50 Years Arrival of the Millionth "Guest Worker": A Look Back

13.09.2014 | Köln, Train station Deutz and Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum

September 2014 brought with it a special anniversary.  All T.V. and radio channels reported about the arrival of the millionth guest worker Armando Rodrigues de Sá on the 10.09.1964. Arnd Kolb and Dr. Robert Fuchs from the DOMiD were sought after experts on the subject.

On Saturday, the 13.09.2014 there was a central commemoration day in Cologne that simultaneously celebrated the arrival of Armandos and the signing of the German-Portuguese Labour Recruitment Agreement in 1964.

The day began with a ceremonial reception in the Cologne City Hall. Aydan Özoguz, the State Minister for Migration, Integration and Refugees and the Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters as well as numerous other political figures from Germany and Portugal were present. Rodrigues de Sá’s sister, brother and grandchildren, who had arrived especially from Portugal, were particularly honoured. Along with the speakers they wrote in the Golden Book of the town. 

After the reception it was time for the highlight of the day: the commemorative event at the historic location of Armando Rodrigues de Sá’s arrival at the train station Köln-Deutz. Under the moderation of Arnd Kolb an extensive accompanying program took place.

As part of this migrants from today presented the events from the past as a theatre production. Additionally poems and songs contributed to the creative atmosphere. The finale was the unveiling of a commemorative plaque which shall serve as a permanent reminder of the event. It is dedicated to all migrants. 

Subsequently there was a conference about immigration to Germany in the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, to which Arnd Kolb contributed with a lecture. The successful day ended with a culture festival with Portuguese food and music. 

The pictures on our Facebook page convey the impressions of the day. 

More information about Armando Rodrigues de Sá and the train station Köln-Deutz is available on a specially made website by DOMiD: www.angekommen.com.

Under the following links you will find several accounts about the memorial day (in German):
http://www.wdr5.de/sendungen/neugiergenuegt/gastarbeiter138.html

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/millionster-gastarbeiter-vor-50-jahren-ein-moped-fuer.871.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=296998

http://www.migazin.de/2014/09/15/waren-gastarbeiter-wirklich-willkommen/

http://www.ksta.de/koeln/-ein-moped-und-blumen-erinnerung-an-gastarbeiter,15187530,28400230.html

http://www.welt.de/geschichte/article132083037/Die-ersten-Gastarbeiter-kamen-um-wieder-zu-gehen.html

Foto: Oberbürgermeister Jürgen Roters, der portugiesische Staatssekretär José Cesário und Staatsministerin Aydan Özoguz enthüllen die Gedenkplakette