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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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Ways Out of Isolation (Ria Cheatom)


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Ways Out of Isolation

26.  Ria Cheatom. Private property.

Many of the Black German children who were born in the first years after World War II were shoved into children’s homes. I was one of them, and I am proud of having carved out my way in society and of having found my place in the Black community. The decision to relate some aspects of my life here was made within the context of political and social changes that took place in Germany in the course of the past decades. It is in this ← 123 | 124 → context that, for me, this text is a contemporary document, a contribution to the aim of making the younger generations aware of a part of our history.

Haunted Homes

I don’t know anything about the first year of my life. I guess I lived with my biological mother in Brannenburg/Inn, in Bavaria, where I was born in 1947. For me, my story begins in Memmingen, in a Catholic children’s home in Lindenbad Street. The address is important, because in this small town there was also a Lutheran children’s home, in Untere Bachgasse 8, where I would live later. I was 1 year old when a social worker brought me to the Catholic children’s home. There was another Afro-German child, a boy, who was a year older than me. I did not register him consciously, but remember...

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