What is the relationship between Namibia at the dawn of the XXth century, Mein Kampf and UNO? The Hereros establish the link; this community of Southwest Africa who, in spite of it, took part in the ideological elaboration of the genocides century. It is not a very common history which, for unknown it is, deserves to leave the shade. In the last quarter of the XIXth century, several European powers, mainly Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, launched out in a hard competition in order to extend (France, Great Britain) or to constitute (Germany, Italy) their colonial empire, mainly in Africa, Asia and in the Middle East. In Asia and in the Middle East it was especially a commercial fight, the positions already being in general acquired. It is in Africa, especially, that the confrontation was the hardest, because around 1880, except Belgian Congo and a part of Southern Africa and North Africa, only the coastal zones were under colonial domination and 80 % of the continent was free. The massacre of Hereros by the German army since 1904 is considered by much, since the end of the XXth century, as the first attempt of genocide of this century, before the Armenian one. It is located in a context of tension between European colonial powers but also in a series of similar actions carried out by the German army between the end of the XIXth century and the beginning of the First World War.
[...] The question remained for a long time to know if von Trotha had planned, from the beginning,a genocide of completely new dimension (as the herero leaders affirmed it) or rather a military destruction campaign, with all its horrors, which all the colonial empires practised then. The historians of ex-GDR are those who agree the most clearly on the thesis of the genocide: von Trotha would have set up a tactic which let no other choice to the Herero than flee to Omaheke, the desert becoming the tool of the genocide. [...]
[...] Major Ludwig von Estoff who participated in the military campaign against the Herero community confessed that: it was a policy which was equally gruesome and senseless, to hammer the people so much, we could still have saved many of them and their rich herds, if we had pardoned and taken them up again, they had been punished enough. I suggested this to General von Trotha but he wanted their total extermination”.12 In a few weeks Hereros died per tens of thousands of thirst and hunger in the Omaheke desert. [...]
[...] The actions done to repair the genocide In the case of Namibia, the relationships after the independence have always been complex: as site of the first deliberate genocide of the century, Namibia has a special status in global, colonial and German history”21. And, much resistance was encountered at the time of the recognition and memorize the event. But, at the time of independence in Namibia, the Bundestag recognized “Germany's special relationship” with Namibia. Nevertheless, during many years the German governments replied to Hereros' claim that at the time of the so-called genocide there was no international law which protected the civilians in war period, and so was not illegal at that time. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, a speech given by the German ambassador in Namibia stressed that German government lives up to its historical responsibility by establishing a special relationship with independent Namibia ( ) reflected in high-ranking reciprocal visits”.27 And, in August 2004 at the time of the centenary of the genocide, a visiting German minister (Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development) apologised for violence inflicted by the German colonial powers on your ancestors, particularly the Herero and Nama ( ) and the atrocities committed”. [...]
[...] Shortly after, a politic of people displacement and seizure of the land was set up in Herero Land (region in the middle of Namibia where the Herero people live). ¶More and more natives were deprived from their means of existence, their grounds and their cattle. As the Paramount leader of the Herero, Samuel Maharero, complained in 1904 near the governor, of the merchants without scruple who indulged in the traffic of weapons, alcohol, pottery and glassware stole to his people or 3 animals in compensation of a debt of 1 pound"4. [...]
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