The German census does not poll residents on race, following World War II, so there is no definitive number on the population of black people in Germany.
One report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance estimates there are 200,000 to 300,000 black people living in Germany, although other sources guess that number is higher, upwards of 800,000.
Regardless of the specific numbers, which don"t exist, black people are a minority in Germany, but they still are present and have played an important role in the country"s history.
In Germany, black people are typically referred to as Afro-Germans (Afrodeutsche) or black Germans (schwarze Deutsche).
Some historians claim that the first, sizable influx of Africans came to Germany from Germany"s African colonies in the 19th century. Some black people living in Germany today can claim ancestry dating back five generations to that time. Yet Prussia"s colonial pursuits in Africa were quite limited and brief (from 1890 to 1918), and far more modest than the British, Dutch and French powers.
Prussia"s South West African colony was the site of the first mass genocide committed by Germans in the 20th century. In 1904, German colonial troops countered a revolt with the massacre of three-quarters of the Herero population in what is now Namibia.
It took Germany a full century to issue a formal apology to the Herero for that atrocity, which was provoked by a German "extermination order" (Vernichtungsbefehl).
Germany still refuses to pay any compensation to the Herero survivors, although it does provide foreign aid to Namibia.
After World War I, more blacks, mostly French Senegalese soldiers or their offspring, ended up in the Rhineland region and other parts of Germany.
Estimates vary, but by the 1920s, there were about 10,000 to 25,000 black people in Germany, most of them in Berlin or other metropolitan areas.
Until the Nazis came to power, black musicians and other entertainers were a popular element of the nightlife scene in Berlin and other large