comprehensive essay by Kristin Mundt explains the causes and the consequences of the different waves of migration and remigration.