Germany to recognise the 1904-1908 genocide of Herero and Nama peoples; Britain can no longer continue to delay its own formal recognition of the central role it played with its Nigeria client state in perpetrating the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, during which these dual genocidists of the age murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population
Germany is to recognise as genocide the massacre of 110,000 of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia by German troops between 1904 and 1908 in a landmark admission of historical guilt.
A spokesman for Angela Merkel’s government said Germany would formally apologise to Namibia. The systematic extermination of up to 100,000 Herero and some 10,000 of the Nama people by German colonial troops is widely regarded as the first genocide of the 20th century, and a precursor to the Holocaust. Tens of thousands of Herero and Nama were driven into the Namibian desert to die of starvation and dehydration.
Others were sent to concentration camps where they died of disease and abuse. Many victims were beheaded, and their skulls sent to Germany for scientific experiments.
But while Germany has been clear in its admission of guilt for the Holocaust, its response to the Herero genocide has been equivocal until now.
A former minister first apologised for the killings more than a decade ago. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul described the massacres as a “genocide” on a trip to Namibia as development minister in 2004, but her remarks were not adopted as government policy.
Foreign ministry guidelines started referring to the killings as a “genocide” a year ago, but only this week has the government confirmed in a written answer to a parliamentary question that this is now official policy.
“The federal government has been pursuing a dialogue with Namibia on this very painful history of the colonial era since 2012,” Sawsan Chebli, a spokesman for the German foreign ministry, said on Wednesday.
“We seek a common policy statement on the following elements: a common langauge on the historical events and a German apology and its acceptance by Namibia.”
But the government made clear it would not pay any reparations to Namibia. It said it would contribute development aid to the country instead.
An MP who was a driving force behind the German parliament’s vote to recognise the Armenian genocide last month said he would now press for the Bundestag to vote on the Herero genocide as well.
“I think it is the duty of our house quickly to recognise this genocide as well,” Cem Özdemir of the opposition Green Party said, describing the government decision as “long overdue”.
The Herero genocide was “far more important” for the German parliament because German troops were “the main culprit,” he said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, has accused the German parliament of hypocrisy for recognising the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman troops as genocide, but not the killing of the Herero by Germans.
The genocide in Namibia began as an operation to suppress a revolt against German colonial rule by the Herero and Nama. But systematic killings continued long after the uprising had been put down.
In remarks that now seem chillingly to prefigure the Holocasut. General Lotha von Trotha, the commander of German forces, wrote in 1904 of his policy towards the Herero: “I believe that the nation as such should be annihilated, or, if this is not possible by tactical measures, expelled from the country”.
An order he issued the same year stated: “Any Herero found within the German border,with or without a rifle, with or without cattle, is to be shot. I do not accept women or children either: drive them back to their people or shoot them”.
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Credit Telegraph UK