‘Brown Babies:’ Post-war Germany’s Mixed-race Children

‘Brown Babies:’ Post-war Germany’s Mixed-race Children

The Washington Informer
Washington, D.C.

Barrington M. Salmon

For much of his adult life, Daniel Cardwell has been immersed in a search for his identity and his past.

He told an audience at Bowie State University recently that he remembers a childhood where he was never hugged or shown love by the couple who adopted him, and it was a childhood filled with “confusion, questions and secrets.”

“I was a brown baby looking for mama, someone who wanted to belong. Abandonment and rejection are two emotions we all have,” said Cardwell during a panel discussion after the airing of the documentary, Brown Babies, The Mischlingkinder Story.

Cardwell is one of an estimated 100,000 biracial children born to German women and African-American servicemen stationed in Europe during World War II. He was brought to the United States when he was three and grew up with a couple who raised him along with five other mixed race German children. Cardwell traveled to six times and spent 30 years and $250,000 in his quest for greater knowledge of his background and heritage…

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