Archival material pertaining to the experiences of the small population of black residents and their children living in Germany and occupied Europe during the period of World War Two is limited. Nonetheless, there is convincing evidence to suggest that over this period there was general escalation of violence towards black men and women both collectively and individually. Now resident Blacks who drew the unwanted attention of local Nazi Party officials or who came into conflict with the law were more likely to face harsh punishments and internment. As Nazi policy towards Europe’s Jews and Sinti and Roma became increasingly unrestrained there are also hints that plans were being made within the upper echelons of the regime to assimilate Blacks to the Nazi’s murderous racial policies. An order issued in October 1942 by Heinrich Himmler, SS Reichsführer and Chief of the German Police, for the statistical registration of all Blacks living in Germany echoes a similar process of registration he initiated against the Sinti and Roma in 1938. This resulted in Himmler’s decision of late 1942 to deport most of the latter to the death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Ultimately, the impact of Himmler’s order did not lead to the systematic imprisonment of Germany’s black population, nonetheless from 1940 onwards over two dozen black residents are known to have been incarcerated in various camps, prisons, and sanatoriums while a handful of others were sterilized or threatened with sterilization. Others still sought refuge outside of Germany while many of those remaining in the country were actively in hiding by late 1942.
Erfassung der Neger – RdErl d RFSS u ChDtPol im RMdI* – O-VuR R III 6859/42
(1) Die Ortspol.-Behörden stellen die in ihrem Bereich wohnenden oder sich aufhaltenden Neger, Negerinnen und Negermischlinge fest und Teilen das Ergebnis dem Reichssicherheitshauptamt , Amt V**, in Berlin C2, Werderscher Markt 5, bis 1.11.1942 unmittelbar mit. Dabei sind folgende Angaben zu machen
- Vor- und Zuname
- Geburtstag und –ort
- frühere und jetzige Staatsangehörigkeit
- Wohnort Strasse und Hausnummer
- verheiratet mit
- Name, Vorname, Geburtstag und –ort der Ehefrau und der Kinder
(2) Fehlanzeige ist nicht erforderlich
An alle Ortspol.-Behörden
Ministerialblatt des Reichs- und Preussischen Ministeriums des Innern, 103 Jg. (1942), S. 1977
Source: “Order for Registration of all Neger (10 October 1942)
Heinrich Himmler’s ‘Order for Registration of all Negroes’ (1942) by Robbie Aitken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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