The Damage to Germany after World War Two and its Reconstruction

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The Damage to Germany after World War Two and its Reconstruction

Every time there is a war at least one country has to deal with the consequences left behind. After World War II numerous countries had to face reconstruction because they were damaged economically as well as physically. One of these countries was Germany. During the reconstruction of the country a large number of foreign laborers, also known as “Gastarbeiter”, came to Germany due to the shortage of a native workforce. After the economy stabilized Germany kept importing labor rather than taking industry, capital and jobs offshore in search of lower labor costs. Workers, especially from Turkey, Yugoslavia, Poland, Italy and Greece came with their families to seek work.
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At first, a residence permit is granted for one year only and is tied to designated employment. A foreigner who has been in Germany legally for at least five years and is considered to have integrated himself into the economic and social life is eligible to receive a domicile permit (Aufenthaltsberechtigung). Once granted, the permit allows its holder to move within the country without restrictions. Work permits are issued by the federal Labor Office (Bundesanstalt fur Arbeit). All aliens intending to work in Germany need a work permit. There are two classes of work permits. One is a general permit, issued normally for one year and “geared to the labor conditions prevailing, or to special needs of certain industries.” The other permit is a special work permit (Besondere Arbeitserlaubnis), issued to aliens “who have had a steady employment record for the preceding five years, or who have been living in Germany legally for the last eight years or more or who are married to a German citizen” (Bhagwati 1984, 279).
The majority of the German people thought, and still thinks today, that if there are no foreign workers, there will be considerable less unemployment. This is a tolerable thought but this problem has also to be looked at from a different perspective. The article, “A Whiff of Xenophobia” states, that “While the German economic miracle was in full swing, the Gastarbeiter (guest worker) were regarded as a necessary, if not always desirable,
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