There’s a guy named John Hightower who posted a story on his Facebook page called Black History in Nazi Germany, a story. John is about a decade older than I. We attended the same church, Trinity AME Zion, and the same high school, Binghamton Central, plus I know or knew a number of his relatives.
I wanted to find the location of the piece he shared. Initially, I found it on the Facebook page of Great Plains Black History Museum in Omaha, NE. It has a lot of interesting artifacts. Its Mission Statement: “To preserve, educate, and exhibit the contributions and achievements of African Americans with an emphasis on the Great Plains region. To provide a space to learn, explore, reflect, and remind us of our history.”
But that’s not the original source. Finally, the librarian found it on AAREG, the African American Registry. Here’s just a segment.
“On this date (Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27) from 1933, the Registry looks into the Black history of Nazi Germany. The Nazis seized power on January 30, of that year with Adolph Hitler’s appointment as chancellor…
“Hitler had a white vision of a Master Race of Aryans that would control Europe. He used powerful propaganda techniques to convince not only the German people but countless others, that if they eliminated the people who stood in their way and the degenerates and racially inferior, they, ‘the great Germans’, would prosper. This included mandatory Sterilization for Black Youth.
“Before World War I, there were very few dark-skinned people of African descent in Germany. But, during World War I, the French brought in Black African soldiers during the Allied occupation. Most of the Germans, who were very race-conscious, despised the dark-skinned ‘invasion’.”
You should read the whole thing.
Related, check out the bibliography from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in a section called Blacks.
Part of the introduction: “Though Hitler’s racial policies toward Jews, Sinti, and Roma, have been well documented, researchers have given less attention to actions against Blacks…
“Individuals of African descent living in Germany were socially and economically ostracized. They could not attend university; they lost their jobs; they sometimes lost their citizenship. Mixed race marriages were forbidden, and doctors illegally and secretly sterilized between 385 and 500 biracial children, most of them offspring of French Black soldiers and German women, children derisively referred to as the ‘Rhineland bastards.’
“Blacks, including African Americans, were also imprisoned or sent to internment or concentration camps. There, they were often treated more harshly and subjected to medical experiments or extreme brutality. The SS and Gestapo commonly mistreated Black prisoners of war, working them to death in concentration camps or killing them immediately rather than imprisoning them.”
Most of these references direct the reader to their local library, as well it should.
Finally, check out the AAIHS article, The Erasure of People of African Descent in Nazi Germany, the source of the picture.