Seminar and Further Education Course: Black People in Germany. Racism and Everyday Experience, Past and Present

Location
Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies

 

Duration
One-, two- or three-day seminar (7 hours each day)

 

The seminar was designed for information disseminators and groups of interested adults. It consists of three possible modules lasting seven hours (i.e. one day) each. The modules deal with different aspects of the same theme and can either be combined as a two- or three-day seminar, or they can be booked on their own for one day. Regardless of format, the seminar always includes a tour of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial grounds and a visit to the main exhibition “Traces of History. Neuengamme Concentration Camp 1938-1945 and Its Post-War History”. For combinations of two or more modules, it is possible to enlarge upon selected themes.

 

Module: Racism against Blacks under the Nazis
This module addresses the situation of black people in Germany before 1945, focusing on racism and their persecution during the Nazi regime and their imprisonment in concentration camps. We explore the lives of black people in the first part of the twentieth century by looking at biographies, historical documents and pictures, placing the mechanisms of the discrimination and disenfranchisement of black people within this historical context. We not only investigate the structural racism in institutions and everyday life, but also look at Nazi ideology as well as the daily lives, work opportunities and acts of resistance of black people. Discrimination against blacks culminated with their persecution, forced sterilisation and imprisonment in concentration camps. Included in this module is a tour of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial grounds and a visit to the main exhibition “Traces of History” in which we take a closer look at these aspects. The goal of this module is to shed light on the particular situation of blacks in the Third Reich, while looking at the Nazi regime from a different perspective that can also be integrated in education. In working with this particular social group, we can assess what has or has not changed regarding racism in Germany since the Nazi era.

 

Module: The Lives of Black People under the Nazis
This module addresses the lives of black people in Germany under the Nazis. In order to illustrate the many different situations of black people during this time, we explore the lives of people who lived in Germany and Europe during the Nazi regime, relying on autobiographical texts, interviews, pictures and films. The everyday experiences and possibilities of employment of black people are analysed along with the development of racist debates and discriminatory policies against blacks.

 

We especially look at how much room for manoeuvre and what ways to survive were available to blacks under the Nazis. The module includes a tour of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial grounds and a visit to the main exhibition “Traces of History” in which we enlarge upon the themes of persecution and imprisonment. If the module The Lives of Black People under the Nazis is booked together with Racism against Blacks under the Nazis, it is possible to enlarge upon another main topic instead of the tour and visit to the exhibition. The goal of this module is for participants to learn more about the situation of black people in Germany in the first half of the 20th century by studying the lives of certain individuals. In working with this particular social group, we can assess what has or has not changed regarding racism in Germany since the Nazi era.

 

Module: The Lives of Black People in West Germany
In this module, we look at the lives of blacks in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1945 by following the lives of black concentration camp prisoners after their liberation and the situation of blacks during the period of transition from Nazi to West German society. Our main focus lies on the discourses and expressions of racism in the media, the development of Afro-German identity and Afro-German history in the 1980s as well as examples of racism in Germany and Europe today. We discuss the shift from the explicit racial persecution in the Third Reich to forms of racism in the Federal Republic of Germany. We use documents, film material and newspaper articles to explore what has or has not changed since the end of the Third Reich. The module includes a tour of the grounds of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial and a visit to the main exhibition “Traces of History” in which we enlarge upon the themes of persecution and survival. For two- or three-day seminars, this module can be combined with the module The Lives of Black People under the Nazis and/or the module Racism against Blacks under the Nazis. It is also possible in this case to enlarge upon another theme instead of taking the tour and visiting the exhibition. This module also offers the opportunity to discuss current forms of racism in the police, the judiciary, public administration, medicine and/or media by focusing on the power structures within society, of which we are all a part. The goal of this module is to raise awareness of what has or has not changed concerning racism in Germany from the Third Reich to today by looking at the situation of this particular social group.

 

Seminar instructor: Gisela Ewe

 

Registration:
Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies

 

Jean-Dolidier-Weg 75
21039 Hamburg

 

Phone: +49 40 – 4 28 13 15 19

 

E-mail: ulrike.jensen@kb.hamburg.de

 

www.kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de