In little more than two decades, Germany has undergone an extraordinary transformation in attitudes towards immigration.
In the early 1990s, as the recently reunified nation was facing a surge in migrants from the wreckage of the former Soviet Union, and a wave of refugees from civil war in the Balkans, the consensus was that ‘Germany is not a country of immigration’.
Migrant workers who had flocked to join the German economic miracle in previous decades from Turkey, Greece, Italy and North Africa, were regarded as gastarbeiter – guest workers – who were expected to return home when their jobs were done.
In state elections in prosperous Baden-Württemberg in 1992, when the number of asylum seekers hit 430,000, the far-Right Republicans won almost 11 per cent of the vote with the slogan: ‘The boat is full’.
Germany says 'Wilkommen' to outsiders
The influx of foreign workers is not the burning issue it once was