Doc shows stories of Black German children post-WWII

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- This month WUSA9's digital channel, Bounce TV, will air the documentary "Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder." The film is about children born during the occupation of Germany after WWII. Their mothers were white Germans and their fathers were black American servicemen.

Regina Griffin is the filmmaker who wrote produced and edited this documentary. She is also a producer at WUSA9. Griffin says she was inspired to make the documentary after meeting some of the "brown babies."

"I was captivated by their stories. Imagine being a child and trying to rub the brown color off your skin. [On] Christmas morning literally having ashes and sticks under your pillow or having someone drown you," said Griffin, naming just a couple of the experiences that the subjects of her film shared with her.

They weren't wanted in Germany or the United States. As for what happened to them, Griffin told us, "Imagine being a child and being torn between warring countries united in racism, and they are trying to find homes and a place and they are not wanted by anyone and they are just sort of tucked away in these German orphanages."

Washington, D.C. played a big role in the story. Doris McMillion, a familiar face in Washington, is one of the "brown babies" featured in the documentary. Washington socialite Mabel Grammar discovered some of the children in Germany when she and her husband were stationed there. She also happened to be a writer for the Afro newspaper. Through her connections, she tried to find homes for children in D.C. She did manage to find homes for many children in D.C., Griffin told us.

Griffin tells us she did not meet any relatives of the "brown babies" in Germany. "Ii spoke mainly to people who came to this country. One of my subjects lived in Germany up until her twenties. Still, for many German women, it is really a shameful part of their life, even today. Even Doris' mother, it's still really hard for her, and she is embarrassed by it. They have a stigma even today," shared Griffin.

Some of the GIs were going back to families established in the U.S. Some did try to reach out and find their children but others did not, according to Griffin.

There are children like this in all wars. Griffin says she gets emails from people in Korea and Vietnam about similar stories there.

The documentary airs at 7:00 p.m. every Monday in February. Watch Bounce TV on WUSA9 Digital Channel 9.2, Comcast 207, Cox 807, Fios 459, RCN 100

For more on the documentary, visit:


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