History that is not so nice
The Book Invisible Woman by Ika Hugel-Marshell is a great and horrible book at the same time. It is great because you get an account of real history and what it was like in Germany after the war. It is horrible because it is so cruel how they treated Afro-Germans or anybody who was different in any way. However, saying that America was not much better in treating people cruelly, who were from color descent. Life in post war West Germany was difficult for mixed raced Germans because of racism in general and the fact that society and institutions perpetuated racial beliefs. Ms. Hugel-Marshall narrative offers a sneak peak on what life was like in Germany for people who were different.
Hugel-Marshall was referred to as an “occupation baby,” when she was born in a small town called Bavaria in March of 1947, in the heart of Germany. An “occupation baby” was referred to the children that were born of mixed race. Hugel-Marshall mother was white and her father was African-American soldier who was stationed in a town nearby. When she was first born things were relatively trouble free.
“I grew up the same way other children did. There was always enough to eat- though no more. I slept in my parents’ bedroom. We were a family. I was aware that people whispered behind their hands when my mother and I went shopping ` and that there was something about me that was different from other children. “ (Invisible women pg. 6)
But this did not last for very long. Hugel-Marshell was only five years old and she had no idea that she presented a horrible problem for Germany. Her country believed that she was unmoral and had no place in society. That she should be taken away from her family and placed in a church related private or public home or in orphanages for children. The government’s position on this was that Afro-German children would be better off in these places then at home with their families.
So the time came when a man named Herr Siebert would come to her parents’ house and convince her mother that the only place for a black child in Germany was at God’s Little Cabin, a home for children. He convinced her mother by telling her that if her daughter did not go she will be emotionally unstable and she certainly be considered free game for men. “She will end up having children out of wedlock, become an alcoholic, and God knows what else.”(Invisible woman pg. 11) He even went as far as saying if she did not give up Hugel-Marshall that the government will come in and take her from you. Her mother then lied to her and said she was going to a place where she can play with other children and she would only be there for six weeks. Her mother took her to the home for children who were not...