Uncovering the German genocide of the Namibian peopleThe repatriation of human remains more than a century after they were taken to Germany from Namibia has evoked painful memories of colonial wars in which primary African resistance was crushed, and genocide perpetrated —08 in what was then the colony of German South West Africa. This contribution situates the current issues and practices of memory politics between Namibia and Germany within their historical context. From January the German colony of South West Africa since the sovereign state of Namibia seethed with the repercussions of the greatest synthesis of testosterone from androstenedione movement against colonial rule the country had yet witnessed. The colonial administration had been gradually implanted after the Berlin conference in which had sealed the partition of Africa among the European powers. But Germany managed to grab germann a german east africa genocide colonies in Africa and Oceania afterwhich turned out to be dismal and costly commercial failures. Under methandrostenolon circumstances, any challenge to genocidde rule was tantamount to disparaging german east africa genocide honour and grandeur.
Herero and Namaqua genocide - Wikipedia
More than years after a genocide of the Herero people in Namibia, Germany is acknowledging its role. Listen to a Herero elder recounting the story he heard from his forefathers. During German rule in Namibia, called South-West Africa back then, colonial officers studying eugenics developed ideas on racial purity, and their forces tried to exterminate two rebellious ethnic groups, the Herero and Nama, some of them in concentration camps.
Negotiations, which began this year, are now also focusing on how Germany will compensate and apologize to Namibia. The events in Namibia between and foreshadowed Nazi ideology and the Holocaust. Yet the genocide in this former colony remains little known in Germany, the rest of Africa and, to some extent, even in Namibia itself.
Throughout Namibia, monuments and cemeteries commemorating the German occupiers still outnumber those honoring the victims of genocide, a concrete reminder of the lasting imbalance of power.
About 80 percent of all Herero, who numbered as many as ,, are believed to have eventually died. Many perished after the battle of Waterberg: They were shot, hanged from trees or died in the desert, where the Germans sealed off watering holes and also prevented survivors from returning.
But now we have made noise. Kambazembi and other leaders are also quick to blame domestic politics for the delay in recognition. The Swapo-led government has also depended greatly on foreign aid, especially from its biggest donor, Germany. Kambazembi, a longtime member of Swapo, said he had unsuccessfully pressed fellow party leaders to emphasize the genocide issue. That drew fierce resistance from the Herero, traditional cattle herders, and the Nama. View all New York Times newsletters.
In , Trotha issued a similar warning to the Nama, 10, of whom are estimated to have died as a result. Stories of the deaths in the desert were passed down quietly in Herero families — usually around a fire at night. Marama Kavita, 43, a Herero activist in Okakarara, a town about an hour from Waterberg, said he heard stories from his grandmother, who fled to what is now Botswana as a child during the genocide. Over the decades, Nama communities also kept alive the memories of the genocide in cultural festivals, handing down songs about the war and re-enacting wartime episodes, said Memory Biwa, a researcher at the University of Namibia who has compiled an oral history of the genocide.
My grandfather used to tell me how cruel the Germans were. When he told us those stories, he would jump up and stand straight, very aggressively. His face would get angry. In a potential obstacle to the talks, some Nama and Herero leaders want to negotiate directly with Germany for compensation. The Namibian government, they say, will spread future money from the Germans to unaffected ethnic groups or, worse, simply pocket it. Ngavirue, who is Herero. But the two sides have yet to agree on a compensation amount, or what it should be called.
Namibia speaks of reparations, but Germany rejects the term. Reparations would amount to acknowledging guilt under the United Nations Convention on Genocide , the Germans say, adding that the convention cannot be applied retroactively to past genocides.
That is also why Germany is refusing to negotiate directly with the Herero and the Nama, because discussions would fall under reparations, said Mr.
Polenz, the German special envoy. While Germany has directly paid victims of World War II in the past, compensating descendants in Namibia would subject Germany and other nations to an endless stream of new claims, Mr. You cannot rewind time, not in your private life, not in public life.
In Germany, the genocide in Namibia has been debated a couple of times in the past year in the Bundestag. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.
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