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A Forgotten Legacy of the Second World War: GI children in post-war Britain and Germany

  • SABINE LEE (a1)


Whether in war, occupation or peacekeeping, whenever foreign soldiers are in contact with the local population, and in particular with local women, some of these contacts are intimate. Between 1942 and 1945, US soldiers fathered more than 22,000 children in Britain, and during the first decade of post-war US presence in West Germany more than 37,000 children were fathered by American occupation soldiers. Many of these children were raised in their mothers’ families, not knowing about their biological roots and often suffering stigmatisation and discrimination. The question of how these children were treated is discussed in the context of wider social and political debates about national and individual identity. Furthermore, the effect on the children of living outside the normal boundaries of family and nation is discussed.

Que ce soit en temps de guerre, d'occupation ou de maintien de la paix, chaque fois que des soldats étrangers sont en contact avec la population locale, et en particulier avec les femmes locales, certains de ces contacts sont intimes. Entre 1942 et 1945, les GI américains ont engendré plus de 22000 enfants en Grande-Bretagne, et pendant la première décennie de la présence américaine en Allemagne de l'Ouest, après la guerre, plus de 37000 enfants ont été engendrés par des soldats de l'occupation américaine. Beaucoup de ces enfants ont été élevés dans la famille de leur mère, ne sachant rien de leurs racines biologiques et souvent souffrant de stigmatisation et de discrimination. La question de savoir comment ces enfants ont été traités est examinée dans le contexte plus large des débats sociaux et politiques sur l'identité nationale et individuelle, le rôle des enfants dans l'après-guerre. En outre, l'effet sur les enfants du fait de vivre en dehors des limites normales de la famille et la nation est discuté.

Ob in Krieg, Besatzung oder während UN Friedenssicherungsmassnahmen, wenn fremde Soldaten in Kontakt mit der lokalen Bevölkerung, und insbesondere mit einheimischen Frauen, treten, sind einige dieser Kontakte intim. Zwischen 1942 und 1945, als sich US Truppen in Großbritannien auf den Einsatz im Kampf gegen das Hitlerregime vorbereiteten, wurden dort mehr als 22000 Kinder von GIs gezeugt. Während des ersten Jahrzehnts der amerikanischen Besatzung eines Teils Westdeutschlands hinterliessen die Besatzer mehr als 37000 Kinder. Viele von ihnen wuchsen in den Familien ihrer Mütter auf, ohne ihre biologischen Wurzeln zu kennen. Oft litten sie unter Stigmatisierung und Diskriminierung. Die Frage, wie diese Kinder behandelt wurden, wird im Kontext der breiteren sozialen und politischen Debatten über nationale und individuelle Identität untersucht, die Rolle von Kindern in der Nachkriegszeit. Darüberhinaus wird beleuchtet, wie das Aufwachsen außerhalb der normalen Grenzen von Familie und Nation auch mittel- und langfristig Einfluß auf die Lebenswege der Kinder des Krieges genommen hat.



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1 George Orwell, in December 1943, commented in The Tribune that it was difficult to go anywhere in London without feeling that Britain was an ‘occupied territory’. For details of American GIs in Britain, see Reynolds, David. J., Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain 1942–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1996).

2 Breuen, William B., Operation Torch: The Allied Gamble to Invade North Africa (New York: St Martin's Press, 1985).

3 United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States. The Conferences at Washington, 1941–1942, and Casablanca, 1943 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1941–1943), also published as (last visited 25 Feb. 2010).

4 This characterisation was popularised by the British comedian Tommy Trinder. The American GIs retaliated by calling their British hosts ‘underpaid, undersexed and under Eisenhower’.

5 Holmes, Richard, Acts of War: The Behavior of Men in Battle (New York: Free Press, 1985), ch. 1.

6 Gray, J. Glenn, The Warriors. Reflections on Men in Battle, 2nd edn (New York: Bison Books, 1970), 51.

7 Gardiner, Juliet, Over Here. The GIs in Wartime Britain (London: Collins and Brown, 1992); Goedde, Petra, GIs and Germans. Culture, Gender and Foreign Relations 1945–1949 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003).

8 Modell, John and Steffey, Duane, ‘Waging War and Marriage: Military Service and Family Formation 1940–1950’, Journal of Family History, 13, 1 (1988), 195218, esp. 196–7.

9 Ministry of Information, ed., Home Front Handbook 1945 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office (hereafter HMSO), 1945; reprinted 2005); Longmate, Norman, How We Lived Then. A History of Everyday Life During the Second World War (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1971), 419–21 and 470–81.

