Arriving refugees

Immigration State

People sought refuge in North Rhine-Westphalia from persecution and war, or attempted to escape economic hardship and poor future prospects.

Today, almost one in three people in North Rhine-Westphalia has a migrant background. The most populous state in Germany has always been shaped by immigration.

No matter why these people came here, they went through similar phases of settling in. The immigrants sought their own new place within the initially unfamiliar community. Refugees and “guests” became fellow citizens.

The first part of this room tells the story of the state as a place of refuge. Here you will find many personal accounts by people with refugee experiences.

In the second part, we chronicle labour migration and the issues of arrival and settling in.

Finally, at the end of the room, we turn to the threat posed to peaceful coexistence by right-wing extremist hate and violence, prejudice and agitation. How do individuals and society alike face this wave of violence?