During the German colonial rule in Namibia, between 1904 and 1908 the German colonists and Schutztruppen killed around 80.000 people of the native Herero and Nama tribes in battles and in concentration camps. Most historians now agree that this was the first genocide of the 20th century. With: Leonor Faber Jonker, Thijs Bouwknegt and Nicole Immler.
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The German racial violence in Namibia shows both ideological links to Nazism, as similarities in the systematic persecution during the Holocaust. This 'other' German genocide has been almost absent in German collective memory. However, this is changing now the German and Namibian governments have begun talking about reparations. What do the current negotiations about reparations mean for both German and Namibian collective memories? The speakers of this event will shed light on this topic from their own different historical approaches and modes of public engagement.
About the speakers
- Leonor Faber Jonker (Universiteit Leiden) was scientific curator of an exhibition about the Namibian genocide at the Memorial de la Shoah in Paris that ended in March 2017. She wrote her Master's thesis about the Namibian tribal skulls that were taken to Germany during the colonial period for racial medical research to justify the German cruelties. The skulls were returned from Berlin to Namibia in 2011.
- Thijs Bouwknegt (NIOD) is researcher at the NIOD and coordinator of the Master's program Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in non-western history, processes of war and genocide, international law and transitional justice. His research focuses on historical and judicial truth-finding regarding to periods of mass violence and genocide in Africa.
- Nicole Immler (Universiteit Utrecht) studied History, Media and Culture Science at the University of Graz. In her research she has focused on the effects of compensation and restitution processes. At the moment she is a researcher at the University of Utrecht, and a fellow at the NIOD, researching Narratives of (In)justice.
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