On November 19, 1971 three members of the Black Panther Party, who had just completed their military service in Germany, got involved in a shooting at the West Gate of Ramstein Air Base while trying to distribute pamphlets informing about the arrival of Black Panthers' first lady - Kathleen Cleaver to Heidelberg. The detainment of the two of them, and the subsequent trial in Zweibrucken in June 1971, caught mass attention both in Germany and the United States and proved that debate over racial inequality had spread out beyond the boundaries of the continental America and became an acute problem within U.S. military bases in Germany at the beginning of the 1970s. Drawing on an access to the materials released by the newly opened DokuCenter in Ramstein-Miesenbach, the article provides not only an insight into one of the most controversial trials of Afro-Americans outside their country but also pictures the event as a catalyst for a growing support for the activity of the Black Panther movement among certain groups of the German society at the beginning of the 1970s.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.