The traditional rulers are totally opposed to Germany’s offer of redress. The German government pledged this Friday, May 28, 2021 to pay 1.1 billion euros or approximately 1.2 billion dollars to Namibia over the next 30 years as compensation to the victims of the genocide of 1904-1908 among the Nama and Herero tribes. However, the money may not find a taker. For good reason, the Namibian Chiefs Council considered the offer derisory in relation to the damage caused by this unprecedented massacre in the country under German colonial rule. A historic and tragic event that claimed the lives of 75,000 people.
The traditional leaders are totally opposed to the offer of Germany which decided to bear the responsibility for the genocide in Namibia from 1904 to 1908. 85,000 Namibians (65,000 Hereros and nearly 20,000 Namas) lost their lives in the country under the orders from Lothar von Trothale, German general and commander of colonial forces in German East Africa. “In light of Germany’s historical and moral responsibility, we will apologize to Namibia and the descendants of the victims for the atrocities,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
Traditional leaders urged the Namibian government to reject Germany’s offer and demand further negotiations. The descendants of the Namas and Hereros want reparations of at least US $ 580 million paid over 40 years. To justify such a proposal, they recalled that Germany would have paid more than 71 billion euros in pensions and social benefits to Jews since 1952 because of the damage caused to this community during the Second World War. So, for these Namibian dignitaries, this sum proposed by Germany is “an insult” to the tribes victims of this mass crime. Namibian President Hage Geingob has yet to comment on this request from representatives of these tribes directly affected by the genocide.
Remember that the German colonists had killed tens of thousands of Hereros and Namas in massacres committed between 1904 and 1908, considered by many historians to be the first genocide of the twentieth century.