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New book examines history of German immigrants in Argentina

UNBC history professor Benjamin Bryce has published a new book chronicling the experiences of an immigrant community halfway across the world.
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UNBC history professor Benjamin Bryce has published a new book chronicling the experiences of an immigrant community halfway across the world.

Bryce's new book, To Belong in Buenos Aires, explores how German immigrants to Argentina developed a distinct identity over the last century, while developing a unique connection to their new home country.

Like many emigrating to western countries today, German immigrants were not always welcome in Argentina. As Bryce chronicles in his book, many believed these newcomers would not adapt to their new country. In the end, the German immigrants established schools, churches and a hospital in Buenos Aires. The hospital is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

"There is an idea that these immigrants, because they are culturally different, are not part of the nation and they don't want to be part of the nation," Bryce said in a press statement.

"But looking back 100 years later, you see that fear is misplaced. There are plenty of lessons about fears of immigration in the nationalist discourse. Those fears prove misguided in the long run."

Bryce has previously co-edited another book exploring the culture of Argentina, Making Citizens in Argentina. The book included submissions from eight scholars spread throughout the world, and examined the evolution of the notion of citizenship in Argentina between the 1880's and the 1980's.

Bryce was supported in writing To Belong in Buenos Aires by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by the German Academic Exchange Service.

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