Das Hollandgehen aus dem Oldenburger Münsterland im Spiegel der osteuropäischen Saisonarbeiter*innen des 21. Jahrhunderts
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The migration from Northwestern Germany to the Netherlands, the so-called “Hollandgehen” (Going to Holland), lasted for almost two centuries from the 17th to the 19th century and became a real mass phenomenon of the time. To earn money to improve their standard of living at home e.g. by dyke building, digging peat or mowing gras the predominantly male peasants went year after year mostly on foot from the agriculturally structured parts of Northwest Germany to the Netherlands which represented a prosperous global commercial power at that time. Taking the example of the Northwest German region of the Oldenburger Münsterland with its counties of Vechta and Cloppenburg the article shows the motivations of this migration as well as its problems and dangers. Comparing the historical Hollandgehen with the current migration of East-European seasonal workers coming mainly from Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania who work in the agriculture or the meat industry of the Oldenburger Münsterland and other German regions, the article deals with similarities and differences of both manifestations of migration. There are two main reasons for seasonal labour migration: On the one hand a lack of opportunities to secure one‘s livelihood or at least of providing a decent standard of living by doing wage labour at home and on the other hand a demand for employees elsewhere. Consequently, an economic discrepancy constitutes the basic precondition for labour migration.
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