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Virtual Teacher Talk: The Oppression of the Black Community in Nazi-Occupied Europe

October 17, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

The prisoner card of Gert Schramm

The prisoner registration card of Gert Schramm

Part of the Wiener Holocaust Library’s free series of educational events for students and teachers, drawing on our unique archive collection.

This education event is hosted in partnership with The German History Society

Black people experienced persecution and discrimination before, during and after the Third Reich in Germany and elsewhere. This workshop will utilise the Library’s collections to explore how the persecution of Black people by the Nazi regime was not straightforward. There was a clear genocidal intention in Nazi policy towards Black men, women, and children, but at a local level the implementation of these intentions was inconsistent and often haphazard, which created a wide variety of experiences of persecution.

This virtual session is aimed at teachers and educators and will serve as an introduction to the topic – the themes introduced here will be developed further in a more intensive in-person workshop to take place in the spring. This event will be led by Dr Barbara Warnock, Professor Robbie Aitken and Dr Jeff Bowersox.


  • To gain an overview of black history in Europe.
  • To consider Nazi policies towards black people.
  • To use the Library’s collection to explore the persecution and discrimination the black community faced in Nazi-Occupied Europe.
  • To gain an overview of Black history in Europe and of resources to support teaching on the subject.

About the Speakers

Dr Barbara Warnock is the Library’s Senior Curator and Head of Education.

Professor Robbie Aitken is an Historian of Black Europe and Empire at Sheffield Hallam University. He has written widely on the development of a Black community in Germany from the 1880s up to 1945. His publications include Black Germany, the Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960, (with Eve Rosenhaft). Currently he is finishing a longer article on the Nuremberg Race Laws and their application to Black German residents.

Dr. Jeff Bowersox is an associate professor of German history at UCL. He researches and teaches on the connections that tied Germans and Europeans into the globalizing world of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has published widely on German colonial culture, most notably in his book Raising Germans in the Age of Empire (2013), on the history of toys, and on Black entertainers in the German-speaking lands. He is also the managing editor of Black Central Europe, a web resource making available historical materials on the history of the African diaspora in the German-speaking lands from the Middle Ages to the present.

Virtual Event guidelines:

  1. The Library will send you a Zoom link and joining instructions via email prior to the event. Please check your junk email folders.
  2. Please try and join 5 minutes before the event start time and we will let you into the room (do try and bear with us if this takes a few minutes).
  3. If you would like to ask a question during the event, please type your question into the chat function, and we will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A. Your webcam will not be seen during this event.

This event is free, although registration via the link below is required. Please note that our free events are run by staff volunteers. Thank you for your patience should we have any technical or audio difficulties. We will do our best to correct them but this is not always possible.

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