In the 18th and 19 centuries, thousands of Lippian brick makers came from Germany to the Netherlands to find temporary work. Each spring, they left hearth and home to search for work in neighboring countries. Traditionally, the Netherlands had been a favorite destination for many migrant workers in the Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen regions. German bakers and confectioners were well-known 'Hollandsgänger'. In 1687, the sovereign of the principality of Lippe received the designation 'viscount' of the Dutch boroughs Vianen and Ameiden. In the 19th century, the area around Berlin also offered temporary work to many workers in the brick industry. Theodor Fontane created a literary monument for these brick makers in his Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg. (1862-1889).
In cooperation with the International Institute of Social History, the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen (Detmold, Germany) will open a web portal on the major legacy of these workers, "Lippische Ziegler." Lists of names, photographs, archival materials, and data content will be available online for research on migration and genealogy.
The official launch of the website will take place on Monday, 20 June 2011 in the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen (Detmold, Germany). The NRW minister of Family and Youth, Mrs Ute Schäfer, will deliver the inaugural speech. Prof Dr Jan Lucassen will speak on behalf of the IISH. He has published many books on migration history, including, together with Piet Lourens, Arbeitswanderung und berufliche Spezialisierung. Die lippischen Ziegler im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert (Osnabrück 1999). [Labour migration and "ethnic" occupation: the brick makers from Lippe in the 18th and 19th centuries]