The last forgotten victims of the Nazis? – Professorial Lecture featuring Professor Robbie Aitken

Professor Robbie Aitken and Sheffield Hallam University Logo (courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University)
Professor Robbie Aitken on bringing forgotten history to light
Ahead of his free-to-attend inaugural lecture – The Last Forgotten Victims of the Nazis? The Nuremberg Race Laws as a Threat to Black German Futures (Wednesday 20 March) – Professor Robbie Aitken has been discussing his professorship, his career to date, and his hopes of challenging society’s ideas about history.
Professor Robbie Aitken Inaugural Lecture –  The Last Forgotten Victims of the Nazis? The Nuremberg Race Laws as a Threat to Black German Futures

1800 – 2030, Wednesday 20 March 2024

Sheffield Hallam University – Peak Lecture Theatre, Level 5 Owen Building, City Campus, Hallam Square, Sheffield, S1 2LX 

Few people know that a small but hypervisible Black community existed in Germany during the Nazi period. In his upcoming professorial lecture, based on innovative and ground-breaking research, Professor Robbie Aitken draws upon recovered testimonies of Black men, women, and children to outline their experiences of the Nazis’ Third Reich. He focuses on the extension of the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws, first applied to Germany’s Jews, to also include Black people as a significant turning point in their lives. Exposed to the very real threats of incarceration and sterilisation, Black and mixed-ethnicity families were increasingly split up.

In discussing his recent collaborative work on several Berlin-located Holocaust memorials to Black victims, Robbie will also consider why the stories of this community remain largely forgotten and why it is essential to change this.

Robbie’s bio

Robbie is an historian of Black Europe and empire. He has written widely on the development of a Black community in Germany from the 1880s up to 1945. His publications include Black Germany, the Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960 (with Eve Rosenhaft). He is currently working on the Black experience of Nazi Germany as well as post-war compensation claims made by Black victims of the Holocaust. As part of this work, Robbie has been involved in the laying of (Stolpersteine) cobblestone memorials dedicated to 11 Black persecutees of the Nazis.

He has also worked with a wide range of non-academic audiences, such as schools, museums, artists, film directors, and community groups. Additionally, he has been involved in several public exhibition and further memorial projects in Berlin as well as developing and staging his own travelling exhibition ‘Black Germany’, which has been shown in the UK, Germany, and Cameroon.


1800 – Guests arrive

1830 – Professorial lecture and Q&A

1930 – Drinks reception

2030 – Event close

Book your place by filling in the form here.

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