NKUs German-American Day Lecture 2020: Germany and the Black Diaspora by Dr. Priscilla Layne

Mar 17, 2021 16:43 · 8321 words · 40 minute read

good afternoon and welcome to the 2020 edition of our annual german american day lecture i’m dr Caryn Connelly chair of the world languages and literatures department at northern kentucky university on behalf of the department and the nku community i would like to extend a very warm wilkommen to our speaker Dr Priscilla Layne associate professor of german and adjunct associate professor of african african american and diaspora studies at the university of north carolina at chapel hill who will speak to us on the topic of germany and the black diaspora before formally introducing dr layne i want to thank the various people departments and offices who have made this event possible first i want to thank german professor dr andrea feiler who found out about dr layne and her research through the american association of teachers of german and invited her to give our german american day lecture this year next i would like to thank tracy insco from nku’s office of information technology who helped us set up the zoom webinar and is here behind the scenes to ensure the event will run smoothly last but certainly not least i would like to thank our many co-sponsors from across the university and beyond they include the office of the provost the college of arts and sciences the college of education the honors college the master of arts and education program the black studies program the office of african american student initiatives the office of latino programs and services numerous departments in the college of arts and sciences english history and geography sociology anthropology and philosophy and political science criminal justice and organizational leadership as well as the kentucky chapter of the american association of teachers of german and the kentucky world languages association we are so pleased to have the support of so many for this event and now before i give the floor to our speaker i offer some additional details about her work dr layne’s research and teaching draws on post-colonial studies gender studies and critical race theory to address topics like representations of blackness in literature and film rebellion and the concept of the other in science fiction fantasy she is the author of white rebels in black german appropriation of african american culture and her current book project is on afro-german afrofuturism we are very honored to have dr layne here with us today okay thank you very much for the wonderful introduction um i’m just going to share my powerpoint with everyone one second okay and i’ll get started all right um so i first wanted to um introduce some terminology um so i will i tend to use the term black german in my talk um but i did want to point out that there is the term afrodeutsch or afrogerman which was introduced in the 1980s in collaboration between african-american feminists and poet audre lorde and the black german women she met in 1984 when she went to berlin to teach a poetry workshop at the free university um this term was it was so innovative to to have this term because previously there was no term to indicate that someone was german and of african descent there were only various kinds of racial slurs that existed from colonial times so this was a very important moment because afro-german women created a self-designation that they could feel proud of um then there’s the term black german or schwarze deutsche which kind of came about around the same time in the 1980s um now the reason that i tend to use black german is because um so the term afro-german has sometimes been criticized um because when people use it they will often think of someone who has one white german parent and one parent from the african diaspora that could be from the us from the caribbean from africa whereas black german can can designate a variety of people it could mean someone who has two black german parents someone who has two black parents and one of them is german it can be someone who is black migrated to germany and grew up there so so i like the term black german because it’s just very inclusive okay so despite a presence in germany that reaches back to the 19th century black germans have never been a very visible minority part of that has to do with their small numbers currently it is estimated that black germans account for about one percent of the population however their lack of visibility has also been purposefully engineered for centuries germans have viewed themselves as inherently white an attitude that intensified during the rise of nationalism and germany’s colonial exploits in the 19th century there’s a tendency in germany to discuss black germans as an anomaly as if as if each black german one encounters is the first ever all that does is continue to erase the centuries-long history and it hinders the normalization of black germans to black german scholar fatima el tayeb a professor at uc san diego and here are a few of her publications on the right there is a conscious erasure and suppression of black german history with the aim of propagating the myth that the german identity is inherently tied to whiteness for this reason it’s important to point out that black people’s presence in german-speaking lands isn’t a new phenomenon and here i gave you a few examples of black people who lived in germany before germany acquired its colonies in the 19th century so on the left we have saint mauritius who lived during the 3rd century and was born near luxor egypt and became a soldier in the roman army of eventually becoming