We, members of the Third Generation Ost, are condemning the recent murders of Georg Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous others, as well as the ongoing police violence against Black and Brown people and other minoritized groups in the United States. We stand in solidarity with the people in Minnesota and other cities who protest and make their voices heard.
Institutionalized racism is not just endemic to the USA but to the world. As scholars, educators, and activists, it is our duty to continue to fight racism, white supremacy, fascism, xenophobia, colonialism, antisemitism, and many other -isms in our communities and the classroom. We continue to address these issues in our research in the field of East German Studies that span across continents and generations.
In 1989, the world saw that peaceful protest can lead to change. But we have also witnessed silence that leads to complicity, for example in the racially motivated attacks against asylum seekers in Rostock-Lichtenhagen in 1992, the murder of Alberto Adriano and death of Oury Jalloh in Dessau in 2000 and 2005, or the recent and renewed antisemitic sentiments in all of Germany. We must acknowledge that teaching social justice also means to participate in social justice, that to teach about racism also means to acknowledge our own racial biases. Vocalizing and working on these wrongs has been and continues to be part of our commitment.
As Holiday Phillips puts it: “So this is a call. For all of us. To get honest and real. To look at how much we really care. To understand that when our allyship does more for ourselves than for the people it professes to help, we have a problem. Be an activist who actually acts. It’s too late in the day to be anything but.”
Black Lives Matter!
Third Generation Team
Katrin Bahr, Claudia Sandberg, Juliane Schicker