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As a dark-skinned girl in the Rhineland: Wanted: Rastavati


The little jutta - dark skin, curly curls - grew up with very blond parents. Her biological father's name was Oin, came from Jamaica, played the saxophone. Jutta did not know more than she wanted to track him down decades later.

Jutta's life began with an incredulous exclamation: "Oh, you green neune, is that dark! So I have not seen it yet!" - The midwife fell into shock in Rhenish flat when she saw the baby with the milk-coffee-colored skin and the black hair, before laying it on the blond mother's stomach. It was the year 1964 and Jutta was the first "mulatto baby" at the hospital, as it was said back then.

In the sixties dark-skinned people in the Federal Republic were still rare, especially in the sleepy Meerbusch on the Lower Rhine. So rare that some citizens almost crawled into the stroller to admire the cute Krauskopf. For weeks, the photo shop exhibited pictures of the little Jutta in the shop window, on the disc raptured passers-by pushed their noses flat.

At that time, Jutta's mother Helga Nielsen, with her temperament, looked everywhere, including the widow, in whose villa she lived as a subtenant. So as not to end up on the street with her daughter, the 21-year-old decided to put her life in order.

"Jutta, it does not suit you"

A husband was needed. For a single parent with dark-skinned child no easy task. But she found it: Hans, white-haired parted hair, as a proprietor of food Lüdemann every morning accurately piled up his tropical fruits to pyramids.

With Jutta Helga Nielsen moved into his apartment and became what she never wanted to be: a housewife. In the evening they saw together the "ZDF hit parade", strolling through the town on Sunday weekend in Sunday dresses. As a child, Jutta perceived herself as completely normal. Even though all around her were white: her blonde mother, the blonde stepfather, the neighbors. Whenever she looked in the mirror, she was surprised how different she looked, but forgot it again.

photo gallery

21 pictures

Rastavati: Who is this "Oin" from "Tschömeika"?

It changed only with the beginning of school. Classmates looked at them from top to bottom: "Your name is Jutta? It does not suit you at all." A girl called after her, "Did not you know yet, you're adopted, your mother is white, your father is white, you're brown, how is that supposed to work?"

Of course, she was the mother, assured Helga Nielsen the daughter, but also confessed, who is her biological father: a man from "Tschömeika", the "Oin" hot and gifted saxophone player is. She had only once heard him play in a bar with his rock'n'roll band and then moved around the houses with him. She did not know any more. Not even his last name.

"Curly hair, curly sense"

Oin, Tschömeika, saxophone: These three features put Jutta's head together in a dazzling image. Your father was an artist, maybe even a world star? From then on, she searched for him on record covers in music stores. She could not talk about it with her mother, she always just said that Hans was her "daddy" now.

He hated nothing more than being approached by some people about his daughter's skin color. Then he just grunted that his wife had just "eaten too much licorice during pregnancy".

"Afro.Germany" - TV documentary by Jana Pareigis

It was the early seventies. What "belonged" and what did not, was strictly regulated. Single women had "stayed seated", married people had to host their husbands, fathers set the rules and children no questions. "Curly hair, curly sense," was also said at the time.

At that time, new supermarkets replaced the small grocery stores. Even the stepfather had to close his shop and became a representative for nylon tights. His drowning he drowned in alcohol and bellowed at home more often.

The small, ugly humiliations

Jutta went her own way: As the first dark-skinned child, she made it to the local high school. In the gospel choir she soon realized that the songs were about the oppression of dark-skinned people - including their unknown ancestors. In the library, she devoured everything about slavery and began to see herself as part of a black community.

At the same time, of course, she still felt like a German. But not all fellow citizens saw it that way. For example, when she entered the locker room in the department store, the shop assistant explained to her loudly, "You - nothing - more than - three - parts - with - in - the - cabin - take!", Holding up three outstretched fingers.

With the adolescence grew the yearning for her biological father. Gladly Jutta presented him on the distant Caribbean island, whistling in a hammock between palms - and hopefully not a permanent Rastafarian. She asked her mother a few more times, but she blocked it. At some point, Jutta stopped asking, also because she was afraid to offend her increasingly choleric stepfather.

He sometimes also had his caring sides and tried to give Jutta two ways of life: she had to, first, to be recognized, do more than others. And secondly: "Never go for a black man, they have a completely different culture!"

Her children were enthusiastic about rasta opi

After graduation, Jutta Nielsen received the long-awaited study place for medicine and moved to the dormitory. In parting, the stepfather made her a curious revelation. He confessed, even though that might be a bit hard for her: "I'm not your real father!"

That did not surprise Jutta any longer. She completed her studies, became a doctor, married, was from then on Weber and got four children. Meanwhile, more and more dark-skinned people lived in Germany. At least since the turn of the millennium, Afro-Germans, as they were now officially known, Afro-shops and black athletes were part of everyday life.

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Jutta Weber, Ella Carina Werner
Rastavati: How I found my Jamaican roots

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Rowohlt Paperback




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And yet, as a dark-skinned pediatrician, Jutta Weber still seemed so exotic that some patients thought she was the same for the receptionist - as if an Afro-German could not be a doctor. At the age of 50, she seldom thought of her father: so hopeless to ever find him. Her children, however, were keenly interested in the unknown grandfather, were enthusiastic about rastafarian culture and reggae, played the saxophone or braided their hair in rasta heads.

Then, five years ago, the reading of a writer with Jamaican roots started everything. Jutta Weber, fascinated by the stranger's aura, wanted to know more about her Caribbean roots. However: Oin, Jamaica, saxophone - she did not know any more. It dawned on her that her father might be called Owen instead of "Oin," and her mother, who spoke very little English, had misjudged the name.

Could You Be Loved?

Over detours, authorities, months of back and forth, Jutta Weber found out her father's name: Owen Mc Ferlain. But even that did not help her. Good that her daughter Hannah, 17, latched on.

Hannah searched the Internet for the first and last names in every possible constellation of words - and discovered a tiny, blurred photo of an "Owen Mc Farlane". Despite the other spelling Hannah Weber was sure: This man had similar facial features as her mother, he just had to be the missing person.

Jutta Weber

Finally united: Jutta Weber and her father Owen Mc Farlane at the first meeting in 2014

She was right. And so Jutta Weber found on Facebook after half a century, her father, who lived by no means as jarring Rastafari in Jamaica, but as a newly retired accountant in Canada. After a long exchange of e-mails, the over 70-year-old visited his daughter in Germany - and in 2014 both were fascinated to find that they resembled each other in their nature, not only outwardly.

In honor of her father, Jutta Weber organized a welcome party. Her mother Helga also appeared, like two strangers, the two shook hands. In fact, she hardly knew each other, had had only a fleeting liaison decades ago.

Jutta Weber, however, had a good feeling: her parents had done everything right that night in 1963.

PS: "The Down Beats" was the name of the band in which Owen Mc Farlane played in 1963. Now you would like to know how they sounded? Well, that's what they sounded like. Pleased to.

Source: spiegel

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