Thirty years before Hitler came to power in Germany, and about forty years before Raphael Lemkin authored the word genocide, there had already been one at the hands of Germany. This genocide happened outside of Europe though. This genocide took place in AFRIKA!
Like with all things related to Afrika, this is never mentioned in our schools, which keeps us ignorant about our own histories.
In the early 1900s, Germany invaded Namibia. This documentary from the BBC outlines the events that lead up to the deaths of 3/4 of the population of Herero people, and 1/2 of the population of Nama people.
Germany’s Genocide of the Herero In 1904, the indigenous Herero people of German South West Africa (now Namibia) rebelled against their German occupiers. In the following four years, the German army retaliated, killing between 60,000 and 100,000 Herero people, one of the worst atrocities ever. The history of the Herero genocide remains a key issue for many around the world partly because the German policy not to pay reparations for the Namibian genocide contrasts with its long-standing Holocaust reparations policy.
The Herero case bears not only on transitional justice issues throughout Africa, but also on legal issues elsewhere in the world where reparations for colonial injustices have been called for. This book explores the events within the context of German South West Africa (GSWA) as the only German colony where settlement was actually attempted. The study contends that the genocide was not the work of one rogue general or the practices of the military, but that it was inexorably propelled by Germany’s national goals at the time. To get your copy click here
The book argues that the Herero genocide was linked to Germany’s late entry into the colonial race, which led it frenetically and ruthlessly to acquire multiple colonies all over the world within a very short period, using any means available.
Group of Herero hanged by Germans in German South West Africa circa 1907. Part of the postcard was reproduced in book form. The text above more or less reads; Herero skulls were packed into boxes by German South-West-Africa troops, to be sent to the pathologic institute in Berlin, so that they might be used for scientific measurements. Herero women removed meat, skin and hair form the skulls using pieces of broken glass. The skulls were from Herero’s killed in action or of those hung.