Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation
Edited By Marion Kraft
Crossing Borders, Overcoming Boundaries (Ika Hügel-Marshall)
← 170 | 171 →
Crossing Borders, Overcoming Boundaries
36. Ika Hügel-Marshall. Private property.
There are social, political, and geographical borders. Borders can also exist in people’s minds, where they can isolate, define and marginalize others. ← 171 | 172 → Borders can be crossed, and boundaries can be overcome. My life began with a boundary crossing of my parents in the summer of 1946, when my father, an African American soldier was stationed in Germany and met my mother. He was 28 years old, and she was just 21. They dated secretly, because, in post-war Germany, their relationship was regarded as immoral, as a betrayal of the German people and, although fascism had been defeated, as “racial defilement.” Whenever they had the courage, my parents went for walks in the park. The U.S. military government implemented rigid measures to avoid so-called fraternizations with the locals in the occupied territories. Therefore, many German-American couples kept their relationship a secret. Based on the non-fraternization act of September 12, 1944, members of the Allied Forces were not allowed to stay in German houses, to invite Germans to dance, sports and other public events, or to marry German women. There were strict controls, particularly of African American soldiers. Racism in the U.S. Army met the racism that still existed in the minds of many Germans. However, many white and Black soldiers did not abide by the regulations. Many were very fond of children, and generously...
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