the leader of the theban legion he is the patron saint of several professions and cities including state zoltza and koberg in germany here he’s depicted on magdeburg cathedral second we have a portrait of katarina lamour which is a charcoal drawing by albrecht dura in his diary dura only refers to her as brandow’s mulvane or branno’s female moore while there was no institution of slavery in germany there were enslaved africans who were brought who were bought by noblemen from other european countries involved in the slave trade and katarina would be an example of that finally on the right we have anton wilhelm ammo born in 1703 in what is today ghana alma was kidnapped at the age of four and brought to germany as a slave by the dutch west india company he then lived at the court of anthony ullrich duke of brunswick rosenberto under vosimbito’s protection amma was educated at the university of helmstead and the university of hala he would eventually lecture at khala as a professor and subsequently at the university of yena primarily focusing on the philosophy of aesthetics scholars believe that if it had not been lost his first disputation entitled on the rights of blacks in europe might have laid the foundation for pan-africanism ammo returned to ghana after being mocked in a sex scandal that was created to tarnish his name it’s important to keep in mind that during the middle ages and much of the early modern period europeans understanding of blackness was often quite different than how it would be understood with the onset of the transatlantic slave trade race is very much an invention of the 19th century and as scholars like peter martin have written during the middle ages when blackness was coded as something negative it was usually in combination with religious prejudice thus a north african muslim was seen negatively but an ethiopian christian was seen in a positive manner and i find the prologue to to this text full from eschenbach’s medieval romance partseval a great example of how attitudes towards blackness in germany were not set in stone for those of you who are unfamiliar with the text it was written in the 13th century and based on a french source parzival is an aspiring knight who must go through a series of challenges to prove he is worthy of finding the holy grail at the end of the book he learns that he has a half brother named philafetes and we see them depicted here this is parts of all this is phylofeats virus beets is the son of parzival’s father a french knight named gahmoret and bella khanna a north african queen whom gog murat met during his travels as a young man um so in the book both belikana and phyofetes are presented in a very positive noble manner nothing negative is attributed to their dark skin in fact five defeats is actually a better night than parts of all here are some additional work artwork from the early modern period demonstrating the presence of black knights and nuns in europe german historian peter martin argues that the initiation of the transatlantic slave trade is what dramatically changed how germans viewed blackness and resulted in more uniform views there is a common misconception misconception that germans were not involved in the slave trade however there is evidence of the involvement of german businesses and several instances are covered in this book slavery hinterland one example is in 1681 otto friedrich von deglerben arrived on the gold coast in what is now ghana he built a fort named gross friedrichsburg which was completed in 1683 this fort was used during the slave trade to transport enslaved africans across the atlantic it is estimated that 30 thousand slaves were transported through ghost fredericksburg in berlin there was a street named after funder gruben and you see that on the side that’s in the district koitzberg and this is an example of how colonial actors are still honored today throughout germany in 2009 the street was renamed after black german poet of ghanaian descent mayaim and i’ll see more about her a little later okay so like their attitudes towards race german attitudes towards slavery were not uniform because germany never had an institution of slavery or chattel slavery as it was practiced in the us there were germans who were opposed to this practice and considered themselves abolitionists and famously there were a group of german immigrants in texas who were against slavery at the time famous german philosopher johann gottfried condemned both slavery and colonialism in his book letters for the advancement of humanity and that’s herder here at the bottom published in 1793 but herder had contemporaries uh like emmanuel kant uh here on the right and the frida kager on the left who had argued that slavery was justified because they viewed africans as being less advanced than other people and only worthy of forced manual labor and this is a reason that more recently a lot of people have critiqued this era of the enlightenment because on the one hand you had a lot of discussions in germany and throughout europe about what it meant to be human and the the right to be free but then you had the same philosophers supporting slavery so some germans were opposed to slavery while others were simply opposed to the violent treatment of enslaved africans this is why books like harriet beecher stowe’s uncle tom’s cabin found a large audience in germany when they were translated and you see the legacy of that novel here so there’s a train station in um southwest berlin called uncle tom’s cabin or uncle tom zhuta and then when barack obama first one the office of the presidency um a left-wing newspaper used the same use a spin