“[A]s we see so many of our World War II veterans coming to the twilight of their years, it is especially important for us to remember, to record, remind ourselves of how much that generation did on all of our behalves.“
U.S. President Barack Obama in Dresden, Germany, after visiting the Buchenwald concentration camp on June 5, 2009
"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.
Until recently, the story of the African-American civil rights movement has been told largely within the context of American history. Only since the collapse of the Soviet Union have scholars shown how U.S. foreign policy concerns and the competition with the Soviet Union forced policy makers in Washington to support the civil rights agenda.
What receives almost no attention in this Cold War interpretation, however, is America's involvement in Europe, and the role that the expansion of the American military base system and the encounter with Germans after WWII played in the unfolding drama of the civil rights struggle. Yet, by bringing a segregated Jim Crow army to military bases outside the physical boundaries of the United States, America literally transposed its racial conflict and its actors onto foreign soil.
* movie credits: Archiv / Berliner Verlag; Archiv für Soldatenrechte, Berlin; Barbara Klemm, Frankfurt; Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin; Bundesarchiv; Institut für Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt am Main; Landesarchiv Berlin (Collection: Bert Sass, Horst Siegmann, Karl-Heinz Schubert); National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD; Ramstein Air Base Documentary & Exhibition Center, Ramstein; ullstein bild – dpa.