Herero Men of Namibia: Revisiting Germany's Genocide Period in Africa


The Namib Desert in Namibia is the oldest desert on Earth,
found in Namib Naukluft Park.
The three largest tribal families of Namibia are the Ovambo, Herero, and Himba people. The three tribes speak a similar language. Additional tribal families in this region include the Khoikhoi aka Nama, also Bantu language people, as well as the oldest inhabitants to the region of Namibia, the San people, a non-Bantu language group.

According to the reports of late historian Dr. John Henrik Clarke, from 1884-1914 Germany colonized regions of southern Africa, now nationally known as Namibia (see also Republic of Namibia, Afrikaans - Republiek van Namibi√ę German - Republik Namibia). One of four German colonies in Africa, Namibia was a region where the German's tried to create what Dr. Clarke calls a "bastard race" through forced co-habitation with the native population of primarily Herero tribal women. (see also Dutch and German languages - Baasters Rehobothers also Rehoboth Basters). Dr. Clarke reports that circa 1904, the German armies took 60,000 Herero women into the Kalahari desert and said cohabit or die, an example of the use of sexual warfare towards human populations in the modern history of mankind.


Namibia, a nation bordered by two deserts

The Herero Battle to Save the Honor of its Women

Dr. Clarke places the history of genocide in this region further into context by explaining that within the Herero native culture, the primary victims of this grave attack, the Herero women, never co-habitated with men outside of the Herero group - not even with neighboring tribal families on the African continent. According to Dr. Clarke, the Herero tribal tradition expected the history of bringing virginity to the marriage bed as part of family order. If there is said to be a woman who has birthed outside the confines of marriage, she becomes a shame on her family and the whole village.

Photo of women of the Herero tribal family region in southwest Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Clarke recounts the story of an old and wise King Mandula of the Herero who gathered the men of the families from the network of villages to battle upon learning of the German's kidnapping of the women to the desert region. According to Dr. Clarke, King Mandula announced to the gathered Herero men:
"If we let this happen to our women, we are no longer men. We are proud people who walk the earth carrying the sun on our shoulders. If this happens to our women, without our rescuing them, we are no longer men. We would have to take off the trousers, take care of the children, milk the cows, and bring in the bread, and our women will no longer respect us as men."
~ retelling of speech from Dr. John Henrik Clarke
King Mandula lost about one-third of the Herero army against the Germans but won this battle for the Herero tribal family of Africa. For Dr. Clarke reported that the men successfully rescued those women from the desert to the honor of the people's ability to fight for freedom. The Herero tribe now lives in the Windhoek region of south west Africa in Namibia.

Namibia, Africa ~ national anthem: "Namibia, Land of the Brave"

The Herero, Namaqua, and Nama Genocides by Germany

Report on the Natives of South-West Africa and Their Treatment by Germany, Univ. of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
Historians report that the Herero, Namaqua, and Nama Genocide was a purposeful German colonial holocaust. It was the first genocide of the twentieth century, according to the Report on the Natives of South-West Africa and Their Treatment by Germany prepared in the Administrator's Office, Windhuk, South-West Africa, January 1918, available for review from the above link courtesy of University of Florida libraries.

In 1985, the Whitaker Report issued from the United Nations recognized Germany's attempted genocide against the tribes of Namibia which included poisoning of wells and starvation military tactics. In 2004, the German government apologized for its imperial acts of genocide against the native families of Namibia during this colonial period.

Skyline over Windhoek, Namibia
References:
Quote: "They are slaves who fear to speak for the fallen and the weak." -- J.R. Lowell

    1 comment:

    POWr Mailing List