MANUEL MESA LOPEZ
I traveled from Seville to Germany on 11/16/1964 because in Spain there was a situation where there were many duties and a few rights and there was little work. I was already married and had a friend in Germany who helped me to emigrate. Before my trip I started a German language course in Seville. This type of migration was characterized by many illiterate and a lower middle class, at least I distinguished because I had a driving license. Normally the work contract lasted a year and I started working in the factory of agricultural machinery named Claas in the city of Hersenwinkel and worked there 34 years. The factory was formed by 1300 Spanish immigrants and Italian as well. After 8 months working in this factory, I came back to Seville and realized that I wanted to live in Germany with my wife. Claas factory offered me an apartment until they found a home for my family. Three children were born in Germany while the oldest, Custodio, was born in Spain. I fitted into German society to live well, learning day by day without leaving my language. My children learned German and Spanish. I formed an association of parents and asked the Spanish Institute of Emigration to send teachers so that children of immigrants could learn the language. I also founded the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, in 1967 received my Socialist card, that in Spain did not exist, because it was forbidden. I actively participated in politics and many German politicians invited me to chat, from here I started my integration into German society. My wife did not work because I didn’t want my children to be alone and because we lived in social housing. As a large family composed by 4 children, the German government financially helped me with grants. We had many German friends and they joined us to Spanish parties and events. Once a year, for example, we joined a large German socialist party that took place in a house with a thatched roof. What happened in this period (and where Manuel was witness) was a strong racial integration by modifying the social structure of Germany.