English: The struggles West Germans and African-Americans faced during the early post-
World War II years of economic prosperity (the “Golden Fifties”)1 were compounded
by confused ideologies concerning morality, sexuality and racism (“the tide of
immorality”).2 This article provides an overview of the socio-historical background
of the setting of Wolfgang Koeppen’s novel, in order to illustrate the findings with
regard to the social and moral difficulties that arose from the American occupation
of West Germany.