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Q: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: rockifivethree-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 29 Jan 2003 21:02 PST
Expires: 28 Feb 2003 21:02 PST
Question ID: 155096
The "Afro Magazine", October 6,1953  and "Hue" Magazine in this same
period of time piublished articles about "German Brown Babies" having
been adopted by American Afro-Americans. What other publications in
Germany or the U.S. (like: Life,Look,The New York Herald,etc...)
carried articles on the same topic (I request: Publication
Name,Vol,Year,Page)? How many Brown Babies entered the U.S.A. from
Germany between between 1945 and 1953? Note: Brown Babies were known
to be of interacial or transracial origin. By what athority (law) did
Germany cooperate with the U.S. after the War to assist in the
streamlining the adoptions of Brown Babies to the U.S.? I am looking
for a War babies Relief Act or something like it in Germany which was
linked with an "Act" of some type in the U.S.A. promoting the adoption
of these childern from Germany. Thank you!
Subject: Re: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
Answered By: czh-ga on 31 Jan 2003 05:12 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello rockifivethree-ga,

Thank you for the opportunity to research a very interesting question.
The fate of children of war is getting more attention than ever
before. There are also many organizations that are helping adoptees
find their birth parents, no matter what their national origin. The
foreign baby boomer children of the GIs who gave their name to a
generation are now seeking to make sense of their personal history and
the countries where they were born are paying special attention. The
children of the black GIs who served in Europe are a special group
whose history is just gaining scholarly attention. They were called
“occupation children” “Besatzungskindern” “Mischlingskinder” and
worse. You asked about the German “Brown Babies”but I found that these
children aroused special concerns in other countries as well.

As Germany is beginning to deal with its growing Afro-German
population, there has been increasing interest in the post-war
generation of “Brown Babies.” I recommend that you begin your
investigations with the current wave of material that is just becoming
available. I don’t know if you’re able to read German, but I’ve
included a couple of key resources that might be worth your time even
if you don’t.

My search revealed that there is one person who is leading the
investigation of the issues surrounding the “Brown Babies.” Her name
is Dr. Yara C. Lemke Muniz de Faria and she is a professor at the 
Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Freie Universität Berlin. She has
just published a book that will answer all your questions and more.

She can be contacted at:
Dr. Yara Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria
Tel +49-30-830092-52

Her book is available from Amazon, Germany. She also has a chapter in
a recent book from University of Michigan Press.
Zwischen Fürsorge und Ausgrenzung: Afrodeutsche "Besatzungskinder" im
von Yara-Col Lemke Muniz de Faria
Broschiert - Metropol 
Erscheinungsdatum: 2002
ISBN: 3932482751
"Blacks, Germans, and the Politics of  imperially imagination,
1920-1960" chapter in the book
The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy
Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne Zantop, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 1998

She has been a speaker and participated at many conferences dealing
with the role of minorities in Germany and has published several works
that might be of interest to you, including:
"'Germany's Brown Baby Must Be Helped! Will You?' US American
Adoptions of Afro-German Children, 1950-1955. In: Black Voices Against
Social Exclusion, hrsg. v. Anette Wierschke und Tina Campt, Sonderheft
Callalloo (im Druck).
Conference : German history from the margins 
Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz de FARIA (Institut für Geschichte der
Medizin, Freie Universität Berlin) : Germany's Brown Babies,1945-1960
- Symbol of Democracy
30. Mai 2002, Thema: Afrodeutsche "Besatzungskinder" im
Subject: Afrodeutsche "Besatzungskinder" zwischen allen Stühlen

Another expert you might want to get in touch with is a professor at
Emory University, Dr. Heide Fehrenbach is a professor of history who
specializes in post-war Germany. Watch for her forthcoming book on
“brown babies.”
Currently writing Race in German Reconstruction: African-American
Occupation Children and Postwar Discourses of Democracy, 1945-1965.

I found quite a lot of information for you and I’ve organized the
material using your questions as the headings. I hope this will give
you an idea of what is available and who else is interested in this
very special group.

The "Afro Magazine", October 6,1953  and "Hue" Magazine in this same
period of time published articles about "German Brown Babies" having
been adopted by American Afro-Americans. What other publications in
Germany or the U.S. (like: Life, Look, The New York Herald, etc...)
carried articles on the same topic (I request: Publication Name, Vol,
Year, Page)?

