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Looking for work – immigrants to the Ruhr area after industrialization

While the Ruhr was an agricultural area before 1880, the industrial age brought with it many changes in almost all walks of life. By the end of the century the Ruhr had become one of the most important industrial regions of the newly established German Reich.

In the mining and metal production industries there was an increased need for manpower which was not fully met by people from the surrounding areas. From the 1880s onwards, mass immigration from the Eastern provinces of Prussia began.

Coexistence between local people and the immigrants was not always easy or positive. This case study looks at this relationship from both the experiences and perspectives of the immigrants and the local Ruhr people.

 

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