Germany’s ‘Brown Babies’
Out of the 95,000 U.S. Occupation babies born in Germany in the 1950s – 60s there were approximately 5000 of us, Post WWII Afro-German children or so-called Negro mulatto babies, better known as ‘Mischlingskinder” in Germany and ‘Brown Babies‘ in the United States. In 1952, the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) deemed that we formed a special group, presenting a human and racial problem of a special nature. Our national and cultural heritage [perhaps even our [religious birthright], were seen to be in direct contrast to our skin color.
Germany’s Brown Babies: The Difficult Identities of Post-War Black Children of GIs by Stephanie Siek
Born in an era when Germany was still grappling with its responsibility for the Holocaust and when the US Army had a policy of not acknowledging paternity claims brought against its soldiers stationed abroad, some of these children were put up for adoption in the United States. At the time, Germany judged itself incapable of absorbing these “brown babies” — as they have come to call themselves. In the late 1940s and 1950s, efforts were made to match them with African-American military families, many of whom were stationed around Germany at the time.
Forbidden to Speak German
The adoptees grew up in the United States, many with no idea they were adopted or that they were half-German (for information on the difficulties encountered by BBlack GIs wanting to stay with their German girlfriends, read the sidebar on the left). Scattered across the country, many of the children were forbidden to speak German in their new homes. At the time, it was believed that continuing to speak German would damage their ability to learn fluent English. (Article originally published HERE.)
Founded in 1999, the Black German Cultural Society, Inc (BGCS)™, established itself as the premiere organization serving as a resource and networking organization as well as a forum to facilitate awareness, discussions, and reflection of important issues that impact Black Germans, Post WWII Afro-Germans (known as Brown Babies and Mischlingskinder), and their descendants.
BGCS is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization of Afro/ Black Germans who reside in the USA, Germany, and other places abroad who are dedicated to embracing, honoring, and preserving the dual cultural heritage of being African American and German.
BGCS also supports, promotes, and may initiate a number of educational activities such as but not limited to: exhibits, lectures, tours to historical sites and cultural centers, educational forums, seminars and panel discussions in academic and non-academic settings.
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