When a white German disguises
as a black
For more than a year, journalist and filmmaker Gunter
Wallraff traveled across Germany wearing
a dark-haired curly wig and with his white skin painted black.
Equipped with a secret camera, he went to predominantly white
areas to see how a black man with a foreign accent is treated.
"I hadn't known what we would discover,
and had thought maybe the story will be, what a tolerant
and accepting country we have become," said Mr Wallraff
after a screening of the film Black on White in Berlin. "Unfortunately
I was wrong."
He was almost beaten up by neo-Nazis after
a football match in eastern Germany, and was told by a skinhead
outside a small-town nightclub: "Europe
for whites, Africa for apes."
But the film's most disturbing aspect is not
the well-known racism of right-wing extremists, but rather
the secretly-filmed reactions of everyday people: A landlady
says she could not possibly rent out a flat to a black person;
a shop owner refused to let "Kwami" try on an expensive
watch, but willingly hands over the same watch to the next
customer who is white.
Sven Mekarides, general secretary of the Africa
Council in Berlin, said that for black people in certain
parts of Germany such experiences are commonplace
According to the Amadeu Antonio foundation
there have been 138 racially-motivated murders in Germany
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