Date of Award

Summer 8-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Joe Perry

Second Advisor

Harcourt Fuller

Third Advisor

Jared Poley


During the 1960s, decolonization and the Cold War pushed many West Germans to concern themselves with aiding Africans. This aid came in the form of federally funded development aid or Entwicklungshilfe, student activism, and the continuation of missionary work. Utilizing print media, scholarly sources, as well as reports from missionaries and other aid workers, my thesis explores the discourses that surrounded aid work. These discourses reveal a number of ways West Germans conceived of race, modernity, and their role in the world. While acknowledging the multiplicity of views and contest over attitudes, I argue that in general aid to Africa supported West German conceptions of themselves as racially superior, modern, agents of goodwill, and benefactors to the world.