Pith helmet in Thuringia

Or: How Albert Schweitzer came to Weimar.

Jannik Noeske

CN: Racist images and language

Fig. 1: The Kegelplatz in Weimar in a photograph taken in August 1989. The monument has been relocated in the meantime and is now roughly in the place of the large coniferous tree in the foreground. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

In the very north of Weimar's historic center, between the Stadtschloss, the Marstall and the Ilm River, lies the Kegelplatz. On the idyllic little town square there is a bronze statue in honor of Albert Schweitzer. The doctor, theologian and philosopher is depicted as part of a group of figures - next to him is a teenage girl, opposite him is a mother with a child in her arms. The monument is part of the Weimar cityscape. How did the monument come to Weimar? And what does it still convey to us today? The examination of its genesis, its problematic imagery, and Schweitzer's significance for European colonialism is also a journey into my own past.

Perhaps I was eight or ten years old when I visited the Schweitzer-Haus in Königsfeld in the Black Forest. The doctor and theologian had it built for his family in the mid-1920s, after his Alsatian homeland was ceded to France. Just like Schweitzer, I grew up in the Protestant Pfarrhaus, a neighboring village of Königsfeld. As far back as I can remember, I encountered Schweitzer's kind gaze and mustache in pictures and stories - always associated with the image of a thoroughly good man. Schweitzer was presented to me as a representative of a "good colonialism," of Christian humanism in a "backward" Africa. When I came to Weimar for the first time about ten years later and encountered the monument, the vague images came back; but only now, another ten years later, have I followed the (after)life of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. What I found is more than just Weimar local history, but tells us about a trip of GDR officials to Lambaréné in Gabon, about the Africa images of GDR art as well as about speaking and silence in over 50 years of Schweitzer commemoration.

Fig. 2: A sketch by the sculptor for the Albert Schweitzer monument in Weimar, drawn in September 1968. Source: Neue Zeit of September 28, 1968, p. 10.

Theologian, organist, doctor – colonizer?

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) became famous worldwide mainly because of his work as a doctor in a mission hospital in Gabon.[1] Schweitzer was a man of many interests, though: born in 1875 in the then German Alsace as the son of a Protestant clergyman, he took up studies in philosophy and theology in Strasbourg, each of which he completed with a doctorate. In addition, he made a name for himself playing the organ as an interpreter of Bach. However, he decided against careers in parish ministry, academia, or at the organ. At the age of 30, he took up the study of medicine, after which he became involved in a hospital of the French mission.

In 1913, after he had completed his medical training and doctorate, he went to Lambaréné in the West African country of Gabon for the first time to help set up the mission hospital there as head physician. Between 1913 and 1959, he traveled to Lambaréné a total of fourteen times to work at the hospital, with his stays lasting between a few months and several years. Schweitzer was honored for his work with numerous prizes and showered with international recognition. After he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 at the latest, the Schweitzer myth was carried around the world.

Particularly controversial since the 1950s was his role as a white doctor in the missionary and colonial system. The criticism that began as a reaction to Schweitzer's sudden fame after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 must also be seen in the context of international relations. On the one hand, his commitment against nuclear weapons was instrumentalized by various sides, on the other hand, the emancipating independence movements in numerous African states led to a growing problematization of Schweitzer's work in general, but also of the conditions and events in Lambaréné. Schweitzer was no longer seen only as a selfless humanist with a big heart, but increasingly also as a representative of an oppressive colonial system and an impediment to modernization. Thomas Suermann describes the colonial dependency relationships on the following levels:

"First, in the difference between European and African and between white and black; second, in the relationship between doctor and patient; third, in the historical role between colonizer and colonized and, related to this, finally, in the relationship of 'elder' and 'younger brother' established by himself."[2]

Fig. 3: "Water from a liana is a sought-after refreshment" - this illustration from Gerald Götting's "Encounter with Albert Schweitzer" (1961) illustrates the reproduction of colonial imagery: Pith helmet and shirt (white, clean) in Götting's case and hole-ridden shirt, ill-fitting hat, and the submissive gesture of "serving" in his counterpart's case, plus the exoticizing notion of the "naturalness" of drinking from the liana to counter the local heat.
Source: Begegnungen mit Albert Schweitzer (1961), p. 63.

