Comrades of Color

Comrades of Color : East Germany in the Cold War World

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In keeping with the tenets of socialist internationalism, the political culture of the German Democratic Republic strongly emphasized solidarity with the non-white world: children sent telegrams to Angela Davis in prison, workers made contributions from their wages to relief efforts in Vietnam and Angola, and the deaths of Patrice Lumumba, Ho Chi Minh, and Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired public memorials. Despite their prominence, however, scholars have rarely examined such displays in detail. Through a series of illuminating historical investigations, this volume deploys archival research, ethnography, and a variety of other interdisciplinary tools to explore the rhetoric and reality of East German internationalism.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 332 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19mm | 612g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782387056
  • 9781782387053

Table of contents

List of Figures

Quinn Slobodian

Chapter 1. Socialist Chromatism: Race, Racism and the Racial Rainbow in East Germany
Quinn Slobodian


Chapter 2. Through a Glass Darkly: East German Assistance to North Korea and Alternative Narratives of the Cold War
Young Sun Hong

Chapter 3. Between Fighters and Beggars: Socialist Philanthropy and the Imagery of Solidarity in East Germany
Gregory Witkowski

Chapter 4. Socialist Modernization in Vietnam: The East German Approach, 1976-1989
Bernd Schaefer


William "Bloke" Modisane to Margaret Legum, 1966

Chapter 5. Bloke Modisane in East Germany
Simon Stevens

Chapter 6. African Students and the Politics of Race and Gender in the German Democratic Republic, 1957-1990
Sara Pugach

Chapter 7. Ambivalence and Desire in the East German 'Free Angela Davis' Campaign
Katrina Hagen

Chapter 8. True to the Politics of Frelimo? Teaching Socialism at the Schule der Freundschaft, 1981-1990
Jason Verber


"The Black Facade of the Universities of German Revisionism", The Red Flag of the University of Foreign Trade, 1968

Chapter 9. The Uses of Disorientation: Socialist Cosmopolitanism in an Unfinished DEFA-China Documentary
Quinn Slobodian

Chapter 10. Imposed Dialogues: Joerg Foth and Tran Vu's GDR-Vietnamese Co-Production Dschungelzeit (1988)
Evan Torner and Victoria Rizo Lenshyn


Chapter 11. Affective Solidarities and East German Reconstruction of Postwar Vietnam
Christina Schwenkel

Chapter 12. La Idea de Carlos Marx: Tracing Germany through a Long Cuban Imaginary
Jennifer Ruth Hosek and Victor Fowler Calzada
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Review quote

"The chapters in the edited volume provide nuanced cases of East German idealism and the limitations of its practice, which belied a variety of racial prejudices and tensions... the interdisciplinary and extended geographic scope of this edited volume successfully furthers a number of interrelated fields relating to the role of the GDR and the socialist world in the Cold War, race and their continuing legacies." Journal of Contemporary History
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About Quinn Slobodian

Quinn Slobodian is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College and the author of Foreign Front: Third World Politics in Sixties West Germany.
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