Black Germans During the Holocaust

1134 words 5 pages
The Challenges of Being a Black German during the Holocaust

Between 1933 and 1945 Hitler and his minions tortured non-Aryans because they were considered of lesser value to his regime. History books are filled with horrific tales of mistreatment of human beings he considered inferior: Jews, those who were disabled, gay or lesbians. However, most people are unaware that there was a small population of Germans of African descent who were also victims. According to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website, “The fate of black people…in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder”. Because of the small number of
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Massaquoi explained how a teacher took him aside when he was young and explained much to his dismay, “ ‘I always thought you knew that you could not join the Jungvolk because you are non-Aryan… ‘You know your father is an African. Under the Nuremberg laws, non-Aryans are not allowed to become members of the Hitler Youth movement’ ”. Shocked because he considered himself a German, he described the situation when his mother took him to apply anyway. The young Nazi that greeted them said, “ ‘Since it hasn’t occurred to you by now, I have to tell you that there is no place for your son in the organization or in the Germany were are about to build’ ”. Hitler and the Nazis did not want anything to do with the blacks Germany let alone let them in to their exclusive organization. Additionally, black Germans were stripped of their citizenship and had their passports taken away. This was another ploy to dissimilate them from the rest of society.
Although an often overlooked group during this dark period in world history, black Germans were treated nearly as brutally as the other minority groups. Thankfully, Hitler’s ploy for “racial hygiene” did not reach its pinnacle, but the years of Nazi rule were not without incredible loss. It is important to recognize this particular group when we honor these losses and move forward as a human race.

"Blacks during the Holocaust." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed February 7, 2013.


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