on this title um as a kind of satire as susan uh susanna zontop argues in this book colonial fantasies even those germans who weren’t opposed to slavery who who were opposed to slavery and colonial colonialism often felt that in contrast to americans french or english germans would make the better more humane colonizers thus it was also common to find abolitionist plays written in the 19th century featuring black characters african-american germanist wendy sutherland wrote an entire book about these plays and here’s one example by august von kotsubura called the nega slogan so moving on to the colonial period many people are unaware that germany had colonies in africa likely because compared to france belgium or england germany’s colonial empire lasted a much shorter time roughly from 1884 to 1918 but this political comic on the right depicts the berlin conference sometimes referred to as the congo conference when german chancellor otto von bismarck hosted over a dozen nations to discuss the territorial lines of africa although germany was late to the game this shows that once germans did become interested in acquiring colonies they played a leading role in the decision-making germany lost its colonies at the end of world war one as part of the versailles treaty and here you see that most of germany’s colonies in africa were there was german southwest africa which was around uh namibia uh german east africa oh sorry southeast africa down here german east africa um those were the the main territories but then also a few other countries like togo but this loss of the administration over colonies did not change germans attitudes towards africans or feeling of superiority up through the end of the nazi period germans longed to recover these calls first um so i just wanted to mention that you know there’s still a lot of uh traces of colonial culture in germany today um you have these products like the sorati more um or you know this um supermarket train uh whose name actually stems from this colonial period um and part of what black german activists are fighting is trying to rename these street signs that are named after colonial figures most recently they won this battle over the street moore street in berlin which will be renamed anton the ammo to also some other fights around colonialism and the colonial past are um so there was a war between german soldiers and the herrera and nama um of of what is now namibia over land and during this time in the early 20th century several skulls were taken to be studied for anthropological reasons and these were recently returned as part of reparations but as of yet the german government hasn’t agreed to pay any money and this issue of reparations is something that black german artists have have done some work around um this is a theater uh theater festival that was done in berlin um with this 10 these 10 step program preparations at the center of the work so um i also wanted to mention that you know one of the the interesting things about germany’s relationship to the black diaspora is you have this history of um you know unfair treatment of africans looking at africans as inferior and then on the other hand you have the experience of african americans in germany which was often very positive because for african americans going to europe you know like james baldwin or richard wright they often found europe to be europe felt like a freer society for them compared to the us and jim crow and two examples of that would be w.

b du bois and mary church tyrell who both went to germany in the 19th century du bois went there to get a phd at humboldt university he studied sociology and he actually returned to germany in the 30s so he visited while hitler was in power and he still said that there was nothing you know germany was just fine um which he was heavily criticized for later um and in the 1950s he wrote an essay kind of revising that view because at the time he had said there was discrimination against jews but it was legal um and then later on he realized that the fight against racism and the fight against anti-semitism are the same fight so another area where you see a lot of influence of african-american culture in germany is through music so like the jazz age jazz became very popular after the soldiers um brought jazz records during world war one and the nazis um were very critical of jazz as you can see from this poster on the left they felt that jazz they thought it was this conspiracy between jews and and african americans to change german culture with this music so they called it degenerate music on the other hand there’s this private photo of ava brown impersonating al jolson from the jazz singer so there’s this strange like being frightened of black culture but also fascinated by it at the same time um and another phenomenon during the nazi period was the aflikashau the africa show where basically the nazis had black germans you know dress up and pretend to be from different african countries from the foreign former colonies um and then here on the right is another colonial film so basically my point here is that the nazis were interested in black culture but they wanted to promote their image of it and that was always that of it you know inferior colonial subjects um so the first black german community um where you had like um a concentration of black germans was um around world war one so prior to world war one these were individuals from the colonies who were from wealthier families and their families could afford to send them to germany to study or to work um and there are also black soldiers who fought for germany during world war one