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Black Germany and Academia

Ana Maria de Schur

The question, if there is a “Black Europe” in a EU continent that is composed of many countries that are overwhelmingly white, is like proposing some cognitive dissonance on the reader. Because my empirical argumentations have mostly developed in the German culture, I feel not competent to talk of any other country in the European Union and how the colored peoples may be doing in those countries. I visited Sweden a few times; and there I saw blacks working in pulblic jobs and attending activities where they could have cultural exchanges with the natives. I found it interesting, but after knowing that culture a little better, I found that the “dark peoples” of Sweden are not all that satisfied with the culture that they live in. Again, one can only describe the known aspects of reality and I only know Germany, therefore my paper will focus on the German culture.

What do the following literary works have in common, except that they were written by German authors?

  • The Nibelungenlied

  • Parzival, from William von Eschenbach

  • Faust, from Goethe

  • Der Ackermann und der Tod, from Johannes von Tepl

  • Harry Potter’s Adventures

  • The Lord of the Rings

Germanic literature has from its beginning tended to be ethnocentric. It is the beauty of the white German man and woman that is exalted in all three of the works described above. Under normal conditions, such a love for the autochtone is natural and appreciated. But, this form of pride is perceived differently in Germany, where for historical reasons closely tied to the Third Reich, white is not only beautiful, it is superior and the only race worth of being respected. One cannot relate to these literary works without considering some of the characterological implications that encompass the persons in these stories. All the men are moved by the strong emotion of anger, or Wut. All the women are white and are the most beautiful if their hair is blonde. It seems that even though the Germans has long been visiting the African continent and thereto mixing race with the Arabs and Blacks since long, in the “educated” circles it was and it is fair to talk of Germanity as a quality strictly connected to the whiteness of the skin and the purity of the race. In this perspective, the colored person is left without location and integrational resources. The colored simply won’t fit in, because the culture is shaped in a way that the pride of being German is only found through fisiological characteristics belonging to the German race.


The study of classical literature in the German Middle Ages shows that the German literary traditions exerted a subversive power that hoped to help the society to tame forces of war and anger that had been in existence all along among the Indo-Europeans since the times of the Ingo-Germanic quarrels. Parzival is a child who entered the force by killing and destroying his enemies, be those real or often imaginary. Siegfried is another example of the worthy warrior who conquers through force rather than through reason. Siegfried died because he trusted too much his adversaries. The lesson taught by Siegfried to the young generations of readers is, trust your muscle but not your heart. From very early in the history of the Germanic nations, the rules for admission to the company of those worthy of being around the heroes invariably lead the initiate knight to the desire of surviving only after killing, or to die with the honor of being a brave combatant. These forces have continued to develop unto the present, also through the problematic example of Adolph Hitler and the National Socialistic Party, which degenerated in the horrors of WWII.

Under such secrecy and esoteric, these groups developed the practice of furor or Wut as part of the expected discipline to be followed by their initiates in the mysteries of the orders as to become more “manly.” Various denominations of warriors were formed, like the Germanic Wütende Heer, the Thulegesellschaft, and later also the Illuminati, which appeared in Germany in the 17th Century and has ever since influenced the planet. All of them have been supposedly ‘Masters of the Ancients’ offering their initiates mastery over material forces, power, potency and rejuvenation, among other goods to accomplish in this life. They all searched for the Grail, the Philosophical Stone. In those Germanic ritual organizations, the main inclination was to oppose Christianity, to become everything what Christianity was not, as a rebellion to the control exerted by the Clergy. This is how Parzival starts his adventures as young man who lacks compassion and mercy, who only desires to conquer and kill.

The Germanic cults find their origins in the early Indo-European warriors, when the members of one group terrorized women and non-members in exercises that taught them to behave fiercely, like furious animals, assimilating the cult members to the warrior band. They learned to imitate the barking of dogs (or wolves), an uproar that called into its practice all kinds of intimidating sounds, even bells and trumpets, as part of their ritual roles (this tradition is also found in the Japanese men’s secret societies). However, the above serves for the purpose of this paper the understanding that the final goal of such dramatizations was to induct the initiates into a frenzy condition that would enable them to win in combat. They should be able to accomplish the most destructive furor.

In the book, Creative Mythology, Joseph Campbell describes how a young knight did not become a berserker simply through courage or physical strength or endurance, but as the result of the magical-religious experience that would radically change his nature, his being. The young warrior must transmute his humanity by a fit of aggressive and terror-striking fury, which assimilated him to the raging heat of prey. He became ‘heated’ to an extreme degree, flooded by a mysterious, nonhuman, and irresistible force that his fighting effort and vigor summoned from the utmost depths of his being.

In our current time track, it is interesting to observe how Neo-Nazi groups continue to be present in most violent scenes where their furor leads them even to commit murder of those whom they hate for being different. It is not easy to describe how the hate groups validate the use of force and violence, as the perception of the current violations perpetrated by Neo Nazis in Germany and other countries of Europe, the horror stories involving the abuse of force by the German police, stories of stockpiled weapons, and both the paramilitary activity and gang violence in the neo-Nazi movement lead even the most convinced peacemaker to the conclusion that things have gone terribly out of control since the end of WWII. It is at this point of the sociological developments of Western Europe, starting with the reunification of Germany, that certain trends appear to have remained continuous in the developments of intertribal relations in the culture where neither Parzival, Siegfried or Roland came into the stories with a clear knowledge of how to control their forces for the benefit of the most.

