Racism is Alive and Well in Europe
With great interest I stumbled upon the website of your museum after doing some research
on the Jim Crow era.
I'm sad to admit that racism is alive and well in Europe too. Growing up in Germany
I was little exposed to people from other races apart from the odd African-American
GI stationed there during the cold war. It might be interesting for you to learn that
prejudices towards people of African heritage are significantly different from the
ones in the United States. African people have never been really a part of our society
like they were in America. We never employed slaves from Africa for example. African
people aren't hated like they are in America, they are rather seen as poor and inept
to support themselves and 'we have to pitty them', or they are considered 'funny'.
African people are exploited in a way of being 'exotic' and therefore are portrayed
in literature, movies and advertisements in a very stereotypical way, often leading
to this kind of caricature not dissimilar to the exhibits in your museum. One prime
example that might be of interest for you is the so-called 'Mohr' (German for moor,
or a moorish person) used to this day by the world famous chocolate manufacturer Sarotti
as a corporate mascot. Here are some examples of recent 'collectibles' they issued:
Mind you, this is 2006! Apparently nobody seems to find this racist or discriminating
in any way!
Another example is Julius Meinl, an Austrian coffee maker:
Their corporate logo is the head of a black gentleman wearing a fez! Also note the
life-sized caricature of a black person greeting you at the stairs in their well-known
shop in Vienna!
There is also a German confectionary consisting of whipped cream covered with chocolate,
which is called 'Negerkuss', which literally translates into 'Nigger's kiss'! OK,
officially this piece of confectionary is now called Schokokuss (chocolate kiss),
but most people still refer to it by it's original moniker and most manufactuers still
have a caricature of a black person of some description in their company logo.
There are many more examples, if you are interested. I am in the process of doing
more research on the subject because I want to raise these scandalous atrocities with
human rights groups in order to get support for my plan to initiate legal prosecution
of these companies. Racism is illegal over here after all.
I would be glad to hear from you.
With Best Regards,
Christian D. Pamp
-- Sept. 19, 2006
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