The Unchosen Ones

The Unchosen Ones

Diaspora, Nation, and Migration in Israel and Germany
Jannis Panagiotidis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/28/2019
ISBN: 978-0-253-04364-1
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Since the refugee crisis of 2015, the topic of migration has moved to the center of global political debates. Despite the frequently invoked notion that current developments are without historical precedent, migration has been a constant feature of contemporary history, particularly in Europe. Jannis Panagiotidis considers a particular type of migration, co-ethnic migration, where migrants seek admission to a country based on their purported ethnicity or nationality being the same as the country of destination. Panagiotidis looks at immigration to Germany and Israel, focusing on individual cases where migrants were not allowed to enter the country. These rejections confound notions of an "open door" or a "return to the homeland" and present contrasting ideas of descent, culture, blood, and race. Panagiotidis shows that migration is never a simple matter of moving from place to place. Questions of historical origins, immigrant selection and screening, and national belonging are deeply ambiguous and complicate migration even in nations that are purported to be ethnically homogenous.

Author Bio

Jannis Panagiotidis is Junior Professor of Migration and Integration of Russian Germans at the Osnabrück University Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies. He is editor (with Victor Dönninghaus and Hans-Christian Petersen) of "Jenseits der Volksgruppe": Neue Perspektiven auf die Russlanddeutschen zwischen Russland, Deutschland und Amerika.



Jannis Panagiotidis' thought provoking book compares Germany and Israel with regard to legislation and implementations concerning co-ethnic immigration. Analogies and differences between the two states are carefully analyzed showing how Israel a fascinating chapter of entangled history that questions the currently prevalent reading of ethno-cultural nationalism.

Through the lens of legislation and implementations concerning co-ethnic migrants Jannis Panagiotidis thought provoking book highlights the differences between the surprisingly similar states in this regard - Germany and Israel - telling a fascinating chapter of entangled history and questioning by doing so the prevalent reading of ethno-cultural nationalism.


 (Yfaat Weiss - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Dubnow Institute, Leipzig)


An extraordinarily important contribution to scholarship that illuminates some of the key issues of twentieth-century citizenship, nationalism, and transnational history.


 (Jan Plamper, author of The New We. Why Migration Is Not a Problem: A Different History of the Germans (in German))


A fascinating, original, well-researched, and persuasively argued work that places the phenomenon of migration in the context of the end of WWII, the Cold War, and the post-1989 world, and links it to the history of forms of migration that since the early twentieth century sought to disentangle societies in order to create homogenous nation-states.


 (Sebastian Conrad, author of What Is Global History?)

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Table of Contents


Notes on Foreign Terms, Translation, and Transliteration

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: The Importance of the Unchosen Ones

Chapter 1: Originating Differences

Chapter 2: Free to Choose

Chapter 3: Problematic Others

Chapter 4: The Watershed Period

Chapter 5: The Soviet Exodus

Conclusion: The Rise and Demise of Co-Ethnic Immigration