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Children of the Liberation

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

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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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Crossing Borders, Overcoming Boundaries (Ika Hügel-Marshall)

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← 170 | 171 →

IKA HÜGEL-MARSHALL

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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