10 Hancock, W. K. and Gowing, M. M., British War Economy (London: HMSO, 1949), 351–2, available at (last visited 28 Oct. 2010).

11 Titmuss, Richard Morris, Problems of Social Policy (London: HMSO, 1950), chapter VII, Appendix II, 543–9.

12 Summerfield, Penny, Women Workers in the Second World War (London: Routledge, 1989).

13 Ibid. See also, Summerfield, Penny, Reconstructing Women's Wartime Lives: Discourse and Subjectivity in Oral Histories of the Second World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998).

14 Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, 352.

15 Todd, Selina, Young Women, Work and Family in England, 1918–1950 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), esp. chapters 1 and 8.

16 Dawson, Sandra T., ‘Busy and Bored: The Politics of Work and Leisure for Women Workers in Second World War British Government Hostels’, Twentieth Century History, 21, 1 (2010), 2949.

17 Summerfield, Reconstructing, ch. 6.

18 FR 1635, ‘Women in Public Houses’, March 1943, and FR 1835, ‘Behaviour of Women in Public Houses’, June 1943, Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex.

19 Langhamer, Claire, Women's Leisure in England, 1920–1960 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), ch. 4.

20 Langhamer, Claire, ‘Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth Century England’, The Historical Journal, 19, 1 (1997), 146–60.

21 Rose, Sonya O., Which People's War? National Identify and Citizenship in Wartime Britain 1939–1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 71106.

22 Many children of African-American descent still use the term ‘Afro-American’ or ‘Afro-German’, and it is commonly used in the literature. However, throughout this paper, the term ‘African-American’ is used to refer to biracial children of African descent.

23 See also Reynolds, Rich Relations, ch. 14.

24 See, for example, Gilroy, Paul, There Ain't no Black in the Union Jack: the Cultural Policies of Race and Nation, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 1992).

25 Bolero Combined Committee (London), 12 Aug. 1942, CO 876/14, Commonwealth Office Records, The National Archives, London (hereafter TNA).

26 British American Liaison Board, progress report, 26 May 1944, CO 876/14, TNA. Smith, Graham, When Jim Crow Met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War II Britain (London: I. B. Tauris, 1987), 188–93.

27 The conflicts are well documented in reports of soldiers and officers. See, for example, a report on (last visited 26 Oct. 10). The personal impressions are confirmed by popular and academic studies. See Reynolds, D., ‘The Churchill Government and the Black American Troops in Britain During World War II’, Transactions of the Royal Society (Fifth Series), 35 (1985), 113–33; Thorne, Christopher G., ‘Britain and the Black G.I.s: Racial Issues and Anglo-American Relations in 1942’, in Thorne, Christopher G., ed., Border Crossings. Studies in International History (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 1988), 259–74; McGuire, Phillip, ed., Taps for a Jim Crow Army: Letters from Black Soldiers in World War II (Santa Barbara and Oxford: ABC-Clio, 1983). A brief summary on the basis of newly accessible archival sources is B. Fenton, ‘Wartime GIs Went on Rampage of Rape and Murder’, The Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2006, available at (last visited 26 Oct. 2010).

28 An interesting account of this is found in Miss P. Arnold, diary 88/3/1, Imperial War Museum.

29 Richmond, Anthony, Colour Prejudice in Britain: A Study of West Indian Workers in Liverpool 1941–1951 (London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1954), 20. See also Solomos, John, Race and Racism in Britain, 3rd edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), ch. 3.

30 Little, Kenneth L., ‘The Psychological Background of White-Coloured Contacts in Britain’, The Sociological Review, 35 (1943), 1228, here 14, 18.

31 See Rose, Which People's War, 254.

32 Smith, When Jim Crow, 203–4.

33 Reynolds, Rich Relations, 220–37.

34 Credible estimates of the number of GI-children are given in George Padmore to Walter White, 29 April 1947 and enclosed memo of 24 April, in NAACP papers, II/A, box 63I: ‘US Army-Brown Babies’.

35 Shukert, Elfrieda Berthiaume and Scibetta, Barbara Smith, War Brides of World War II (Novato: Presidio Press, 1988).

36 Immigration and Naturalisation Service: Annual Report 1949, Table 9A and Annual Report 1950, Table 9A, Suitland, MD: Washington National Records Center. See also Carrier, N. H. and Jeffrey, J. R., eds., External Migration: A Study of the Available Statistics, 1815–1950 (London: HMSO, 1953), 40ff.

