Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Michigan Press
INTRODUCTION RACE, MEMORY, AND HISTORICAL REPRESENTATION
The most difficult part of beginning any story, any project, or any study but especially any history lies in the choices and decisions we make with regard to context. How and why do we situate the stories we want to tell in the ways we do? What information needs to be known so that our stories make sense? Against what backgrounds and in what...
PART I. ECHOES OF IMAGINED DANGER—SPECTERS OF RACIAL MIXTURE
In the above quotation, the speaker describes growing up in Germany as the son of an Algerian soldier conceived during the post–World War I French occupation of the Rhineland. Through the comments of others, this man came to think of his Algerian heritage as something that differentiated him from other German children. The topic of his mixed heritage and illegitimate ...
1. “RESONANT ECHOES”
I was born in Frankfurt [in August 1920]. Since my mother had a very hard time here when they saw she was pregnant, she went to Frankfurt. My father had been transferred to Frankfurt. Even though they weren’t married, she had nobody else, so she followed him there. . . . Sure, there were problems, according to the statements of neighbors who are still ...
2. CONFRONTING RACIAL DANGER, NEUTRALIZING RACIAL POLLUTION
The rhetoric of the Rhineland propaganda campaign reached a peak in1921, when protest publications were widespread and at their most intense. Shortly thereafter, public outrage regarding the use of Black troops in the occupation appears to have declined. The public campaign against the Black troops appears to have ended by 1922, when, as...
PART II. MEMORY NARRATIVES/MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES
As we have seen in the preceding chapters, during the first half of the twentieth century, German public discourse regarding Afro-Germans was structured around the threat they were perceived to pose to the purity of the white race and the German nation. This population’s mixed racial heritage was articulated as a looming specter in need of...
3. CONVERSATIONS WITH THE “OTHER WITHIN”
In the National Socialist (NS) state, race served as the primary signifier of difference through which specific groups of Germans were produced as subjects in particular ways. The memory narratives of Afro-Germans offer a unique view from within this regime—one that focuses our attention on the everyday politics of race. Their testimony reveals...
4. IDENTIFYING AS THE “OTHER WITHIN”
Hans Hauck’s memory narrative demonstrated how the processes of racial differentiation and signification that formed the core of Nazi racial politics came to produce him as a complex German subject in ways that appear to contradict the regime’s fundamental goals. The emphasis placed on reading subjecthood and the productive effects of...
5. DIASPORA SPACE, ETHNOGRAPHIC SPACE—WRITING HISTORY BETWEEN THE LINES
This book began with a discussion of a specter with complicated implications for how Black Germans were read and responded to by Germans during the first half of the twentieth century. But in many ways,the chapters presented thus far might be said to be “haunted” by their own ever-so-benign specter of sorts. Then again, perhaps specter is far...
APPENDIX Original German Interview Excerpts