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Other Germans

Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich

Tina M. Campt

Publication Year: 2003

It's hard to imagine an issue or image more riveting than Black Germans during the Third Reich. Yet accounts of their lives are virtually nonexistent, despite the fact that they lived through a regime dedicated to racial purity. Tina Campt's Other Germans tells the story of this largely forgotten group of individuals, with important distinctions from other accounts. Most strikingly, Campt centers her arguments on race, rather than anti-semitism. She also provides oral history as background for her study, interviewing two Black Germans for the book. In the end, the author comes face to face with an inevitable question: Is there a relationship between the history of Black Germans and those of other black communities? The answers to Campt's questions make Other Germans essential reading in the emerging study of what it meant to be black and German in the context of a society that looked at anyone with non-German blood as racially impure at best.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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INTRODUCTION RACE, MEMORY, AND HISTORICAL REPRESENTATION

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pp. 1-23

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...

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PART I. ECHOES OF IMAGINED DANGER—SPECTERS OF RACIAL MIXTURE

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pp. 25-29

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 ...

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1. “RESONANT ECHOES”

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pp. 31-62

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 ...

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2. CONFRONTING RACIAL DANGER, NEUTRALIZING RACIAL POLLUTION

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pp. 63-80

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...

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PART II. MEMORY NARRATIVES/MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES

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pp. 81-89

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...

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3. CONVERSATIONS WITH THE “OTHER WITHIN”

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pp. 91-135

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...

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4. IDENTIFYING AS THE “OTHER WITHIN”

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pp. 136-167

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...

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5. DIASPORA SPACE, ETHNOGRAPHIC SPACE—WRITING HISTORY BETWEEN THE LINES

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pp. 168-210

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

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pp. 211-231

NOTES

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pp. 233-261

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 263-273

INDEX

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pp. 275-283


E-ISBN-13: 9780472021604
E-ISBN-10: 0472021605
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472031382
Print-ISBN-10: 0472031384

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Social History, Popular Culture, and Pol