Documentary ‘Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story’ Tells Untold Stories of Bi-Racial World War II Era Children

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2014-01-16 20:25Z by Steven

Documentary ‘Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story’ Tells Untold Stories of Bi-Racial World War II Era Children


Maria Adebola

Emmy-winning journalist Regina Griffin was inspired to tell a story and that’s how her film, Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story was born.

A family friend, entrepreneur Doris McMillon, had told stories about growing up the half-Black, half-White child of a Black G.I. and White German woman and the story was horrifying. Unwanted by both nations, the children often lived their lives as unwanted, ignored and forgotten people,

“I got chills learning about their lives, in orphanages and beyond,” said Griffin.

Griffin transformed her research into a documentary about the lives of the babies. The film was screened recently in front of about 50 people at the William McGowan Theater located at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The film scrapes the surface of the difficulties that resulted from the interracial relationships between Black soldiers and German women during World War II. Many of the children ended up being adopted or sent to orphanages because their German mothers feared the public scrutiny that came with having a mixed-race child out of wedlock.

Some of the Black soldiers who wanted to marry their German girlfriends found it difficult because the relationships were viewed as forbidden. Those who wanted to return home to the African-American girlfriends and sometimes wives didn’t want to bring along children whose presence would indicate they had been unfaithful.

The children were caught in the middle…

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Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story

Posted in Autobiography, Europe, History, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2013-08-16 01:20Z by Steven

Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story

Regina Griffin Films, Inc.
102 minutes
United States

Regina Griffin, Director

Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story reveals the tragic lives of biracial, bicultural children, unwanted, ignored and forgotten by enemy nations. Imagine being born in a place and time where racism and hatred run rampant, and your mother is white and German and your father is a black American serviceman. Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story tells the painful and personal story of a forgotten piece of world history through eyes of the people who suffered most.

  • ŸBest Documentary, American Black Film Festival 2011
  • Best Film, Audience Award, African-American Women in Cinema 2011
  • HBO Finalist, Martha’s Vineyard Black Film Festival, 2011
  • Best Documentary Nominee, Black Reel Awards, 2012

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

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2013-02-28 04:18Z by Steven

‘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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Posted in Europe, Media Archive, Videos on 2012-03-16 21:46Z by Steven


DEFA Film Library
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
85 minutes, b/w (English subtitles)
West Germany

Robert A. Stemmle, Director

A five-year-old girl suddenly appears on the doorstep of a well-to-do Hamburg family. The members of the multi-generational, white household react differently to the arrival of Toxi, who is black, the daughter of an African-American G.I. and a white German woman who has died. Eventually Toxi works her way into the hearts of this German family, but then her father returns, hoping to take Toxi back to America with him.

In West Germany at the time of the film’s release, there were nearly 100,000 children of Allied paternity born since WWII; of these, fewer than 5,000 were of colored paternity. Toxi was the first feature-length film to explore the subject of “black occupation children” in postwar Germany. It premiered in 1952 as part of a plan to raise public awareness, as these children began entering German schools. Known for his unique blend of social realism and melodrama, Robert A. Stemmle—one of in West Germany’s most popular directors—brought together an exceptionally renowned group of classic German actors with very diverse experiences of the Nazi era, including Paul Bildt, Johanna Hofer and Elisabeth Flickenschildt.

Special Features

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