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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Blacks were also Victims of Nazi Germany

Afrikan descendents of WWII Germany are denied any mention during the European Holocaust

By Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D.
OW Contributor

For years we have been exposed to several important news stories, documentaries, books and films about the tragedy committed against the Gypsies and Jews of Europe during World War II, with good cause. Any story of human genocide is at the lower ebb of human existence. The European story compares with the genocide conducted on the indigenous Americans (mistakenly called “Indians” because Columbus thought he was in India when reaching this part of the world), who lost more millions than can be counted. The mid-1990s’ genocide of almost one million Tutsi in Rwanda, East Central Afrika, reminds us that it can still happen.
The pinnacle of human tragedy was the Afrikan Holocaust that devastated an entire continent, lined millions of human bodies on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, from Afrika to the Americas, and enslaved tens of millions for almost three centuries. Sadly, it still continues with the enslavement of Afrikans by Arabs in northern Afrika. The continent has yet to recover from the European and Jewish slave trade of Afrikans.
The descendants of those who were enslaved are still feeling the effects. People of Afrikan descent generally cannot trace family genealogies beyond five generations. The struggle continues in overcoming a collective low self-esteem. A new word, post-traumatic stress, related to slavery, is just now being studied. A reversal of gender roles, perpetuated during slavery, still haunts many families. Color prejudice still exists which started with the sexual imposition of white men on Afrikan women from slave ships to slave plantations. Lighter skinned Afrikans were favored over the darker skinned, the majority, causing and allowing intra-color prejudice to grow as a controlling strategy on the plantation, and continues today; not to mention the accompanying decades of racial oppression.
These are all horrendous events in world history. But as much as Afrikan world history has been hidden, omitted or distorted, nothing comes more of a surprise than the discovery that people of Afrikan descent were victims of the European Holocaust, and that some of them survived the Nazi death camps.
According to Theodor Wonja Michael, a black survivor in a Washington Post story, “One must remember that the Damocles’ sword of sterilization always dangled above us blacks. Escape was not possible, certainly not if you looked like me. Those who tried to get away were caught and put straight in a concentration camp. Usually they didn’t survive.”
Adolf Hitler established the philosophy in his book Mein Kampf, in the chapter “Bastarde am Rhein” stating, “It was and it is the Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by necessarily resulting bastardisation…”
Bringing this philosophy into a practice of eradication of Afrikans started with the German Nazi physician, Dr. Eugene Fisher, who conducted racial genetic research in then Southwest Afrika (present day Namibia). His conclusion was that race mixing, Afrikans and Germans, caused fatal genetic dangers, which was his scientific reasoning for the separation of the two, and/or extermination of Afrikans.
Germany, during the colonial period, intended to establish an apartheid-type settlement in Southwest Afrika, confiscating land owned by Afrikans, which also served as the proto-type for the apartheid system in South Afrika. In 1937, when the Afrikans revolted against this policy, the Nazi’s committed genocide on approximately 80% of the local population through gunshots, poisoning and lynching. The first use of the words ‘concentration camps’ began with the German imprisonment and extermination of the Herero people in Namibia. What the Germans did in Afrika set the stage for the holocaust in Europe.
A special Commission No. 3 was established in Germany to continue this practice against thousands of German Afrikans in Germany through sterilization or placement in the death camps. Thousands upon thousands of Afrikans born in Germany considered Germany their home and remained there during the Nazi period, even today.
These were the descendents of Afrikan soldiers brought to Germany from the German colonies in Afrika during World War I, and later by the French and Belgium. Afrikan men and German women created thousands of offspring Hitler called “bastard mulatto children.” Elimination of these people was the ultimate goal, except where they worked in war-supported industries or were used in propaganda films promoting Hitler’s program of establishing a pure Aryan Germany.
Hans J. Massaquoi, in his book Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, writes in splendid detail about growing up as a black boy in Third Reich Nazi Germany. “Except for my mother, I had no genuine allies with whom I could share my secret fears of living in a state whose avowed goal was to destroy me and my kind.” He was brave enough to talk about his admiration for Hitler as a naïve child before he knew what was really going on; Hitler was promoted as a god. He mentioned the trials and tribulations he and his mother had to endure, the racial taunts, the German friends he made, the inside story of the beginning of WWII, his trip to Afrika to see his father and many other events. “Unlike African-Americans, I did not have the benefit of inherited survival techniques created and perfected by countless ancestors and passed down from generation to generation of oppressed people. Instead, I was forced to traverse a minefield of potential disasters and to develop my own instincts to tell me how best to survive physically and psychologically in a country consumed by racial arrogance and racial hatred and openly committed to the destruction of all ‘non-Aryans.’”
Because of his isolated racial identity, he mentally attached himself to Joe Louis, who defeated Hitler’s German symbol of Aryan superiority, boxer Max Schmeling, and the exceptional feats of Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics. They gave him a sense of identity and racial pride. It caused him to become obsessed with coming to the United States, where he ultimately became managing editor of Ebony magazine and ironically experienced an even greater level of racism. As a result of these startling revelations, no longer can the European Holocaust be restricted to one or two groups. The discussion must now include people of Afrikan descent.
Dr. Kwaku’s acclaimed 90-minute film, Afrikan World Civilizations, is available at Eso Won Books. E-mail: Website:



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