African American History Culture : The tribe Germany wants to forget


Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2005

During his visit to Namibia this week, German President Roman Herzog refused to apologise for the genocide that all but eliminated the Herero tribe -- forcing its women to become the sex slaves of German colonials to evade death. JOHN GROBLER

In the small, dusty graveyard of Usakos, Adelheid Tjijorokisa-Ndjavera points to headstones marking the graves of her family.

The impressive headstone of Karl-Heinrich Knaeble, born in Oberndorf, Bavaria, and the modest cross of Klara Kozeri Muukua, place of birth unstated, face each other over what used to be the great colonial divide, a rusty barbed-wire fence, that has collapsed allowing both her grandparents to rest within the same place of peace.

"We know the white side of the families here in Namibia," she says, a frown creasing her light olive complexion. "But they don't want to know anything about us. The local German community is very hostile to us."

An outspoken activist for Herero rights, she is not surprised by this attitude. After all, about two-thirds of her people were killed in Herero uprisings between 1887 and 1907.

The Hereros' quest for reparations from the German government cuts to the heart of the burning land question in Namibia. Unlike the politically dominant Owambo people - who are well-represented in the ruling South West African Peoples Organisation (Swapo) - the Hereros lost most of their grazing areas, now occupied by prosperous white farmers, many of them third-generation German Namibians.

This became a painful political reality for German President Dr Roman Herzog, who visited Namibia last week and is currently in South Africa.

Tjijorokisa-Ndjavera was born of the stolen love between Knaeble and Muukua. But for most of the Herero women subjected to sexual union with German colonials, she asserts, their experience was one of humiliation. "What could they do? All the men were killed, all the land stolen from us and all our cattle either dead or confiscated. They became sex slaves to just survive."

Sexual serfdom: Two adolescent Herero girls posing naked were photographed by a German soldier. PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF JUTTA ANA DOBLER

The German colonial policy of divide and rule saw governor Theodore Leutwein in 1894 recognise Samuel Maherero, fond of drink and prone to selling other people's land, rather than the more traditional Asas Rirua, as successor to Chief Tjamuaha of the Hereros.

The first Herero uprising on March 14 1897 failed, but seven years later, Samuel Maherero, sobered by the land-grabbing of the Germans, rose with his people at Okahandja in May 1904, killing every German farmer and trader they could and seizing 25 000 head of cattle.

The reprisals came slowly at first, but increased in swiftness and brutality. Leutwein wanted to preserve the Hereros as a pool of labour. But as German losses mounted, the colonial office of Prince Otto von Bismarck dispatched Lieutant-General Lothar von Trotha. He delivered quick results with such brutality that Leutwein resigned in protest.

The defeated Hereros fled into the eastern Omaheke desert. But Von Trotha wanted to make an example of them - nothing but annihilation would do.

Offering huge bounties for the heads of Maherero and his captains, Von Trotha issued his infamous extermination order on October 2 1904. He warned: "Every Herero found within German borders, with or without guns, with or without livestock, will be shot. I will not give shelter to any Herero women or children. They must return to their people, or they will be shot."

The Herero uprising came to an end soon after this, although mop-up operations continued until 1907. Only a few hundred survived; many more were shot as Germans pursued them from waterhole to waterhole.

Thousands of men gave themselves up and were locked in concentration camps in central Namibia and along the coast, where death came more slowly in the form of smallpox, typhus and tuberculosis.

Tjijorokisa-Ndjavera says many Herero women were forced into sexual serfdom as their men died in their thousands. But what grieves her and fellow Herero activist Professor Mberumba Kerina most is that the colonial tactic of divide and rule has been adopted by the Swapo government and its German aid donors.

When the Hereros tried handing a petition to Herzog at a state banquet last week, the rival Swapo-aligned Mbanderu faction quickly handed up their own petition.

Kerina says Herzog is willing to discuss the issue. "Up to now, our experience has been simply of a frozen ocean between us and the German government." But Herzog said too much time has passed for a formal apology to the Hereros to make sense.

He argued that no international legislation existed at the time under which ethnic minorities could get reparations. Kerina disagrees: under the Fourth Hague Convention of 1899, he says, reprisals against civilians on the losing side were outlawed.

Newspapers last week reported that Herzog was prepared to apologise to the Herero people. But it now seems he may have been misinterpreted - literally. Last weekend, Herzog blamed the furore about German-medium education on an incorrect translation - then publicly fired his translator Christopher Hain at a press conference when Hain faltered in translating this.

It's too bad a German president did not do the same with Lothar von Trotha.

-- Mail&Guardian, March 13, 1998.

· The Herero

· Hitler's forgotten Namibian victims

· Last outpost of Hitler's children

· The tribe Germany wants to forget 2

· ITC /UNCTAD-WTO Virtual Exhibition

· Forgotten Victims: African Tribe Wants Apology

· The Supreme Being of the Herero


· Pre-History through the 19th Century

· The Women Warriors Pre-History - 19th Century (page 1)


Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2005
Why the hell are they seeking an apology??? Kick the s-o-bs OUT of the country!!


Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2005
Ghana, West Africa
Blaklioness said:
Why the hell are they seeking an apology??? Kick the s-o-bs OUT of the country!!