37 Winfield, Pamela, Bye Bye Baby: The Story of the Children the GI's Left Behind (London: HMSO, 1992), 5367.

38 Ibid., 93–107. Kate Watson-Smyth, ‘GI Babies Abandoned During Second World War Reunite to Trace their Unknown Fathers’, The Independent, 8 July 2000; Eve-Ann Prentice, ‘No Peace for GI Babies’, The Times, 24 Dec. 2002; Plummer, Brenda Gayle, ‘Brown Babies: Race Gender and Policy after World War II’, in Plummer, Brenda Gayle, ed., Window on Freedom: Race, Civil Rights and Foreign Affairs 1945–1988 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 6792.

39 Weaver, William G., Yankee Doodle Dandy (Ann Arbor: Edwards Bros, 1958), 365.

40 Ormus Davenport, ‘US Race Prejudice Dooms 1000 British Babies’, Reynolds News, 9 Feb. 1947.

41 The term ‘brown babies’, while problematic, is used in this paper, as it is still the term used widely by the biracial children of GIs (both of African and South-American descent) themselves.

42 Holden, Katherine, The Shadow of Marriage: Singleness in England 1914–1960 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007).

43 Ann Evans in Kate Watson-Smyth, ‘GI Babies Abandoned’.

44 Harold Moody, The World's Children, March 1946, 44, cited in (last visited 27 Feb. 2010).

45 John E. Rankin, Congressional Record (House), 23 April 1947, vol.83, part 3, 3861.

46 Extract from archival record held by HF Holidays Ltd., the organisation that subsequently leased the property.

47 Information from the National Trust.

48 Records about the Home, kept at Somerset Record Office, C/CHI/23, are still closed.

49 Minutes of a meeting with the Home Secretary, 13 Dec. 1945, FO 371/51617, AN 3/3/45, Foreign Office Records, TNA.

50 ‘The Babies They Left Behind’, Life, 23 Aug. 1948, 41–43.

51 Ibid., 41.

52 Bailkin, Jordanna, ‘The Postcolonial Family: West African Children, Private Fostering and the British State’, Journal of Modern History, 81, 1 (2009), 87121, here 95.

53 Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, Adoption of Children Act, 1926, House of Commons Debates, 7 April 1927, vol. 204, c2237.

54 Hendrick, Harry, Child Welfare: Historical Dimensions, Contemporary Debate (Bristol: Policy Press, 2003), 133–70; Keating, Jenny, A Child for Keeps: the History of Adoption in England, 1918–1945 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), especially chapters 1 and 7.

55 Schooler, Jayne, Searching for a Past: The Adopted Adult's Unique Process of Finding Identity (Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1995).

56 Mochmann, Ingvill C., Lee, Sabine and Stelzl-Marx, Barbara, eds., Historical Social Research Special Focus Issue: Children Born of War: Second World War and Beyond, Historical Social Research, 34, 3 (2009).

57 Brodzinsky, David M., Schechter, Marshall D. and Henig, Robin Marantz, Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (New York: Anchor, 1992).

58 Winfield, Bye Bye Baby, 93–107.

59 Hazel Carby, in the 2006 Dean's Lecture at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, recalls her own childhood experiences as a (non-adopted) half-caste and powerfully describes the feeling of ‘otherness’ in what she refers of British racialised society. Hazel B. Carby, ‘Brown Babies: The Birth of Britain as a Racialized State, 1943–1948’, 2 Nov. 2006, (last visited 10 May 2010).

60 Robbie W. commenting on his childhood in Winfield, Bye Bye Baby, 98.

61 Memo, Hqs, ETOUSA, for Gen Eisenhower, sub: Strength of the U.S. Forces, 30 April 45, in USFET SGS 320.3/2. See also Ziemke, Earl F., The US Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944–1946, Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army (1990); the American occupation of post-war Germany has been scrutinised beyond the purely military in detail elsewhere. See, for instance, Henke, Klaus Dietmar, Die amerikanische Besatzung Deutschlands (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1995); McAllister, James, No Exit: America and the German Problem, 1943–1954 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002).

62 Starr, Joseph R., Fraternisation with the Germans in World War II, Office of the Chief Historian, US European Command, Planning for the Occupation of Germany, Occupation Forces in Europe Series, 1945–46 (Frankfurt: U.S. European Command, 1947).