If we want to draw a differentiated picture today of the work of the doctor and man Schweitzer, we must first deal with the (self-)representations, but also the instrumentalizations that Schweitzer experienced from numerous sides, but also used himself.

Thus, the memory of Albert Schweitzer is to be understood as the result of decades of controversial reception history. From today's perspective, however, the sometimes woodcut-like image of the "jungle doctor" is not unproblematic, as the two historians and Schweitzer experts Nils Ole Oermann and Thomas Suermann emphasize:

"Some still see him as a well-meaning 'jungle doctor' who cared for the Africans entrusted to his care with heart and soul. In this 'caring', others already see traits of a colonial patriarch, who ran his hospital with a firm hand, who remained in the mentality of past centuries and wanted to rigorously deny the Africans modernity and who, when he spoke of the Africans as his 'younger brothers', never really took off his white pith helmet in about fifty years in Africa."[3]

Schweitzer's engagement in Lambaréné also became a site of identification for European colonial power claims. According to Oermann and Suermann, the "Eurocentric sense of mission" of missionary activities in Africa ultimately served to legitimize colonialism. Although Schweitzer's work in Gabon was "an expression of a critical view in the sense of atonement for colonial reality," the hospital also helped "Europe to feel exonerated from colonial guilt."[4]

Around 1960, the European public was negotiating how Schweitzer and his work should be evaluated from a (post-)colonial, medical-ethical, and political perspective;[5] Discussions that led to the ambivalent image that has been passed on to us today. The role of Schweitzer as a protagonist of European colonialism was and is also discussed in the Gabonese and – more generally – African public.[6] Little is known about the politics of remembrance in the GDR, where Schweitzer was politically appropriated in the last years of his life and directly after his death in 1965. The site of this GDR-specific Schweitzer memorial policy has been located at Kegelplatz in Weimar since 1968.

Schweitzer, Götting, Havemann

When Gerald Götting (1923-2015), the chairman of the East German CDU, opened the Albert Schweitzer Monument in Weimar on October 1, 1968, on the occasion of the 12th party congress of the CDU bloc in Erfurt, he explained why Weimar, of all places, had been chosen as the site of the monument. Schweitzer, who was from Alsace, had no special connections to East German cities, apart from Berlin, where he had studied briefly in 1899. Schweitzer never saw Weimar itself. Thus, Götting was left only with a rather general reference to the humanist tradition of the classical city:

"It is not by chance that we have chosen the classical city of Weimar as the place for the erection of the monument. The spirit that is alive within its walls, the spirit of humanity, shaped Albert Schweitzer's personality and life's work."[7]

Fig. 4: Havemann, Schweitzer and Götting (from left, fourth person unknown) in Lambaréné. The photograph shows all of them in pith helmets. In the 1950s, the pith helmet increasingly became a symbol of the oppressive colonial powers and subsequently lost its significance. Even today, it is used to depict and especially romanticize European colonial adventures. Source: Begegnungen mit Albert Schweitzer (1961), image plate 2 / p. 15.

The CDU politician Götting sought contact with Schweitzer after the latter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. Götting's first letter to Lambaréné dates from January 1955, on the occasion of Schweitzer's 80th birthday. In the following years, Götting and Schweitzer developed an intensive, friendly correspondence. In December 1959, the CDU politician announced the first of two visits to Gabon. For the Central Committee of the SED, there was an opportunity to build up the relationship through Götting - "Der Christ sagt ja zum Sozialismus" ("The Christian Says Yes to Socialism"), the title of a book by Götting from 1960 - and to harness Schweitzer to the foreign policy concerns of state socialism. In an internal paper in the run-up to the trip, it was stated that "Albert Schweitzer [objectively] opposes West Germany's nuclear armament policy, and it seems useful to exploit his attitude for our policy."[8] The first trip of Götting to Lambaréné took place in January 1960.[9]

