“In the closing weeks of the war in Germany, he [the black soldier] was finally given a chance to fight side by side with his white fellow Americans in the same units. […] It is to be hoped that the performance of our soldiers in Europe will move the War department to abolish the color line in the Army. There is no sense in a nation preaching democracy and spending billions of dollars and a million casualties (to date) to achieve it, and then separating its fighting men on the basis of color.”
Editorial, “Negro Soldiers in Europe,” in: The Crisis (June 1945)
"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.
This gallery of images illustrates the untold story of African-American GIs and Germany and the transnational implications of the African-American civil rights movement.
By illuminating the experience of World War II, the postwar period, as well as the emergence of the civil rights movement and black power solidarity in East and West Germany, it provides a small glimpse into the wealth of photographs that will be made available through our digital archive. For another selection of images, see our exhibition.