A Guest Worker in Stuttgart (1962)
On November 17, 1962, Hannes Kilian took a portrait of this unknown
construction worker at the intersection of Alexanderstrasse and
Charlottenstrasse during streetcar construction in Stuttgart. The
snapshot is included in the
publication Die 50er Jahre: Ein
Stuttgarter Jahrzehnt in Bildern (Hannes Kilian, 1994, page 55) and
has the following caption: “1959: New faces in the city—during the
reconstruction of the Neues Schloss and in road construction—the first
guest workers came from Greece and Italy.”
Who is this man? Was he really one of the countless nameless guest workers from Greece or Italy whose life stories cannot be found in the archives?
Stuttgart’s urban history during the years of the economic miracle—migration in Germany—comes to light here with an unknown face and untold story(s). Today, the percentage of people with a migration background in the city is about 45 percent and Stuttgart is considered a pioneer in integration issues.
Hannes Kilian, on the other hand, who lived in Naples and Paris, is one of the most distinguished photographers of the postwar period. On his 100th birthday, his work, which appeared in various national and international newspapers and magazines, was exhibited in Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau. In addition to portraits of important artists and politicians, his photos of migrants during the years of the economic miracle provide illuminating snapshots of German postwar history.
Source: Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg, Hannes Kilian Collection.
© Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg, Hannes Kilian Collection