36 Race & Class 51(3)
Figure 2. Illustration, ‘Die Schwarze Schmach!’ (The Black Shame) Reproduced from Franzosen im Ruhrgebiet. 10 Zeichnungen von A.M. Cay. Berlin 1923
miscegenation as a consequence of black occupation and the German government, in regular reports and parliamentary resolutions supported by nearly all parties, criticised what it alleged were the numerous sexual attacks by black troops. The accusation that black soldiers raped German women on a large scale formed the centre of the ‘Black Shame’ agitations. Allied investigations into the matter, however, proved the campaigners wrong. The investigations showed French colonial troops to be generally well-behaved and proved that they were, apart from a few isolated cases, not involved in sexual attacks. The image in figure 2, with its lurid depiction of the young woman’s attempted ravishing by a black soldier (he has obviously just stabbed her faithful dog), was typical. It gains graphic power from its fluid, cartoon-like line and the overtones of Little Red Riding Hood it carries. Note the enormous hand clasped around her breast and her stocking round her ankle. The accompanying text specifically identifies her as a Rhineland maiden and describes her attacker as a ‘Madagascan negro’.