um these are the famous askari soldiers of east africa this man on the left mohammed hussein was one of these soldiers and following the war he moved to germany and became an actor which was also very common for black people to find work in entertainment because it was seen as one of the only industries where they were accepted what was very difficult for black germans was after world war one they lost their status they were no longer colonial subjects but they also weren’t citizens so they were basically stateless and it really depends on the individual’s situation whether someone was allowed to stay in germany and marry and work or not um another thing that really affected black germans um was the black shame on the rhine this was when following world war one um the french used colonial soldiers as part of their occupation of the rhine territory um so soldiers from senegal you know from mozambique and germans were very offended at this idea that black soldiers were policing them and they depicted these soldiers as rapists and felt that white german women were in danger and there were a few cases of rape which is sadly um often the case with war um and occupation but there are many consensual relationships um and from those relationships about 400 black german children were born in this area and these children really suffered when the nazis came to power in the 30s they were usually just denied work or school because they weren’t they didn’t count as aryan in the worst case scenario they were illegally sterilized um and that is what happened to this like german hans howe who was sterilized but also forced to join the vermont um so it’s a good example of how how different the black germans were treated depending on their local situation as opposed to german jews who were systematically persecuted and there’s attempt to murder them there were black germans who were sent to a concentration camp but there were also black germans who were sent to labor camps or they were forced to work in colonial films or forced to be in the vermont so it really depends on the on the individual situation these are a few black survivors of the holocaust these three all have memoirs fazia janssen ended up becoming a peace activist environmental activist and a singer marine nayar ended up singing later on and hanzirig and masaque immigrated to the us and worked in journalism in chicago so after world war ii was when the second large group of black germans were born around 4 000 children um because there are a lot of black american soldiers as you see in this picture who took part in the american occupation that was largely in the south and so the treatment of these children was also very varied many of them were taken from their homes put into children’s homes because if they were born they were if they were born out of wedlock they were technically wards of the state um and some some mothers were coerced into sending their children into homes the idea was that this this shortly after world war ii there was no way the germans could accept you know black germans in their midst um but there were also black germans who were adopted by african americans because people thought it would be better for them to move to the states um and rosemary pena is one of these women who was adopted and she started this organization that’s based in the us and kind of gets adapted together um so ike hugo marshall is a black german who was born during this period and she was sent to a home in bavaria and she wrote this book invisible woman about her experience there she’s also been very fundamental in the second black german movement that started in the 1980s and i mentioned this in the beginning when i explained the term afro deutsche so here we have audrey lord with catalina oguntoya and mayam two prominent black germans who were very outspoken activists at this time in the 80s they wrote this there was this book showing our colors that published stories of three generations of black german women kind of staking a claim to their german identity so initially originally i was going to read some of miami’s poems but unfortunately because of time i won’t get to do that but i’m happy to talk about them if there are questions about them um so she has these two poems after german one and aphro german ii which are basically um imagining a white german woman kind of interrogating her about her identity and then she has this poem autumn in germany um which is all about german reunification and i thought that was interesting since we just had german unity day and she was an outspoken critic of the rise in racist violence after reunification when a lot of xenophobic attacks occurred and in this poem she draws a comparison between that time in 1990 and 1938 kristallnacht so she asked you know what has really changed in this period so i will close with a few thoughts about the black german community today so what came out of the 80s were several organizations promoting black german history and activism so adefrah is awful deutsche flawlin we have there were some publications like afrolook that existed in the 80s and 90s these are some organizations that still exist today um in addition to audifla there’s the initiative of black germans which has an a summer meeting every year in the schwarzwad they call it the bundesligan then there’s each one teach one a community center in berlin that does you know literary and political events and has an archive of black german texts and then you also see black germans influence in the music industry again this this influence of african-american culture continues with different hip-hop artists um let’s see