Together with Götting, Robert Havemann, who was later expelled from the SED as an oppositionist and banned from his profession, had traveled to Lambaréné. Havemann represented the Peace Council of the GDR and the SED. Hans Kracht was also there to document the trip as a cameraman.[10] The central concern was to bind Schweitzer to socialist Germany as a "great humanist" and as a scientist. Schweitzer had the opportunity to promote his hospital project in the GDR – and thus in the entire socialist community – and to acquire donations in kind and money.[11] These were also financed from the revenues of Schweitzer's publications in the Eastern Bloc countries. Schweitzer's contact with GDR officials in the summer of 1961 caused a sensation. Götting was in Lambaréné for a second time. On August 13 – the day when the construction of the Berlin border fortifications marked the climax of the Berlin crisis – he was in Paris on his return trip from Gabon. Schweitzer had previously written a letter to Walter Ulbricht, not knowing that the state leadership would later publish the letter and use Schweitzer's commitment to the GDR. Schweitzer now received numerous critical letters from West Germany, for example from his old friend Theodor Heuss, the first Federal President of the FRG.[12] 

Götting, who also knew how to use his relationship with Schweitzer to enhance his personal reputation at home, arranged for the foundation of the Albert Schweitzer Committee in the GDR to collect donations in goods and money for Lambaréné and to prepare them for transport to West Africa. Thomas Suermann sums up: Albert Schweitzer was "instrumentalized by the GDR and served as the face of the anti-nuclear movement in the struggle with the class enemy, since one could only contradict a global moral authority and its arguments with one's own loss of face."[13]

Colonial Romanticism and African Politics in the GDR

The relationship of the state leadership in the person of Götting to Lambaréné represents a special form of the GDR's development policy, since the support was handled between a few committed individuals and did not represent official diplomatic cooperation.

In the early 1960s, socialist Germany supported independence movements in decolonizing African states. This period was marked by efforts of the SED to gain international recognition in the context of the so-called Hallstein Doctrine, which was to claim Germany's sole international representation for the Federal Republic. The SED openly sought opportunities for cooperation and recognition in countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Guinea, Mali, Cuba and Ghana.[14] In addition to rhetorical expressions of solidarity, the first forms of material aid manifested themselves, organized primarily through the Free German Trade Union Federation (FDGB).

The extent to which these forms of state cooperation and solidarity are an expression of the continuation of post-colonial dependency relations or of an equalizing socialist foreign policy is still the subject of academic debate today.[15] But despite the consistent anti-racist and anti-imperialist class struggle rhetoric, the GDR officials also remained attached to old colonial imagery, as we will see below. The continuing racism "at home" was just as little problematized.[16]

In terms of economic policy, relations with socialist countries in the Global South were of great importance. Not only did many people come to East Germany, for example, to gather training and initial work experience to build socialism in their home countries, but the export of technologies was also intended to strengthen the international viability of socialist networks (and sales markets).[17] At the same time, the GDR was dependent on supplies of resources from the Global South.[18] In the "state of workers and peasants", on the other hand, colonialism as a so-called late capitalist-bourgeois domination project was officially considered to have come to an end.[19] The stories of contract workers from Mozambique, Vietnam or Cuba, however, tell us today a counter-history to the political and social overcoming of colonialism under state socialism. [20]

Geyer's African Motif Cycle

Not only the establishment of economic dependency relations, a militant class struggle rhetoric and the establishment of a comparatively progressive African science of its own,[21] but also "art [...] belonged [...] to the foreign policy instruments of the GDR."[22] This becomes evident when looking at the work of the sculptor Gerhard Geyer (1907-1989) from Halle/Saale, who created the Schweitzer monument in Weimar.

