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  1. #351
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    Life of a Great Man and Legendary Scholar, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan (Dec. 31, 1918 – March 19, 2015)


    Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, one of the world’s most pre-eminent and prolific scholars of African history, passed away early yesterday morning in New York City at the stunning age of 97.

    It was only fitting that one of the most courageous and inspiring scholars of our time would live for nearly a century, paying personal witness to dramatic transformations in the lives of Black people across the globe. But more than anyone, Dr. Ben—as he was affectionally called by generations of his devoted followers—knew that a world transformed was not a world complete. Black people might have lifted themselves from widespread subjugation, but they still suffered and were far from the glorious civilizations in Africa about which Dr. Ben taught millions of eager charges.

    One of his many specialties was the ancient civilization of Kemet in Egypt. He was one of the first true Egyptologists, before that title had even come into vogue. Dr. Ben was always a controversial figure because he had no interest in trying to placate white scholars or writers who were threatened by his claims about Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

    Because generations of white orthodoxy had moved the Western world to accept as fact questionable scholarship about the preeminence of European rulers and thinkers, Dr. Ben was always willing to take down these Western myths, one by one.

    Dr. Ben turned 97 on New Year’s Eve and had plans to celebrate many more. But his friends took note of his diminishing appetite—though close colleagues like Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Prof. James Small were forced to go onto the Internet earlier this month to debunk rumors that he had already passed. At 3:30 am on Thursday morning, he bid his farewell.

    “He was one of last great race men of his era,” Nayaba Arinde, Amsterdam News Editor, said on the Amsterdam News website. “He was a master teacher who just wanted to share our amazing African history. He was a man of the people. He was always amongst us, educating, and sharing. Sitting with him was a gift of tremendous proportions. He was loved, and he loved his people.”

    He was like a library of African history onto himself, as if a wing of one of the world’s great research institutions had been poured into one brain and become ambulatory.

    For those in the New York tri-state area in the 1970s and 1980s, he was a familiar presence and voice from his frequent appearances on Gil Noble’s weekly Black-focused television show “Like It Is” and on the Afrocentric radio station WLIB. It was an important time for him to spread his teachings about the glory of ancient African civilizations—coming out of the tumult of the Civil Rights Movement and the uplifting of the Black Power Movement, young Black people were eager to soak up his words, to extend their communion with their past far beyond the enraging lessons of slavery.

    He often worked together with another legendary scholar, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, who died in 1998.

    During his immense life, Dr. Ben journeyed from his birth in Ethiopia, to a Puerto Rican mother and an Ethiopian father, studying in institutions ranging from Puerto Rico to Cuba to Brazil to Spain. After earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Havana, Cuba and then doctoral degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Moorish History from the University of Havana and the University of Barcelona, Spain.

    He taught many years at such institutions as City College in New York City and Cornell University.

    His authorship extended to 49 books, many focusing on Egypt and the civilizations of the Nile Valley.

    In 2002, Dr. Ben—who lived in Harlem his later years—donated to the Nation of Islam his personal library of more than 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and ancient scrolls.

    “Of all our greats, Dr. Ben physically took tens of thousands of scholars, activists, students and associations to the Nile Valley to make the pages of his book more authentic,” said his colleague, Reggie Mabry. “We saw our own experiences of what he wrote… For that the Black world is indebted to this Black man of the Nile and his family.”

    look him up on utube
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

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  2. #352
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    Born in Jefferson City, Tennessee on March 2, 1957, Mark Dean found that success ran in his bloodlines. His grandfather was a high school principal and his father worked as a supervisor for the Tennessee Valley Authority Dam. A bright and energetic child, he often endured questions from grade school classmates, asking if he was really Black because Black people were not supposed to be that smart. Mark was an outstanding high school athlete as well as a straight A student. His success continued in college as he graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1979.
    In 1980, Dean was invited to join IBM as an engineer. Despite his new position, he continued his education and received a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University in 1982. In his capacity as an engineer for IBM, he didn’t take long to make a big impact, serving as the chief engineer for the team that developed the IBM PC/AT, the original home/office computer. Along with his colleague Dennis Moeller, he developed the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) systems bus, a component that allowed multiple peripheral devices such as a modems and printers to be connected to a PC, thus making the PC a practical and affordable component of the home or small business office. Dean would own three of the original nine patents that all PCs are based upon. Dean followed up with PS/2 Models 70 or 80, and the Color Graphics Adapter (which allowed for color display on the PC).

    Despite his enormous success, Dean realized that there was more to learn and more than he could achieve, so he entered Stanford University and in 1992 received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Five years later he was named as the director of the Austin Research Laboratory and director of Advanced Technology Development for the IBM Enterprise Server Group. Under his leadership, in 1999 his team made several significant breakthroughs including the testing of the first gigahertz CMOS microprocessor. With this great success he was named the vice president for Systems Research at IBM’s Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, then as a vice president in IBM’s Storage Technology Group, focused on the company’s storage systems strategy and technology roadmap. He was later named vice president for hardware and systems architecture in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group (STG) in Tucson, Arizona and finally the vice president of the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.

    In addition to the prestigious titles with their inherent responsibilities, Dr. Dean was named an IBM fellow, the highest technical honor awarded by the company (only 50 of IBM’s 310,000 employees are IBM Fellows and he was the first Black person so honored). In 1997, along with his friend Dennis Moeller, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (with Hall membership at around 150) and in 2001 was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineers. With more than 40 patents or patents pending, Dr. Dean is poised to continue his far reaching impact on the world of science and the home and workplace.






    Dr. Mark Dean, the Black Inventor Responsible for the Modern PC


    Mark Dean (March 2, 1957) started his career at IBM as a engineer working on the very first personal computers in the 1980s. Dean should be as famous as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak for his outstanding contributions to the modern day PC, laptop and other devices.

    In 1979, he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Tennessee and went on to work for IBM. Dean also earned an electrical engineering degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1982 and a doctorate in the field from Stanford University in 1992.

    More Efficient and Productive PC

    In 1981, during his early years at IBM, Dean and a colleague created the ISA Bus, which was intended to make PCs more useful in office and business settings. Printers, scanners, monitors, and disk drivers were now able to be connected directly to the computers themselves. The picture above shows what the first ISA Bus looked like.


    Dean Holds 20 Patents

    Dean spent his entire career working at IBM. In fact, his work was so revolutionary that he holds three of the computer company’s first nine patents to inventions on which all PCs are based. For example, he worked on the early Color Graphics Adapter that allowed monitors to display color. In the entirety of his career, Dean holds 20 patents for his various inventions and most of those come from IBM inventions.

    Smart Computers

    In 1999, Dean led a team of programmers to develop one of the stepping stones of modern day computer technology— the first gigahertz chip. The CMOS microprocessor chip is remarkable because it processed a billion calculations and large amounts of data in a second. The photo above shows Dean holding the chip.


    IBM Leader

    With all of his success on the PC, IBM tapped Dean to become Vice President of Performance for the RS/6000 Division in 1997. In his new role, he acted as an idea man, coming up with new products that would change how technology affected everyday life. One of his ideas was for the electronic tablet. Two years later, he became the director of IBM’s Austin Research Lab, where he developed the gigahertz chip. In the late 90s and 2000s, he served as vice president in several IBM departments.


