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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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One Family, Two Continents (Jasmin Eding)


← 154 | 155 →


One Family, Two Continents

30.  Jasmin Eding. Private property.

Southern Germany Meets the Southern States

My mother grew up in the early 1940s in southern Germany, having survived World War II unharmed, at least physically. My German grandmother was a seamstress, and my grandfather a carpenter and musician. He played the string bass in a small band. They had four daughters. To the distress of my grandmother, my grandfather was drafted into the German Army, ← 155 | 156 → shortly before the end of the war. He was transferred to France, where he became a prisoner of war. He stayed there until the end of the war, working in carpentry. He was quite lucky under the circumstances, since he was liked by the French.

The two youngest daughters (my mother and her twin sister) hardly knew their father. When he came back, he was a stranger to them. All four children had problems building a real relationship with their father. Having been brought up and socialized in a small German town, my mother met my father in the late 1950s. He is African American and was then a soldier in the U.S. Army. He was born in the South of the U.S. and, as I learned later, he grew up with his younger brother in North Carolina. My grandmother was only 16 years old when he was born. It was a somewhat mysterious situation,...

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