that’s one more example but another thing i would say about contemporary black german artists is that they acknowledge the importance of american culture and their experience but they also make it clear that as black germans their experience is distinctly different so here are some current um artists and authors philip cabo kutzel who is a poet um and olivia vencil is a novelist and a playwright alice hosters has an interesting background her mother is african-american and she spent a year studying abroad in america and her book she compares talks about racism in the us versus germany and sherry hagen is a director so yeah just to close um you see how you know compared to the very beginning when black germans were often very isolated nowadays they are more visible in society you know winning literary prizes you know representing germany and parliament news journalists you know athletes but you know there is still this misconception um for a lot of black germans that people will say to them oh where are you from where are you really from or how do you speak german so well so they’re still trying to fight this idea that being black and german is somehow an anomaly so that’s all sorry i had to speak so fast let’s speed through the rest of that um uh we had already uh collected a couple of questions for you so one was is the black population growing in germany yeah that’s a good question i mean in the beginning i said they’re about one percent of the population i imagine that it’s growing in the sense that you always have more people moving to germany you have you know there are refugees from africa going to germany because germany economically is very stable um there are a lot of you know programs and resources um and you know those those refugees and immigrants settle and have families um and then black germans who have been there for generations are you know having children um i mean some do move away i’ve i’ve heard of black rooms who move to the u.

s because they feel they can kind of um blend in a little easier um some move to you know other places in europe england um some spend some time in africa so i’d say it’s growing um but i don’t know if it’ll ever be as large as say the larger minority populations like turkish germans or or german poles or something um a follow-up question i guess that would work um so why did you decide to focus on this topic for your own research that’s funny um coming into german studies so i started learning german when i was in grade school just out of pure interest um i didn’t know that there were black germans until i was in college i went to germany to study abroad as a junior and i also read hans jurgen massachusetts autobiography and this was all very new to me and surprising because growing up in the u.

s you know i’ve seen the same images of germany you know tend to be very bavarian you know everyone is white and blonde um but so initially my my interest in german studies was actually on east germany um and fascism uh which which are still areas of interest to mine but i guess i ended up going into this area of working on race um because my time that i’ve lived in germany i’ve lived there on and off you know four or five years i would notice how people would kind of project things on me you know make assumptions about me based on how i looked or where i was from and it just made me curious about where german notions of blackness come from what informs these ideas and that’s how i got into this initially because my first book is more about african-american culture in germany and now i’m working on black german texts because i find that not not a lot of people are working on them or know about them and i just find them really fascinating and i wanted to you know share spread the word you know about what’s out there great thank you um another question was there are different reactions to the terms black and african-american in the u.

s black can sometimes be seen as insensitive while african-american can be offensive to black people whose origins aren’t from africa do these terms receive similar reactions in germany um you know i feel like in germany it’s even more varied um because i’ve i’ve heard of black germans who don’t identify as black german they wouldn’t use the term black german they wouldn’t use the term afro german they would just say german it’s sometimes a generational thing sometimes older people because they didn’t grow up with these terms for them it’s foreign other times it can sometimes just be an outlook someone who says oh race doesn’t affect me you know that much i don’t need to identify as that um i would say so in the us i feel like the term black tends to be political and so i i feel like most people i know my age younger people have no problem with being called black or black american um but yeah i think it really depends on the person i always tell people it’s easier to just just talk to someone get to know them you know see what they’re comfortable with or how they identify you can’t make any assumptions because um you know black the black community in the us is so diverse in germany it’s even more diverse because you have you know influence from all over the world you know people with roots in africa roots in the caribbean routes from across europe so i think um it’s the kind of community where you have to take each person individually and just see how they identify excellent thank you um another question was uh since there seemed to have been some support for abolitionism in germany before 1884 was there a movement for equal rights for german uh germans of african descent you in the colonial period and in the early 20th