Weird Travel: The German Soldiers Commemorated in A Country Where They Committed a Genocide

An account of the first genocides of the 20th century. Of the Herero and Nama people of then German Southwest Africa and now Namibia.

The man in charge was a Herr Goerig, who’s brat Hermann was in charge of the Luftwaffe

It makes all monuments to former people, including Confederates in the American civil war seem inoffensive to anyone

One bit of history which is little known

Gerry Lynch's Thoughts...

Swakopmund Marinedenkmal.jpgSwakopmund always feels a little odd, like a piece of Germany somehow teleported into Namibia’s remote and thinly populated Atlantic Coast. Even in that context, the presence of the Marinedenkmal in the centre of town feels utterly weird.

The statue memorialises the German marines who died in the suppression of the uprising of the Herero and Nama peoples in what was then German South West Africa in 1904-5. Although the plaque states that they “Mit Gott für Kaiser und Reich Kämpften” (fought with God for Kaiser and Empire), it is widely accepted that the German suppression of the rebellion was the 20th Century’s first major genocide. German troops killed not only indigenous fighters, but non-combatant men, women and children in intentional acts of collective punishment. Others were driven into the desert to die of thirst and exposure, or simply allowed to die of exhaustion. Survivors of the massacre were…

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