Uncovering the Dark History of Afro-Germans

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Afro-Germans: A Look Back At History

Hundreds of immigrants from the former colonies arrived at the time of the German Empire. Konrad Erben, a student from Jena, Germany, was born in Germany and holds German as her mother tongue. Despite this, many hint at the fact that he is not German just because he is black.

In actuality, Afro-Germans have lived in Germany for a long time: they were brought in to be exhibited at so-called “ethnographic shows” or to learn a trade. Mandenga Diek was the first African to receive German Citizenship in 1896. He was a successful trader who campaigned for civilians’ rights with the “African Relief Society”- thus marking the beginning of the black community in Germany.

During the Nazi period, Afro-Germans were used in propaganda films such as “Quax in Africa”, alongside Heinz Rühmann. Unfortunately, those same people were then forcibly sterilized and sent to concentration camps. After World War II, black American soldiers had relationships with German women which resulted in children that were either given up for adoption in the US or condemned to racial marginalization in everyday life.

Erwin Kostedde, a former footballer for the national team talks about it in a documentary. Gabriela Willbold was the first black girl to enter a school in Cottbus. She took the anti-racist discourse of the GDR to its full extent, not tolerating any type of discrimination.

The documentary “Black and German” follows the stories of women and men of four generations and how they faced racism, survival and empowerment. The documentary will be broadcast on the 8th of February, 2021 at the 21:15 UTC; on the 9th of February, 2021 at 02:15 UTC and 07:15 UTC; 11th of February at 05:15 UTC, 13:15 UTC and 17:15 UTC; and on the 12th of February at 10:15 UTC and 13th of February at 19:15 UTC.

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