    Legacy

    In 1996, Dean was named an IBM Fellow, making him the only Black employee of the company to achieve the honor. For his incredible achievements, he also was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and awarded the the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award in 1997. In 2001, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineers (NAE).
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

    satire protected speech soo more fiyah

  3. #353
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    ents/in Inventors, Male Inventors, Others /by Gaius Chamberlain

    George Crum - blackinventor.comGeorge Crum was born as George Speck in 1822 in Saratoga Lake, New York, the son of a Huron Native-American mother and an African-American father who worked as a jockey. He worked for a while as a mountain guide and trapper in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

    In 1853 he became the head chef at the Cary Moon’s Lake House in Lake Saratoga, New York and on one evening set out preparing the evening dinner for the guests. He intended to make french fries but a guest complained that they were too thick. Annoyed, he prepared another batch and sliced the potatoes extremely thin. After deep frying them in oil he found them very thin and very crisp and after adding salt found that the guests loved them. George began preparing the potatoes this way and they would soon become known as potato chips.
    In 1860 George decided to open his own restaurant on Malta Avenue in Saratoga Lake. He featured potato chips as appetizers on each table. The restaurant was very successful and operated for 30 years, closing in 1890. Unfortunately, he never patented the potato chip, nor sought to market them outside of his restaurant. A few years after he retired, however, potato chips were mass marketed by others and would eventually become a six billion dollar a year industry.

    George Crum died in 1904 at the age of 92 and left behind the legacy of creating the greatest snack food of all time.
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

    satire protected speech soo more fiyah

  4. #354
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    pharmacologist, Professor Manley West, and ophthalmologist, Dr Albert Lockhart



    Canasol, a ganja-based eye-drop for glaucoma treatment

    Canasol was developed through the hard work and scientific research of two notable Jamaicans: pharmacologist, Professor Manley West, and ophthalmologist, Dr Albert Lockhart. It was an important breakthrough drug as it was the first glaucoma eye medication in the Caribbean to be developed at UWI, Mona, and it does not induce the negative side effects that similar synthetic drugs are known for.

    Professor West remembers being told by country folk that washing their eyes in ganja water made them see better, and fishermen claimed that drinking ganja tea improved their vision, particularly at night. Meanwhile, Dr. Lockhart noted that his Rastafarian patients who used ganja, had few incidences of glaucoma. From these observations, the two men became interested in working with ganja in order to discover its potential medical benefits. Ten years later, Canasol was the result.
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

    satire protected speech soo more fiyah

  5. #355
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    Jamaican scientist lands blow in cancer fight


    A Jamaican scientist is being celebrated on the international stage for finding an effective treatment for some types of cancer.

    Dr Lawrence Williams, a research scientist at the Scientific Research Council (SRC), has been awarded an international patent on a compound isolated from the Guinea Hen Weed as a protein complex of dibenzyl trisulphide.

    The SRC said the protein complex has the ability to kill a wide range of cancers.

    The Jamaican's discovery has the potential to fight various kinds of cancers, a few of which are: melanoma, lung cancer and breast cancer. The molecule also has implications for the treatment of ageing diseases.

    The SRC noted that, with more than 13 years dedicated to this research, Williams has revealed that the complex is superior in killing cancer cells relative to the pure compound found in the Guinea Hen Weed-dibenzyl trisulphide.

    "This remarkable breakthrough comes at a time when the world is crippled by the effects of cancer, as it is one of the leading killers globally," the SRC asserted.

    The SRC said it joined the remainder of the international medical fraternity in celebrating the scientific breakthrough.

    "This is good news for Jamaica, given its ability to contribute to health, longevity and as a major foreign exchange earner. Williams' discovery could change the face of medicine as we now know it," the SRC declared.

    Williams said that the next stage is conducting clinical trials of the compound and the development of a pharmaceutical agent.

    The SRC, one of Jamaica's chief proponents of scientific research and development, commended its team member on his "outstanding contribution to science".

    Rights to the patent are shared with Dr George Levy, a Jamaica-born medical doctor living in the United States.
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

    satire protected speech soo more fiyah

  6. #356
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    Hitler's Holocaust blueprint: A new book reveals how the Kaiser's Germany used concentration camps in Africa to advance their theories of racial supremacy

    By Michael Williams



    At the new seafront restaurant overlooking the bay in the tiny resort of Luderitz on the coast of Namibia, tourists are invited to sit out on the balcony, where they can dine on the finest South Atlantic seafood accompanied by vintage South African wines as they take in the views over neighbouring Shark Island.

    But little do they know the horrific truth about that view, which the tourist guidebooks describe as 'stunning'. Shark Island, with its picturesque setting, was the site of the world's first death camp - the German invention that culminated in the Holocaust of World War II, the greatest mass crime of the 20th century.

    Three-and-a-half thousand innocent Africans were liquidated here at the hands of the Germans, decades before the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, with the tacit sanction of the German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and his ministers.

    As modern diners tuck into lobster and oysters, washed down with chilled Chenin blanc, just yards away beneath the waters lie the bones and rusting iron manacles of the Germans' victims.

    Shark Island is not Namibia's only gruesome secret. Thousands more bodies are piled in a mass grave under the railway station in the capital Windhoek and more still are piled into a burial pit under the national museum.

    The story of the German extermination of the Herero and Nama peoples has been expunged from the history books - and the tourists and scuba divers on the Shark Bay waterfront will find no mention of it in their guides.

    But now a new book, The Kaiser's Holocaust, by David Olusoga and Casper W. Erichsen, lifts the veil on a horrific and little-known episode of history.

    More chilling still, the book raises another awful prospect. That the Nazi crimes of World War II were not an aberration, as some have claimed, but emerged from a tradition deeply embedded in the heart of German culture, with its warped beliefs about racial superiority, going back into the 19th century.

    Hitler hadn't been born when the German flag was raised in 1883 on the coast of South-West Africa (as Namibia was then known) - the first conquest of Germany's African empire.

    Significantly, the first Imperial Commissioner was Heinrich Goering, father of Herman Goering, later Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe and the most powerful Nazi after the Fuhrer.

    Hitler hadn't been born when the German flag was raised in 1883 on the coast of South-West Africa (as Namibia was then known) - the first conquest of Germany's African empire.

    Significantly, the first Imperial Commissioner was Heinrich Goering, father of Herman Goering, later Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe and the most powerful Nazi after the Fuhrer.

    Until then colonisers had thought Namibia a forbidding place, whose treacherous and fog-bound Skeleton Coast had deterred all but the most intrepid explorers.

    But hidden from the gaze of Europeans was a land of enormous beauty - a realm of tall grasses, hot springs and waterholes, where an array of tribes prospered by tending their long-horned cattle and hunting the herds of springbok and wildebeest that roamed the land.

    Contrary to the German belief, the indigenous Herero and Nama people were not savages. The Herero had a sophisticated culture, having occupied their ancient lands for centuries, while the Nama - the mixed-race offspring of early Dutch settlers - were ferocious warriors as well as Christians.

    Both were more than a match for Goering - an overweight provincial judge with a fondness for dressing up in military uniforms - who fled the colony, his nerves shattered by their relentless insurrections.

    However, Goering had already planted the seeds of an experiment that would ultimately lead to their genocide. German South-West Africa was to become a testbed for Lebensraum - the twisted policy of expansion that was to form the heart of Hitler's ideology.

    The ideas were developed in the 1870s by a writer, Friedrich Ratzel, who distorted Darwin's theory of evolution to argue that migration was essential for the long-term survival of a race. To stop migrating, so the theory went, was to stop advancing and risk being overtaken by other races better fitted for survival.

