2024 July 3 – The Namibian: Germany admits to genocide for the first time in 120 years

Namibian report Germany admitting Genocide Nama OvaHerero colonial wars 1904 1908 Namibia

“Germany admits to genocide for the first time in 120 years

By Shelleygan Petersen and Charmaine Ngatjiheue

3 July 2024

The German government has for the first time in 120 years admitted that the 1904-1908 massacre that killed more than 60 000 Nama and Herero people should be classified as a genocide.

Initially, the two governments acknowledged, in a joint declaration, that by today’s standards, the massacres would be classified as a genocide.

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In 2021, Ovaherero Traditional Authority secretary general Mutjinde Katjiua and Nama Traditional Leaders Association secretary general Deodat Dirkse said because Germany stated they recognise the genocide in “today’s perspective” [see Joint Declaration, p. 3 [https://dialogue-on-namibias-past.org/germany-namibia-2021-joint-declaration/]; ed.], this means they do not recognise any obligation to make reparations in the current reconciliation agreement.

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German embassy spokesperson Gundula Perry yesterday confirmed to The Namibian that Germany has acknowledged what happened was a genocide.

“The German government calls the atrocities committed by German troops against the Ovaherero and Nama for what they are – a genocide – and acknowledges its moral and historical responsibility,” Perry said.

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Perry told The Namibian that their position was solidified when that country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, asserted that Germany must apologise unconditionally and mentioned this in his speech at the late president Hage Geingob’s funeral.

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