“Integration ist definitiv nicht unser anliegen, eher schon desintegration”: postmigrant renegotiations of identity and belonging in contemporary Germany

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This article examines the notion of “Desintegration” (de-integration), as introduced by German Jewish authors Max Czollek and Sasha Marianna Salzmann, against the backdrop of ongoing re-negotiations of identity, belonging, and “Heimat” (sense of home) in contemporary Germany. While many artistic contributions to the debates around “Desintegration” have come from the realm of performance art, I will pay special attention to Salzmann’s prize-winning novel Außer Sich (Beyond Myself) (2017), as a literary approximation of the “Desintegration” paradigm, which showcases what I call a “non-authoritative” poetics of non-belonging. I will conclude by showing that the notion of “Desintegration” and its connection to a broader “postmigrant” trajectory enable novel perspectives on three of the central issues discussed in this article: the current location of German Jewish literature and culture; contemporary German-language contestations of “Heimat” and belonging; and the relationship between art and politics.


Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2020


  • German Jewish, integration, Desintegration, postmigrant, belonging, identity, minority, contemporary German literature and culture