century i mean some of this you already covered but um so so after world war one the the people who were former colonial subjects living in germany they created an organization called the african union meant to kind of advocate for rights for black people in germany help them secure jobs and the right to you know right of residency um i don’t know to what extent white germans were interested in this i think it tended to be more people on the left like like among the communists i would say there’s a lot more of this crossover of you know blacks and whites kind of organizing together um and and kind of an anti-imperial attitude because there’s there’s a newspaper called the negro worker that i think was published from out of hamburg at the time um but besides that let’s see so another thing i would say i didn’t get to mention this is that while the colonies existed you often had white german men you know moving to the colonies um who would meet women you know african women fall in love you know mary have children and this i think it wasn’t until it was maybe 1902 or 1905 that the government passed a law saying that those women and those children were not really german so i would say among individuals you know i think i mean it’s it’s tricky because in a colonial situation how do you say whether those women and children were equal right to the german man i you know it’s it’s hard to say but i would say that there may have been people who were had less prejudice you know until the government intervened and said no we can’t have black people who are germans um so i think it’s i would point out that no matter what period i feel like they’re always dissenting voices they’re always people who don’t believe the status quo or whatever you know propaganda there is about race but it kind of depends on the agenda of the government or you know the majority what they want to push through thank you um can you tell us a little more about uh anton w armor especially the naming of a street in berlin after his name and the protests that it generated so i don’t i don’t know a lot about ammo his life is kind of mysterious um because not a lot of is known about him um there are people who research specifically on him and and probably travel to ghana you know to the archives part of what’s difficult is his his work is all written in latin so you know it’s hard to read what he published about aesthetics i don’t read latin i did find an english translation of something but you also it’s it’s so philosophical i’m i’m not versed in this kind of older philosophy so it was hard for me to understand i think what’s fascinating about him is that as someone working on aesthetics you know around the time of kant i feel like it is you know kind of surprising that more people don’t engage with him and try to see okay well how did his ideas differ especially considering that he was a black man in in a white majority place um but so with the protests um it’s been going on for years that people wanted to rename this moore street um and i think they chose ammo just because he is he is considered like the oldest example of a black german and someone who engaged in you know public life and academic life and they felt like he needs to be acknowledged like not enough germans know who he is um and it and interestingly i feel like this name change of the street came about in part because of the protests after george floyd’s murder so this you know this june um you know after what happened in minnesota there were all these protests in germany and i feel like that really it got the conversation started again about okay what to what extent does germany have this problem with racism and i feel like it put more pressure on what i also find interesting is that what happened first was that the um berlin transit authority said we are changing the station name and then after they said we will change the station name the city said we’ll change the street name um so that to me that’s really fascinating um because i i sometimes follow the the transit berlin transit authority makes all kinds of jokes on facebook and sometimes it feels like they seem to be if not a left-leaning at least a progressive organization that’s trying to to show that they represent all of berlin and berlin’s multiculturalism so it’s interesting how their like forward-thinking progressive act got the city to act um so just another example i guess of how activism works nowadays you know with social media and you know pressure you know protests and all of that thank you yeah i can only recommend adding the berlin transit system yeah i have them on instagram they are very funny um somebody would like to know what your favorite song from the black german music is interesting so interestingly that is hard for me because i am actually more of a punk fan i don’t listen to a lot of hip hop i i grew up listening to punk and unfortunately there are not a lot of black german punk bands i may have met a couple of black girl punks you know in my life living in berlin but let’s see in terms of the hip-hop that i like gosh that’s a tricky one i mean for me advanced chemistry um the band that i showed their song flamed him eigen and lan foreign in my own country it’s just is a really great um song um because they talk about what it’s like to be black german and always be questioned about where they’re from and question on their belonging and to me just this the way the style of the song and the video um and the the smartness of the lyrics is just so well done that even you know i’ve seen it tons of times but every time i play it for my students i get goosebumps just thinking about how