    What better solution for the Germans living in the crowded cities of the Rhineland than to create a new Germany on African soil? And it was easy to justify the elimination of the local Africans because they were an 'inferior race'.

    However, the Herero and the Nama did not prove quite as 'inferior' as the German occupiers thought. For years they stubbornly resisted being driven off their lands into the desert to die, despite huge loss of life at the hands of the Schutztruppe (colonial army) and their 'cleansing patrols'.

    But by 1905 the survivors were weary and weakened. The final straw came when the Kaiser issued an imperial decree expropriating the African lands.

    Most of the Africans surrendered and were rounded up into concentration camps to build the colony's new railways - gruelling work where men were routinely beaten and women workers systematically raped. on one section of the line, two-thirds of the prisoners died in 18 months.

    But a sinister new idea was forming in the evil minds of the governors of German South-West Africa. An 'anthropologist' was commissioned to investigate the prisoners, who reported that it was of 'vital importance' for the success of the German colonial project that those races deemed 'unfit for labour' should be allowed to disappear. 'The struggle for our own existence' depends on it, he warned.

    And so the first Holocaust was born. Shark Island - a bleak rocky islet in the harbour outside Luderitz - would become the world's first death camp and the most feared place on earth for all the black peoples of South-West Africa.

    It inspired such terror that on being told he was to be sent there one Herero prisoner fell to the ground bleeding profusely, having drilled his fingers into his neck in a desperate attempt to commit suicide.

    Even by the standards of brutality administered by the Germans up to now, what happened inside Shark Island was appalling beyond belief.

    A missionary who was one of the first to enter the camp was shocked by what he saw: 'A woman who was so weak from illness that she could not stand, crawled to some of the other prisoners to beg for water. The overseer fired five shots at her. Two shots hit her: one in the thigh, the other smashing her forearm.'

    Another observer tells of the abuse of prisoners forced to carry heavy loads from boats on the shore: 'on one occasion, I saw a woman carrying a child of under a year old slung on her back and with a heavy sack of grain on her head.

    'The sand was very steep and the sun was baking. She fell down on her face and the heavy sack fell partly across her and partly across the baby. A corporal hit her with a leather whip for more than four minutes, and whipped the baby as well.'

    The most important witness to the atrocities of Shark Island was the newly invented Kodak roll-film camera, which was used by wealthier German officers to take home 'mementoes' of their time there. one surviving snap shows a boy aged about five, his stomach bloated from malnutrition, his only clothing a torn sleeveless vest. In another, an officer poses among the prisoners.

    Wearing his military tunic, he stands rigid and poised, walking cane in hand, a group of ragged and frightened African women at his feet.

    Many of these photographs of prisoners being mistreated and humiliated were turned into postcards to send back home, often captioned with sardonic comments.

    The rape and sexual exploitation of women was not just commonplace but celebrated, and many semi-pornographic images, too, were made into postcards to be posted back to Berlin, Hamburg or Munich.

    Unsurprisingly, the inmates started to die in large numbers. Food was so scarce that, according to a witness, when rations were distributed, ' prisoners fought like wild animals and killed each other to secure a share'. Others scavenged at the water's edge searching for limpets, sea urchins or anything else edible.

    Those who were not left to die were worked to death, being compelled to carry large stones across the island and drag them into the freezing waters of the bay. They were forced to stand knee-high in the icy sea until they had to be pulled out and their limbs massaged back to life.

    After two years, the camp was forced to close - 70 per cent of its inhabitants were dead, and of those still alive a third were so sick the camp commander believed 'they were likely to die in the near future'.

    But this wasn't before the prisoners had become a resource exploited in the name of medical and racial science in terrible anticipation of the atrocities of the Third Reich.

    In one of the local concentration camps, at a place called Swakopmund, women were forced to boil the severed heads of their own people, and scrape the flesh, sinews and ligaments off the skull with shards of broken glass. The victims may have been people they had known or even relatives. The skulls were packed into crates and sent off to museums and universities in Germany.

    Most notorious of all was the Shark Island camp physician, Dr Bofinger. He carefully decapitated the bodies of 17 prisoners, including a one-year-old girl. After breaking open the skulls he removed and weighed the brains before placing each head in preserving alcohol and sealing them in tins for export to the University of Berlin.

    There they were used in experiments to prove the similarity between the Nama people and anthropoid apes in a terrible prefiguring of the darkest race experiments of Josef Mengele, the Nazi 'Angel of Death', who similarly sent body parts from Auschwitz back to Berlin.

    Other experiments were conducted on live prisoners. In a spurious bid to determine whether scurvy - an illness caused by poor nutrition - was contagious, Bofinger injected prisoners with arsenic and opium, 'opening up the bodies' after they had died. No wonder it was said that anyone who went into Dr Bofinger's field hospital 'would not come out alive'.

    In 1914, World War I broke out and the following year the South African Army seized the colony which had been such a crucible for evil. Germany's African empire had ended and, after the war, Namibia became a South African mandate, finally achieving independence in 1990.

    But Germany's obsession with eugenics did not end in 1915. A few decades later, the people and ideas that drove this merciless colonial experiment would play a vital role in the formation of the Nazis.

    Like his father more than half a century before, Reichsmarschall Herman Goering dreamed of a German expansion in which the weaker people of the earth were destined to fall prey to the stronger.

    But there is an even more direct and sinister link between the rise of Nazis and Namibia. One of the veterans of the genocide was a Bavarian senior lieutenant called Franz Xavier von Epp, who spent his life propagating the notion that the German people needed to expand their territory at the expense of 'lower races'.

    In 1922, by then a general, he recruited the young Adolf Hitler into a Right-wing militia in Munich and introduced the future Fuhrer to the elite who would one day control the Nazis.

    One of them was Von Epp's deputy - Ernst Rohm, founder of the notorious Nazi stormtroopers. Through the connection to Von Epp and other old soldiers of the African colonies, Hitler and Rohm were able to procure a consignment of surplus colonial Schutztruppe uniforms.

    Designed for warfare on the savannah of Africa, the shirts were golden brown. The Nazi thugs who wore them were thenceforth known famously as the Brown Shirts. It's no wonder that in countless pictures and propaganda films, Hitler and Von Epp stand side by side.

    Not long ago, Germany' s Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul travelled to Namibia to ask for forgiveness, using the term 'genocide' to describe the German treatment of the Herero and Nama.

    A decent gesture, you might think. But her act was not well-received at home and condemned in the German Press. And she made not a single mention of the existence of the Namibian death camps.

    More than a century on, the terrible events that took place at Shark Island, and their link to the rise of the Nazis, remain a sordid secret that modern Germany, it seems, still cannot bring itself to acknowledge.

    The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide And The Colonial Roots Of Nazism by David Olusaga and Caspar W. Erichsen (Faber, £20).

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-theories.html
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

    satire protected speech soo more fiyah

  7. #357
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    Concentration camps were used by the Germans in South West Africa
    Posted: Friday, November 16, 2001

    By Casper W Erichsen

    In a recent M-Net documentary, Scorched Earth, an array of historians described how the deplorable and inhumane conditions in concentration camps accounted for the deaths of 27 297 Boers, as well as an estimated 20 000 black casualties.
    The programme marked the centenary of the use of concentration camps in South Africa.

    The ripples of the outcry that followed Emily Hobhouse's exposure of these British war atrocities are still felt today, as illustrated by the very emotional tone of the M-Net programme.

    These emotions stand in stark contrast to the largely forgotten history of Namibia's equally sinister history of concentration camps.

