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Exhibition tells the story of Portuguese immigration in Ravensburg

Photographs, videotaped testimonies and souvenirs tell the story of Portuguese immigration in the southern German city of Ravensburg with a guided tour on Sunday.

The ‘Heimat | Fremde’ exhibition of the Humpis-Quartier Museum, inaugurated at the end of October, traces the history of emigration in the city, focusing on the more expressive nationalities, such as Portuguese, Turkish, Italian and Greek, among others.

Maria do Céu Campos, who in 1975 joined 60 Portuguese who lived in Ravensburg, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, will be the guide in a one-hour visit organized for this Sunday.

About a year ago, I presented an idea at a meeting of the Integration Issues Council (BIF) about an exhibition and collection of data on the history of immigration in Ravensburg, which dates back to 60 The idea was well accepted and they started to try to make the exhibition, ” says Maria do Céu Campos.

According to data from the Municipality of Ravensburg, currently 260 Portuguese are registered in the city, the first arrived in 1965.

We are a very well-integrated community, and before that, people went into retirement and went away, now we are seeing that they are staying, I am one of them,” he says.

“When I arrived, I did not even know how to say ‘good morning.‘” I remember caricature stories that make me laugh, but at the time it was not quite like that, sometimes people did not understand us, they looked at us from side to side, but we are called “Scheisse Ausländer” (insult to strangers), … “But slowly, slowly, with the parties in which we presented our specialities, our culture, people began to get interested and German society began to open “she says, living in Ravensburg for 43 years.

In Ravensburg, citizens of 107 different nationalities live, with a total of 50,000 inhabitants. Maria do Céu Campos shares a joke of the mayor in a meeting with Portuguese.

He said, ‘I do not see any Portuguese here, we are all the same’ because we are part, we are welcomed,” he explains.

When I came, a lot of people stayed for compulsory school and went to work. Then we started to go the other way, young people should do a professional education and, if possible, go to school. does not want to learn a profession, “says Maria do Céus Campos, who moved to the city in 1975, and adds, laughing:” I married and my honeymoon was in Ravensburg, I never left here.

The Portuguese consider the city “beautiful and welcoming“, a place “where others spend holidays“.

We are just over 30 kilometres from Switzerland and Austria and very close to France,” he explains, noting that everything is not easy.

In 2005 it closed a textile factory that was working here to about 600 people, threw a lot of people into unemployment, not only Portuguese but also Turkish and Italian, it was a very dramatic situation,” he laments.

The exhibition of the Humpis-Quartier Museum in Ravensburg illustrates the arrival and the journey of the Portuguese immigrants through “old photographs of the first people, testimonies that were recorded in the video of the first generations, diverse memories“, says Maria do Céu Campos.

“I took a shawl that was from my grandmother, a first sheet I had with an income that my godmother did, … A Turkish woman took the wedding shoes,” the Portuguese exemplifies.

The exhibition will be on display until the middle of March.

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