powerful that moment was when it was released because one of the lines in the song um the black german rapper torch shows his passport and he says i have a green i you know i have a german passport you know but people still ask me these questions so to me just like the every all everything in the song the lyrics and the performance in the video was just a very like confident like this is my claim you know i am german you can’t you know change anything about that um so i’d say that that’s why that’s my favorite song thank you um what is the first book you would recommend that german teachers professors read as an intro to this topic and also for a book for students as well if it’s not the same i really like the book by ika hugo marshall um so i’m i’m trying to find a book that’s translated just in case um that’s invisible woman because it shows you at least the experience of well wait i’ll i’ll recommend two so that one is really good for the post-war period post world war ii um it i would say it’s super accessible i feel like it’s it’s it reads like similar to the diary of anne frank you know it’s political but it i feel like young people can read it very easily and see all the issues that are at stake and and you know relate to her getting you know discriminated against in school things like that and i would say if you want something for earlier um hans jurgen massaquai’s book destined to witness is really well written and really engaging and his life is so fascinating because his grandfather was the liberian ambassador to germany and his father at the time was studying in ireland and had come to germany for to visit and met his mother who was a german nurse so his his story is interesting because he comes he actually came from a more wealthy background um and he you know describes living in hamburg with his mom a single mom you know after the african side of the family left um and it’s it’s just the way the story is written he touches on all the aspects um nazi germany and you know dating and all those things and what’s also interesting about his book is he talks about his fascination with hitler when he was young when he was a boy and i think that’s really important for people to see how how these ideas were kind of you know indoctrinate into children even a black child who at the time didn’t realize that they weren’t talking to him you know that they were excluding him and he didn’t understand that until people started you know harassing him on the street or when he was older and he couldn’t get a job thank you um what kind of reparations have germany came up with come up with for black german since colonialism how does it compare with the us political climate need for a systematic change regarding race i mean so i gave that one example of the skulls being sent back i think that’s a realm that tends to be easier for for people to agree on this idea that remnants you know um physical remnants corpses things like that should be returned um sometimes you also see this with museums i think more recently a museum in france you know agreed to give back some items um that that’s tricky because you will have some people who argue that certain goods you know were were taken legally or oh but in germany they’ll have a bigger audience you know we can take care of them so museum directors are not always eager to return those types of things to me the biggest hurdle seems to be financial some kind of financial agreement um and that to me that that’s probably the biggest hindrance for the german government admitting you know for example that what happened to the the herrera nama was genocide you know because i think one of the things um you know people will compare so i have a friend who works on genocide the topic of genocide around the world and she looks into say reparations for the holocaust versus you know colonialism i think a lot of people would say well you know there was this this effort made to repay the victims of the holocaust their families for all the wealth that was taken and the lives why can’t germany do that you know for colonialism and i don’t know if part of it is like this the sheer scale of you know what would that mean financially you know not wanting to go down that road um but was i going to say i think what makes this even more complicated is kind of like the german germany’s relationship to namibia you know since this time period you know i think germany maybe tries to do a lot with aid you know so like its current relationship um but i think there will there always be activists in namibia who for them that’s not enough they want this the the war to be recognized as a genocide and i think they’ll continue to fight for that thank you and our last question for today uh can you tell us how the german government and people are currently viewing their hero and now like genocide you know i think unfortunately not a lot of people know about this this what was called a war um so interestingly um so scholars since the i’d say since the 40s um so um like hana aren’t a jewish german jewish philosopher said that what happened to the hironama laid the ground for the holocaust um because this was actually the first time germans used concentration camps um was during this war what they did was you know the women and children were sent out into the desert kempton camps and basically starve to death you know out in the desert um so that so this this kind of a tactic of you know annihilating i think about 70 percent of the population died at the time um so this this idea of trying to annihilate you know a whole population of peoples comes from the colonial period um and the you know the