    There were five concentration camps in all in Namibia, then German South West Africa, between 1904 and 1908. They were called Konzentrationslagern in reports and succeeded South African camps by two years.

    The anti-colonial struggles of 1904 to 1908 were characterised by two major uprisings: the Herero uprising in northern and central Namibia and the Nama uprising in the south.

    In January 1904 war broke out between the Herero nation and the German colonial administration in Namibia. The colonists were caught by surprise and suffered many defeats in the early stages of the sporadic and uncoordinated war.

    After about six months the picture changed. The battle at the Waterberg, in the north-east, on August 11 1904, marked the beginning of the end for the Herero, who fled in their thousands into the Omaheke sandveld, perishing in high numbers.

    The Herero nation was literally uprooted as an entire people spread across the Kalahari, trying to flee German punitive patrols. Those who did not reach Bechuanaland, now Botswana, either succumbed to the desert or were picked up by German patrols and put in concentration camps.

    In 1904 camps had been set up in Windhoek, Okahandja and at the coastal town of Swakopmund. In 1905 two new camps were opened in Karibib and Lüderitz.

    In terms of mortality statistics, the Namibian camps were horrific. An official report on the camps in 1908 described the mortality rate as 45,2% of all prisoners held in the five camps.

    The prisoners were typically fenced in, either by thorn-bush fences or by barbed wire. As the word concentration implies, thousands of people were crammed into small areas. The Windhoek camp held about 5 000 prisoners of war in 1906.

    Rations were minimal, consisting of a daily allowance of a handful of uncooked rice, some salt and water. Rice was an unfamiliar foodstuff to most, and the uncommon diet was the cause of many deaths.

    Disease was uncontrolled. An almost total lack of medical attention, unhygienic living quarters, insufficient clothing and a high concentration of people meant that diseases such as typhoid spread rapidly.

    Beatings and maltreatment were also part of life in the camps - the sjambok was often swung over the backs of prisoners who were forced to work.

    The concentration camp on Shark Island, in the coastal town of Lüderitz, was the worst of the five Namibian camps. Lüderitz lies in southern Namibia, flanked by desert and ocean. In the harbour lies Shark Island, which then was connected to the mainland only by a small causeway.

    The island is now, as it was then, barren and characterised by solid rock carved into surreal formations by the hard ocean winds. The camp was placed on the far tip of the relatively small island, where the prisoners would have suffered complete exposure to the gale-force winds that sweep Lüderitz for most of the year.

    The first prisoners to arrive were, according to a missionary called Kuhlman, 487 Herero ordered to work on the railway between Lüderitz and Kubub.

    The island soon took its toll: in October 1905 Kuhlman reported the appalling conditions and high death rate among the Herero on the island.

    Throughout 1906 the island had a steady inflow of prisoners, with 1 790 Nama prisoners arriving on September 9 alone.

    In the annual report for Lüderitz in 1906, an unknown clerk remarked that "the Angel of Death" had come to Shark Island. German Commander Von Estorff wrote in a report that approximately 1 700 prisoners had died by April 1907, 1 203 of them Nama. In December 1906, four months after their arrival, 291 Nama died (a rate of more than nine people a day). Missionary reports put the death rate at between 12 and 18 a day.

    As much as 80% of the prisoners sent to the Shark Island concentration camp never left the island.

    Fred Cornell, a British aspirant diamond prospector, was in Lüderitz when the Shark Island camp was being used. Cornell wrote of the camp: "Cold - for the nights are often bitterly cold there - hunger, thirst, exposure, disease and madness claimed scores of victims every day, and cartloads of their bodies were every day carted over to the back beach, buried in a few inches of sand at low tide, and as the tide came in the bodies went out, food for the sharks."

    During the war a number of people from the Cape, strapped for money, sought employment as transport riders for German troops in Namibia.

    Upon their return to the Cape some of these people recounted their stories, causing debate in the local media. On September 28 1905 an article appeared in the Cape Argus, with the heading: "In German S. W. Africa: Further Startling Allegations: Horrible Cruelty".

    In the article, Percival Griffith, "an accountant of profession, who owing to hard times, took up on transport work at Angra Pequena [Lüderitz]", related his experiences.

    "There are hundreds of them, mostly women and children and a few old men ... when they fall they are sjamboked by the soldiers in charge of the gang, with full force, until they get up ... On one occasion I saw a woman carrying a child of under a year old slung at her back, and with a heavy sack of grain on her head ... she fell.

    "The corporal sjamboked her for certainly more than four minutes and sjamboked the baby as well ... the woman struggled slowly to her feet, and went on with her load. She did not utter a sound the whole time, but the baby cried very hard."

    These atrocities did not go unnoticed by the Germans, who wrote reports, articles and letters about the camps. Shark Island came up in a German Parliament debate in 1906, when the Social Democrats demanded to know what was going on there.

    It seems, however, that generations since then have tried hard to forget this history.

    The South African camps have memorials and written histories, the Namibian camps do not. On the site where Shark Island once lay now lies a caravan park. Even worse, at the entrance of the park is a monument to the German soldiers who died between 1905 and 1908 - a monument to the victor and not the victim.

    The centenary of the 1904 war is just around the corner; perhaps Namibians will take the opportunity to reflect, not so much on what is remembered but rather on what is not.

    -- The Mail&Guardian, August 23, 2001.
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

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    The world's first Extermination Camp was Shark Island, German South West Africa

    THE FIRST VICTIMS OF CONCENTRATION CAMPS WERE BLACK AFRICANS



    The objective of the policy of German South West Africa Governor Theodor von Leutwein was not to destroy the indigenous populations (Herero, Nama, Damara) in order to seize their land to encourage settlement of German farmers; nor was it to seize or kill the cattle. Leutwein's objective was not genocide, and he was wise enough to realize that the indigenous population could be used as a labor supply. However, such Flavian tactics (Fabius Maximus, opposing Hannibal) left Leutwein open to attack at home, with a public who wanted the instant gratification of a decisive defeat of the indigenous peoples of German South West Africa. (This was the same problem Fabius Maximus had with the Roman public, who wanted him to quickly defeat Hannibal.) As a consequence, Leutwein was pushed aside by Kaiser Wilhelm II and replaced by Lothar von Trotha, already known for his brutality in China as well as German East Africa. The result was the genocide of the indigenous population, the economic ruin of German South West Africa, and the eventual loss of the German colonial empire.1, 2

    As a consequence of this failed, brutal policy, Trotha was forced to leave German South West Africa and replaced by Friedrich von Lindequist, who completed the genocide with the use of extermination camps and concentration camps. In order for this policy to be acceptable at home, propaganda was employed. The claim was made that the 'barbaric' indigenous population wished to murder defenseless women and children. In fact, only four German women were killed, and one German child.

    Shark Island Extermination Camp is regarded as the world's first extermination camp (Vernichtungslager). Three thousand Herero and Namaqua rebels in the German-Herero conflict of 1904-1908 died there. While one of the first known uses of the concentration camp was in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1896 (by General Valeriano "Butcher" Weyler, followed by the British during the Second Boer War,3, 4, Shark Island was the first "camp" created with the explicit purpose of extermination, rather than being solely for containment. Since the extermination at Shark Island was restricted to specific peoples, it was the first recorded effort to exterminate a race or a people; thus constituting genocide or or ethnic cleansing.