63 ‘Policy, Relationship Between Allied Occupying Troops and Inhabitants of Germany’, 12 Sept. 1944, Appendix to letter from Eisenhower to Commanding Generals, National Archives of College Park (hereafter NACP), Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (hereafter SHAEF), Record Group (hereafter RG) 331, file 091–4.

64 Headquarters, Twelfth Army Group, ‘Special Orders for German-American Relations’ and accompanying letter to ‘John Jones’ (no date), File: 250.1–1, Box 12, G1 Decimal file 1944–1945, Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, RG 331 (SHAEF), NACP.

65 See (last visited 31 Jan. 2010).

66 Another example is an occupation booklet of 1945 titled ‘Don't Be a Sucker in Germany’, (last visited 06 May 2010). Distributed to troops in May 1945, this fifteen-page booklet was the 12th Army Group's basic primer for GIs as occupiers. One section on ‘Women’ included: ‘German women have been trained to seduce you. Is it worth a knife in the back?’

67 Department of State, ed., Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945, vol. 3, European Advisory Commission, Austria, Germany (Washington, DC: Department of State, 1968), 484.

68 Leo Taub, ‘History of Military Censorship in the European Theater of Operations, World War II, 1941–1945’, in Records of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, European Theater of Operations, US Army, RG 498, NACP.

69 Kleinschmidt, Johannes, ‘“German Fräuleins” – Heiraten zwischen amerikanischen Soldaten und Deutschen in der Besatzungszeit 1945–1949’, Frauen in der einen Welt, 4, 2 (1992), 4258.

70 Report by Judy Barden cited in ‘The Good (Looking) Germans’, Newsweek, 25, 28 May 1945, 64.

71 Barden, Judy, ‘Candy-Bar Romance–Women of Germany’, in Settel, Arthur, ed., This is Germany (New York: William Sloane, 1950), 161–76; Ray Tucker citied in Philip H. Bucknell, ‘Plan Reported Studied to Send Wives Abroad’, Stars and Stripes, Paris, 16 July 1945.

72 ‘Officers Oppose Fraternizing Ban’, New York Times, 25 June 1945, 2.

73 Percy Knauth, ‘Fraternisation: The Word Takes on a Brand-New Meaning in Germany’, Life, 2 July 1945, 26. On the GIs’ reputation in Europe, see ‘You Don't Know What You Want’, Time, 8 Oct. 1945, 30–1; (Serviceman's Name Withheld) to Time, 12 Nov. 1945, 6; Toni Howard, ‘The Idle GI and Liberated France are Mighty Tired of Each Other’, Newsweek, 19 Nov. 1945, 56–7.

74 The role of women in National Socialist Germany is very complex and has been subject to thorough debates. For an overview, see Herkommer, Christina, Frauen in Nationalsozialismus: Opfer oder Täterinnen? Eine Kontroverse der Frauenforschung im Spiegel feministischer Theoriebildung und der allgemeinen historischen Aufarbeitung (Munich: Meidenbauer, 2005).

75 ‘Zunahme der weiblichen Bevölkerung; Stand 29,10.1946’, Länderrat des amerikanischen Besatzungsgebietes: Memorandum über die soziale Lage in der US-Zone, Bundesarchiv Koblenz (hereafter BAK): Handakte Preller, 21, 965.

76 Starr, Fraternisation, 81–82. See also, Ann Elisabeth Pfau, Miss Your Lovin. GI, Gender and Domesticity in WWII, available at (last visited 28 Oct. 2010), ch. 3, 22ff.

77 Compare, for example, Naimark, Norman M., The Russians in Germany: A History for the Soviet Occupation Zone 1945–1949 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 69140, esp. 113–115; and Grossmann, Atina, ‘A Questions of Silence: The Rape of German Women by Occupation Soldiers’, in Moeller, Robert G., ed., West Germany Under Construction: Politics, Society and Culture in the Adenauer Era (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 3352.

78 Starr, Fraternisation, 83–4.

79 Lilly, Robert, Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe During World War II (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). See also John Willoughby, ‘The Sexual Behavior of American GIs During the Early Years of the Occupation of Germany’, Journal of Military History, 62, 1 (1998), 155–74.

80 Zink, Harold, The United States in Germany, 1944–1955 (Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1957), 137–8.

