A Century Later, Namibia Demands Justice From Germany for Its First Holocaust · Global Voices
1900 Views from German Southwest Africa signed by Hendrik Witbooi. Photo: Keijo Knutas / Flickr / CC 2.0
From Nov. 25, 2016 to March 12, 2017, the Holocaust Memorial in Paris, France, hosted an exhibition dedicated to the genocide of two Namibian peoples: the Herero and the Nama — what is now widely considered to be the first genocide of the 20th century.
Following the 1884 Berlin Conference, when European powers divided Africa among themselves, Germany ruled German South West Africa (present-day Namibia), until 1915.
Between 1904 and 1908, German colonialists committed a holocaust against the Herero and the Nama, exterminating as many as 65,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama. In one particularly gruesome detail, some of the victims’ skulls were even sent to Germany for scientific research into supposed racial inequality.
Eventually, under the leadership of Chief Samuel Maharero, members of these two tribes mounted a successful revolt against the Germans, retaking their lands, and putting an end to widespread rape by German occupiers and other forms of degradation. They fought a guerrilla war leading to a situation Véronique Chemla described on her blog as “a major conflict”. Véronique Chemla, an international affairs journalist for American Thinker, Ami and FrontPage Mag, explains: