For the first time ever in a book, three different Blacks tell stories of their intimate involvement with the Holocaust, all from a different perspective. One is an actual Black holocaust survivor from Dachau. One was a commander with the U.S. Army unit that liberated Dachau. And one was with the medical corps that went to clean up the dead bodies at Dachau.
Interview With Dr. Firpo W. Carr
Interviewer: What prompted you to write such a book?
Dr. Carr: The fact that we as Black people were never told of such atrocities. It's part of, not just "Black History," but, "History."
Interviewer: When did you first suspect that Black people were victims of the Holocaust?
Dr. Carr: About 30 years ago in 1973.
Interviewer: Can you elaborate?
Dr. Carr: Sure. In the latter part of 1973 I read the 1974 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses I was interested in reading everything published by the Watch Tower Society, the publishing arm of the Witnesses.
The entire subject matter of the Yearbook dealt with atrocities committed against the Witnesses by Hitler and the Nazi regime. The book went into gruesome details as to the unspeakable horrors committed against the German Witnesses.
Aside from being frightened and horrified by the gruesome details, I was also intrigued that, this same bastion of white supremacy, the ideology of National Socialism (as Nazism is more formally known) did nothing or had nothing to say about Black people.
While the Yearbook and other sources, both Witness and non-Witness, listed other victims like the Gypsies, handicapped, homosexuals, and others, Blacks were very rarely, if ever, mentioned. They certainly weren't mentioned in any Witness literature as victims of Hitler's Holocaust.
The question as to why the silence nagged me for decades. As I searched and traveled and read and interviewed Holocaust survivors over the many years, I asked about Black people. Finally, it all pretty much came together, hence, my book, Germany 's Black Holocaust: 1890-1945.
Interviewer: Are you saying that the Black Holocaust started as far back as 1890?
Dr. Carr: Correct.
Interviewer: How is that?
Dr. Carr: You'll have to read the book.
Interviewer: So it ended in 1945 I'm assuming by the title.
Dr. Carr: No. World War II ended in 1945 and thus the Holocaust. But for Black people who lived during that time, the "Black" Holocaust continued because some of them had fled to the countryside and had no news of Allied victory.
You see, they didn't have radios, per se, in those days. Communication was certainly not what it is today. So, although the War ended in defeat for the Nazi army, Blacks who had fled to the countryside were still under the impression that the War was still waging.
Interviewer: For how long were they under this misimpression?
Dr. Carr: Perhaps a few years in some extreme cases. And of course, symbolically, I demonstrate that the influence of the Holocaust, as expressed through the tentacles of present-day white supremacy, has spread from Nazi Germany, to America , to all corners of our earthly globe. All you have to do is read about the Paperclip Project.
Interviewer: The Paperclip Project? What's that?
Dr. Carr: The CIA program that brought prominent Nazi scientists, educators, and others over to the U.S. and gave them various jobs throughout the country. Along with their expertise they brought their racist ideas with them. It gets real deep. But, you'll have to read the book to learn more about it.
Interviewer: What do you hope to accomplish by bringing this hidden history to the attention of the public?
Dr. Carr: I can give the standard, "greater awareness" answer, but it's more than that. I sincerely hope that my book and similar materials will be used as staples in history courses that'll cover the subject of Blacks and the Holocaust.
This course should be taught, at the very least, in high schools, and most definitely in colleges and universities—especially HBCs (Historical Black Colleges).
Interviewer: Where can people get the book?
Dr. Carr: There are several ways: (1) they can purchase the book through this Web site (www.gblackh.org), or, (2) they can purchase it through their local Black bookstore, or, (3) they can purchase it through www.amazon.com, or, (4) they can purchase it through the larger chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble.
Interviewer: How much is it?
Dr. Carr: $19.95.
Interviewer: Good price.
Dr. Carr: We wanted to make it affordable.
Interviewer: But what about those who think even this price is too expensive?
Dr. Carr: Well, I'll tell them about four simple words divided into two simple sentences—one a question and one a statement—that I read in the admissions office at Compton College (in Compton, California) that I read years ago when I took a class there.
They read: "Education expensive? Try ignorance."
Interviewer: Thank you Dr. Carr.
Dr. Carr: My pleasure.
"Forget Black History Month, how about live an African History Life"-Ansley Burrows