Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation
Edited By Marion Kraft
Black Police Officer and Activist (Mike Reichel)
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Black Police Officer and Activist
28. Mike Reichel. Private property.
A Childhood in Berlin
I was born in Berlin-Wilmersdorf and grew up in Berlin-Charlottenburg. My mother was a single parent, and during the first four years of my life we lived in Sybelstreet, where my mother worked as a seamstress for her ← 135 | 136 → landlady. I remember it was there that I saw policemen for the first time in my life. We were standing in the yard, my mother was holding me in her arms, and there were two men wearing long overcoats. Looking back, this image reminds me of scenes in old-fashioned U.S. American crime movies. My mother had called the police because her landlady had refused to give back some of our belongings when we moved to our new apartment. I also remember our move to Charlottenburg. We lived in a dark old building that used to be the rear house. The front house had been totally bombed during the war, and it was replaced by a parking lot. We lived in a well-functioning apartment building. There were other families with children, elderly neighbors, who sometimes took care of me, and older boys who often protected me. When a new family with children moved in, they often invited me over for lunch. One day, when I was approximately 5 years old, we children were sitting in the kitchen when the door opened,...
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