That's right. Kick him out.
But that is the problem with the "educated" African politicians.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Clyde C Coger Jr Black People : The Day a Native American Tribe Drove the KKK Out of Town The North Carolina Klan thought burning crosses would scare the Lumbee tribe out of Robeson Black People Open Forum 1
Greatest I am Black People Politics : GOP motto these days. My tribe, right or wrong. Black People Politics 3
AACOOLDRE Brother AACOOLDRE : Wolf in Sheep Clothes: Paul from the Benjamite Tribe AACOOLDRE 1
BLAQ LOVE POURAHTREE Black Short Stories : Tribe called BLAQ Short Stories - Authors - Writing 2
MsInterpret Audio Video Web Conferencing : Fugees ft. A Tribe Called Quest & Busta Rhymes - Rumble In The Jungle Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
MsInterpret Audio Video Web Conferencing : A Tribe Called Quest - I Left My Wallet In El Segundo Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
W Black People : Isolated Peru tribe makes uncomfortable contact Black People Open Forum 0
RAPTOR Black People : Last member of 65,000-year-old tribe dies, taking one of world's earliest languages to the grave Re Black People Open Forum 4
gogounited Black People : Indian Tribe Expels Slave Descendants..... Black People Open Forum 117
Chevron Dove Black Christians : THE MONKEY TRIBE!? Black African Americans in the American Revolution Christian Study Group 0
largo Black People : Africa: Talking about "Tribe" Black People Open Forum 17
MsInterpret Black Entertainment : A Tribe Called Quest Black Entertainment 2
Omowale Jabali Omowale Jabali : The Tribe of Shabazz Omowale Jabali 14
Ankhur Black People : Zuma says Afrikaners a good white Tribe (?) Black People Open Forum 6
Sangofa Black People : Facial Features Determines Ones Tribe???? Black People Open Forum 10
river Black People : What is a Tribe? Where does the Word "Tribe" Come From? Black People Open Forum 8
Metaverse Black Spirituality Religion : WHAT IS A "SOUL TRIBE?" Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 2
D Africa : African tribe stays virtually AIDS free All Things Africa 2
P Africa : African tribe buys platinum stake All Things Africa 2
F Black Entertainment : A Tribe Called Quest Black Entertainment 18
ASHANTA Black Poetry : Say His Name, Say His Name, De' Black Tribe Of Jesus Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
ASHANTA Black Poetry : Mask Less Tribe Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
jamesfrmphilly Pan Africanism : how do Continentals feel about non tribe people? African American History Culture 10
HODEE Africa : Find your actual Tribe and Region of Africa All Things Africa 18
Destee Africa : More Than One Husband - Tribe in Africa All Things Africa 75
$$RICH$$ Black Poetry : Ancient Tribe from Africa Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 8
I Black Spirituality Religion : Is The Name '' Israel '' The Name Of A Tribe Or People ? Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 2
ASHANTA Black Poetry : Colorless Tribe Diversity, Indoctrination, Complexity Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
J Black People : King seeks Queen for Tribe. Black People Open Forum 4
G Black Travel : America Germany Relations Black Travel 8
Clyde C Coger Jr Science and Technology : Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight in Germany Science and Technology 1
jamesfrmphilly Black Education / Schools : free college in Germany..... Black Education / Schools 9
skuderjaymes Audio Video Web Conferencing : Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters, Bremen, Germany @ Musikladen Audio Video Web Conferencing 5
magyarmaiden Africa : An open letter to the Federal Republic of Germany: Africa is not a country All Things Africa 12
H Black People : Black Germany Black People Open Forum 65
Omowale Jabali Omowale Jabali : Mesopotamia, Germany and West Africa Theories Omowale Jabali 8
blackeyes Black People : Germany's Angela Merkel: Multiculturalism has 'utterly failed' Black People Open Forum 0
D Kenya : Wi-Fi Radiation: Kenya and Germany warnings Kenya 0
Queenie Black People : Black man in Nazi Germany Black People Open Forum 1
Clyde C Coger Jr Black Spirituality Religion : Facebook Wants You to Connect With God. On Facebook Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 0
R Black Poetry : the fireworks under her skirt may explode her wet pound cake ready ate on a plate my car is nice but far on in life wants a Cadillac my quotes best th Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 1
Clyde C Coger Jr Black Christians : SBC wants to scrap resolution on Critical Race Theory, Pastor Dwight McKissic says Christian Study Group 29
SwagII Black Relationships : "NO ONE WANTS TO GIVE UP ON SOMEONE THEY LOVE" Black Relationships 0
O Black People : Who Wants to Bounce? Black People Open Forum 0
O Black People : Who Wants to Dance? (Kids Video) Black People Open Forum 0
HODEE Black People : In Executive Actions, Trump Extends Unemployment Benefits, Defers Payroll Taxes - Wants to Say He Helped the People and Democrat Congress Didn't Black People Open Forum 1
S Black People Politics : Egypt Wants Okonjo-Iweala Disqualified From World Trade Organisation DG Post Black People Politics 0
OldSoul Black People : White Woman Identified After Being Filmed Saying She Wants To Kill N****** Black People Open Forum 1
R Black Poetry : Mother wants a pound of meat go down the street to buy Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 1
Similar threads

Latest profile posts

$1 Billion Black dollars in 30 days
Destee wrote on Marcchris's profile.
Hi @Marcchris ... Welcome Welcome Welcome!!! :wave: ... Thanks for joining us AND becoming a Premium Member! :cheerleader: ... I am honored. Please make yourself right at home! Much Love and Peace.
Destee wrote on rhymebad's profile.
I Love You! :love:
Destee wrote on dunwiddat's profile.
Good to see you Sister! :cheerleader:
Kemetstry wrote on dunwiddat's profile.
Where have you been hiding ?