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„Entlang der Farbenlinie“ W. E. B. Du Bois in Nazi-Deutschland

Zurück zum Heft: Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift 3/2021
DOI: 10.2478/kwg-2021-0031
EUR 0,00

The African-American sociologist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) travels to Germany in 1936 for a five-month research stay. In his weekly column in the "Pittsburgh Courier," he reports on the Olympic Games in Berlin, the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, and vocational training at Siemens. In the last articles, which appeared after he had left the country, he presents his analysis of National Socialist society. He observes life in the totalitarian dictatorship "along the color line," from a postcolonial perspective. To his own surprise, he finds that he himself experienced no discrimination, while the persecution of the Jews, which cannot be grasped with the category of "skin color," surpasses in popular cruelty and government policy the racism he himself experienced and criticized in the United States. The essay discusses Du Bois's reports from the German dictatorship on the basis of their first German-language edition and in the context of the debate about anti-Semitism versus colonial racism and "multidirectional memory."