Schneider-Waterberg, H.R. (2013): Der Wahrheit eine Gasse. Beiträge zum Hererokrieg in Deutschsüdwestafrika 1904 – 1907

Book cover H.R. Schneider-Waterberg 2013 Der Wahrheit eine Gasse. Beiträge Hererokrieg Deutsch Südwestafrika 1904 - 1907

Schneider-Waterberg, H.R.: Der Wahrheit eine Gasse. Beiträge zum Hererokrieg in Deutschsüdwestafrika 1904 – 1907. Teil 1 & 2, Swakopmund 2013

Translation of back cover text by publisher Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Swakopmund:

‘Der Wahrheit eine Gasse’ (An alley for the truth) is the title of an article in this anthology, which is available here as a comprehensively expanded book after thirteen editions in as many years. It stands for the author’s endeavour to examine the history of the colonial war in the former German South West Africa for the historical accuracy of the extremely diverse and varying credible traditions.

Those interested in history, regardless of which school of historians they incline towards, are thus offered a broader basis for a critical understanding of the events.

H. R. Schneider-Waterberg, known as a politician, historian and farmer, in contrast to many other authors, contributes comprehensive knowledge of the country and the results of his own research, including previously unknown documents and newly tapped sources.

Editor’s note – The back cover text contains inaccuracies:

Hinrich R. Schneider-Waterberg (often called Heiner; died 2022) was the owner of a large farm on the Waterberg. He was intensively involved in the history of the German colonial era and had an extensive library. However, he did not complete a degree and therefore could not claim the academic title of historian. He unintentionally revealed in the title of his book that he even lacks the basics of historical scholarship. Because there is no one true account of events. Any reconstruction by a historian is only an approximation of what may have actually happened. This approximation is all the more difficult the further back events go and the fewer sources and reliable reports there are. Our current picture of the colonial era and the war of the OvaHerero remains blurred or dark in many facets because of the lack of testimonies (see also the preliminary remarks to the section ‘Namibia’s Past’.

One of the newly discovered sources was the diary of the commander-in-chief of the German Schutztruppe, Lothar von Trotha. The von Trotha family had granted Schneider-Waterberg access to the diary. However, in order to reliably analyse diary entries, as with any historical source, a scientific background is required. In addition, Schneider-Waterberg did not get to see the original diary. He was shown an edited version that von Trotha’s widow had intended for publication.

The von Trotha family has since made Lothar von Trotha’s original diary available to the historians Matthias Häussler and Andreas Eckl. Häussler and Eckl have analysed it in detail and published a scholarly annotated edition in January 2024 in January 2024.


Original back cover text in German (8th edition 2017):

“‘Der Wahrheit eine Gasse’ ist die Überschrift eines Beitrages dieses Sammelbandes, der hier nach dreizehn Auflagen in ebenso vielen Jahren als umfassend erweitertes Buch vorliegt. Sie steht für das Anliegen des Verfassers, die Geschichte des Kolonialkrieges im ehemaligen Deutsch-Südwestafrika auf die ereignisgeschichtliche Richtigkeit der äußerst unterschiedlichen und unterschiedlich glaubwürdigen Überlieferungen zu untersuchen.

Dem Geschichtsinteressierten, unabhängig davon, welcher Historikerschule er zuneigt, wird somit eine breitere Basis für ein kritisches Verständnis der Ereignisse geboten.

H. R. Schneider-Waterberg, bekannt als Politiker, Historiker und Farmer, bringt im Gegensatz zu manch anderen Autoren umfassende Landeskenntnisse und Ergebnisse eigener Untersuchungen ein, auch anhand bisher unbekannter Dokumente und neu erschlossener Quellen.”

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