Nationalist activists and politicians successfully used the French occupation of the Rhineland, and in particular the use of colonial soldiers (the Black Shame on the Rhine LINK), to drum up outrage in Germany and abroad over Germany’s postwar treatment by the victorious powers. As this postcard suggests, propagandists played heavily on the imagery of white German women being violated by barbarous colonial soldiers, overseen by French authorities. who claimed to be defending civilization. By painting a picture of a colonial world turned upside down, activists hoped to play on a sense of white racial pride to undermine the Treaty of Versailles.
The reverse of the postcard shouts “Gegen die schwarze Schmach erheben wir flammenden Protest!” and lists organizations and individuals involved in this propaganda work in the United States and in Germany, which included patriotic, religious, medical, and women’s organizations: Hermann George Scheffauer u. Ray Beveridge, Amerika; Deutscher Notbund, München; Heimatbund Hamburg und ‘Rettet die Ehre’, Bremen; Deutsch-evangelisch. Kirchenausschuß, Eisenach; Ärztekammer Brandenburg-Berlin; Rheinische Frauenliga; sämtl. dtsch. Frauen-Organisationen
Source: University of Osnabrück, Historische Bildpostkarten: Sammlung Prof. Dr. S. Giesbrecht.
The “Black Shame”: How long must this go on? (ca. 1920) by Jeff Bowersox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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