RHEINLAND Being Black and German…
RHEINLAND needs your support…
… because we will show you a part of history you won’t find in most history books and the fate of the “Rheinland Children” must be made visible.
The common denominator of being people of African descent; whether on the continent of Africa, in the United States, in the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world, is our struggle for equality. The slave trade and years of political and economic repression have resulted in a fractured collective consciousness as a people.
This tends to lead to a myopic view of our struggle while distancing us from our brother and sisters in the Diaspora throughout the world.
Recently, we were contacted by the producers of a film project taking place in Germany called RHEINLAND.
IMAGINE YOU ARE IN GERMANY. THE YEAR IS 1937. YOU ARE BLACK.
During the first World War the French government forced African men – many coming from Senegal or Cameroon – to leave their colonies and fight for the French army in the Rheinland.
Until 1919, there were between 25,000 and 40,000 African soldiers based in Rheinland. After the war many of them decided to stay in Germany and found families. When Hitler seized power the lives of these families suddenly changed.
Hitler referred to the children of former African colonial soldiers and white German women as a “disgrace” for Germany and as “contaminators” of the white race.
In 1937 he instated the so called Commission No. 3, which was supposed to deal with this “problem” on the Rhine. Thus, more than 400 children were sterilized against their will and interned in concentration camps – many of them disappeared forever.
Most of the light-skinned blacks living in Germany during the Third Reich were of mixed blood, and a good number of them were the children of French-African occupation soldiers and German women in the Rhineland. The existence of these children is and remains common knowledge because they were mentioned in Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”). In Nazi Germany, the derogatory term, Rheinland-bastard was used to describe them.
During the Third Reich, Germany had a small black community, yet relatively little is known about their life in the Nazi era.
These were children who had been fathered by occupation forces mostly French occupation forces. In Prof. Reiner Pommerin book, “Sterilisierung der Rheinlandbastarde. Das Schicksal einer farbigen deutschen Minderheit 1918 – 1937” (“Sterilization of the Rhineland Bastards: the fate of a colored German minority 1918 – 1937”) publicized the sterilization of the Black minority in Nazi Germany.
Watch the video trailer below and then click the link to learn how you can support the project!
Germany’s Black Holocaust, 1890-1945
Perhaps you are familiar with the book Germany’s Black Holocaust, 1890-1945 by Firpo Carr. The book, which is critical, has been both repudiated and revered. It recounts the atrocities suffered by African people at the hands of the German government, even prior to the rise of Nazism under Hitler.
The fact is being “black” regardless of where you are on the planet, comes with a cost – most often oppression, poverty, social & political disenfranchisement and the disdain of the white majority.