August Sabac el Cher: famous Afro-German

August Albrecht Sabac el Cher (* around 1836 in Kordofan ( Egypt , today Sudan ); † September 21 1885 in Berlin ) was chamber servant of the Prussian Prince Albrecht .

He is regarded as the earliest prominent representative of the African Diaspora in Berlin and next to Anton Wilhelm Amo as one of the first socially integrated Afro Germans .



August Sabac el Cher was about 1836 in the former province of Kordofan southern Egypt (in the adjoining map with Kordofan called) was born. According to the family legend, he came from a Nubian Sheikh dynasty. His father is said to have fallen into a rebellion against the Egyptian occupation force, which is why his mother – according to an old custom – committed suicide. The son of this connection is to the victorious Egyptians after Cairo have been introduced, in order to attend a military school to be educated. Due to temporal inconsistencies in the truth of this tradition is controversial.
As a “gift” for Prince Albrecht
Prince Albrecht of Prussia , the youngest brother of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV , traveled in February 1843 with two officers and a few servants about Genoa to Egypt. A few months before the Egyptologist had Karl Richard Lepsius began archaeological excavations. The interest in the Orient was in the Prussian capital in vogue , which is why Prince Albrecht opened to an expedition.

On February 25, 1843, the Prussian delegation met in Alexandria in order after Cairo travel further. Egypt was at this time as Ottoman viceroyalty under the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha , who consolidated his position by absolute power upgrades inside.

In March 1843 Prince Albrecht was in the Cairo Citadel received by Muhammad Ali with full honors. At the end of the audience the Viceroy bestowed his guest with a small Nubian Bedouin boy who had previously received at the Egyptian court lessons. To send to ” Mohr children “was at that time not uncommon. The Prussian Prince chose to name the only Arabic phrase, which he knew: Sabac el Cher (from the Arabic صباح الخير), which means good morning means.

The tour group took a steamer under the Prussian flag up the Nile, along small settlements. In Assiut was another shore leave to visit some grave sites. In the following weeks, the group traveled to Prince Albrecht Aswan on to Abu Simbel , which represented the high point of the trip to Egypt for this. He was entranced by the “immense underground chambers [and] magnificent rows of columns”. His travel notes [4] However, evidence up to this point more of a depressed mood, whether of dirt and “wasteland”.

From Wadi Halfa , beyond the first Nile cataract , they went on the way back. In April 1843 arrived back in Cairo. The tour group united there with the expedition of Lepsius. Together we climbed – as the end of the stay in Egypt – The Great Pyramid of Cheops .

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August Sabac el Cher as a valet in”oriental dress”
On one of the days following the party broke towards Palestine on. With a camel caravan was pulled over Suez , Gaza and Ramla way to Jerusalem . This leg of the journey has been well documented through pictures. One of them shows August Sabac el Cher in Khan Yunis (today in the Gaza Strip ) at the feet of the Prince, busy with the plug a pipe.

In Jerusalem, the entire tour group visited the Dome of the Rock and the Holy Sepulchre . Along the ruins of Jericho and the Jordan led the way to Jaffa . On 11 May 1843, the Society met in Haifa one, from where it over Tiberias until after Damascus continued. There the Prussian delegation was formally proclaimed.

Prince Albert and his entourage embarked then in Beirut one. On the way home, they spent a few days in June 1843 in Constantine Opel , where they swim at the Dardanelles enjoyed. After stops in Athens and Vienna the tour group met in August 1843 again in Berlin. The Nubian boy Sabac el Cher was Prince Albrecht accompanied the entire trip over and stood at his service. With him, he left his homeland forever.



