Germany is rightly for ‘forgotten genocide’ in Namibia

566e2e5bae294aa5f926044117656cc7 - Germany is rightly for ‘forgotten genocide’ in Namibia

More than a hundred years ago, endeavoured Germany rebellious tribes in his African colony to eradicate. Today, the for this ‘forgotten genocide’ in an American court.

It was the first genocide of the twentieth century: between 1904 and 1908, murdered the German colonial power in Namibia between the 45,000 and 100,000 Herero, and an estimated 10,000 Nama. Historians will see there …

It was the first genocide of the twentieth century: between 1904 and 1908, murdered the German colonial power in Namibia between the 45,000 and 100,000 Herero, and an estimated 10,000 Nama. Historians see a forerunner of the Holocaust.

“The nazi period is like a deviation from our other illuminated history presented,” says Jürgen Zimmerer of Universität Hamburg to The Guardian. “But in Africa, experimented in Germany with the criminal methods during the Third Reich practiced.’ In contrast to the Holocaust is Germany only difficult in terms with his debt to Africa.


Germany usurped the territory of the present Namibia in 1884, to plunder the resources and tiranniseerde the population. When the Herero and Nama twenty years later rebelled and 120 Germans were killed, was the repression mercilessly. General Lothar von Trotha gave his troops the order all the men to kill, whether they’re armed or not. Also for fleeing women and children, he had no mercy. ‘Drive them back to their people, and shoot them down.”

The survivors were in concentration camps heavy to perform forced labour. Hunger, disease, exhaustion, and rape did their job: by 1908 there were only about 16,000 Herero. Three thousand skulls of dead Herero were sent to German scientists sent there, that they used for their study of the inferiority of non-white races.


The consequences of the colonial policies are felt today in Namibia. The grudge also. ‘The Herero live crowded together in barren reserves, ” commented activist Veraa Katuuo to The Guardian. ‘The descendants of the Germans to occupy still the fertile agricultural land that was stolen from our ancestors.”

Germany honors the victims of the Holocaust, in many monuments, as memorials for the dead of colonialism, there are hardly established. Only a few years ago there was a cautious change in the German attitude. During a visit to Namibia in 2004) recognised the then German state secretary for development Cooperation, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the German ‘historical, political, and moral responsibility’. Her words, however, were not yet cold or Berlin, let us know that they only in its own name, had spoken.

Bend of 180 degrees

It was not until 2015 before the massacre in an official document, a ‘genocide’ was called. That was a turn of 180 degrees, although without legal consequences.

Events that occurred before the Genocide Convention of the United Nations in 1951 became effective, may be recognized as genocide in a ” non-legal meaning’, and therefore no compensation can be demanded.

Over the past four years conducted the Berlin negotiations with the government in Windhoek on an official apology. Also Germany is prepared to aid to pull up, but recovery will remain excluded.

The Herero and Nama were not to speak about that they are not involved in those conversations. In addition to drag endlessly on – they are still not completed. That’s why they decided last year to in a New York court complaint against Germany.

They do require financial compensation for the pain and suffering of their ancestors. ‘Apologies without reparations would not only for the Herero as an insult, but for all Africans, ” said Vekuii Rukoro, the leader of the Herero, to Deutsche Welle.

Sale of bones

The Herero and Nama took advantage of a U.s. law that non-Americans the right violations of international law to sue in the US. During the meeting Tuesday night Belgian time) argued the lawyer of the German government, however, is that the American court was not competent and that Germany as a sovereign state immune from prosecution. He was also the legal doctrine that states that courts are better not to interfere in purely political matters.

Moreover, he argued, a U.s. court will not make a compensation award if the proceeds of German looting, not in the US. The counterparty use replication that Germany, with public funds, four buildings in New York had bought. Also the sale of bones of victims in 1924, by a German museum of an American who she eventually to the Museum of Natural History in New York gave, is put forward as evidence.

The New York court held her answer in consideration.

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