ROBERT STEPHEN KWAMI (1879 – 1945)

Cartoon with Carl Röver and Robert Kwami.

Moral courage against National Socialists

The so-called „Robert Kwami-affair“ was triggered off by the National Socialists in Oldenburg who tried to prevent Robert Kwami (1879-1945), a Ghanaian pastor, from presenting a lecture in the St. Lamberti Church on September 20th, 1932.

The National Socialist race doctrine provided the ideological background. As early as in 1932, a National Socialist state government ruled in Oldenburg, headed by Carl Röver. He considered Robert Kwami to be a Black and, therefore, a non-Aryan and less worthy. The politician referred to the anti-Semitic race doctrine and intended to forbid the lecture of the pastor. The National Socialist party (NSDAP) and the state government dominated by it were ready to face a showdown with the church. The Mission society, senior consistory, pastor and members of the congregation rallied behind Robert Kwami and demonstrated their solidarity. The Executive council did not perceive Robert Kwami as representative of a race but as a Christian. 

Pastor Erich Hoyer and his congregation faced the National Socialist ban with great moral courage and succeeded, ultimately, in making Kwami's presentation possible. 2000 people heard his lecture.