During the two World Wars ‘aliens’ of all skin and eye colours, linguistic groups, cultures and faiths were brought to Europe in the form of colonial soldiers and Black Americans who fought for the Allies. Among them were Africans, Egyptians, Turks, Palestinians, Arabs, Indians (from British India), and so on. To remember these ‘strange foreigners’, this year’s FOKUS of the South-Asia Chronicle deals with a specific category of these temporary soldier-migrants who were brought to Germany in thousands as captive British-Indian soldiers and camp followers in World War I and World War II. Some of them died in various prisoners of war (POW) camps, sick bays, hospitals, and sanatoria, others survived their ordeals in captivity in various internment camps or Stalags (Stamm-lager, i.e. large POW camps).

Each essay of FOKUS showcases a different range of archival deposits in various parts of Germany – in isolated cases also from Britain, India and Geneva – which has been used to recreate the lived experiences of ‘alien coloured captives’. All of them in their own ways allude to the dilemmas, anxieties, and confusions that the German officialdom faced during the two World Wars. Within this short span of time, the authors have outlined phases into which the treatment of jangi qaidis could be divided notwithstanding continued cultural confusions and linguistic misunderstandings.

The FORUM of the volume includes seven articles on diverse topics from history, sociology, and anthropology. The final rubric REVIEW ESSAYS contains contributions that present state-of-the-art and historiographical overviews on various topics.

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