Colonialism, it ought to be said, never brought any good to anyone, apart from the fact that the only remote possibility of identifying a positive it would’ve yielded is the fact that it led to a cultural exchange albeit never in the friendliest of manners. Nothing else can ever be said in a positive light when it comes to a concept so utterly hegemonic as colonialism. It’s led to centuries or semi centuries long periods of arduous struggle for people subjected to abject surrender. And the moment one recollects the vicious terminology, one’s reminded of unfortunate instances in human history such as the genocidal violence perpetrated against the Rwandans and the Jewish genocide that marked the Second World War as one of the ghastliest periods in mankind’s living history.
Though, that’s not all; for recently Germany admitted to having committed genocide against the state of Namibia, an admission of guilt that casts the Western European strongman as a perpetrator of a massive crime that can neither be forgotten nor ignored for the sheer apathy it brought to tens of hundreds of harmless people.
But the fact that Germany admitted to having committed genocide to the people of Namibia isn’t the only trending story at this hour; what perhaps underlines Germany’s true admission of guilt is the fact that it has willingly agreed to pay Namibia damages worth €1.1bn.
This useful sum of money, it is reported, shall be reported to fund several projects of vital importance to the African continent.
In accepting the historical flaw in German colonialism, the country’s Foreign Minister Mr. Heiko Maas shared that the country fully recognises the events what they truly are in today’s perspective- which happens to be genocide.
That being said, a major news platform in India further elaborated on the developing story:
German colonial settlers killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 massacres — labelled the first genocide of the 20th century by historians — poisoning relations between Namibia and Germany for years.
While Berlin had previously acknowledged that atrocities occurred at the hands of its colonial authorities, they have repeatedly refused to pay direct reparations.
The above told, the foreign minister recognised the need to assist Namibia in the wake of developing its economy and helping the country find its feet in major developmental projects that may also include infrastructural development.
He’d go on to add, “In light of the historical and moral responsibility of Germany, we will ask forgiveness from Namibia and the victims’ descendants” for the “atrocities” committed.”
To quote further from the news site, it’s important to note-
In the Battle of Waterberg in August 1904 around 80,000 Herero, including women and children, fled and were pursued by German troops across what is now known as the Kalahari Desert. Only 15,000 survived.
German General Lothar von Trotha, sent to put down the rebellion, ordered the peoples’ extermination.
At least 60,000 Hereros and around 10,000 Namas were killed between 1904 and 1908.
That said, over the years, and understandably so, ties have soured between Berlin and Windhoek but maybe with the admission of guilt, the first step toward actual repentance, the worn out relations may evidence an improvement that was perhaps long awaited on both sides.