Newsletter 10/11 - After the repatriation apologies and reparations to Namibia
On October 5 2011, in the presence of the Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and of thousands of people, the remains of nine Herero and eleven Nama were welcomed in Namibia with a ceremony in Heroes' Acre near Windhoek. They are the first of about 300 skulls sent to Germany at the beginning of the last century for the so-called "scientific research" with the aim to prove a supposed racial superiority. They belong to some of the victims of the Herero and Nama genocide committed by the German colonial troops between 1904 and 1908, during which approximately 75,000 people were exterminated.
On September 30 2011 at the university clinic of Charity in Berlin the ceremony of returning of the remains was held in the presence of a large delegation of Namibians and of the German vice minister for foreign affairs Cornelia Pieper who, despite she said that "Germany acknowledges and accepts the heavy moral and historical responsibility toward Namibia", has not expressed any official apology and left the ceremony shortly before the Namibian minister of culture Kazenambo Kazenambo and some representatives of Herero and Nama took the floor. At the end of the ceremony Judith Strohm (AfricAvenir International) has done what Herero and Nama wanted the German government to do, by apologising for the genocide on behalf of the civil society.
As requested by many of those present both in Berlin and in Windhoek, Colonialism Reparation asks that, in addition to completing the repatriation of the remains, Germany officially apologies and pay reparations to Namibia, thus putting an end to more than a century of sufferings.