I had to go to the library to find articles dating back to the postwar
years. These articles are not available free on the Web. What I found
is very interesting. The tone and attitude of some of the articles
reflects the racist attitudes of the times.

Strangers to Their Own: No Happy Ending Is in Sight for Three Thousand
American-German Children of Negro Blood
Commonweal, 58: 219-21, June 5, 1953

Letters to the Editor responding to Strangers to Their Own
Commonweal, 58: 443-4, August 7, 1953

From Austria: The Children’s Own UN
Commonweal, 54: 403-4, August 3, 1951

Facts About the GI Babies by J. A. Mitchner
Reader’s Digest, 64: 5-10, May 1954

I was surprised that I couldn’t find anything on these children in the
popular press. There were several articles dealing with mixed race
children from Japan and Korea in Life magazine and Christian Century.

I’m also including some papers, articles and Web sites that are more
recent but provide a great deal of information to help you understand
the situation of the Afro-American GI babies and their current
Sunday, July 16, 2000
 Seeking an unusual kinship
She was named Ursula at birth, a German baby girl who looked anything
It was just after the end of World War II, and her U.S. soldier father
and her German mother had had a brief but productive fling. … First of
all, her father was black. That made her a biracial baby in a country
that for years had been trying to "purify" the race.
Geborener Deutscher (which means “German by birth”) is a quarterly
newsletter that addresses the issues, interests and concerns of
German-born adoptees (and their birth/adoptive families).
A,Little Brown Baby: An Afro_German Adoptee’s Story
GIs and Fräuleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany
by Maria Höhn, Copyright (c) 2002 by the University of North Carolina
Historians of postwar Germany have only recently begun to explore how
racial hierarchies continued to inform notions of German identity.
Exciting new scholarship on German reactions to American popular
culture and German policies toward the children born of German mothers
and African American fathers make important contributions to the
This is a 12 page paper analyzing a novel that reflects on the
experiences of Austrian “brown babies.”
"Austrian occupation children adopted by American couples..."
1,899 children fathered by American occupation soldiers have been born
out of wedlock since 1945 in the province of Salzburg alone. Of these
illegitimate children, 335 have been adopted or have achieved
legitimate status through subsequent marriages.
Brown Babies (British) tells the story of people who, like Denny, have
been denied their birthright because they are of mixed race. In almost
every case, the experiences and circumstances of these children are a
result of racial prejudice inflicted on both their parents, for which
they can take no responsibility.
10.00 BROWN BABIES  -- The touching tale of the babies born to white
British women and black American soldiers during WWII. Some were never
told of their past whilst others spent a lifetime in care.
Myth: The black/white IQ gap is largely genetically caused.

How many Brown Babies entered the U.S.A. from Germany between between
1945 and 1953? Note: Brown Babies were known to be of interracial or
transracial origin.

I haven’t been able to track down any numbers on how many of the
“brown babies” made it to the USA or were adopted outside Germany. I
found several sources for how many were born in Germany and these
figures can be compared to the total number of US “occupation
When the first year of occupation was over, 90,000 had already been
born in the American zone of Germany alone. … More often than not the
Chocolate Girls were reviled as Ami-Huren (Ami-whores) and their
offspring as Besatzungskinder (occupation children). One does not need
too much to imagine what these women and their children had to endure,
especially when the father was a black GI.
“What has become of the 94,000 ‘Occupation Babies’?” “among the
occupation babies, the 3,093 Negro mulattoes form a special group,
presenting a human and racial problem of a special nature …”
Over 1 million American troops were stationed in England  … This
figure includes approximately 130,000 black GIs. By the end of the
Second World War an estimated 20,000 children had been born as the
result of relationships between British women and American GIs.
Approximately 1,000 of these children were black.
Alarmiert durch die Geburt von etwa 1500 dunkelhäutigen  Kindern (von
insgesamt 21000 Besatzungskindern) (1500 brown babies from total
21,000 occupations children)

By what authority (law) did Germany cooperate with the U.S. after the
War to assist in the streamlining the adoptions of Brown Babies to the
U.S.? I am looking for a War babies Relief Act or something like it in
Germany which was linked with an "Act" of some type in the U.S.A.
promoting the adoption of these children from Germany.

