GDR Kids of Namibia

Today at the Red River Conference on World Literature, I heard Jason Owens of SDSU present on the GDR Kids of Namibia, a group (about 140 I think he said) of Namibian children who were relocated from a refugee camp in Namibia to East Berlin in the late 1970s. They were educated in Germany, became known as the GDR kids, and returned to Namibia when the government there changed and the Berlin Wall fell (almost simultaneously).

The parallels with the Lost Boys of Sudan story were interesting, although the GDR kids were much younger when they left Africa. Jason told me afterward that the kids did become “media darlings” a bit like the Lost Boys have become, but the name has proved problematic, as these kids are now well into adulthood.

Surprisingly little on the Web about this group–the one book about them is very expensive, and Jason’s conference presentations show up, but not even a Wikipedia entry!

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