81 The figures are vague. The Statistisches Bundesamt specifies a number of 68,000 children of Allied soldiers who were born in the three Western zones and West Berlin between 1945 and 1955 (Sandra Dassler, ‘Verschwiegene Eltern’, Der Tagesspiegel, 25 Jan. 2006, 3). This is likely to be a conservative figure. More recent estimates, based on statistics compiled by Kai Grieg, which are widely regarded as reliable, assume a number closer to 96,000 children of American soldiers alone. (Kai Grieg, ‘The War Children of the World’, in War and Children Identity Project (WCIP) (Bergen, 2001), 8–9. As is now known from many personal accounts of GI-children, parents and relatives often agreed to maintain silence about the circumstances of conception and the identity of the biological father (see Winfield, Bye Bye Baby, chapters 1, 2, 5). This explains why not all children born of occupation soldiers appeared in the statistics. For details, see also BAK: B153/342, ‘Uneheliche Kinder von Besatzungsangehörigen’, 5 (no. 323).

82 See also Luise Frankenstein, Soldatenkinder: Die unehelichen Kinder ausländischer Soldaten mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Mischlinge (Munich: Wilhelm Steinbach, 1954); Waldemar Oelrich, ‘Die unehelichen Besatzungskinder der Jahrgänge 1945 bis 1954 in Baden-Württemberg’, Statistische Monatshefte Baden-Württemberg, 2 (1956), 38–9.

83 Habe, Hans, Our Love Affair with Germany (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1953), 10, cited in Goedde, GIs and Germans, 94.

84 Annete Brauerhoch, ‘Fräuleins und GIs: Besonderheiten einer historischen Situation’, ForschungsForum Paderborn, (last visited 8 Jan. 2010).

85 This has been investigated specifically for Austria in Ingrid Bauer, ‘The GI War Bride – Place Holder for the Absent? (De)constructing a Stereotype of Post-World War II Austrian History, 1945–55’, Homme: Zeitschrift fur Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft, 7, 1 (1996), 107–21.

86 Koonz, Claudia, Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, Family and Nazi Politics (London: Saint Martin's Press, 1986). See also Brauerhoch, Fräuleins.

87 Goedde, GIs and Germans, 95.

88 Exact figures of the number of marriages do not exist. Joachim Kleinschmidt estimates that between 12,000 and 13,000 couples got married and around 20,000 women emigrated as war brides. Kleinschmidt, Johannes, ‘Amerikaner und Deutsche in der Besatzungszeit – Beziehungen und Probleme’, in Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg, Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg, ed., Besatzer – Helfer – Vorbilder, Amerikanische Politik und deutscher Alltag in Württemberg-Baden 1945 bis 1949 (Baden-Württemberg: LpB, 1996), 3554. American immigration statistics confirm this order of magnitude of marriages and emigration.

89 Immigration and Naturalisation Service: Annual Report 1949, table 9A and Annual Report 1950, table 9A, Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland.

90 Buske, Sybille, Fräulein Mutter und ihr Bastard. Eine Geschichte der Unehelichkeit in Deutschland 1900–1970 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2004), 195210.

91 See relevant remarks in the files of the Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg, ‘Jugendwohlfahrt: Unterhalt für unehelich geborene Kinder von Mitgliegern ausländischer Streitkräfte’, Baden-Württembergisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart (HStAStg), EA2/008. These files refer to children of foreign soldiers, and deal specifically with the American zone of occupation until 1955.

92 Information of Väter-Aktuell. See (last visited 3 Oct. 2010).

93 ‘Occupation’, Newsweek, 16 June1947, 48. See also Goedde, GIs and Germans, 94–101.

94 König, René, Materialien zur Soziologie der Familie (Bern: Francke, 1946), 54.

95 Schelsky, Helmut, Wandlungen in der deutschen Familie der Gegenwart (Dortmund: Ardey, 1953).

96 Friederike Nadig zur rechtlichen Stellung nichtehelicher Kinder, Parlamentarischer Rat. Stenographischer Bericht (Bonn, 1949), 18 Jan. 1949, 552.

97 See Fehrenbach, Heide, Race After Hitler (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 31–9, 53–61, 80–8.

98 For details, see Pascoe, Peggy, ‘Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of “Race” in 20th Century America’, in Hodes, Martha, ed., Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 464–90; also Stouffer, Samuel, The American Soldier: Studies in Social Psychology in World War II (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), 548; For comparative perspective on Britain, see also Rose, Sonya O., ‘Girls and GIs: Race, Sex, and Diplomacy in Second World War Britain’, International History Review, 19 (1997), 146–60, here 156–7.

