How were the black people - both German and captured POWs - treated in Nazi Germany?
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Hans Massaquoi, who wrote of growing up black in Nazi Germany, dies at 87
Hans Massaquoi, who wrote a memoir about his childhood growing up black in the Third Reich, has passed away at the age of 87. His autobiography, "Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany," was published in the U.S. in 1999. Massaquoi was born Jan. 19, 1926, in Hamburg. His mother was a German nurse and his father the son of a Liberian diplomat. In 1933, wanting to show what a good German he was, Massaquoi cajoled his baby-sitter into sewing a swastika onto his sweater. When his mother spotted it, she snipped it off, but a teacher had already taken a snapshot. Massaquoi, the only dark-skinned child in the photo, is also the only one wearing a swastika.
For black GIs Germany was a breath of freedom: WWII Germany helped to end segregation in US
"For black GIs ... Germany was a breath of freedom. They could go where they wanted, eat what they wanted and date whom they wanted," Colin Powell, a former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and America's most famous African-American soldier, stated in his memoir. Many black GIs vowed to "never go back" to the old ways.
The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide And The Colonial Roots Of Nazism (book review)
At the new restaurant overlooking the bay in the tiny resort of Luderitz on the coast of Namibia, tourists sit out on the balcony and enjoy the views over Shark Island. But little do they know the grim truth. Shark Island, with its picturesque scenery, was the location of the world's first death camp. 3500 innocent Africans were killed here at the hands of the Germans, decades before the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, with the silent sanction of the German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The story of the German extermination of the Herero and Nama peoples has been removed from the history books.
The fate of 20,000-25,000 blacks living in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler's rule
Ask of blacks in the Third Reich, and most mention the Afrika Schau. In "Hitler's Black Victims" Clarence Lusane writes that the Africa Schau was a traveling show exhibiting African culture. It was taken over in 1940 by the SS and Joseph Goebbels who "were hoping that it would become useful not only for propaganda" but also to gather all the blacks under one tent. Most of the light-skinned blacks were the children of French-African occupation soldiers and German women in the Rhineland. 400 "Rhineland Bastards" were sterilized, without their knowledge, but there was no systematic extermination plan.
German sports reporter claims that Adolf Hitler, Jesse Owens shook hands
It is the greatest sporting snub in history: Adolf Hitler stormed out of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin after Germany was embarrassed by a black man. The moment was 1936 and Jesse Owens had just won the first of his 4 gold medals. Hitler, who had shaken hands with the German Olympic winners, left the stadium angry that his Ayran supermen had been beaten by their racial inferior. But sports reporter Siegfried Mischner claims that, though Hitler left the stadium, it was not before shaking Owens' hand. Mischner says that Owens carried a photo in his wallet of the Fuehrer doing just that. Owens later said he was treated better in Nazi Germany than in segregated America.
The forgotten black victims of Nazi Germany
Only in recent times have academics studied the fate of black people who were living in Nazi Germany and captured black POWs. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum: "The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation... and murder. However, there was no systematic program for their elimination." After Germany's defeat in the WW1, the Treaty of Versailles stripped the nation of its African colonies and many of the Germans traveled back to Fatherland with racist attitudes.
First memorial to black victims of Nazis: Mahjub bin Adam Mohamed
Mahjub bin Adam Mohamed is to make history in Germany by becoming the first black person to be given a memorial as an individual victim of the nazi genocide. A Stolperstein (a bronze 'stumbling block') will be erected in Berlin. Tanzanian Bin Adam joined the colonial German East Africa services, emigrating to Berlin in 1929, where he got into trouble by demanding his outstanding service pay. He took small parts in films, having roles in over 20 movies with stars such as Zarah Leander, Hans Albers and Willy Birgel. He married a German woman Maria Schwander, and got arrested in 1941, charged with racial intermarriage and taken to Sachsenhausen, where he died in 1944.
Black Victims of the Nazis by Z Nia Reynolds (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Black Victims of the Nazis" highlights the horror of blacks caught up in the horrors of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. While the Nazis were anti-Semitic, their myth of Aryan superiority extended to all racial groups outside the Teutonic. This included peoples of African origin, and the idea of the "final solution" began in German colonies in Africa. The medical experiments made on live inmates in Nazi camps were initiated in Africa. Germans were confused by the physical prowess of black athletes - like Jesse Owens and Joe Louis, who knocked out Max Schmelling in fight which Nazis had promoted as a showpiece of Aryan power.
Drama about black German in Nazi Germany
As Allied bombs rained down on Hamburg in 1943, a German woman and her son raced to an air raid shelter. But the uniformed guard at the entrance took one look at them and slammed the door in their faces. Though the boy was a German, he was also black. That incident is part of the remarkable life of Hans J Massaquoi, whose story is being brought to tv in a docu-drama. His memoirs "Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany" became a best-seller when they were published five years ago. Book's cover photograph shows a black boy wearing a swastika badge and standing among blond Aryan classmates.
Nazis slained 11 black American soldiers during World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Only one site memorialize the Nazi`s brutal killing of 11 black American soldiers during World War II — and it is in Belgium, at the spot their bodies were found after the Battle of the Bulge. It was vicious slaying, and one forgotten by history. But that changes when the first American monument to those fallen soldiers goes up. The men were part of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, and were found by German soldiers in a tiny Belgian hamlet called Wereth. They surrendered, but were maimed and killed anyway.