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“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)

 




NEWS:

New Documentary:
"Ein Hauch von Freiheit" (Breath of Freedom)
December 16, 10:05pm CET on Arte
> more

 

Documentary:
"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
> more

 

Article:
"Freed's enduring photos of march part of exhibit"
> more

 

Article by
Sophie Lorenz:
„Heldin des anderen Amerikas“
Die DDR-Solidaritätsbewegung
für Angela Davis, 1970–1973.
> more



New Film:
"The West Point -
Vassar College Initiative"
> more



A Breath of Freedom
By Maria Höhn &
Martin Klimke
Palgrave Macmillan October 2010
> more

 

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"Why We Fight" (1942-45)

Directed by Frank Capra
United States War Department

 

"Prelude to War" (1942)




"Prelude to War," Chapter I of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, describes World War II as a battle between the "slave world" of fascism and the "free world" of American liberty. In the "slave world," the entire populations of Germany, Italy and Japan have been hoodwinked by madmen, opportunists who capitalized on their people's desperation and weakness to rise to power.

These demagogues promised revenge for past losses, and in the process convinced their people to give up their rights and accept dictatorship. In the "free world," the principles of equality, freedom, and liberty characterize the greatest leaders, embodied in the works and words of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. This freedom is a threat to the fascist dictators of the Axis powers, who claim that democracy is weak and must be eradicated.

The film claims that the ultimate goal of the Axis powers is to enslave the nations of the "free world," a desire made manifest in the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and Mussolini's destruction of Ethiopia.

Source: Internet Archive

 

"War Comes to America" (1945)




"War Comes to America," Chapter VII of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, begins by celebrating the American values of liberty and freedom that are threatened by the aggressive forces of Germany and Japan. The early years of the war are seen from the perspective of the United States, with particular focus on the reluctance of the American people to get involved in a European or Asian conflict.

As the German army rolls across Europe, Nazi organizations spring up across the United States. The film attributes the rise of such groups to Hitler's policy of softening up future targets with political sympathizers, and shows one surreal Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden, where paintings of George Washington hang alongside the swastika.

Eventually the American government realizes that war is inevitable and cranks up the production of weapons and drafts the largest army in its history. The film ends with the war's beginning for the United States, the surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

Source: Internet Archive


Other parts of the series are:

2) The Nazis Strike (1942)
> more

3) Divide and Conquer (1943)
> more

4)  The Battle of Britain (1943)
> more

5)  The Battle of Russia (1943)
> Part 1
> Part 2

6)  The Battle of China (1944)
> more




 

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