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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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“Because We’re Embarrassed”: Memory, Post-memory and Reflections on “Race” and Rejection (Tracey O. Patton)

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TRACEY O. PATTON

“Because We’re Embarrassed”: Memory, Post-memory and Reflections on “Race” and Rejection



43.  Tracey O. Patton. Private property. Image credit Canaan Hurst. ← 209 | 210 →

This study focuses on the modes of action of memory and post-memory, based on the history of a Black German woman of the post-World War II generation and her family of origin. I am the daughter of a woman referred to as a “colored occupation child” in the post-World War II era. According to the Black German Cultural Society,1 approximately 95,000 children of German women and African American G.I.s were born in the years after World War II. My mother and her twin stand for the “estimated 3,000 to 4,000 children born between 1946 and 1953.”2 These children were either raised by their German families or grew up in foster families or in children’s homes in Germany, or were adopted outside of Germany, mainly in the U.S. or Denmark. In the United States, Black German children received attention in media such as Ebony magazine, where they made the cover of the October 1948 issue, “Homes needed for 10,000 Brown Orphans” or Jet magazine which featured several Black German children available for adoption in 1951.3

The goal of this mediated coverage was to have Black German children brought to the U.S. and adopted by African American families.



44.  Ebony, October 1948....

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