I've been looking for a years for a novel that I read in the mid-90s. We got it from the local library, but neither my sister nor me have any good clues on the details. It was in German, so it could be a translation, or originally German.
This is what I remember from the plot: After some apocalyptic event/world war, civilizations are shattered. A community (not sure about the size) that seems to be exclusively "white" with technology comparable to European renaissance sends a sailing vessel on an expedition to discover (lost?) parts of the world. The expedition is almost destroyed in a polar region (I think), and then meets an advanced society (comparable to current day "developed"/"industrial" countries with respect to technology, but culturally much different) which is exclusively "black". The catastrophic event was seemingly caused by the "white" people, so the expedition is met with strong bias.
I'd be happy about any clues to identify this book.