Geyer is considered part of a second generation of GDR artists who emerged in the 1960s: "They designed the human being in its multi-layered physical and psychological unity, in dynamic and active moments, in new and time-related portrayals."[23] Geyer first made a name for himself with the bust Kopf eines Mansfelder Bergmanns (Head of a Mansfeld miner), which was awarded the art prize of the Free German Trade Union Federation (FDGB) in 1962. A year earlier, a few weeks before the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, Geyer made a trip to Ghana (independence in 1957) and Guinea (independence in 1958) together with his sculptor colleague Walter Howard. Geyer was to design a monument for the Trade Union Congress, a Ghanaian trade union, and Howard for the Guinean Conféderation Nationale des Travailleurs de Guinée , both commissioned by the FDGB and the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR. Both monuments were to be presented as gifts from the GDR to the workers of the recently independent African states.[24]

The three-month trip had a great influence on the work of the sculptor from Halle. In the following years he created a number of sculptures depicting "African" motifs.[25] At least three figures from the motif circle can still be found in public spaces today. In addition to the Schweitzer Group in Weimar, there is the sculpture Afrikanerin mit Kind (African Woman with Child) (1961), installed in Halle-Neustadt in 1969[26] and Freies Afrika (Free Africa) (1961), which is located in front of the Robertinum of the Martin Luther University Halle/Wittenberg since 1964. The latter is probably the sculpture made for the Ghanaian union that never found its way there. Placed in front of the University of Halle, it nevertheless served a diplomatic purpose, because it was no longer two nameless Ghanaian workers inside who were to be represented, but the philosopher Anton Wilhelm Amo. The plaque reads, "To the memory of Anton Wilhelm Amo from Axim in Ghana, the first African student and lecturer at the Universities of Halle-Wittenberg and Jena 1727-1747."

The sculpture "Free Africa" in Halle / Saale is dedicated to the first African scholar in Germany, Anton Wilhelm Amo (1703-1753) and is today subject to criticism.
Quelle: Black Central Europe

The sculpture "Free Africa" - today under criticism

The statue in Halle/Saale is an early testimony to Amo's reception in Germany. In recent years, the person of Anton Wilhelm Amo has once again been increasingly brought to public attention as a figure of identification in the politics of remembrance; in August 2020, the district council of Berlin-Mitte initiated the renaming of a street. The previous racist street naming in the center of the capital had been criticized for years by various social groups. Amo is to become the new name sponsor for the previous M*-Street.[27]

In the course of the debate about who should be honored in public spaces, Gerhard Geyer's Amo sculpture also returned to the public consciousness. The portrayal of the Ghanaian enlightener, of whom no pictorial evidence has survived, has been criticized from many sides:

"Back in 1965, a statue commemorating the scholar was erected on the University Ring, but it also illustrates the problems of a paternalistic commemorative policy. Anti-racist groups criticize the group of figures designed by sculptor Gerhard Geyer, which shows a male and a female figure: They say the statue does not depict Amo, but rather, in a clichéd manner, an African man next to an African woman, both in skirts and with their upper bodies exposed."[28]

In addition to the anti-racist initiatives, the art historian Anna Greve also criticizes the depiction as outdated and inappropriate in the introduction to her habilitation thesis:

"It is symptomatic of the dominance of racist thinking in the white majority society that the monument to Amo shows him not as a philosopher, but completely inadequately with a naked upper body, a long skirt and slipper-like footwear. It is particularly inappropriate that he is depicted with a woman 'dressed' in the same way, although it was precisely the racism of his environment that had prevented him from marrying a white German woman."[29]

The art scholar Christian Saehrendt similarly criticizes the depiction, but also sees it in the cultural-political context of the GDR government's attempts at rapprochement with the emerging socialist government of the young Ghana.[30] The attention that the almost-Amo Monument in Halle has received in recent years testifies to the rediscovery of the 18th-century scholar in terms of politics of remembrance. The ambivalence of the remembrance - early example of personal tribute to Amo, but in unbearable representation - promotes the activist debate and makes the group of figures in Halle appear in a different light today. The Albert Schweitzer monument in Weimar has not received critical public attention to this day.

