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Children of the Liberation

Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation


Edited By Marion Kraft

This volume was originally published in German in 2015, commemorating the end of World War II seventy years earlier and acknowledging the contribution of African American soldiers to Germany’s liberation from fascist rule. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it collects the voices of some of the descendants of these World War II heroes. In this volume, Black Germans of this post-war generation relate and analyse their experiences from various perspectives. Historical, political and research essays alongside life writing, interviews and literary texts form a kaleidoscope through which a new perspective on an almost forgotten part of German history and US American–German relationships is conveyed. The collection explores causes and consequences of racism in the past and in the present as well as developing strategies for achieving positive changes.
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Unexpected Encounters with the Past (Roy Merz)


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Unexpected Encounters with the Past

23.  Roy Merz. Private property.

After 40 years living and working in metropolitan Berlin, I felt drawn back to my Hessian homeland. Marburg, where I was born in 1957, with its huge university campus, seemed to be too large and hectic. I was longing for peacefulness, nature and remoteness. Thus, I bought a house in the north of Hesse, near Lake Edersee. I had some problems with the person who sold me the house, with the renovation and the amenities, but the idyllic, hillside landscape conveyed a feeling of home, and I was content ← 97 | 98 → with my decision. I had no idea that I had unwittingly settled on a historic site that, step by step, would direct my thoughts to a journey into my own personal past.

The house is situated on the outskirts of a village that was founded in the thirteenth century close Lake Eder. Today the village attracts tourists due to the Eder reservoir. The people of the village are friendly and polite, and I feel very welcome in this small neighborhood. However, I was irritated by the fact that, shortly after my arrival, I was asked frequently whether I had been “one of these children.” I related that to my skin color, thought that the questions referred to the so-called “colored occupation children”, and mostly ignored the question. But soon, by chance, I learned...

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