In Munich one morning last week, a little boy named Hans Koegel appeared at the doorway of the Schule in der Blu-menstrasse and nervously entered. Like other children arriving for the first day of school, he clung tightly to his mother, and it was not for several awkward moments that he finally relaxed enough to smile tentatively at his classmates. But even after he did so, his mother and teacher continued to watch him closely.
For several months, parents and teachers all over West Germany have been worried about children like Hans. He is a mulatto, one of some 3,000 who are starting to school for the first time. Almost all are the children of Negro G.I.s, and most are illegitimate. In a nation that still remembers the preachments of Hitler’s Master Race, they were expected to present something of a problem.
Last week, school principals waited worriedly for reports of discrimination or childish cruelty. But as the first days passed, there was only silence. Not one child was singled out for teasing because of his color; not one teacher refused to work in mixed classes; not one Nordic mother took her own child out of school in protest.
As for little Hans, he had become something of a tease himself. His victim: a young towhead by the name of Tűrauf, which Hans thinks is howlingly funny. Tűrauf means “Open the door.”