Black Power Influence In West Germany

1998 words - 8 pages

In the 1960’s-1970’s, violence increasingly became an important factor in the Student movement for liberation in West Germany. Different levels of oppression were applied to various countries around the world, including Vietnam which was oppressed by the U.S. Student activists shadowed the different movements, and slowly incorporated the various methods into their own movement in West Germany. Indeed, Student activists fought for their liberation through a combination of international methods, however, the fuel for their violent actions mainly came from the Black Power Movement in the U.S which was motivated by Frantz Fanon’s ideas on decolonization. During the 1960s-70s, West German activists began to view that the elite higher class exploitation of the youth who went against societal norms in West Germany was very similar to the discrimination towards the Black population of America due to their skin color. Because of the newfound similarities, the two groups decided to exchange ideas on gaining liberation. The student activists and the African-Americans involved in the movement engaged in personal exchanges by traveling to each other’s countries and observing the corruption on their own, while studying tactics of fighting back. Indeed, Rudi Deutschke, the face of the SDS himself, made a trip to America and visited the slums of New York and Chicago to witness accounts of oppression with his own eyes. Through their observation of the Black Power Movement in America, as well as their interactions with members of the movement, many West German activists (SDS) increasingly supported the idea that a violent approach was the only way to seek liberation. The Black Power movement also motivated Left Wing terrorists, such as Bommi Baumann, Ulrike Meinhof, and the Red Army Faction to resort to violence. West German Activists considered violence through their observation of the Black Power Movement, where they observed important figures such as the psychoanalyst, Frantz Fanon, and the prominent Black Panthers. Correspondingly, West German activists developed their violent tactics for gaining liberation in West Germany.
The Black Power Movement in the United States was an inspirational movement that attracted the admiration, the support, and most importantly the sympathy of liberation activists around the world. Because of the timing of the revolution (1960’s), Black revolutionaries were able to link their situation with the oppression simultaneously occurring throughout various parts of the world. (Berg) The movement came about as a result of the regression, and racism in the South. African-Americans accounted for more than half of the impoverished population in the U.S at the time and they lacked the rights of the average individual, so it was hard for them to change their economic situation. Sweeping laws of the mid 1960’s prohibited segregation in public places as well as in employment, however, equality was far-off. Dr. Martin Luther King was the...

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