Monday, June 3, 2013

German Roots of African Genocide

German Roots of Genocide

It all began in 1884 when the Berlin, the capital of the German Empire, gathered delegates from major European powers to divide spheres of influence. The Germans won Togo, Cameroon, German East Africa and German Southwest Africa, now Namibia.

At the same time Europe had a response of a new theory that the colonists tried in practice. With one came influential German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who in the late 19th and 20 century, he taught at the University of Leipzig. He came up with the theory of living space (Lebensraum). According Raetzela nation must have some room to expand and that, to survive and prosper. In the book "Antropogeografie" Friedrich Ratzel argues that part of space that Germany needs new finds in the colonies. German Southwest Africa for this purpose seemed to be ideal as the supporters of German expansion, but seeing the obstacle represented by hererský strain. Future settlers in Namibia, the situation seemed acceptable - could not own land or resources. And he did not want the territory where they settled, lease land or cattle. Herero had to work for the Germans, and had virtually no chance to prevent abuse. There are few cases where the Herero trying to seek legal assistance because he did not get paid, they were beaten, or when he was killed by someone from their family.


The southern colonies rebellion broke out less hererské and news about him came 14th January 1904 in Berlin. German media created images of the wild, the poor enemy who rapes white women and kill children. She ran a promotion campaign to create an enemy that actually exist. Emperor Wilhelm II. ordered to send military reinforcements to help quell the rebellion hererské. And he had to help him in the new army commander, Lothar Trotha, but he did not come to Namibia to negotiate for him would be to conduct a sign of weakness and an insult to German honor. Trotha thinking about a single solution - the destruction of the Herero tribe.

11th morning August 1904 the Germans started shooting at insurgents hererské of guns and rifles. Battle of Waterberg hererskou ended in defeat. In the past the water tanks the Germans built several hundred meters long fence with guard posts. Something happened in a colonial history, the first time. That was the Herero genocide committed in their subsequent shows "Vernichtungsbefehl" order of destruction, which, General Trotha. In it he writes that all Herero must leave the territory occupied by the Germans, who does so, he will be shot.
Concentration Camps in South Africa

In Berlin, however, shocked Trothův extermination order, rang with angry protests. Criticized by the main political parties, wrote about it in newspaper articles. It was a national scandal. Emperor Wilhelm II. pressure the government backed down. Herero soldiers told them that the emperor has forgiven and can return home. But it was a lie. The extermination policy continued - in the capital city of Windhoek was the first concentration camp. 4,000 people passed by him, were beaten and starved to death. Other camps were built on the coast, in the town of Swakopmund, a center of German industry and trade. Imprison the Herero to 3000, mostly women and children. Inmates working on construction sites and port. Each captured Herero got number. It was recorded in the book. And it could carry over Namibia, depending on where the need for such labor. Concentration camps were a huge source of cheap labor (10 marks per month). Their concentration camps and private businessmen to establish, for example, in Swakopmund and other cities was an army camp, camps as well as companies. His camp is supposed Vermona Company, shipbuilding firm, which then used its residents to work. In Swakopmund died between 1904 - 1909 200 Herero. We will not find here, but no record of their memory, and many city dwellers even deny the existence of the camp. Miss any reminder of the first genocide of the 20th century.

The other two camps were in Lüderitz. In one of them, on the island of Shark Island location applied strictly forbidden. It could be described as a death camp. It was an island where people were placed in order to exterminate them. Most of the victims of the Herero did not form a camp, but another strain: Námové. The German newspaper, the express written that Námové unfamiliar in the world and is not in it for them instead. So it was a very deliberate attempt to Shark Island to exterminate the tribe. In September 1906 it was brought to the island of Namu in 1732 after the German army surrendered. For seven months, 1,032 of them killed and ninety percent of the remaining incapacitated for work.


Military supervisors of Shark Island and other concentration camps in German Southwest Africa, participated in scientific experiments, used to justify war. Traded with the skulls, which they sent to Germany. The Hottentot skulls, as the Germans called Námy, scientists are interested in theories of genetics influence of Eugen Fischer. He came to Namibia in 1904. It sent him here several German universities. And he began conducting experiments on casualties of war prisoners and Ovahererů Nam. A total of 778 examined the heads of the dead. This so-called research had shown that the Negro race downshift white Aryan race in Europe.

Only in 1908 concentration camps were closed. Three quarters of the Herero population, 65,000 people were extinct, wiped out half Nam. Hundreds of villages were empty. Raetzelův dream of living space filled with tragedy. The remaining Herero and Námové farmers were sold as slaves. Concentration camps or the killing has reminded the Waterberg. A new history represented years of genocide, as famous for empire. (source:)

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