Shadows of History in Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Jessica Hart

Jessica Hart

Director, Finance and Operations

Jessica Hart is the Director of Finance and Operations at AICGS. She has held a number of roles at AICGS, including Financial Officer, Communications Officer, and Research Program Coordinator. Before joining AICGS, Ms. Hart worked at the OSU Foreign Language Center, for an Ohio senatorial campaign, and at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.

Ms. Hart holds an MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BA in Political Science and International Studies from The Ohio State University, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University.

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As the refugee crisis continues, mixed reactions are cause for concern in Germany.  Given the country’s troubled past, anti-Islam and anti-migrant sentiment in the country is particularly troubling.  Daniela Blei discusses German history and its relevance today in her article in Foreign Policy, The Banality of History: As Germany faces a racist backlash to the influx of migrants and refugees, is the country forgetting its past?

The New York Times details the historical parallels between this crisis and the Second World War, saying that it “may reveal a deeper truth about Europe and its seeming unpreparedness for a crisis so long in the making: While extolling the virtues of human rights and humanism, it remains, in many parts, a place resistant to immigration and diversity.”

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.