“I am happy here in Germany…I got tired of being a second class citizen. I feel like a man now, and people treat me like a man –which is more than I can say about the place where I was born.”
A black GI on his decision to stay in Germany after his tour of duty, from Negro Digest (March 1949)
"Ein Hauch von Freiheit" (Breath of Freedom)
December 16, 10:05pm CET on Arte
"Breath of Freedom: Black Soldiers and the Battle for Civil Rights" (narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
Premiers February 17, 8pm ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
"Freed's enduring photos of march part of exhibit"
„Heldin des anderen Amerikas“
für Angela Davis, 1970–1973.
The research project and digital archive is directed by:
Martin Klimke, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Martin Klimke is an associate professor of history at New York University Abu Dhabi. In addition, he is an affiliated researcher at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg and in Transatlantic Cultural History (TCH) at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His 2005 dissertation The Other Alliance: Global Protest and Student Unrest in West Germany and the U.S., 1962-1972 was awarded the prestigious Ruprecht-Karls Prize for best doctoral thesis at Heidelberg University in 2006, which was published by Princeton University Press in January 2010. Klimke has been working extensively in the area of transnational history and social movements and has published numerous articles on processes of cultural transfer and global protest networks. He is the co-editor of the publication series Protest, Culture and Society (Berghahn Books, New York/Oxford) and, among others, 1968 in Europe: A History of Protest and Activism, 1956-77 (New York/London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). From 2006-2010, he was the director and coordinator of the international Marie-Curie project European Protest Movements since 1945, which is supported by the European Commission.
Klimke's research focuses on the intersection of political and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on diplomatic and transnational history. He has published essays on the transnational dimension of the African-American civil rights movement, Black Power in Germany in the 1960/70s, and has co-edited Blacks and Germans, German Blacks: Germany and the Black Diaspora, 1450-1914 (forthcoming), which explores the changing processes of interaction and perception between people of African descent and German-speaking parts of Europe from the eleventh century to the beginning of World War I.
He is currently working on the nuclear crisis and the Cold War of the 1980s, and is writing a transnational biography of Petra Kelly, international peace activist and co-founder of the German Green Party.
Höhn and Klimke also wrote a history of the experience of African-American soldiers, activists and intellectuals in Germany in the twentieth century entitled A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).