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Blacks in the Holocaust

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Blacks in the Holocaust

Category: Memoir Essay

Subcategory: History

Level: College

Pages: 3

Words: 825

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Blacks in the Holocaust
Background Information
Holocaust was a period between 1941 and 1945 where a genocide took place in Germany under the Nazi regime. Through the influence of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Germans wanted to establish a pure German race where there were no Jews, disabled, homosexuals and other collaborators of the Jews. During this period, the Jews and other collaborators such as the blacks were systematically murdered. Blacks and Jews in Nazi Germany and other German-occupied regions were killed bringing the number to about eleven million. Adolf Hitler considered the Jews and the blacks as inferiors and hence should be wiped out.
Treatment of the Blacks
After world War I, the Germans was stripped most of their colonies in Africa by other European countries such as France and Britain. The German military, missionaries, settlers and colonial bureaucrats returned to Germany with racist attitudes towards black. As a result, the German parliament (Reichstag) passed laws that aimed at separating blacks from whites such as abolishing of mixed marriages with blacks (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Par. 2). At the same time, most of the French troops used by the German were black and hence there were many blacks in the Rhineland. When the Nazi rose to power, Adolf instituted the mentality that the blacks were rapists and carried venereal diseases that could wipe out the white race. Consequently, methods to systematically eliminate blacks began such as discrimination, murder, incarceration, brutal murder, persecution and isolation, medical experimentation and sterilization.
The African children in Germany regions were marginalized and isolated both socially and economically. The children were not allowed to attend primary schools, university or seek any formal education. In addition to that, the racial discrimination laws prohibited them from applying and seeking for jobs. For instance, the blacks were not allowed to offer service to the German military. They were inferior and hence were not supposed to mingle with the whites. In 1937, the German Secret Police known as Gestapo rounded up many Africans and forcibly sterilized them. Some were also subjected to medical experiments while others mysteriously disappeared.
The adult African Germans also suffered under the Nazi regime. During World War I and after the war, many Africans from German colonies were transferred to Germany as slaves, tax collectors, former soldiers, artisans, students and entertainers who worked for the German Colonial government. Several adult Africans were murdered. The Africans who were captured by Nazi were killed such as Bayume Mohammed Hussein of Tanzania was murdered in Sachsenhausen Camp near Berlin (Rubenstein & et al, Pg. 5).
The Nazi regime also captured Africans found in European countries such as France and Belgium where the regime was controlling. After world War I there was many Africans across Europe, who had chosen to stay in Europe after serving as soldiers to their imperials. Such Africans were targets of Nazi regime who imprisoned and killed them. For instance, a female jazz musician Valaida Snow was captured and detained in Axis internment camp on charges of alien nationality. Josef Nassy, a Belgium citizen, was captured and imprisoned for seven months for being an enemy alien at Beverloo transit camp in Belgium where the Germans were controlling. He was later extradited to Germany, Laufen internment camp where he was imprisoned for the rest of his life. The blacks were also treated as prisoners of war (POW). The Nazi regime had concentrated camps where they held blacks and other European or Americans of African ancestry. For instance, they captured a US sailor Lionel Romney and imprisoned him in the concentration camp at Mauthausen. A Haitian national, Jean Marcel Nicolas was also imprisoned in Dora-Mittelbau and Buchenwald prison camps in Germany (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Par. 7).
After world War I, it was decided at the Geneva convention that prisoners of war who were wounded were to be treated and not be subjected to any form of torture. The Nazi regime never applied the same for the blacks who were captured. The prisoners of war who were of African origin or black were subjected to mistreatment and incarceration under the Nazi regime. For instance, an African American Pilot, Lieutenant Darwin Nicholas was imprisoned and mistreated at a secret police prison in Butzbach. In addition to that, many black soldiers of British, American and French armies were subjected to hard labor and worked to death in prison camps. They were the major source of labor in the construction works without proper food. At the prison camps, the blacks were concentrated together which lead to their deaths at the camps. Others were not publicly imprisoned but were secretly executed by the German secret police (Gestapo) (Thomas, Pg. 8).
While Blacks like Jews were not subjected to mass extermination and execution, some were killed in prison camps and others forcefully used to perform medical experiments. The blacks provided labor under extreme starvation that led to their death. Some blacks in Prisoner of War camps were subjected to experiments that aided the Germans to develop new weapons to be used in combat situations. The children born as a result of mixed marriage were also exposed to forced sterilization as they were considered inferior and capable of spreading venereal diseases.
Works Cited
Fox, Thomas C. Stated Memory: East Germany and the Holocaust. Boydell & Brewer, 1999.
Rubenstein, Joshua, and Ilya Altman, eds. The unknown black book: the Holocaust in the
German-occupied Soviet territories. Indiana University Press, 2010.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Blacks During the Holocaust, 2011. Cited from
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005479 on December 13, 2015.

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