Seminar with A/Prof Matthew Fitzpatrick

‘Mass Expulsions and Germany’s Internal and External Borders, 1871-1914’

Presented by Associate Professor Matthew Fitzpatrick


While the fate of minorities under Nazism is well known, the earlier expulsions of Germany’s unwanted residents are less well understood. Between 1871 and 1914, tens of thousands of vulnerable people living in the German Empire were the victims of mass expulsion orders. Groups as diverse as Socialists, Jesuits, Danes, colonial subjects, French nationalists, Poles, and ‘Gypsies’ were all removed. This paper examines not only the competing voices demanding the removal or the preservation of suspect communities, but also what these expulsions revealed about the nature of the German state.


Matt Fitzpatrick is an Associate Professor in international history at Flinders University. He is the author of ‘Purging the Empire’ (2015, OUP) and ‘Liberal Imperialism in Germany’ (2008, Berghahn). He is the current holder of the Chester Penn Higby Prize (2014) and a previous Humbolt Fellow at the Westphalian Wilhelm University in Munster, Germany. His research interests are European history and the history of imperialism.