Croats started immigrating Germany in the 19th century. Early immigration had economic aspect but in the early sixties and seventies became partly political as well. German statistics shows there is about 231.198 Croats in Germany. However, Croatian Embassy in Berlin estimates there is more than 350.000 Croats living in Germany.
Croatian Status in Germany
Croats enjoy full rights as other foreigners residing in Germany. No dual citizenship is allowed. Legal benchmark for foreigners’ residency in Germany is “Act on moving and residence of foreigners in Germany.” German politics towards foreign immigrants is directed to their integration process which is clearly visible in granting of German citizenship, learning German language, limitation and firm control of issuing of permits for foreigners.
Croatian Associations and Catholic missions
Widely across Germany many Croatian associations are active: cultural, heritage, sport, political etc. The oldest association is Matica Hrvatska ( Matrix Croatica) which aims to preserve cultural bonds between Motherland and Diaspora, as well as to strengthen national awareness. There are also: “Society of Croatian Intellectuals” from Munich, “Croatian World Congress for Germany”, “Croatian Cultural Society”, “AMAC”- Society of former students and friends of the Croatian Universities and Association of football clubs of Middle Germany”
Catholic church established many missions in Germany at the very beginning of the immigration processes. Croatian catholic centers were not only a place of spiritual guidance but place of Croatian gathering, social life and place of sharing Croatian spirit. Catholic missions gave their share to maintaining and preserving Croatian language, cultural and national identity and as such - they remain significant authority among Croats.
Croatian classes and Lectorates for Croatian language
Elective teaching among Croats in Germany has been organized in two ways; first one( Baden – Wurtemberg, Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg) is financed by Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport and the second one is under authorities of former Yugoslavian Republics.
Autonomous Lectorates for Croatian language are:
Institut für Fremdsprachenphilologien- Oldenburg, Georg-August Universität- Göttingen, Johann W. Göthe Universität- Frankfurt am Main, Albert Ludwigs Universität- Freiburg, Otto-Friedrich Universität- Bamberg, Johannes Gutenberg Universität-Mainz, Humboldt Universität-Berlin, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität-Bonn, Friedrich-Alexander Universität-Erlangen, Universität Tübingen-Tübingen, Universität Mannheim-Mannheim i Westfalische Wilhelms Universität-Münster
Publishing and Media
Croatian Associations and Catholic missions publish paper in Croatian language:
„Glasnik“ (publisher: Almae Matris Alumni Croaticae-Deutschland e..V.),
„Riječ“ (publisher: Hrvatska kulturna zajednica Wiesbaden),
„Živa zajednica“ (publisher: Hrvatski dušobrižnički ured u Njemačkoj),
„Obavijesti HSK“ (publisher: Hrvatski svjetski kongres za Njemačku),
„CROtime-Hrvatsko vrijeme“ (publisher: HKZ Stuttgart),
„Cro-info“ (publisher: hrvatske udruge iz Karlsruhea),
„Domovina“ (publisher: Zajednica hrvatske dijaspore, München),
„Prisutnost“ (publisher: Hrvatska katolička misija Stuttgart),
„Časopis Matice Hrvatske“ ( MH Nordrhein Westfalen),
„Bulletin hrvatske kuće e. V.“ (Hrvatska kuća, Köln, Nordrhein Westfalen),
„Berlinski magazin“ (publisher : Željko Matić, Berlin)
„Croativ magazin“ (publisher: Koturic/Susak GbR )
Croats in Germany have also their web sites among which we cite the following:
Hrvatski dušobrižnički ured u Njemačkoj
Hrvatski svjetski kongres u Njemačkoj
AMAC – Njemačka
Udruženje bivših studenata i prijatelja hrvatskih sveučilišta