© 2017

The 'Black Horror on the Rhine'

Intersections of Race, Nation, Gender and Class in 1920s Germany


  • Provides a detailed historically grounded examination of the intertwining of race, nation, gender and class.

  • Presents detailed innovative analysis of previously unknown visual and text based 1920s source materials.

  • Examines in-depth an important chapter in the archaeology of European racism.


Table of contents

About this book


This book explores the 'Black Horror' campaign as an important chapter in the popularisation of racialised discourse in European history. Originating in early 1920s Germany, this international racist campaign was promoted through modern media, targeting French occupation troops from colonial Africa on German soil and using stereotypical images of 'racially primitive', sexually depraved black soldiers threatening and raping 'white women' in 1920s Germany to generate widespread public concern about their presence. The campaign became an international phenomenon in Post-WWI Europe, and had followers throughout Europe, the US and Australia. Wigger examines the campaign's combination of race, gender, nation and class as categories of social inclusion and exclusion, which led to the formation of a racist conglomerate of interlinked discriminations. Her book offers readers a rare insight into a widely forgotten chapter of popular racism in Europe, and sets out the benefits of a historically reflexive study of racialised discourse and its intersectionality.


Europe France Germany history nation propaganda Black Shame White Shame Eugenics Interwar Germany

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Iris Wigger is Lecturer of Sociology in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. The main focus of her research is racism analysis in historical context - exploring the intersectionalities between ‘race’ and other categories of social inclusion and exclusion.

Bibliographic information