    Arrival at Shark Island

    Just as with the extermination and concentration camps during the Third Reich, unsuspecting victims were transported by train or on foot from collection camps or other concentration camps to Shark Island Death Camp. The less lucky (such as those who were sick or starving) were shot before they got to Shark Island.5

    The weather was typically ice-cold gale force winds. The prisoners (men, women and children) usually had no or very few blankets, little food (they were provided with rice but had no prior familiarity with rice, nor did they have the required cooking utensils), families were split apart. Violence from German schutztruppers (protectorate army) wielding sjamboks (whips) was common, as was rape.6, 7
    Conditions at Shark Island

    One should bear in mind that, as previously noted (see the table of concentration camps at German South West Africa), indigenous people were interned by the German colonial government, in a number of other concentration camps, collection camps and work camps:
    "There were numerous smaller and lesser concentration camps in the colony. Some pertained to private businesses such as the Woermann company [active in other German colonies such as German Togoland, German Kamaruun, and German South Pacific colonies] and others to government related projects such as railway construction, which saw several thousands of Herero 'accommodated' in 'Railway Concentration Labour Camps'."8
    .
    "Hereros working in Swakopmund had been rounded up and interned on two Woermann line ‘steamers’ anchored off the coastal town’s shores."9
    .
    "Firma Lenz used slave labor to build railway embankments."10
    .
    "The Arthur Koppel Company constructed the Otavi railroad."11
    .
    "Etappenkommando in charge of supplies of prisoners to companies, private persons, etc., as well as any other materials. Concentration camps implies poor sanitation and a population density that would imply disease."12
    .
    Prisoners were used as slave laborers in mines and railways, for use by the military or settlers:
    .
    "The loads … are out of all proportion to their strength. I have often seen women and children dropping down, especially when engaged on this work, and also when carrying very heavy bags of grain, weighing from 100 to 160lbs."14
    .
    "The unfortunate [POW] women are daily compelled to carry heavy iron for construction work, also big stacks of compressed fodder. I have often noticed cases where women have fallen under the load and have been made to go on by being thrashed and kicked by the soldiers and conductors. The rations supplied to the women are insufficient and they are made to cook the food themselves. They are always hungry, and we, labourers from the Cape Colony, have frequently thrown food into their camp. The women in many cases are not properly clothed. It is a common thing to see women going about in public almost naked. Have also noticed that - old women are also made to work and are constantly kicked and thrashed by soldiers. This treatment is meted out in the presence of the German officers, and I have never noticed any officers interfering."15
    .
    "I have seen women and children with my own eyes at Angra Pequena, dying of starvation and overwork, nothing but skin and bone, getting flogged every time they fell under the heavy loads. I have seen them picking up bits of bread and refuse food thrown away outside our tents (…) … most of the prisoners, who compose the working gangs at Angra Pequena, are sent up from Swakopmund. There are hundreds of them, mostly women and children and a few old men… When they fall they are sjamboked by the soldier in charge of the gang, with his full force, until they get up. Across the face was the favourite place for the sjamboking and I have often seen the blood flowing down the faces of the women and children and from their bodies, from the cuts of the weapon. (…) The women had to carry the corpses and dig the hole into which they were placed. They had no burial ceremony of any kind … The corpse would be wrapped in a blanket and carried on a rough stretcher … I have never heard one cry, even when their flesh was being cut to pieces with the sjambok. All feeling seemed to have gone out of them (…)"16
    .
    "I left Cape Town during the year 1906, and signed on with the Protectorate troops in South West Africa. I arrived at Luderitzbrucht, and after staying there a few minutes I perceived nearly 500 native women lying on the beach, all bearing indications of being slowly starved to death. Every morning and towards evening four women carried a stretcher containing about four or five corpses, and they had also to dig the graves and bury them. I then started to trek to Kubub and Aus, and on the road I discovered bodies of native women lying between stones and devoured by birds of prey. Some bore signs of having been beaten to death … If a prisoner were found outside the Herero prisoners’ camp, he would be brought before the Lieutenant and flogged with a sjambok. Fifty lashes were generally imposed. The manner in which the flogging was carried out was the most cruel imaginable … . Pieces of flesh would fly from the victim’s body into the air …"17
    .
    "Forcing women to pull carts as if they were animals was in tune with the treatment generally meted out to Herero prisoners in Luderitz as elsewhere in the colony. Missionary Vedder in Swakopmund noted that overall, prisoners were regarded no better than animals. He said: ‘Like cattle hundreds were driven to their death and like cattle they were buried.’"18
    Medical Experimentation

    The skulls of prisoners were harvested to be used as part of the medical experimentation program to prove that the indigenous peoples of German South West Africa were of an inferior race. These skulls were studied by such people as Eugen Fischer (see F. Birkner and H. von Eggeling19, and Dr. Bofinger.
    Exposing Shark Island Extermination Camp

    In August 1912, before the First World War, a British foreign office official commented:
    In view of the cruelty, treachery [and] commercialism by which the German colonial authorities have gradually reduced their natives to the status of cattle (without so much of a flutter being caused among English peace loving philanthropists) the [Portuguese] S. Thome agitation in its later phases against a weak [and] silly nation without resources is the more sickening. These Hereros were butchered by thousands during the war & have been ruthlessly flogged into subservience since.20

    The Report on the natives of South-West Africa and their treatment by Germany. Administrator's Office, Windhuk [sic], London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1918 is known as "The Blue Book". It was removed from sale in 1926 and destroyed.

    "A number of eyewitness accounts do exist and some victim accounts are found in the Blue Book, which recorded accounts of the atrocities committed during the Herero war. Since the British produced the Blue Book during World War I reservations about its objectivity remain. However, the sentiments contained in the 1918 Report were already present in a British report of 1909, which stated:
    "The great aim of German policy in German South West Africa, as regards the native, is to reduce him to a state of serfdom, and, where he resists, to destroy him altogether. The native, to the German, is a baboon and nothing more. The war against the Hereros, conducted by General Von Trotha, was one of extermination; hundreds -- men, women and children -- were driven into desert country, where death from thirst was their end; whose [sic] left over are now in great locations near Windhuk [sic] where they eke out a miserable existence; labour is forced upon them and naturally is unwillingly performed.21

    "The Blue Book was the first investigation into the genocide. As Rhoda Howard-Hassmann points out, 'Germany committed genocide in South-West Africa with an impunity broken only by a British inquiry after the former country's defeat in World War I. So keen were the German settlers to suppress evidence of the genocide that they attempted to have the Blue Book banned as post-war British propaganda. The all-white legislative assembly adopted a motion to destroy all copies of it. Its distribution was prohibited and library copies were removed and destroyed. In the rest of the British Empire, the Blue Book was also removed from libraries and sent to the Foreign Office.'"22
    1 Jeremy Sarkin, "Germany's Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers", James Currey, 2011
    .
    2 Casper Erichsen, "The angel of death has descended violently among them," African Studies Centre, Leiden, 2005
    .
    3 Aline Helg, "Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cubal Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912", The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1995, pp. 85-86
    .
    4 Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., "Smoked Yankees and the Struggle for Empire: Letters from Negro Soldiers 1898-1902", University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1987, p. 239
    .
    5 Casper Erichsen, "The angel of death has descended violently among them: Concentration camps and prisoners-of-war in Namibia, 1904-1908," African Studies Centre, Leiden, 2005
    .
    6 It has been reported that the sjamboks tore off pieces of flesh. See photographs of Maria in Plate 4 (facing p. 174) and Auma, Plate 5 (facing p. 175), in the British Blue Book of 1918. This punishment was so common in German Kamerun that the country was referred to as "the 25 Country" because 25 strokes with the sjambok could kill the victim.
    .
    7 Beatings with the sjambok and other forms of abuse were common. See the testimony of Joseph Witbooi, quoted from the British Blue Book, in Casper W. Erichsen, "The angel of death has descended violently among them: Concentration camps and prisoners-of-war in Namibia, 1904-08", African Studies Centre Research Report 79/2005, p. 121-122
    .
    8 Casper Erichsen, "The angel of death has descended violently among them: Concentration camps and prisoners-of-war in Namibia, 1904-1908," African Studies Centre, Leiden, 2005, p. 49

    http://www.estherlederberg.com/Eugen...on%20Camp.html
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

