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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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Preface to the English Edition

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In 2015, seven decades after the end of Hitler fascist reign, many organizations and publications in Germany commemorated the end of World War II. Only very few mentioned the contributions made by Black soldiers, in particular African Americans, to the defeat of the Nazi regime. Remarkably, however, there emerged a new interest in the histories and stories of Black “occupation children” born in post-war Germany. This increasing interest gave rise to several publications by white German authors and researchers. Black Germans of the post-war generation were generally depicted as outcasts, social problems or victims and corroboratory material was collected to support such views. With the original German publication of Children of the Liberation, my co-authors and I wanted to set the record straight and add a new dimension to this discourse. We aimed to outline the extensive history of racism in Germany and the long presence of Black people in this country and to write a different narrative in our own voices, whereby, through different approaches and authentic life stories of survival and success against all odds, the “danger of a single story” (Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie) would be counteracted. At a meeting with Black German friends, activists and writers, among them author Ika Hügel-Marshall and co-founder of ADREFA [Afro-German Women] Ria Cheatom, we decided on a project that would give different men and women of the Black German post-war generation a space where they could make their own voices heard.

My own research for this...

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