Albert Schweitzer Monument for Weimar

The monument on Weimar's Kegelplatz is the second version of a group of figures created by Gerhard Geyer in honor of Schweitzer. He made the first version as early as 1963. It was originally intended to be shown in Bonn.[31] The sculptures show the same figures: Schweitzer with apron and pith helmet, at his side a teenage girl, slightly offset a woman with a scarf tied around her head and an infant in her arms, in the first version obviously a newborn wrapped in a cloth, in the second version a toddler sitting upright on the mother's arm. However, not only is the 1963 work significantly smaller, with a height of 40 centimeters, but the constellation of the figures in relation to each other differs. The art critic Eleonore Hoffmann wrote about this in 1969 in the Wochenpost, a GDR weekly newspaper:

"It [the first Schweitzer group of 1963, JN], still having been formed under the impressions of a trip to Guinea and Ghana lasting several weeks, captures the expectant tension with which a young African woman approaches the doctor, seeking help for her child. In the larger-than-life monument [in Weimar, JN], on the other hand, the figures do not face each other; they are arranged side by side at an angle. The healed child is sitting on the arm of the mother. Her facial features now look even-tempered. Protectively, Schweitzer's right hand rises behind the back of a foster child."[32]

Fig. 6: The first version of the Schweitzer group from 1963, which is still considerably smaller at about 40 centimeters high. Source: Neues Deutschland of November 20, 1965, p. 8.

The smaller, first group of figures from 1963 was a gift from the East German CDU in 1969 to the Albert Schweitzer Central Archive in Günsbach, which was headed by Schweitzer's former co-worker Emmy Martin, "as [...] a visible expression of the veneration we in the German Democratic Republic have for our common friend beyond the grave."[33] The sculptor Gerhard Geyer himself described his thoughts on the monument to Schweitzer in an interview in the CDU-affiliated GDR daily newspaper Neue Zeit. According to him, the starting point was the trip to Ghana and Guinea.

"The people there are of a remarkable plasticity, already through the dark skin, then through the garments and the movements. I was particularly inspired in Conakry [capital of Guinea, JN], where the people were even simpler, more natural and peasant than in Ghana's capital, Accra."[34]

Schweitzer's pith helmet was "more important for the expression than one could expect. Without the helmet the figure looked like a gardener"[35]Geyer summed up a few days before the unveiling of the monument in Weimar. Later, he explained in an interview with the GDR magazine Bildende Kunst (Fine Arts)that he could not have told of Schweitzer's social impact with a simple bust, for example. For this reason, he opted for the narrative qualities of the group sculpture and emphasized the "literary-narrative expressive possibility".[36].

Stereotypical characteristics

In both versions of the monument, as in other works of the motif cycle, Geyer marks the three nameless figures next to Schweitzer as "African" through stereotypical characteristics. Archetypal images and motifs are also used, which usually depict women and children as symbols of innocence and hope, as Christina Schwenkel explains using the example of Vietnam.[37] Thus Schweitzer's helping is not only racialized, but also marked in particular by the construction of helplessness, which is transported by the depiction of the woman and the children. The motif of "youth" also already appears in Geyer's Africa cycle and symbolizes the hopes for a better - socialist - future.   

Geyer's monument thus contains all of the colonial tensions mentioned by Suermann, which are superimposed on Schweitzer's person. Exaggerated physical features and a style of dress designed as non-European emphasize the differences between the figures juxtaposed with the Schweitzer figure and Schweitzer himself. Schweitzer is portrayed as "European" through his contrasting features: The coarse facial features, the philosopher's beard, and the paw-sized hands contrast with the more finely crafted other figures. These bodies of the nameless, on the other hand, are in the first place the result of colonial imagination. Their style of dress also corresponds to an idealized but diffuse image of Africa and thus contrasts with the clear symbolism of the pith helmet, which today can be read as the mark of a European colonizer. The constellation of the figures in relation to each other manifests the relationship between the doctor as the "white savior" and the patients in need of help. Through the characters, who are also described by Eleonore Hoffmann as seeking help, Schweitzer's self-chosen mission to act as a doctor in Lambaréné is subsequently legitimized. As a group, the figures suggest a harmonious community, which is to be portrayed as equals through the horizontal arrangement. But this is rather a reflection of European projections and the result of the justification of Schweitzer's position in European colonialism. The actual hierarchical relationships between Schweitzer, his collaborators, and his patients are clearly more complex and are still the subject of controversy today.