Careers at the Prussian royal court

As a footman in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais

In Berlin, the youngest member of the prince-royal household a medical examination has been undergone. His age was estimated to be seven years. Sabac el Cher should continue to work in Prussia as a servant of Prince Albrecht. Therefore, he lived since the day he arrived at the servants’ quarters in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais . In the immediate area of the court in the Prussian capital he grew up and was in German language teaching and Christian religion. His education was by private tutors at court and was – according to the Prussian tradition – aligned strict and unconditional discipline. Unlike many deported to European noble houses African children before him, he obviously did not suffer from the alien climate and culture shock , but added on and was referred to as “attentive student”.
In 1848, the March Revolution broke out, the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais remained spared from an attack. After completion of the violent revolution King Frederick William IV donated a commemorative coin on tape for the defense of the royal family, the Sabac el Cher was awarded as all servants of Prince Albrecht.

On May 28, 1851 began for him a career as a valet in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais. The 15-year-old Sabac el Cher was a lackey a officiants assumed. In their area were from the beginning numerous activities, such as to cover cleaning and the table. As a ” chamber Mohr , “as they in Brandenburg-Prussia in the days of the Great Elector gave was, however, devoted to him from all sides special attention. Xenophobic resentment against him are not known.

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August Sabac el Cher at the feet of the Prince Albrecht (in Khan Yunis )
In April 1852, the Protestant took baptism to a small scale in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais. Sabac el Cher – then 16 years old – was given the name August and Albrecht . His parish was that of the traditional Jerusalem Church in Berlin-Friedrichstadt . Godfather was primarily August Ferdinand Ströhmer, Fourier Prince Albrecht Sabac el Cher in whose care had probably already given in Egypt and whose name he received. He probably saw in Ströhmer a kind of surrogate father.  As a further Taufzeugen the daughter of August Ferdinand Ströhmers and the valet Adolph Otto called.

The marriage of Prince Albrecht with Marianne of Orange-Nassau was at this time a long time only on paper. Both gave themselves otherwise Liaisons back and tolerate each other thereof. Already on 28 March 1849, the marriage had been divorced before the Berlin Court of Appeal, but required a divorce in the royal house which countersigned by Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who until 1853 was ready. Princess Marianne moved to the castle Reinhartshausen in the Rhineland , while his long-term lover Albrecht Rosalie von Rauch in the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen took as his second wife. Friedrich Wilhelm IV banished the new wife (now Countess of Hohenau) his brother “forever by the Prussian borders”.
The couple moved into the newly-appointed Albrecht Castle Mountain at Dresden , where August Sabac el Cher as the entire servants’ them followed. Prince Albrecht but had to frequently travel between Berlin / Potsdam and Dresden, as he had still at court attendance requirement. On these rail travel Sabac el Cher his servant accompanied him.


In the Caucasus
Often Prince Albert visited his sister Charlotte of Prussia , who since 1825 as the wife of Nicholas I was empress of Russia. Nicholas I was in the enforcement of Russian influence in the Caucasus particularly interested. For years, fought the Czar’s army against the Circassians . The 53-year-old Prince Albrecht was awarded in 1862 for the first time the opportunity to ask his military skills. Together with his entourage – including August Sabac el Cher – he embarked in Budapest one. The Danube down it went up into the Romanian city of Galaţi . From there, the trip went by carriage Odessa on. After several weeks of travel, the group met in October 1862 in Stavropol , the headquarters of the Russian Caucasus troops, a.

The Prinz-Albrecht-Palais in Berlin – Sabac el Cher’s new residence

Since the Russian generals considered an operation in early November for meaningful, the Prussian delegation embarked on a six week tour, they – of Cossack escorts – led to the mineral baths of the Caucasus, so after Mineralnye Vody and Pyatigorsk . About Tbilisi and Baku traveled August Sabac el Cher with the group of the Prince to Mount Ararat .
The dense forest of the Caucasus mountain peoples offered good conditions for a sustained guerrilla war against the Russians. This went with particular cruelty on the principle of scorched earth before. Fields, forests and villages were quickly razed to the ground in order to transform them into “an open, all branches of accessible terrain”. On November 12, the use of the Prince Albrecht began: On the way from Stavropol but his coach had an accident, where probably it was also August Sabac el Cher injuries.
However, there was Prince Albrecht on the military campaign. On behalf of the Russian commander, he took a few already abandoned villages and decided several skirmishes for the Russian army . After completion of the company gave Tsar Nicholas I to his brother-Russian military honor, the Order of St. George . August Sabac el Cher received from the Czarina a gold pocket watch, which survived two world wars and is still family-owned.