I have not found any evidence that the children of black GIs received
special preferences for admission to the United States. On the
contrary, it seems that there was quite a lot of opposition expressed
during the debates leading up to the passage of the McCarren-Walter
Act, a major revision of the immigration laws in 1952. During the
post-war years there were many new laws passed to admit special
classes of displaced persons and refugees and to exclude people
considered dangerous. A quick review of the history of immigration
laws shows you how many racial restrictions were imposed through the
years and how long it took to abolish them.
After the war ended there was continued debate about possible
solutions to the "brown baby" problem, as it was called. One
suggestion seriously considered and promoted by the black community
leaders in America, was the possibility of some children being shipped
to the US and placed for adoption with black families in the States.
There was strong opposition, however, from conservatives quarters in
the US. In a particularly heated debate in the House, one American
Representative described the children as, ". . . the offsprings of the
scum of the British Isles." In the end the proposal did not go ahead.
U.S. Immigration Policy
This site gives a succinct review of the history of US Immigration
70. Act of August 19, 1950 (64 Statutes-at-Large 464)
Made spouses and minor children of members of the American armed
forces, regardless of the alien’s race, eligible for immigration and
nonquota status if marriage occurred before March 19, 1952.
Immigration and Naturalization Legislation from the Statistical
The following compilation of federal immigration and naturalization
statutes in the United States provides an overview of the legislative
history of immigration to the United States.
See the list of laws passed after World War II. I don’t believe any
special provisions were many for the immigration of the “occupation
children” or “brown babies.” Some of the provisions that may have come
into play in their entry into the US include:

65. Act of July 1, 1948 (62 Statutes-at-Large 1206)
Amended the Immigration Act of 1917. Provisions:

68. Act of June 16, 1950 (64 Statutes-at-Large 219)
Amended the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. Provisions:

70. Act of August 19, 1950 (64 Statutes-at-Large 464)
Made spouses and minor children of members of the American armed
forces, regardless of the alien’s race, eligible for immigration and
nonquota status if marriage occurred before March 19, 1952.

76. Immigration and Nationality Act of June 27, 1952 (INA) (66
Statutes-at-Large 163)
Also known as the McCarren-Walter Act Brought into one comprehensive
statute the multiple laws which, before its enactment, governed
immigration and naturalization in the United States.

82. Refugee-Escapee Act of September 11, 1957 (71 Statutes-at-Large


In my search I came across a lot of materials that didn’t relate to
your questions directly, but I thought they would give you a deeper
understanding of the history and politics that swirled around these
children. In addition, I’ve also included some resources that show the
personal, emotional, cultural and social aspects of these children’s
lives and circumstances.
Holocaust: Non-Jewish Victims
Mandatory Sterilization for Black Youth
Once a child was decided to be of black descent, the child was taken
immediately to a hospital and sterilized. About 400 children were
medically sterilized -- many times without their parents' knowledge.

Destined to Witness : Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany 
By Hans J. Massaquoi
Hans Massaquoi, of mixed African-German parentage, came of age in Nazi

The African-German Experience 
by Carol Aisha Blackshire-Belay
A collection of essays that take an in-depth look at the roots of the
African-German presence in today's Germany, with vivid descriptions of
personal accounts and rich information about Germany's colonial
history and about being black in Germany through the pre- and
post-World War II era.
CAROL AISHA BLACKSHIRE-BELAY is professor and chair of the Department
of Africana Studies at Indiana State University.
Individuals of African descent living in Germany were socially and
economically ostracized. They could not attend university; they lost
their jobs; they sometimes lost their citizenship. Mixed race
marriages were forbidden, and doctors illegally and secretly
sterilized between 385 and 500 biracial children, most of them
offspring of French Black soldiers and German women, children
derisively referred to as the "Rhineland bastards."
ADEFRA: Organization Of Black Women In Germany
Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out

