Guide Germanys Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers

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Kaiser Wilhelm II: The Last German Emperor

Green Library. S27 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents Foreword by the paramount chief of the Herero Preface Acknowledgements [sic] Introduction 1. Aetiology of a genocide 2. Implementing the genocide: annihilating "the African tribes with streams of blood and streams of gold" 3. Did the Kaiser order the genocide? In the following four years, the German army retaliated, killing between 60, and , Herero people, one of the worst atrocities ever.

The history of the Herero genocide bears not only on transitional justice issues throughout Africa, but also on legal issues elsewhere in the world where reparations for colonial injustices have been called for.

The study contends that the genocide was not the work of one rogue general or the practices of the military, but that it was inexorably propelled by Germany's national goals at the time. The title will argue that the Herero genocide was linked to Germany's late entry into the colonial race, which led it to acquire multiple colonies all over the world frenetically within a very short period, using any means available, including ruthlessness.

The seminal influence of the German view of race, racial identity and racial superiority on the unfolding events cannot be overlooked. This book shows how the Germans, in their attempts to confirm their belief that their race was superior, were preoccupied with race identification and the origins of races.

The seminal influence of the German view of race, racial identity and racial superiority on the unfolding events cannot be overlooked. This book shows how the Germans, in their attempts to confirm their belief that their race was superior, were preoccupied with race identification and the origins of races.

Germany's Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers

It also examines the Kaiser's role. This study recounts the reasons why the Kaiser likely issued the order and why proof of this has not emerged before now. The title reveals his history of violence and the ordering of brutal actions, even against his own citizens. Questions relating to human rights are very much in the news, yet genocides in Africa are understudied, especially those that occurred during colonial times. The history of the Herero genocide has been examined by very few writers and almost no-one in Africa.

Sarkin's book deals with the issues from an entirely different point of view and proposes new understandings from an alternative position. Some claimed that the local and regional contexts of an asymmetric war conducted in a settler colony were more relevant than the German peculiar system. Others pointed out that the genocide was not significant in Nazi thought, and that there was a stark difference between the Herero and Nama genocide and the Holocaust.

Even though most scholarship agrees on the fact that genocide happened in Southwest Africa, the question of who to blame is still highly debated. Was annihilation mostly a personal initiative of the military commander in charge, General Lothar von Trotha? And by extension — was it a military initiative independent of, and even defying, the German political leadership?

Esther M. Zimmer Lederberg: Deutsch Sudwestafrika (German South West Africa)

Or, on the contrary, the military policy was only an execution of political orders or — at least — mindset? It is also commonplace that the German government in Berlin and the administration in Southwest Africa had reservations about the genocidal violence, but the stances of the Kaiser, Wilhelm II, are still contested. The evidence is ambiguous.


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On the one hand, it was the political authority that ordered to halt the extermination policy conducted by von Trotha and supported to a large degree by the German military high command in Berlin. There were also strong voices in the German government, the colonial administration and among German settlers that vehemently opposed the mass killings, and blamed von Trotha personally. On the other hand, as mentioned, von Trotha had the support of high officials in Berlin, and claimed that the Kaiser himself gave him the green light to suppress the Herero revolt by any means.

Scholar Jeremy Sarkin elaborated on the issue of the preexisting genocidal intent, and claimed that the orders for genocide were given to von Trotha by Wilhelm II before the former was sent to the colony. In addition, as Bley contended, the second phase of the genocide which included mass confinement in concentration and labor camps was mostly committed by civil authorities and not by the German military.

The scholarship about the Herero and Nama War has evolved and grown in the last two decades.


  • Herero and Namaqua genocide;
  • Germany's Genocide of the Herero - Boydell and Brewer.
  • Stanford Libraries.
  • Article History!
  • ISBN 13: 9781847010322.

Yet, many aspects of the war still require a better scholarly focus. Biographies, especially full scale and academic ones, of the main figures behind the war are still rare. Comprehensive biographies of Lothar von Trotha or Hendrik Witbooi are warranted.

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Second, some historical groups still have not received appropriate attention. Especially the victims. Only two significant works were published about the Herero and only one about the Nama. The German settlers, a prominent group during and after the genocide, hardly received designated focus by scholars, who tend to focus on the German authorities and institutions. The role of the settlers in the genocide is crucial, since it is intimately connected to the question of responsibility.

In addition, the role of other indigenous groups, such as the Ovambo, during the genocide are also largely unexplored. Furthermore, granting the war and Southwest Africa in general more global as well as local perspective is necessary. Nevertheless, it was hardly put in the global context. Comparative research is still very limited, and the war was not fully positioned within the broader history of Settler Colonialism as well as the history of global colonial wars.