accounts of what happened are really really terrible um and a few different artists have tried to raise more awareness of this there’s an interesting play written by an african-american talking about that period where she actually inter-weeds german german history of colonialism with african-american history of slavery um it’s it’s very complicated but it’s the play is called it’s got a really long title it’s called we are proud to present a presentation of you know german southwest africa it keeps going the title um and the authors named jackie sibleys i really recommend that play it’s not very long and it’s it’s it’s very engaging but um yeah i think unfortunately you know i think most germans that i have met have never heard of this and i think one of the main critiques i hear from black germans is that this isn’t taught in schools you know this the colonial period and you know and the brutality of it so i think one of the things yeah people would like is that more people are aware of this and and there have been steps taken towards this um like the deutsches historicist museum in berlin did a really great exhibit on german colonialism there have been more such exhibits so it looks like i think that education is starting in this space of the museum more progressive museums and hopefully it will have an impact on education although i’ve heard from people that it can be very hard to influence the um for the curriculum you know depending on the different states so there was one more question last one if you could please repeat the title of the play again the slowly just as far as we can i can can i share it in the chat um i think i can just look it up on amazon and share it in the chat um so this is a play i’ve taught it many times to my students um it’s actually it’s a meta play so it’s a play about black and white american actors who find a bunch of letters from german soldiers from the colonies and decide they want to perform a play about it and so most of the text is them debating how are we going to do this play and by talking about this they get into the politics of race during the colonies but that leads them into the politics of race in the us and there’s some interesting parallels that are drawn between germany and the us so i yeah i think it’s a really great play oh but one one thing that’s been critiqued of the play is that the play kind of implies that we don’t have first-hand accounts from nama and herrera about what this experience was like and that’s not the case so that’s a blind spot in the play all right those were the questions uh dr connolly yeah so um i want to say a huge thank you to priscilla um for not only being our our honored guest and speaker today but for zipping out of her house and delivering the rest of her lecture from in her car um very lovely very impressive just really really happy that you were able to get back on um and i think that everyone who is still here and those who have left um i think everyone has learned a lot about this topic and i think it was really cool somebody asked you the question how did you get into this topic and so i really liked hearing you talk about how it wasn’t something you initially were interested in it kind of came to you through your experiences um traveling back and forth to germany and whatnot so that’s very cool um we’re getting big thank yous and applauses in the q a box there i want to thank um the members of our audience who stuck with us through the technical glitch and waited around um and i want to thank andrea dr fieler for filling in the space between when we lost priscilla and when we got her back um huge thank you to tracy for being there behind the scenes there was not a darn thing he could do about priscilla losing her power um so in that sense we were powerless on our end but tracy you were great um it was great to have your technical support and i had uh posed a question to him we were getting around to close to four o’clock is this thing just gonna end at four um or can we extend it to have you know some q a and he didn’t get back to me for a while because he said he was so engrossed in the talk and the topic that you know he wasn’t paying attention to things that were coming to him in the chat box on our end so um once again thank you everyone this has been an awesome german american day lecture very timely topic with everything that’s going on here in our country nowadays and it’s just it was really wonderful to learn about all of the history and things that we didn’t know about and i hope that those of those of you who are on here who are teachers and professors of german um i hope you learned some things that you didn’t know about before that you can then uh take to your classrooms and share with your students because you’ve got you know philosophers uh playwrights poets musicians hip-hop artists so there’s lots of a wealth of information that dr lane priscilla has shared with us here today so um i won’t keep on everyone on here for any longer but i did want to come back in as the chair of the department and co-host of this event to say some final words and i don’t know if dr lane you have any closing remarks yes um i have to say this is the first time during this crazy coveted period that i lost power during a presentation um but i thank you all for being so gracious and accommodating and for the audience for being patient i’m glad i was able to finish just because you know i worked hard on this and i wanted you know to to engage with all of you so i’m happy it worked out um and yeah wish everyone a nice afternoon yeah everybody take care all and uh thank you for being here bye bye auf wiedersehen.