Namibia

German Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul apologised in August 2004 at a big rally in Okakarara for the genocide committed 100 years ago by the German imperial army. Almost eight years later the German parliament (Bundestag) rejected two motions by three opposition parties for a formal apology of the German parliament and so refused to acknowledge the genocide in contradiction to the assessment of historians.

Henning Melber

Largely unnoticed by most Namibians, the local German-language daily Allgemeine Zeitung provides a forum for colonial apologetics. Reinhart Kössler and Henning Melber examine recent comments and readers’ letters in this newspaper, exposing the reactionary attitudes and privileging strategies that maintain the minority language as a barrier to national reconciliation.

Names, dates, statistics, records, photographs – Namibia-based historian, Casper W. Erichsen, explains some of the factual evidence of the multiple atrocities that were part of the genocide in Namibia.

Wikimedia

Refuting in detail the arguments proffered by Germany on the questions of apology and compensation for the genocide of the Herero and the Nama, Dr Kwame Opoku notes that the Namibia-Germany case is being keenly observed by other African peoples and states with unresolved issues relating to the colonial era.

Former Namibian Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi, who was instrumental in getting the repatriation process with Charité started, calls upon both Namibians and Germans to confront the past honestly as part of the process of recovering human dignity and thereby healing of the wounds of the past. This process, he writes, is in the interest of both nations.

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