The monument itself finds a political context of remembrance in Weimar, which could be embedded in the cultural-historical context of a "socialist humanism" far away from the "shop window" of the GDR - East Berlin. For the state socialism of the GDR, Weimar became a place of legitimation from history: Luther, Bach, and the Classical period served, just like the former concentration camp Buchenwald, as national memory quarries from which the socialist German state could break out a specific but blurred form of identity. Colonial dependencies are not addressed. Schweitzer's work is transported here as humanism, as Christian charity or as international solidarity.

In Weimar, four locations were initially up for debate. During a site visit, however, none of these locations could convince Geyer. He himself chose the site at Kegelplatz, which he found most interesting from an urban planning point of view. The sculptor appreciated the historic ensemble, the old trees, and an "intimate atmosphere," which at the same time he could not find "far away or even apart from the pulsating social life of the city."[38] vorzufinden wusste.

And today?

In 1983, the monument was expanded to include a memorial, which was set up in the house of the fairy tale poet Carl August Musäus (1735-1787) on Kegelplatz after renovation in accordance with the requirements of the monument. The Albert Schweitzer Committee of the Red Cross of the GDR, founded in 1963, acquired the house with funds from a donated inheritance. In this constellation of memorial building and bronze sculpture, the Schweitzer commemoration in Weimar survived the upheaval of 1989/90. The committee found permanent premises in the house on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Lambaréné-Hilfe (Lambaréné Aid) in the GDR. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the committee was transformed into an association and in 1993 became part of a foundation. Today, the foundation and the association oversee an exhibition in the house and continue to collect donations for Gabon and for the care of Schweitzer's spiritual legacy. The exhibition in the new Schweitzer memorial focuses on the influence Weimar personalities such as Goethe, Bach, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche had on the Alsatian theologian and philosopher.[39] This construction and embedding of humanist heritage is aligned, albeit unintentionally, with the legitimization of European colonialism based on the distinction of a "civilized" Europe and a "natural" Africa.[40] The association with naturalness and simplicity was also on Gerhard Geyer's mind when he created the figures for his African cycle, as the quote above reveals.  

Exchanging looks

So, has Albert Schweitzer become a "new classic"[41] in Weimar? Hardly. But the monument and memorial site have become part of the city's "memory".[42] The story told in this article has become invisible with the demise of the GDR. But - and this is the crucial point - it is physically manifested. The monument itself is part of a local and global culture of history, which carries international relations of dependency just as much as racist stereotypes in art or the search for "role models" in both German states of the postwar period.

If one encounters the group of figures, one notices at first that they stand on (almost) no pedestal. At ground level and only slightly larger than life, they are meant to appear approachable and human. However, only Schweitzer is designed as a figure of identification - but even he does not speak to us today, remains strangely silent. We see him as the one who went to Africa as a doctor "in order to be able to work without any speaking".[43] It is also this attitude that promoted his colonial tunnel vision: He was not interested in exchange.

The other people in the group of figures remain nameless. They play a role in the Schweitzer story only as depersonalized, racialized objects of the "jungle doctor's" benevolence and humanism. The characteristics that are supposed to mark people as "African," on the other hand, stem from a centuries-old history of images and reproduce these entrenched depictions of an Africa in need of modernization, which for so long has served as the cause and legitimization for the oppressive colonial system in all its facets - and has remained beyond its – supposed – end.

The commemoration of Schweitzer often knows only one subject: the person Albert Schweitzer himself. This narrowing – and the apologetic hint that his racism was a child of its time – can cloud the view: on a differentiated appreciating, but also problematizing narrative about Schweitzer and about Schweitzer historiography, also in the GDR. Thus, in a strange way, all the figures in the sculpture gaze into nothingness. Perhaps they are all marked by age, by illness, by fatigue, by worry. In any case, there is no connection between them other than that of the helper and the helpless. But if one wants to move "from image cultivation to historical responsibility"[44] , it is advisable to engage with the monument. How can we succeed in making the figures speak in the 21st century?

