Herero and Namaqua Genocide

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Herero survivors after an escape through the arid Kalahari desert.

The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century.[1][2][3][4][5] It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South-West Africa (modern day Namibia), during the scramble for Africa.

On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, rebelled against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate.

In total, from 24,000 up to 100,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama died.[6][7][8][9][10] The genocide was characterized by widespread death by starvation and thirst because the Herero who fled the violence were prevented from returning from the Namib Desert. Some sources also claim that the German colonial army systematically poisoned desert wells.[11][12]

In 1985, the United Nations' Whitaker Report classified the aftermath as an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South-West Africa, and therefore one of the earliest attempts at genocide in the 20th century. The German government recognized and apologized for the events in 2004, but has ruled out financial compensation for the victims' descendants.[13]

References[change | change source]

  1. Olusoga, David and Erichsen, Casper W (2010). The Kaiser's Holocaust. Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23141-6
  2. Levi, Neil; Rothberg, Michael (2003). The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings. Rutgers University Press c. pp. 465. ISBN 0-8135-3353-8.
  3. Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, p. 12
  4. Allan D. Cooper (2006-08-31). "Reparations for the Herero Genocide: Defining the limits of international litigation". Oxford Journals African Affairs. http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/106/422/113.
  5. "Remembering the Herero Rebellion". Deutsche Welle. 2004-11-01. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1084266,00.html.
  6. Colonial Genocide and Reparations Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims under International Law by the Herero against Germany for Genocide in Namibia, 1904-1908 (PSI Reports) by Jeremy Sarkin-Hughes
  7. Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) A. Dirk Moses -page 296(From Conquest to Genocide: Colonial Rule in German Southwest Africa and German East Africa. 296, (29). Dominik J. Schaller)
  8. The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy (Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany) by Sara L. Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne M. Zantop page 87 University of Michigan Press 1999
  9. Walter Nuhn: Sturm über Südwest. Der Hereroaufstand von 1904. Bernhard & Graefe-Verlag, Koblenz 1989. ISBN 3-7637-5852-6.
  10. Marie-Aude Baronian, Stephan Besser, Yolande Jansen, "Diaspora and memory: figures of displacement in contemporary literature, arts and politics", pg. 33 Rodopi, 2007,
  11. Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny, "Century of genocide: critical essays and eyewitness accounts" pg. 51, Routledge, 2004,
  12. Dan Kroll, "Securing our water supply: protecting a vulnerable resource", PennWell Corp/University of Michigan Press, pg. 22
  13. "Germany admits Namibia genocide". BBC News. 2004-08-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3565938.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-23.