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  9. #359
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    German science and black racism—roots of the Nazi Holocaust

    François Haas1

    New York University Institute of Community Health and Research, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

    ↵Correspondence: 1 Correspondence: 400 East 34th St., RR114, New York, NY 10016, USA. E-Mail: francois.haas{at}med.nyu.edu


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    Abstract

    The Nazi’s cornerstone precept of “racial hygiene” gave birth to their policy of “racial cleansing” that led to the murders of millions. It was developed by German physicians and scientists in the late 19th century and is rooted in the period’s Social Darwinism that placed blacks at the bottom of the racial ladder. This program was first manifested in the near-extermination of the African Herero people during the German colonial period. After WWI, the fear among the German populace that occupying African troops and their Afro-German children would lead to “bastardization” of the German people formed a unifying racial principle that the Nazis exploited. They extended this mind-set to a variety of “unworthy” groups, leading to the physician-administered racial Nuremberg laws, the Sterilization laws, the secret sterilization of Afro-Germans, and the German euthanasia program. This culminated in the extermination camps.—Haas, F. German Science and Black Racism—Roots of the Nazi Holocaust.


    " If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man in the state. "

    Christopher Willhelm Hufeland (1762–1836) (1)⇓

    although the slaughter of innocents has been a repeating theme throughout human history, only the Nazi-led extermination of millions of people deemed undesirable was framed in the scientific context of “racial hygiene.” At the core of Nazi philosophy was the view of the nation as a living organism. Using Herder’s concept of Volk,2 Hitler viewed German society as an organism with its own health. “Our people is also a biological entity. …German people forms one great relationship, a blood society. …This biological unity of people will be known as the people-body (2)⇓ .” Because individual human beings were regarded as functional or dysfunctional parts of this larger whole and thus affecting the health of the people-body, racial hygiene became seminal to Hitler’s thinking. As Bavarian Cabinet Minister Hans Schemm declared in 1934, “National Socialism is nothing but applied biology (3)⇓ .”

    The rise of science-based medicine combined with physicians’ roles in national health reform during the late 19th century (4)⇓ to give physicians first-time political leverage and continuous and unprecedented levels of public recognition (5)⇓ . Hitler and the Nazis reached out early to physicians: "I could, if need be, do without lawyers, engineers, and builders, but…you, you National Socialist doctors, I cannot do without you for a single day, not a single hour. If…you fail me, then all is lost. For what good are our struggles, if the health of our people is in danger? (3)⇓"

    Physicians responded in kind (Table 1⇓ ): “The National Socialist Physicians’ League proved its political reliability to the Nazi cause long before the Nazis seizure of power, and with an enthusiasm, and an energy, unlike that of any other professional group (3)⇓ .”
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    Table 1.

    Medical involvement in the Nazi party (3)⇓

    Central to this affinity was the 19th century etiologic notion evolving from Social Darwinism that certain diseases (e.g., mental illness, feeblemindedness, criminality, epilepsy, hysteria, alcoholism) are genetically determined. The physicians who had developed this theory—primarily psychiatrists, neurologists, and anthropologists (6)⇓ —became Germany’s eugenicists and authored the country’s racial policy, and it was primarily these physicians and their disciples who eventually led the Nazi government’s policy of ethnic cleansing. This program evolved in a series of discrete steps of ever-increasing barbarism that emerged during the German colonial period in Africa and terminated in the extermination camps of the Holocaust.

    Although notions of race have a long history, it was ironically the Scientific Revolution followed by the Enlightenment and then the Age of Reason, emphasizing science and rationality, that were the wellsprings for biologically based racism. The earlier division of humans into races had produced opposing views that were hotly debated. The nonhierarchical, biologically homogeneous model held no race as superior. The hierarchical model placed whites, most notably Northern Europeans, at the top and Blacks at the bottom (7)⇓ . The hierarchical construct eventually won out and Blacks were relegated to inferiority. This concept of intrinsic value or defect (popularized in the 1860s as Social Darwinism) was clearly articulated by Sir Francis Galton (1822–1911) in “The science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race (8)⇓ .” He coined the word “eugenic” (relating to or producing improved offspring) and proposed that “races” were in a struggle for survival of the fittest. German Darwinists argued that innate racial inequalities gave each individual life a different value, and extermination of “inferior” races was not only appropriate but unavoidable (9)⇓ . Their model placed the German (i.e., Aryan) Race at the pinnacle and initiated the medical framework supporting the concepts and implementation of racial hygiene.
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    GERMANY’S COLONIAL PERIOD

    Nazi policy was actually presaged prior to WWI in Germany’s African colonies. The native populations were regarded as inferior and treated in kind, and racism was institutionalized. Indigenous populations were coerced into forced labor in Togo, Cameroon, and South West Africa (Namibia), but conditions reached their peak in the latter under Namibia’s first governor, Heinrich Ernst Goering (father of Hitler’s deputy Herman Goering).

    Among the populations inhabiting this colony were the more than 80,000 Hereros (10)⇓ , who rebelled against their German overlords in 1904. The Germans sent an army under Lothar von Trotha who called the conflict a “race war.” He declared in the German press that “no war may be conducted humanely against non-humans” (11)⇓ and issued an “annihilation order”: "…The Hereros are no longer German subjects. All Hereros must leave the country…or die. All Hereros found within the German borders with or without weapons, with or without animals will be killed. I will not accept a woman nor any child. …There will be no male prisoners. All will be shot (11)⇓ ."

    That order set this racial genocide apart from other colonial mass murders and heralded the Nazi final solution (11)⇓ .

    As would occur under the Nazis, these killings were often framed in public health rhetoric. Von Trotha wrote, “I think it is better that the Herero nation perish rather than infect our troops….” By the time his order was rescinded, an estimated 65,000 Hereros had been killed (12)⇓ . The remaining 15,000 (mostly women) were interned in Konzentrationslager.3 Germany’s first official use of this term occurred when Chancellor von Bülow rescinded the annihilation order and established camps for the survivors (11)⇓ which were designed to extract economic benefits from their forced labor under conditions that would lead to mass fatalities (12)⇓ . The Herero uprising was eventually followed by the Nama (called Hottentots at that time) and Kaffirs. "Fritz Isaac states under oath:4 ‘…I was sent to Shark Island by the Germans. We remained…one year. 3,500 Nama and Kaffirs were sent to the Island and 193 returned. 3,307 died on the Island’" "Samuel Kariko states under oath: ‘There were only a few thousands of us left, and we were walking skeletons. …The people died there like flies that had been poisoned. The great majority died there. The little children and the old people died first, and then the women and weaker men (13)⇓ ’"

    Almost half of the approximate 17,000 natives incarcerated in the concentration camps died (11)⇓ . These camps, abolished only in 1908 (10)⇓ , were a template for the Nazi extermination and forced labor camps such as Auschwitz and Buchenwald, respectively.

