German 'Brown Babies' Search for Their Roots

Two new documentaries — Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story, which was released last summer, and Brown Babies: Germany's Lost Children, which aired on German television this fall — tell the little-known stories of children born to white German mothers and African-American soldier fathers in the years after World War II. 

Many of these kids, deemed mischlingskinder (a derogatory terms for mixed-race children), were adopted by African-American families after their parents were often split apart by disapproving military officers, CNN reports. Others remained in Germany.


About 5,000 "brown babies" were born between 1945 and 1955, according to the book Race After Hitler: Black Occupation Children in Postwar Germany and America by Heide Fehrenbach, and by 1968, Americans had adopted about 7,000 of these German children. Many of them didn't learn about their roots until they were adults, and the documentaries tell the story of some who have committed to tracking down their birth parents and their family history.

These stories raise issues of race, culture, history and identity from a brand-new perspective, making these films worth a watch for Americans of all colors.

Read more and watch a trailer at CNN.