99 Frankenstein, Soldatenkinder, 6.

100 Simonsen, Eva, ‘Into the Open – Or Hidden Away?’, NOREUROPAforum, 16 (2006), 2550, here 40.

101 Kirchner, Walter, Eine anthroposiphische Studie an Mulattenkindern in Berlin unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der sozialien Verhältnisse (Berlin: self-publication, 1952); Sieg, Rudolf, Mischlingskinder in Westdeutschland. Festschrift für Frédéric Falkenburger (Baden-Baden: Verlag für Kunst und Wissenschaft, 1954).

102 Pommerin, Rainer, Sterilisierung der Rheinlandbastarde: das Schicksal einer farbigen Minderheit 1918–1937 (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1979).

103 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages, Stenographische Berichte, 1. Legislaturperiode, 10, 12 March 1952, 8505ff.

104 ‘What Has Become of the 94.000 Occupation Babies?’, Das Parlament, 19 Mar. 1952, cited in Inez Templeton, ‘What's so German About it? Cultural Identity in the Berlin Hip Hop Scene’, D.Phil. thesis, University of Stirling, 2005, 78.

105 Survey poll, cited in Peter H. Koepf, ‘An Unexpected Freedom’, The Atlantic Times, 1 April 2009.

106 Koepf, ‘Unexpected Freedom’.

107 For details, see Irene Dilloo's letter to Ebony, April 1960, 20.

108 The activities of Irene Dilloo are well documented in the Bundesarchiv, See BAK: B153/342 and in the Archiv des Diakonischen Werkes der Evangelischen Kirche Deutschlands (ADW), HGSt1161 and 1193.

109 See, for example, the story of Udo Ackermann, ‘I Am a Miracle’, (last visited 11 May 2010).

110 Faria, Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz de, Zwischen Fürsorge und Ausgrenzung. Afrodeutsche “Besatzungskinder” im Nachkriegsdeutschland (Berlin: Metropol, 2002).

111 Simon, Alfons, Maxi, unser Negerbub (Bremen: Eilers, 1952).

112 Brauerhoch, Annette, ‘“Mohrenkopf”. Schwarzes Kind und weiße Nachkriegsgesellschaft in TOXI’, Frauen und Film, 60 (1997), 106–30.

113 According to surveys of the Public Health Division of the military government in Germany and the Deutschen Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge 76 per cent of African-German occupation children lived with their mothers or other relatives and only 12 per cent in orphanages or other children's homes. de Faria, Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz, ‘Germany's “Brown Babies” Must be Helped! Will You?’ U.S. Adoption Plans for African-German Children, 1950–1955, Callaloo, 26, 2 (2003), 342–62, here 346.

114 Neukirchen, Christoph, Die rechtshistorische Entwicklung der Adoption (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2005).

115 Fehrenbach, Race, 149.

116 For details, see Fehrenbach, Race, 132–7 and 232, note 7.

117 Lemke de Faria, ‘Germany's Brown Babies’, 343–4.

118 See (last visited 26 Oct. 2010).

119 Stephanie Siek, ‘The Difficult Identities of Germany's Brown Babies’, Spiegel Online International, 13 Oct. 2009,,1518,651989,00.html (last visited 8 Jan. 2010).

120 ‘Mammies für die Negerlein’, Stern, 27 Aug. 1950, 29; and ‘Mammies für die Negerlein’, Stern, 2 March 1952, 8; see also Correspondence from the editors of Revue to the State Youth Welfare Office, Marktredwitz, 22 Feb. 1952, BayHStA, MInn 81096.

121 Fehrenbach, Race, 140ff.

122 Eyferth, Klaus, ‘Eine Untersuchung der Neger-Mischlingskinder in Westdeutschland’, Vita Humana, 2 (1959), 102–14.

123 Eyfferth, Klaus, Brandt, Ursula and Hawel, Wolfgang, Farbige Kinder in Deutschland. Die Situation der Mischlingskinder und die Aufgabe ihrer Eingliederung (Munich: Juventa, 1960).

124 Zahra, Tara, ‘Lost Children: Displacement, Family and Nation in Postwar Europe’, Journal of Modern History, 81, 1 (2009), 4586.

125 United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, ‘Psychological Problems of Displaced Persons’, June 1945, cited in Zahra, ‘Lost Children’, 47.

126 Ibid., 50, 56, 72.

127 Bessel, Richard and Schumann, Dirk, eds., Life after Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe during the 1940s and 1950s (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

128 Harold Moody to Aneurin Bevan, March 1946, MH55/1656, TNA.

129 Simonsen, ‘Into the Open’, 48.

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A Forgotten Legacy of the Second World War: GI children in post-war Britain and Germany

  • SABINE LEE (a1)


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