Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Allison Abra

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Heather Stur

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Brian LaPierre

Committee Member 3 School



After World War II, many West German women had a difficult time coming to terms with the atrocities that the National Socialist leadership committed during that war, as well as their own participation in the Party. Discussions of the roles of women within twentieth-century society began to grow in West Germany as the new women’s movement (die Neue Fraenbewegung) emerged from 1960s student protests. This movement included primarily middle-class white German women. They often dismissed their participation in Party racism by framing themselves as victims of a patriarchal regime. As German women discussed these matters, they ignored the race issues that existed within their own society. As an increase in racial tension spread throughout West Germany in the 1980s, Black German women faced both gendered and racial discrimination. It was during this time that these women unified and asserted their presence in Germany through the creation of the Afro-German feminist movement. Much of the historiography surrounding the Afro-German feminist movement focuses on the significant impact it had on the ability of Afro-German women to establish a collective identity. This thesis, however, will add to this historiography by looking at the ways in which the Afro-German feminist movement interacted with the new women’s movement in West Germany and how it influenced greater discussions of race and issues of racism among white feminists.