Aktives MuseumHaymatloz

Haymatloz. Exile in Turkey 1933-1945

“Haymatloz” – a phonetic transcription of the German word “heimatlos”, meaning homeless or uprooted – is the term the Turkish authorities noted in the Turkish alien passports of German-speaking refugees who had been expatriated from the German Reich. It applied to most of the approximately 1000 émigrés who fled to Turkey between 1933 and 1945. Hundreds of German scientists, politicians and artists followed the Turkish government’s invitation to live and work in Turkey and contribute their expertise to modernizing all areas of society and culture in the young republic. The loan word “haymatloz” was eventually absorbed into the Turkish language.

The exhibition remembers the expellees from Nazi Germany who fled to Turkey. In addition, it elucidates the conditions of exile in Turkey at the time and recalls the reform era under Kemal Atatürk and Ismet Inönü. Despite the difficult economic circumstances, Turkey encountered the German-speaking refugees with generosity. Nevertheless, life in Turkey was far from easy. Yet many refugees remained gratefully indebted to their country of exile for the rest of their lives. The exhibition tells 23 very different life stories, some of public figures and some of people whose stories had been hitherto overlooked.


8 January – 20 February 2000 at Akademie der Künste Berlin am Hanseatenweg

Subsequently on tour, showing at numerous sites, including: Gelsenkirchen; Gladbeck; Würzburg; Aschaffenburg; Celle; Bamberg; Kassel.