Edited by three women: May Opitz, an Afro-German speech therapist and
poet; Katharina Oguntoye, a feminist historian of German and Nigerian
background, and Dagmar Schultz, a white woman and publishing house
editor. Translated from the German Farbe bekennen, the book contains a
history of German imperialism in Africa and of blacks (and mixed-race
people) in Germany as well as their portrayal by white society.
Johns Hopkins University -- American Institute for Contemporary German
Life After the Americans
This is a story about GI brides. It does not mention the children of
black GIs but the background information about German society after
the war should be interesting to you.
The War Children of the World
War and Children Identity Project, Bergen, December 2001
This is an incredible 117 page report that discusses the children of
military personnel all over the world and covers many wars in the past
100 years. See page 21 for GI’s in Germany and page 69 for a story
about the children of black GIs in Austria after World War II.
The German Historical Institute (GHI) (click here for a picture, a
map, links to other GHIs and other institutions in German history) is
an independent research institute dedicated to the promotion of
historical research in the United States and the Federal Republic of

Please ask for clarification about any of this. This was a very
interesting research project. I hope that it meets your needs.

I wish you well on your project.


"american soldiers" "german mothers" children
german "war baby" adoption
Children Interracial german
Children Interracial +german
"black GI" children adoption
"occupation children" germany

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 03 Feb 2003 12:00 PST
Thank you very much for your warm comments and the very generous tip.
Your story grabbeb my heart and I wish I could think of additional
avenues to help you with your search.

rockifivethree-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $40.00
It is one thing to do what one request of you and yet another to do it
with  feeling,such as emotional empathy.  I think that czh-ga at
Google has added a level of "feeling" to the my reply that I am
convinced of its completness.  I am quite taken to see that the
research goes beyond the satisfaction of the word.  I feel that I have
been given new tools with which to continue my lifelong search and the
hope of referral to other professions so that I am not alone in my
quest. It is all because a czh-ga read into my question, objectively
answered it,  and treated the topic with care as if it were his own
quest.  I have been represented well.  Google should be proud to have
such a staffmember.  I have a friend, with Google, to safely guide me
on my climb of the great mountain of indormation before me.

Thank you czh-ga!

Subject: Re: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
From: justaskscott-ga on 29 Jan 2003 21:28 PST
I have sent an e-mail to an expert in Germany on the question of
Germany's brown babies and their adoption in America.  I will follow
up in the next day or so and let you know if I receive any useful
Subject: Re: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
From: justaskscott-ga on 31 Jan 2003 16:10 PST
The expert I had contacted was Dr. Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria. 
I have not yet heard from her; in the event that I do, I will post the
information as a supplement to czh-ga's answer.

The only information I can currently contribute comes from an article
co-written by Dr. Lemke-Muniz de Faria, which (oddly enough) I happen
to own.  The article, by Tina Campi, Pascal Grosse, and Yara-Colette
Lemke-Muniz de Faria, is entitled "Blacks, Germans, and the Politics
of Imperial Imagination, 1920-60", and is found on pages 205-229 of
"The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy",
edited by Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne Zantop (Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press 1998).  One section of the article
concerns how German "brown babies" were viewed within Germany from
1945 to 1960.  The articles notes the numbers of children (p. 222):

"According to the records of the Federal Office of Statistics
(Statistiches Bundesamt), an estimated 68,000 illegitimate children of
Allied occupation soldiers and German women were born between 1945 and
1955.  Approximately 4,800 of these children were black German
children of African-American soldiers."

The article also mentions (p. 223) that in 1952:

"The impending enrollment of [Afro-German] children in German schools
prompted the Bundestag to take up the issue of the mixed-race question
in German society, or what was then referred to as the
Mischlingsfrage.  Based on their racial background and their supposed
'difference' from other children, a debate ensued as to whether
Afro-German children would be 'better off in the homelands of their
fathers.'  But in the course of the debate the members of the
Bundestag distanced themselves from this proposal for a collective

So it appears that the German government did not try to streamline the
process of adoptions of Afro-German children in the U.S.
Subject: Re: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
From: luciaphile-ga on 04 Feb 2003 09:18 PST
A database that might be really helpful to you is Ethnic NewsWatch. A
college library or large public library would probably have it.

You might be interested in these:

"Son of Black WWII Soldier Searches for
Subject: Re: Post War "German Brown Babies" enter the U.S.A.
From: luciaphile-ga on 04 Feb 2003 09:23 PST
Sorry--let me try this again.

This one references a documentary at that time in production called
"Search for My Father" directed by Emyr Jenkins.

"Son of Black WWII Soldier Searches for NY Family," by Herb Boyd. New
York Amsterdam News, 3 March 1999, p. 9.


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