Being German Canadian

History, Memory, Generations

Alexander Freund (Editor)

Being German Canadian explores how multi-generational families and groups have interacted and shaped each other’s integration and adaptation in Canadian society, focusing on the experiences, histories, and memories of German immigrants and their descendants.

As one of Canada’s largest ethnic groups, German Canadians allow for a variety of longitudinal and multi-generational studies that explore how different generations have negotiated and transmitted diverse individual experiences, collective memories, and national narratives. Drawing on recent research in memory and migration studies, this volume studies how twentieth-century violence shaped the integration of immigrants and their descendants. More broadly, the collection seeks to document the state of the field in German-Canadian history.

Being German Canadian brings together senior and junior scholars from History and related disciplines to investigate the relationship between, and significance of, the concepts of generation and memory for the study of immigration and ethnic history. It aims to move immigration historiography towards exploring the often fraught relationship among different immigrant generations—whether generation is defined according to age cohort or era of arrival.


“This collection opens the door to new horizons without discarding traditional and continuing questions of belonging and cultural heritage.”

– Matthias Zimmer, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

“Meticulously researched and detailed articles are effectively interwoven. The treatment of diverse subject matters emerges as a political and socio-historical kaleidoscope which imparts valid and inspiring insights into different facets of the ’German story of Canada’.”

Wolfgang Klooß, Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien

“This stimulating collection positions the history of “German Canadians” squarely in the field of migration and memory studies, making a strong case for the study of intergenerational exchanges and interactions and the salience of “generations” as an analytical concept. Memory and generation serve as the proverbial red threads that tie together the volume, lending it an admirable cohesiveness.”

Barbara Lorenzkowski, Histoire sociale / Social History

About the Author

Alexander Freund is a professor of History at the University of Winnipeg, where he holds the Chair in German-Canadian Studies and was a founding director of the Oral History Centre. He is the author of Oral History and Ethnic History.

Other contributors: Karen Brglez, Christine Ensslen, Patrick Farges, Sara Frankenberger, Roger Frie, Alexander Freund, Anke Patzelt, Robert Teigrob, Elliot Worsfold

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