    The African colonies and concentration camps also served racial scientific inquiry. Post-mortems were performed to study causes of death and bodies of executed prisoners were preserved and shipped to Germany for dissection (Fig. 1⇓ , (14)⇓ ). A 1907 chronicle reported that: “A chest of Herero skulls was recently sent to the Pathological Institute in Berlin, where they will be subjected to scientific measurements (10)⇓ .”

    Head of a Nama man who died at Shark Island concentration camp, Namibia, which was sent to Germany for anthropological “research” (14)⇓ (with permission, E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung http://www.schweizerbart.de).

    Probably the most well-known study was the physician Eugen Fisher’s evaluation of Basters,5 the mixed-blood children of Dutch men and Nama women. He argued that “Negro blood” was of “lesser value” and that mixing it with “white blood” would destroy European culture, and advised that Africans should be exploited by Europeans as long they were useful, after which they could be eliminated (15)⇓ .

    Fisher went on to co-author the seminal Outline of Human Genetic and Racial Hygiene with Fritz Lenz and Edwin Baur. Echoes appear in Hitler’s Mien Kampf (Hitler had been given a copy while in jail and writing Mein Kampf) and eventually in the Nuremberg racial laws6 forbidding marriage and sexual relations between Germans and “unfit” groups (Jews, Sinti, Roma, and Africans) (3)⇓ , and in the sterilization laws. Fisher became Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, and served on commissions that planned for the sterilization of Afro-Germans and provided scientific testimony on the racial heritage of German citizens (11)⇓ .

    Fisher summarized the role of racial hygiene in the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung: “It is rare and special good fortune for a theoretical science to flourish at a time when…its findings can immediately serve the policy of the state (16)⇓ .”
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    POST-WWI

    The Treaty of Versailles marking the end of WWI forced Germany to divest its colonies. Because the Germans feared post-war occupation by Black French-African units, they repeatedly attempted (with broad Anglo-American support, including president Woodrow Wilson), but failed, to get a ruling that “colored troops should not be made a part of the army of occupation (16)⇓ .”

    The French use of their African troops sparked immediate international concerns. On June 5, 1919, for example, Major Paul H. Clark noted in a memo to General Pershing, “One or two cases of rape, committed by blacks on German women, well-advertised in the southern states of America, where there are very definite views with regard to the Blackmen, would likely greatly reduce the esteem in which the French are held (17)⇓ .” Visitors to Germany were also outraged. The well-known British writer E. D. Morel, for example, wrote to the Nation, “…thrusting barbarians—barbarians belonging to a race inspired by Nature…with tremendous sexual instincts—into the heart of Europe. … (18)⇓ .”

    The Germans continued to milk this stereotype of the sexual threat posed by Blacks, provoking world wide sympathy especially in the US. A rally of 12,000 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden submitted a petition to Congress that “the Moral sense of the American people demands the immediate withdrawal of the uncivilized French Colored troops (19)⇓ .”

    In 1920, Doctor F. Rosenberger wrote in the Medical Review, “…Shall we stand in silence and allow it to happen that in the future the banks of the Rhine shall echo not with the songs of beautiful and intelligent white Germans, but with the croaks of stupid, clumsy, half-animal and syphilitic mulattos (20)⇓ ?” This reiterated the threat first articulated during Germany’s colonial period that racially mixed offspring (called Mischlings) will destroy the purity of the German white race (6)⇓ . As Colonial Secretary Solf had incited people in 1912, “You send your sons to the colonies: do you want them to return with wooly-haired grandchildren?…Do you want your girls to return with Hereros, Hottentots and bastards?. …We are Germans, we are white, and we want to stay white (21)⇓ .”
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    THE NAZI REGIME

    Nazi propaganda not only stirred the broad German anti-black resentment, they conflated it with the growing anti-Jewish feelings (Fig. 2⇓ , (22)⇓ ). Hitler states in Mein Kampf that: “It was and is the Jews who bring the Negro into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himself rising to be its master (2)⇓ .”

    Left Panel) In this picture from a Nazi propaganda film strip, Jews were viewed as the “bastard” offspring of Eastern peoples, Blacks, Mongols and eastern Africans. USHMM #17609.10 Right Panel) The Nazis attempted to demean and prohibit jazz, which they saw as degenerate music produced by Blacks and Jews (Bildarchiv Preussische Kulturbesitz courtesy of USHMM) (22)⇓ .

    Although the Nazis’ aim was always to remove the Jewish presence from Germany, the first group actually targeted for “medical intervention” was the Rhineland Bastards, the small number of mixed-blood children born to a German mother and a Black father in the occupying forces. When sterilization of these Mischinge was first requested by private citizens in 1927—because they were approaching puberty and their procreative potential threatened race purity—their request was denied. Although the government recognized this “serious racial danger,” forced sterilization had no legal basis (23)⇓ .

    The Nazi party assumed power in January 1933, and on April 5 Hitler asked the medical profession to lead the race issue with full energy: “racial hygiene was to be the task of the German physician (2)⇓ .” July 14th saw passage of the Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health, decreeing that “anyone who suffers from an inheritable disease may be surgically sterilized if, in the judgment of medical science, it could be expected that his descendants will suffer from serious inherited mental or physical defects (3)⇓ .” This included congenital neurologic diseases, psychiatric illness, inherited deafness and blindess, etc. (Fig. 3⇓ ). Irwin Baur, Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology, presaged euthanasia and the “final solution”—“No one approves of the new sterilization laws more than I do, but I must repeat over and over again that they constitute only a beginning (3)⇓ .

    PART 1
    I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
    Marcus Garvey

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    Students at the Berlin School for the Blind (ca. 1935) learning Mendelian genetics and racial characteristics by examining head models. These same students were expected to submit to sterilization as their civic duty to avoid producing blind offspring (Image credit: Blinden-Museum an der Johann-August-Zeune-Schule fur Blinde, Berlin).

    Although this law did not include sterilization based on race, German eugenicists continued to press for sterilizing the Rhineland Mischlings (25)⇓ and published medical articles advocating their elimination. As examples, Dr. Hans Macco stressed elimination of the “black curse” in “Racial Problems in the Third Reich” (24)⇓ ; Dr. Wofgang Abel (University of Berlin) claimed evidence of their mental and physical weakness in “Bastards on the Rhine” (26)⇓ .

    The Nazi Racial Office eventually convened a secret committee of anthropologists and academic physicians to discuss strategy. They chose illegal sterilization performed by physicians who belonged or were sympathetic to the Party but delayed implementation of this clearly illegal racially based sterilization until 1937 due to concern about possible negative public opinion. The procedure required authorization from a Government member, recommendations from two physicians who had examined the Mischinge, and the mother’s consent. Following are examples of the legal “decisions” (20)⇓ : "C.M.B. of German nationality, born July 5, 1923, living in Koblenz, is a descendent of a member of the former Allied occupation forces, in this case an American negro, and shows corresponding typical anthropological characteristics, for which reason she shall be sterilized." "A.A. of German nationality, born March 14, 1920, living in Duisburg, is a descendent of the former colored Allied occupation forces, in this case a negro from Madagascar, and shows corresponding typical anthropological characteristics, for which reason he shall be sterilized."

    Medical notes were maintained, such as for this patient sterilized by Professor Dr. Nieden: “The patient (A. A.) was prepped and draped in the usual manner. Six cm of vas deferens were resected bilaterally. The patient was given a bolus of Rivanol. The wound healed in 6 days without further complications (20)⇓ .”

