Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940

By Tate, Robert F. | Air & Space Power Journal, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940


Tate, Robert F., Air & Space Power Journal


Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940 by RafFael Scheck. Cambridge University Press (http:// www.cambridge.org/us), 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10013-2473, 2006, 216 pages, $65.00 (hardcover).

In Carl G. Gustavson's A Preface to History, the author asserts that when viewing any historical event, one should examine and try to understand any and all underlying influences that led up to a specific episode because such events never take place in a vacuum and simply do not "just occur." Rather, situations always go into motion on the heels of other occurrences. In his excellent book Hitler's African Victims, Raffael Scheck does this seamlessly and to great effect.

An associate professor of modern European history at Colby College and holder of a PhD from Brandeis University, Scheck has authored the books Alfred van Tirpitz and German Right Wing Politics, 1914-1930 and Mothers of the Nation: Right-Wing Women in Weimar Germany, along with several articles on German right-wing politics. In Hitler's African Victims, Scheck brings to light an area of history that until now people have either intentionally ignored or unfortunately forgotten.

During the desperate summer of 1940, German forces ran largely unchecked through Western Europe. One of the many countries to feel the wrath of Hitler's army was France. Burning with an intense desire to seek revenge for the abomination imposed on the German people-the Treaty of Versailles-Hitler and his minions assumed a special attitude toward forcing a quick and humiliating surrender from France. The ranks of the French army held more than 100,000 black soldiers whom the French had recruited and mobilized from the areas of Mauritania, Senegal, and Niger in French West Africa, placing them into eidier all-black or mixed-race regiments and then making them part of Colonial Infantry divisions. During hard-fought battles against the Germans, these African soldiers-often armed with the feared, long-bladed coupe-coupe, with which they hacked their way through enemy soldiers in close combat-found themselves pitted against the best the Germans could muster. One rarely hears the story of the losses that the Africans imposed on the Germans.

Tragically, during the hardest-fought period in the French campaign, up to 3,000 of these Tirailleurs Senegalais prisoners were evidently massacred by German soldiers. The murder of enemy prisoners-by members of both sides-did occur during the war, but the sheer number of losses incurred by the Tirailleurs over a relatively short period of time raises serious questions. The author does a masterful job of Grafting coherent background information to explain the circumstances surrounding these massacres.

As part of his analysis, Scheck discusses many aspects of the history of the racism in Germany that likely led to attitudes prevalent within Nazi society at the time-for example, what became known as the "Black Horror," involving the stationing of black soldiers in the Rhineland following World War I. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.