The descendants of the victims of German atrocities in Namibia. Appropriate reparations needed – fresh news

Between the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the gorgeous golden dunes of the Namibian coast. is the site of a former German concentration camp

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This internment camp began in the early 20th century, where peasants and Ovaheraros encountered sexual violence. Horrible forced labor and medical experiments Many people died from illness and exhaustion.

Oahimisa Kapehi said his heart was still with his ancestors.

Namibia Holocaust Victim Monument BBC Historians call the events that took place between 1904 and 1908 in present-day Namibia ” The first genocide of the 20th century

He was a descendant of the Owaheroes. He is now a member of the Swakopmund City Council. The site of many atrocities in the past

Mr Kapehi explained that what happened several generations ago still affects his life today.

“Our wealth has been confiscated. Farms, cows, everything. I shouldn’t be bothered by this while I’m speaking,” he said.

“And we, as Ovahereros and peasants, should not have to face this torment.”

Oahimisa Kapehi BBC Oahimisa Kapehi calls the money that Germany will give. “Joke of the Century”

Many historians call what happened between 1904 and 1908 in what is now Namibia the “land of today’s country.” The first genocide in the 20th century

This happened when German colonial forces invaded and killed tens of thousands of Ovahereros and peasants. After they revolted against the colonial rulers.

It is estimated that there are about 60,000 Owaheraroes, accounting for more than 80% of the total Owaheraro population in the region, and 10,000 peasants representing 50% of the total peasant population. were killed during this period

In May, the German government formally acknowledged colonial atrocities for the first time.

Germany also recognized the massacre as genocide. and pledged to provide assistance “To symbolize the acknowledgment of the great suffering inflicted upon the victims,” ​​but Germany did not call it an indemnity.

“We need land”

The money promised by Germany is 1.1 billion euros (about 43 billion baht), with the understanding that it will be gradually awarded over a period of 30 years and that the descendants of Owahereroes and peasants will have to. mainly benefit

Soldiers in German Southwest Africa (now Namibia) during the Ovaheraro Revolution of 1904. Hulton Archive The colonial forces ruthlessly suppressed the Ovaheraros and peasants.

But those descendants, including Mr Kapehi, do not believe the deal is a sincere apology for what happened.

“That’s the joke of the century,” he said.

“We need land. Money has no meaning.

“We want them. [รัฐบาลเยอรมนี] come and say sorry Money is just to say what they did wrong to us.”

“And we don’t need any money. we need a trillion We need a trillion that can heal our wounds.”

Mr Kapehi said his ethnic group had lost tradition. culture and life for hundreds of years and it is impossible to assess the cost of the damage incurred.

Confiscated land and natural resources causing his family to suffer generations of poverty

Activists believe there will be fairness If the German government buys back the land of their ancestors that fell into the hands of the German-speaking community, and handed it back to the descendants of the Owaheraros and the peasants.

“Pull out the knife”

The extent of this reparation is beyond what Germany and Namibia can afford. and may be a model for other countries that were once colonized by other nations.

Ovaheraro rebels chained, photo 1904-1905. Getty Images There’s a detention going on. After the Owahero Rebellion was killed or was subjected to atrocities

Kirsten Mullen and Sandy Dariti, American scholars It advocated reparation for the descendants of those trafficked into slavery, arguing that doing so would make any deal less valuable and would only happen when no other solution could be found.

In the book From Here to Equality (may be translated into Thai as From here on equality), they cite the famous quote of US human rights activist Malcolm X. that said “You don’t put a knife 9 inches deep on a person’s back, but pull out 6 inches and say you’re helping him.”

In the case of Germany and Namibia Mrs Mullen and Mr Dariti agree that “Development assistance” is not considered healing from a knife wound. It was only the first step.

“Pull out the knife not atonement But it’s a necessity. but not atonement The act of reparation is to heal the wounds,” Dariti said.

“So if you see these development funds as a form of pulling out the knife, then it is not a reparation,” Dariti said.

There was also a satirical debate over reparation in Namibia. Considering the past that Germany modeled in the 1890s.

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Horst Drexler, a German historian, noted that Before the genocide Germany has demanded compensation from the Ovaheraro and peasant communities. After they revolted against the colonial rulers.

They had to give Germany about 12,000 cows, which German-American historian Thomas Kramer estimates is the equivalent of $1.2-8.8 million today, which he say There should also be an additional contribution to the indemnification.

for Mr. Kramer The indemnity expert saw the chaos and said the former colonial powers would have to pay a wider range of compensation. It only depends on how long it will take.

This is partly driven by the changing demographics of whites, the vast majority of Western countries, whose increasingly diverse populations have forced governments to face past frustrations.

“People can’t [เพียงแค่] are determined by the group they belong to. there is a possibility that People feel a sense of solidarity with those affected by historical injustices,” Kramer said.

“Even though they themselves are not part of that group of injustices.”

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BBC Thai news published on the website News Sod is a collaboration of two news organizations.

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