Now, in any case, we are faced with a man whose gaze is overshadowed by his pith helmet.

[1] Unless otherwise stated, all biographical information taken from Oermann, Nils Ole: Albert Schweitzer 1875-1965. Eine Biografie, Munich: C.H. Beck 2013 (Beck'sche Reihe).

[2] Suermann, Thomas: Albert Schweitzer als „homo politicus“: Eine biographische Studie zum politischen Denken und Handeln des Friedensnobelpreisträgers, Berlin: Wissenschaftsverlag 2012, p. 299.

[3] Oermann, Nils Ole / Suermann, Thomas: Albert Schweitzers Lambarene, in: Zimmerer, Jürgen (Hg.): Kein Platz an der Sonne. Erinnerungsorte der deutschen Kolonialgeschichte, Bonn: bpb 2013, pp. 270-281.

[4] Ibid., p. 274.

[5] Baur, Hermann: Für oder gegen Albert Schweitzer?, in: Hippokrates 33/1962, pp. 982-986.

[6] Cf. Oermann/Suermann, Albert Schweitzers Lambarene (Anm. 3), p. 276.

[7] Speech printed in Gerald Götting: Albert Schweitzer – Pionier der Menschlichkeit, Berlin: Union Verlag 1970, pp. 25-38.

[8] As cited in: Suermann, Thomas: Albert Schweitzer als „homo politicus“: Eine biographische Studie zum politischen Denken und Handeln des Friedensnobelpreisträgers, Berlin: Wissenschaftsverlag 2012, p. 270.

[9] Lapp, Peter Joachim: Gerald Götting, CDU-Chef in der DDR. Eine politische Biografie. Aachen: Helios 2011, pp. 115f.

[10] Based on a script by Havemann, a ten-minute documentary film was made at DEFA in 1960 with the title Besuch in Lambarene, Ersteinsatz 13. Mai 1960. https://www.defa-stiftung.de/filme/filmsuche/besuch-in-lambarene/ (accessed 27.2.2021)

[11] Oermann, Albert Schweitzer (Note 1), p. 279.

[12] Suermann, Albert Schweitzer (Note 6), p. 278.

[13] Ibid., p. 274.

[14] Van der Heyden, Ulrich: GDR International Development Policy Involvment. Doctrine and Strategies between Illusions and Reality 1960-1990. The example (South) Africa. Wien: Lit 2013, p. 39.

[15] See for example: Schwenkel, Christina: Building Socialism. The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam. Durham: Duke University Press 2020, pp. 105ff.

[16] See the documentary portal of the Stasi documentation authority at https://www.bstu.de/informationen-zur-stasi/themen/beitrag/rassismus-im-ddr-alltag/ (accessed 6.4.2021, CN: racist language!)

[17] For example, the export of construction knowledge and technologies, see, among others, Butter, Andreas: Showcase and window to the world: East German architecture abroad 1949-1990, in Planning Perspectives 2/2017, pp. 249-269.

[18] Saehrendt, Christian: Kunst im Kampf für das »Sozialistische Weltsystem«. Auswärtige Kulturpolitik der DDR in Afrika und Nahost, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2017, p. 50.

[19] See among others: Conrad, Sebastian: Rückkehr des Verdrängten? Die Erinnerung an den Kolonialismus in Deutschland 1919-2019, in ApuZ 40-42/2019, https://www.bpb.de/apuz/297599/rueckkehr-des-verdraengten-die-erinnerung-an-den-kolonialismus-in-deutschland-19192019?p=all (accessed 27.2.2021)

[20] Giese, Luisa / Langbein, Daniel / Rehling, Charlotte: Hetze in Erfurt: Alltagsrassismus als koloniales Erbe, https://decolonizeerfurt.wordpress.com/hetze-in-erfurt/ (accessed 6.4.2021)

[21] Heyden, Ulrich van der: Die Afrikawissenschaften in der DDR. Das Beispiel südliches Afrika, in: Krauth, Wolf-Hagen/Wolz, Ralf: Wissenschaft und Wiedervereinigung. Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften im Umbruch, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag 1998, p. 371-442.

