African Americans in World War II
Courtesy of the National Archives
Nazi Germany's racial policies targeted a number of so-called "inferior" groups, among them people of African descent, that were considered to be degenerate influences on the superior Aryan race. To prevent racial mixing, many black Germans were sterilized or sent to concentration camps. Some fled to escape this fate, while those few who remained were deprived of education or employment, sometimes surviving by working as actors or in circuses. The presence of African Americans on the front lines of the struggle to destroy the abominable Nazi regime is therefore especially gratifying. On Easter morning, 10 March 1945, Technician Fifth Grade William E. Thomas and Private First Class Joseph Jackson posed with some "Easter Eggs" specially prepared for Hitler. The photograph was taken by 1st Lt. John D. Moore.