Namibia was a German colony, German-South West Africa, for only 30 years. Yet this era cast a long shadow over the country and Namibia still suffers from the influence of colonial rule even today.
The German “master race” arrived with the Bible, but their behaviour was anything but Christian. Misleading contracts, violence and abuse led to an uprising that began on 12 January 1904. After the famous battle of Waterberg, the insurgents and their families were forced to flee to the barren Omaheke desert where they were kept away from the region’s only waterholes. Eighty-five thousand people died of thirst and hunger in this first officially planned genocide.
The country still bears the scars of this era today, as we learn from leading representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples. And they continue to campaign for a critical reappraisal of the genocide by the German state.