[22] Saehrendt, Kunst im Kampf (Note 18), p. 8.

[23] Dietrich, Gerd: Kulturgeschichte der DDR. Band II: Kultur in der Bildungsgesellschaft 1958-1976, Bonn: bpb 2019, p. 1303.

[24] »Afrika zerbricht die Ketten«, in: Neues Deutschland of 7.3.1961, p. 4.

[25] »Junges Afrika« 1961, »Figurengruppe aus Guinea« 1961, »Afrikanische Mutter« 1962, »Das Gespräch« 1962, »Gruppe mit Albert Schweitzer« 1963/1968 and others. 1965 Solo exhibition with Africa sculptures in Halle/Saale, opened on 19.3.1965.

[26] Carefully acknowledged by historian Jeff Bowersox of the Black Central Europe Initiative, https://blackcentraleurope.com/quellen/1945-1989-deutsch/eine-afrikanerin-mit-ihrem-kind-1961/, (accessed 5.3.2021).

[27] Rothenpieler, Greta: »Eine Feier für die Umbenennung«, in: taz, 23.8.2020, https://taz.de/Umstrittene-MStrasse-in-Berlin/!5704013/ (accessed 31.03.2021), see also the online exhibition on the life and thought of Amos at https://savvy-contemporary.com/en/projects/2021/the-faculty-of-sensing/ (accessed 09.04.2021)

[28] Nowak, Peter: »Der vergessene Aufklärer«, in: Jungle World 2020/32, https://jungle.world/print/pdf/node/68494/debug, (accessed 5.3.2021)

[29] Greve, Anna: Farbe – Macht – Körper. Kritische Weißseinsforschung in der europäischen Kunstgeschichte, KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe 2013, http://books.openedition.org/ksp/266, p. 13.

[30] Saehrendt, Kunst im Kampf (Note 18), p. 70.

[31] Meißner, Günter: »Geyer, Gerhard«, in: Beyer, Andreas / Savoy, Bénédicte / Tegethoff, Wolf: Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon Online. Berlin, Boston: K. G. Saur, 2009, https://www.degruyter.com/document/database/AKL/entry/_00055698/html (accessed 5.3.2021).

[32] quoted from: Rundbrief (Newsletter) 15/1969 of the Albert Schweitzer Committee at the Presidium of the German Red Cross in the GDR, p. 28.

[33] »Sichtbarer Ausdruck der Verehrung«, in Neue Zeit of June 15, 1969, p. 4.

[34] »Den reizvollen Willkommensgruß vor dem Haus entbietet der Eselreiter. Zu Gast im Atelier des Hallenser Bildhauers Gerhard Geyer«, in: Neue Zeit of September 28, 1968, p. 10.

[35] Ibid.

[36] quoted from: Rundbrief 15/1969 (note 32), p. 28

[37] Schwenkel, Building Socialism (Note 15), p. 93.

[38] Rundbrief 15/1969 (Note 32), p. 28

[39] Seemann, Annette: Weimar. Eine Kulturgeschichte, München: C.H. Beck 2014, p. 359.

[40] Zimmerer, Jürgen: Kolonialismus und kollektive Identität: Erinnerungsorte der deutschen Kolonialgeschichte, in: ders. (Hrsg.): Kein Platz an der Sonne. Erinnerungsorte der Deutschen Kolonialgeschichte, Bonn: bpb, S. 9-37, here p. 25.

[41] Seemann, Weimar (Note 39), p. 359.

[42] Assmann, Aleida: Wie entsteht das Gedächtnis einer Stadt?, in: Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen IV/2020, p. 40-42.

[43] Albert Schweitzer in 1965 on his decision for missionary work, quoted from Oermann, Schweitzer (note 1), p. 87.

[44] Assmann, Wie entsteht (Note 42).