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Brown Babies


BR / ARTE / WDR, 2010, 45, 52 und 60 minutes

In 1946, the first of the babies fathered by members of the occupying forces are born in war ravaged Germany. Around 5000 of these children have an Afro-American father and a German mother. Many of these ‘Brown Babies’ grow up in Germany. What nobody realises, however, is that many more babies were given up for adoption and subsequently went to live with new, coloured parents in the USA. Both the American and German governments saw this as a convenient solution to an awkward problem, since the very existence of the ‘Brown Babies’ represented a scandal on both sides of the Atlantic.

The adopted ‘Brown Babies’ grow up thousands of miles away from their real mothers and the country of their birth. Many of them don’t discover for decades that they have a German mother. Others however, can remember all too clearly the derogatory looks they were subjected to in Germany. Even in the USA, these ‘Brown Babies’ weren’t really accepted anywhere – too dark for the whites and too light for the Afro-Americans.

‘Brown Babies – Germany’s lost children’ throws light on this dark chapter of German-American post-war history for the first time.

"Brown Babies" gets the TV Award of RIAS Berlin Commission in April 2012.

  • RIAS Fernsehpreis
    Deutsch-amerikanischer Medien-Preis 2012