Life in the Third Reich 1933-1945

Sisters Doris Reiprich and Erika Ngambi ul Kuo speak about their lives

Recollections from two sisters about thier life in Germany during the Third Reich. Testimonies recorded as part of the teaching resources pack for schools about the presence ofblack Africans and their children in Nazi Germany.

DORIS …But it got worse and worse; for us the troubles really started in 1932. All of a sudden many folks … saw that we were different. As Erika mentioned, they started instigating dissent, thereby hindering Father in his work as a salesman. Merchants were urged not to order from him anymore. A little while later we received an eviction notice for our five room apartment. We probably would not have been able to afford the rent any longer anyway, because Father’s business had gone broke by then.

Actor Ebony Bedford performing Doris Reiprich’s 1940s testimony

ERIKA: After that Father worked for a Jewish firm that had been dispossessed. An SS man took over the business in trust and was decent enough to pay our father the weekly commission for reorders from some of his old customers. That’s something he didn’t have to do. Besides that, our mother carted a lot of good stuff to the pawnshop. That’s how we lived.

SOURCE: “We Only Hire ‘Aryans'”, in Opitz et. al. (eds), Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out (Amherst: university of Massachusetts Press, 1992), pp.58-61