Participation in the German wars of unification

Two years after the stay in the Caucasus took Sabac el Cher August 1864 in Prussian uniform at the first German unification war, the German-Danish War part. On the side of Prince Albert, he served primarily in headquarters and was not in direct combat. Unlike in 1866: In the Battle of Hradec Kralove he fought in an infantry corps. For his service he received the reminder Cross for combatants . When his master was awarded the Pour le Mérite awarded.
On November 25, 1867 August Sabac el Cher married the 24-year-old Berliner Anna Maria Jung in the Trinity Church in Moor Street . As a valet in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais Sabac el Cher was for the daughter of a wealthy textile merchant a good match, promised the contacts with the royal family and a secure income.

At the time of the wedding, she was also already six months pregnant. On March 10, 1868 saw Gustav Sabac el Cher the light of day. 1869 gave Anna Sabac el Cher a daughter’s life, in the name Bertha Elisabeth Charlotte was baptized. As the black son was admitted to the Jung family, is no longer observed. For the Love of the grandchildren over, there are numerous testimonies.

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In the Caucasus – on the box can be seen August Sabac el Cher (with a red Fez )
Sabac el Cher in 1870 moved to the German-French War : with Prince Albrecht he participated in the siege of Metz , the Battle of Artenay , the Battle of Loigny and Poupry and the Battle of Orléans part. He has received numerous military awards, including the Iron Cross . 1870/71 Albrecht was by his brother Wilhelm was not attachiert, in 1861, Frederick William IV was followed to the throne, to headquarters. With the active combat action he took over, however, and broke on 18th January 1871 in Paris together. On July 16, he suffered a stroke . The consequences of his second stroke (8 September 1872) Prince Albrecht died on 14 October 1872.



After the death of Prince Albrecht

The Nubian boy Sabac el Cher had made ​​as a servant in the vicinity of the royal family, a great career, which did not go with the death of his employer to an end. His eldest son, Albrecht , Sabac el Cher appointed August 1873 Silver administrator of the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais. With the high annual income of 600 gold marks , the numerous bonuses was increased, the family was able to lead an economically prosperous life. With the professional advancement now a move to her own apartment was possible. Had Sabac el Cher shone as valet primarily by its “exoticism” (he often worked in oriental fantasy costumes) to give him a prominent position was given to now: He received the ultimate supervision of sämtliches silver , porcelain , table centrepieces and glass of the prince’s household. He had assumed a number of silver and silver-operated laundry women.

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1867 married August Sabac el Cher from Berlin Anna Maria Jung
1876 ​​Sabac el Cher retired August from the service of the court from – probably for health reasons. On October 25, 1882, he, who had seen all the German wars of unification received, the naturalization certificate of the Berlin police. He was legally equated as a Prussian citizen.

On September 21, 1885 Sabac el Cher died in Berlin. The church book called gastric cancer as a cause of death. His grave in the cemetery of Trinity Church no longer exists. His wife Anna, 42 years old and widowed, married a second time. His son, Gustav (1868-1934) was in the German Empire a famous military musician and media star. Until now live the “little Nubian boy” in Germany descendants.

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Naturalization certificate August Sabac el Cher
August Sabac el Cher was one of the first socially integrated Afro Germans in Berlin. In the history of the African Diaspora in Germany it is therefore of particular importance. His life story paints a picture of a Prussian patriot who could never step out of the shadow of his employer. Since 2006, a posthumous tribute to his eventful life takes place, which brought numerous publications on African German and a work on the Sabac el Cher family with him.

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