A large percentage of foreign guest workers were recruited for the construction industry. Of the approximately 107,030 Italian guest workers recruited in 1961, nearly half – 49,479 – were employed in the building trades. The work was hard, but new arrivals could be trained quickly. In the 1960s, Italians represented the largest group of guest workers in the Federal Republic; they accounted for more than 30% of all foreign workers. The introduction of freedom of work laws within the European Economic Community (EEC) meant that Italians did not need work permits and were not subject to travel or entry restrictions. Photo by Simon Müller.

Italian Guest Workers in the Building Industry (1962)


Source: Italian guest workers on a construction site in the Federal Republic. Date: February 16, 1962. Photo: Simon Müller. Press and Information Office of the Federal Government–Bundesbildstelle.
A related photo can be found in the online catalog of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government–Bundesbildstelle under the signature B 145 Bild-00004881.

Courtesy of the German Information Center