Berlin gets memorial stone for African Nazi victim
18 September 2007, Berlin (AFP) - A Sudanese man who died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp has become the first African among thousands of victims of the Nazis to have a memorial pavement plaque created in his honour in Berlin.
18 September 2007
Berlin (AFP) - A Sudanese man who died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp has become the first African among thousands of victims of the Nazis to have a memorial pavement plaque created in his honour in Berlin.
A bronze plaque bearing Mahjud bin Adam Mohamed's name and 1941, the year he was arrested, was last week cemented into the pavement in front of the apartment block where he lived with his German girlfriend and their children.
It is one of some 12,500 so-called "Stolperstein" (German for stumbling block) that
German artist Gunter Demnig has embedded into pavements across the country and in neighbouring Austria and Hungary, who were both occupied by the Nazis.
Demnig, who started the project in 1994, said his aim was to ensure that Mohamed's plight was not forgotten.
"A man passes into oblivion when nobody remembers his name anymore," he told Der Tagesspiegel daily.
Mohamed joined the German colonial forces in North Africa when he was 10 years old and in 1929 came to live in Brunnenstrasse in Berlin, where he had three children with a German woman.
He worked as a hotel waiter, appeared in several Nazi propaganda films alongside well-known German actors and taught Swahili at Berlin's respected Humboldt University.
He landed in trouble with Adolf Hitler's regime however when he protested against its oppressive treatment of blacks.
In September 1941, he was arrested, accused under the Nazis' laws that banned inter-racial sex and marriage for living with a white woman and deported to the Sachsenhausen camp just north of Berlin. He died there three years later.
His extraordinary story has been told in a book by German scholar and author Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst.
Subject: German news