8. The Rhineland Bastards
After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. Allied troops were stationed in the area of western Germany known as the Rhineland. Many of these troops were black men from the French colonies in Africa.
Hundreds of German women ended up becoming pregnant with the babies of these African soldiers, giving birth to the first significant population of multiracial children Germany had ever seen. These children were nicknamed the “Rhineland bastards.”
The public was outraged. Propaganda began spreading about women falling victim to black men. One illustration titled “Jumbo” showed a Godzilla-sized naked black soldier holding nearly a dozen German damsels in distress. A metal coin was even minted with the image of a white woman being shackled to a gigantic penis on one side and the image of a black soldier on the other side.
The German public was taught to believe that these women had been raped by the African soldiers, although only one woman out of hundreds of mothers ever made that claim. Those who knew that the sex was consensual tried to paint the black men as oversexed predators and the women as demented.
Therefore, their offspring were not worthy. In Hitler’s Mein Kampf, he blamed the Jews for bringing black men into Germany, saying that it was all part of their plan to soil the pure blood of the Aryan race.
Nazi Germany strongly pushed the idea of Rassenschande, which translates roughly to “racial pollution.” The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 prevented Aryansfrom having sexual relations with or marrying non-Aryan people.
Most people remember this rule as it applied to the Jews, but of course, it also extended to Afro-German people. German citizens had to undergo medical examinations to get an Aryan certificate to prove that they were “pure-blooded.”
Publications around that time claimed that the Allies introducing African soldiers into Germany was itself an attack on the German population. The Nazis claimed that they were victims of the outside world trying to force racial integration. If they allowed Africans to defile their bloodline, it would mean the end of the German race as they knew it.
Though Germany once had diplomatic ties within Africa and wanted to eventually colonize it again someday, they strongly believed that black people belonged in Africa and nowhere else.