    In all, 385 children of mixed blood (201 boys and 182 girls from ages 7 to 17) with a French or American father were sterilized (20)⇓ .7 Sterilization of these Mischlings was the first step in an ever expanding program of direct medical involvement.

    The next step involved economic justification, euthanizing institutionalized children, and eventually adults, who were considered to be burdens to the State. Hitler used Release and Destruction of Lives Not Worth Living, published the by psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and jurist Rudolph Binding in 1920, as the basis for the secret euthanasia program (code-named Aktion T4) that he authorized on July 18, 1939 at six new killing stations. Euthanasia was a “medical intervention” to be carried out only by physicians according to the motto: “The needle belongs in the hand of the doctor8 (3)⇓ .” The variety of methods included the newly developed gas chambers. But this T4 program, which was not yet race-based, eventually caused such a public outcry that Hitler was forced to suspend it, but not before more than 70,000 people had been murdered.

    The techniques learned and perfected in the T4 program were put to use in a different “institutional” context and aimed at a new target—selected “asocial” elements in the concentration camps (Table 2⇓ ). Operation (aka Special Treatment) 14f13 earmarked the Jew, Roma and Sinti, and homosexual for killing.
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    Table 2.

    Physicians’ diagnostic statements authorizing euthanasia for selected prisoners in concentration camps (31)⇓

    This last step in eliminating inferior populations expanded the program requiring a physician to select those camp inmates to be worked to death and those sent to the gas chambers. This “Final Solution” mirrored the genocidal public health language used in Namibia. Himmler referred to the extermination of Jews as “… exactly the same thing as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology. It is a matter of cleanliness.”9 It was also framed in classic Darwinian theory. According to minutes taken by Adolph Eichman during the Wanssee meeting at which the final solution was formulated, “Approximately 11 million Jews will be involved…. In the course of the final solution, the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes. The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as the seed of a new Jewish revival (27)⇓ .”

    Although relatively few Blacks were deported to concentration camps, the German SS military units (which, with some notable exceptions, treated white POWs according to the Geneva Convention) victimized Black POWs, initially French colonial soldiers, and then African-Americans once the U.S. entered the war (24⇓ , 28)⇓ .
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    CONCLUSION

    Central to Nazi philosophy was the paradigm—broadly accepted as fact by scientists and community—that the Nordic race was not only superior to the “lower” races, notably Blacks and Jews, but involved in a terminal struggle with them for survival of the fittest. It is little recognized that this scientific framework did not rise de novo with the Nazis but had evolved over the previous 80 years from the related notions of eugenics and Social Darwinism. It had already legitimized Germany’s earlier racial policy in South West Africa during their Colonial period, and was the founding core of Nazi racial hygiene. It was formalized by making physicians officially responsible for carrying out this policy, culminating in implementation of the “Final Solution.”

    Leo Alexander, in his 1949 article “Medical Science Under Dictatorship” (NEJM), suggested that, “Science under dictatorship becomes subordinated to the guiding philosophy of the dictatorship (28)⇓ .” I am proposing the inverse, that Politics under Science becomes subordinated to the guiding philosophy of that Science. This article also touches on a potentially dangerous relationship between science and society that we tend not to recognize. As Ludwick Fleck noted in 1935 in Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, “This social character inherent in the very nature of scientific activity is not without its substantive consequences. Words which formerly were simple terms become slogans; sentences which once were simple statements become calls to battle. This completely alters their socio-cognitive value. They no longer influence the mind through their logical meaning—indeed, they often act against it—but rather they acquire a magical power and exert a mental influence simply by being used (29)⇓ .”
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    Footnotes

    ↵2 Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), a German physician, theologian, and linguist, introduced concepts of ethnic study and nationalism. He defined the Volk (the people) a group bound together organically by language, religion, education, inherited tradition, folk songs, ritual, and speech. This bond, which was spiritual in nature, he termed Kulture.

    ↵3 The term “concentration camp” was first used by the Spanish for incarceration sites created as part of an anti-insurgency campaign in Cuba (ca. 1895-1898). The English then used it to describe camps operating in South Africa during the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

    ↵4 These quotes are from survivor testimony obtained by the British government and included in a “Blue Book,” i.e., a British government report, printed in 1918. In 1926, the legislative assembly for South West Africa demanded its removal and destruction throughout Namibia and South Africa. In the rest of the Empire, copies of the Blue Book were transferred to the Foreign Office and could be obtained only by authority of the librarian (13).

    ↵5 “Basters” derived from the Dutch word for bastard. They were also known as “Baasters,” “Rehobothers,” or “Rehoboth Basters.”

    ↵6 It is important to remember that the Germans looked to U.S. antimiscigenation and sterilization laws as models for their racial laws. Antimiscigenation laws in the U.S. had a history dating back to the colonial period. As late as 1957, Virginia trial court Judge Leon Bazile sentenced an interethnic couple who had married in Washington, D.C. to jail writing, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” This decision was eventually overturned in 1967. At the time that anti-miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, 16 states still had laws prohibiting interethnic marriage. In November 2000, Alabama became the last state to repeal its law.

    ↵7 Despite the outrage at Nazi racial policy, Allied authorities were unable to classify sterilizations as war crimes, because similar sterilization laws had been enforced in some states since 1907 and had been upheld by the Supreme Court. In Buck v. Bell (1927), the majority decision, written by Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., used modern opinions of science to support the Virginia sterilization law: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from breeding their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting Fallopian tubes… Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Although compulsory sterilization ended after the war in Germany, in the US, 11 African-American girls were sterilized in1972. The Oregon Board of Eugenics, which was renamed the Board of Social Protection, existed until 1983, the last forcible sterilization occurring in 1981.

    ↵8 This notion is still upheld in the U.S. when capital punishment is performed by lethal injection.

    ↵9 The SS gas chamber operators were called the Desinfektoren (the disinfectors).

    ↵10 The views or opinions expressed in this article, and the context in which the images are used, do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of, nor imply approval or endorsement by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    The opinions expressed in editorials, essays, letters to the editor, and other articles comprising the Up Front section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FASEB or its constituent societies. The FASEB Journal welcomes all points of view and many voices. We look forward to hearing these in the form of op-ed pieces and/or letters from its readers addressed to journals{at}faseb.org.

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    References

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    ↵ Weiss, S. F. (1990) The Race Hygiene Movement in Germany 1904–1945. Adams, M. B. eds. The Wellborn Science ,8-68 Oxford University Press New York.
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    ↵ Kestling, R. W. (1998) Blacks Under the Swastika: A Research Note. J. Negro Hist. 83,84-99
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    ↵ Asks Negro sterilization. New York Times 1934 New York.
    ↵ Abel, W. (1934) Bastard and Rhein. Neues Volk 2,4-7
    ↵ Office of Strategic Services (1982) The Wannsee Protocol and a 1944 Report on Auschwitz Vol. 11 Garland New York.
    ↵ Scheck, R. (2005) “They are just savages”: German massacres of Black soldiers from the French army in 1940. J. Mod. Hist. 77,325-344
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    ↵ Alexander, L. (1949) Medical science under dictatorship. N. Engl. J. Med. 241,39-47
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    Fleck, L. (1979) Genesis And Development of a Scientific Fact University of Chicago Press Chicago.
    ↵ Lifton, R. J. (1986) The Nazi Doctors Basic Books, Inc. New York.

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