I was recently struck by some terrible news from Germany: An African asylum seeker was held in custody in a cell of a local police department, after several women in the city of Dessau affirmed having been molested by him, at which they called the police. It is also said that he offered resistance against the police officers. A fire broke out; the cause of the fire remains unclear. After the fact that in ongoing investigations, the police obtained rests of a cigarette lighter found in the cell, the local media explained that Oury burned his own mattress. Now the Police Department in Dessau tells that Oury’s hands and feet were handcuffed to the bed. Here one asks the legitimate question, how a man in handcuffs could have set himself in fire while in a completely secured jail, where he was allegedly “fixed” to the bed. The director of the responsible department has been - for now -transferred to Wittenberg. He also responded for the first time in two years for the death of another man in the Dessauer Police Department. At that time, the man – allegedly strongly drunk, was placed in a cell “for security reasons” until he would sober up. Only after 18 hours, the man died.

Society today is still blind at the reality of the hardening of the collective. Instead, suppression, intended to remain a facade that covers up all weaknesses, becomes a silent guardian of the social taboo that survived the horrors and agonies of several decades of denial. Understanding is painful, the majority decides to forget. Those who remained critical would lose their laughter at the pervasiveness of the hardship accompanying the understanding of the post war reality. For some, only through leaving Germany it would become possible to see the beauty of the Heimat; and to understand its complexity. For others, it would only be possible to stay in Germany by suppressing all the memories of the painful recent past. This suppression detours the social conscience from the necessary confrontation that would lead to a closure.

The German culture, with its immense potential for sociological healing and ethical constructivism, ends up being represented by the thinking of those who criticize what they could not dare to understand and to genuinely love. Where are Siegfried's children, in a world that remains inflexible, unready to allow the vassal to be equally empowered in the enjoyment of freedom? Where are the children of Siegfried among today's Nibelungen? Are today’s Nibelungen only whites? The trick may be, to learn how to educate educators. I remember one of my early experiences in Berlin, while I struggled to pass the “Studienkolleg” at the Technical University. As I visited a class with a mathematics professor, one day I found myself being laughed at and demoralized by the professor in class. His black humor was solely based on the fact that I was the only student of color in that class. I never went back to that school. It took me many years to overcome the fear from my fellow people that such single act by a professor implanted in my conscience.

Violent actions performed by authoritarian leaders tend to impregnate the culture with generalizations that devaluate all ethics still present among a majority of anonymous tax paying people who are left without the capacity to express an opinion in a culture where it is impossible for the native people to say anything that could criticize a “foreigner” in a constructive way. The culture of Germany is fulfilled with demoralized German people, who are not being left free to express their resentments in an open manner. It is through this suppression of the latent emotions and perceptions of the people that the people in Germany are being dragged into a space where their own ruckus has to remain suppressed. This is why hate becomes compulsive and falls off the frames of all the normal public discussion that should have been present in the Verarbeitung of a dilemma that is still to be resolved by the suppressed generation. Hitler and his ideas became a “forbidden” topic (beware of forbidding too much in times of trouble), so that when cultural despair and social desperation come up to hunt a society, the youth will crave to resemble exactly that which had to remain in the dark for all that long.

Talking of Blacks in Germany today without recognizing the developments that are happening among the whites in Germany would be naïve. It is undeniable that the stability of those who are different depends from the stability of those who are in the majority by being very much alike. I propose the introduction of Germanic studies that defocus from the obsessive compulsion of race. From this perspective, it is interesting to see the German theater groups of today attempting to color the culture by for example representing classical works of literature with black actors today. And, although this creates much backlash among the colored Germans who feel they are being used as a means of sexual aberration in the public, I frankly don’t see that there is any major evil in continuing with the approach of bringing the colors of the skins into the orthodoxy of the skin colors that permeate all of those works of art. I would like to welcome Hollywood perhaps giving more room for black heroes to appear in the classic theater pieces. But, this may not be enough. The Germans have also to face and get rid of the problem of guilt.


It seems to me that the proposition of guilt as a means to recover the German culture from its current anger against those who are different is not helping much, but on the contrary it creates further resentments. At the same time, I find it terribly wrong to impose on the Germans the silence regarding the tragedy of the Dresden Holocaust, because it is something too important to be suppressed. It would be expectable that the German government, the same way they acted on behalf of the Jewish victims, should have also prepared the society for the realization of true historical facts that make Dresden a painful memory for ALL Germans, in spite of their color. A Dresden Holocaust Memorial should not continue to be suppressed from the collective conscience of the Germans, because it is very legitimate to grief when there is pain.

It is undeniable that all cultures need some healthy identification with their roots and cultural background, where Siegfried and other heroes are still vivid and able to generate pride. The problem is that those traditions have become rather ‘secret’ knowledge that the German kids are no longer able to identify with a normal sense of pride, because of that the Nazis did with the archetypes. I once spoke with a young man in Berlin who appeared to head in the direction of neo-Nazi culture. He explained that because the Germans are always bedeviled by the world anyway, there was no reason for him not to become a devil. Saying to the white kids in Germany that they better ought to accept the blacks is not going to make them love blacks. The answer seems to be somewhere in between the extremes, in a way that may allow for some fresh air to circulate in the heavy-loaded environment that permeates the interracial relations in the culture.

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