Germany’s Brown Babies, products of post-WWII love affairs, on quest to find black American fathers are finally being heard in new documentary, “Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story.”
Germany’s brown babies finally getting their place in history. A new documentary, “Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story,” brings to light the struggles of children caught in the middle of the racial tensions in the U.S.A. and Germany as a result of post-World War II love affairs. Thousands of these interracial children of black American soldiers and white German women were shipped out of Germany in the wake of unspeakable racial intolerance. The stories of these children, who were sent to live in black adoptive homes to that they could be “socially accepted” in the U.S., during the height of Jim Crow, is now being told to the world. It is sad that these 5,000 or more “brown babies” had to live for so long without knowing their true identities. The film won the best documentary award at the American Black Film Festival in July.
Because of their heritage, the children faced a troubling amount of racism from both sides of their families.
This was the time of segregation in America, when racist Jim Crow laws kept whites and blacks apart in public places dictating that ‘separate but equal’ facilities be used.
The cultural climate was not much better in Germany, as the mothers stood out with their dark-skinned children in a mostly-white country. Many were called ‘negerhueren’ or negro whores.
There are so many people in our midst who don’t know who they really are or even know their history. It’s sad but a reality we live with every day. During my paternal grandmother’s funeral in 2006, I was stunned to learn there we had some mulatto relatives, who were her first and second cousins. My grandmother, had some of their features, but she was dark-skinned. So, genes and family history are powerful. Bob Marley said it best in his hit song, Buffalo Soldier, “If you know your history, then you know where you’re coming from…” You have to learn about your history to really understand who you are in the grand scheme of things. I am moved by this story, but happy Germany’s brown babies are finally getting that voice and discovering their true identities.