Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Howard A. Mowen

Second Advisor

Dr. Ross Gregory

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The international controversy arising from the use of black colonial troops by the French occupation forces in the German Rhineland after World War I is examined in this paper. Particular emphasis is given to American press accounts of the events on the Rhine (1919- 1922) including those of the New York Times, the Nation, the Literary Digest, and the New Republic. Two questions are addressed: Were the events on the Rhine, particularly the alleged atrocities committed by French black colonials, accurately reported? Secondly, was the reporting of the controversy affected by racial violence in the United States?

With the exception of the Nation none of the cite d publications sought to confirm or disprove charges of atrocities, relying instead on second-hand and often highly biased information. Findings also suggest little or no exploitation of the race issue in the reporting of this controversy.

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