Hitler's plans for French West Africa's blacks

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Cantankerous
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Hitler's plans for French West Africa's blacks

Post by Cantankerous » 25 Aug 2020 01:04

After the fall of France and a number of battles against the Free French in Dakar in late 1940, all French colonies in West and Central Africa swore their allegiance to the Vichy Regime, although Gabon later fell to the Free French in November 1940. However, I wanted to ask how Hitler and the Vichy authorities dealt with the majority blacks in French West Africa and French Central Africa, because Hitler saw black people as inferior to his Aryan master race.

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Loïc
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Re: Hitler's plans for French West Africa's blacks

Post by Loïc » 25 Aug 2020 02:17

Only French Western Africa remained under Pétain's Regime, not Central Africa
the whole French Equatorial Africa joined Free France (Chad, Cameroun, Congo, Oubangui-Chari today Central Africa, and at last Gabon)

putting aside geostrategic considerations Hitler and Germany had nothing to do in the internals colonial affairs of such territories where both France were maybe more sovereign and independents than in its own metropolitan territory

and as Hitler saw quite a number of peoples and nations as inferior to the germans beginning specially by France herself viewed as "the" degenerated half-jewish and half-"negro" nation par excellence exemplifying the shame of the European white race in the german inconscious, I don't think that the dailylife and future of such populations represented a great obsession for him, the germans were not even very interested to recover their former colonies of the Cameroons and Togo

the only colony maybe of german racial interest was Madagascar to deport all the jews

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Hitler's plans for French West Africa's blacks

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Aug 2020 08:03

Hi Loic,

What about the treatment of Black French POWs?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Loïc
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Re: Hitler's plans for French West Africa's blacks

Post by Loïc » 26 Aug 2020 12:18

Hello

first main difference of treatment was racial and geographic, contrary to their "white" brothers of arms sent to "Over-Rhine" stalags and oflags,
the ~15 777 black Africans remained in France in the fronstalags of the occupied northern zone throughout the war to avoid their presence in Germany, gathered with North Africans, Malagasy, Indochinese and including a lesser number of "colored" French citizens from Antilles or even Indians of the BEF's Muleteers companies
As the others colonial POW's they were used as workforce sometimes outside the frontstalgas in the agriculture industry forestry activities etc...suffering the vicissitudes of being POW's in a occupied country, and the Senegalese particulary vulnerables in such conditions, because the French authorities didn't let them usually during the winters in northern France in both world wars, they came back in the southwestern and Mediterranean coasts during this season

https://books.openedition.org/pur/5470?lang=fr
The color of the skin and of the race

The first contacts of the colonials with the Germans were made under the sign of brutalization, at the end of the last fighting of the campaign of France, at the end of June 1940. Massacres were perpetrated against the Tirailleurs by the troops somewhat left to themselves, as in Chasselay (Rhône): a way of settling the accounts of the Great War and in particular of “Black Shame” (die schwarze Schande). In fact, in 1919, the Germans resented the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine by black troops* very badly, and the result was a virulent press campaign against "the inhumanity of the occupation troops and more particularly against the brutality of the colonial soldiers who terrorize the women of the Rhine, unarmed in the face of the sexual bestiality of these animals in uniform, these unspeakable monsters, human animals, black hyenas, monkey men from the black continent ”

These caricatures left traces in the collective unconscious in Germany as in France and, in 1940, the Germans could not bear to see black men again occupying German soil - even as prisoners - so much was their pride. flouted in 1919. To this was added the fear of contagious tropical diseases and racial contamination.

The Vichy government, for its part, was very concerned about the colonials taken prisoner. The sub-commission of prisoners of war of the French delegation to the armistice commission drew the attention of the German commission to the particularly painful situation in which, from the first cold, the native colonial soldiers, particularly affected, would find themselves. by the estrangement and the complete rupture of any relation with their family. She therefore asked that they be able to benefit from captive leave which would allow them to be sent back to their country of origin, or that they be transported and interned in regions where the climate is less dangerous for them. than that of Germany.
The German commission's response was immediate, not to grant captive leave but to send these prisoners back to France in the Frontstalags


*so called "black" troops : only 2 Senegalese and 1 Malagasy Regiment withdrawn by 1922, the French Army of the Rhine had only French or North Africans units in Germany until 1930

Regards
Loïc

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