Herero and Namaqua genocide

genocide committed by the German colonial administration in Africa between 1904 and 1908
(Redirected from Herero and Namaqua Genocide)

The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is thought to have been the first genocide of the 20th century.[4][5][6][7][8] It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South West Africa (today called Namibia), during the scramble for Africa.

Herero and Namaqua genocide
Part of Herero Wars
LocationGerman South West Africa, modern day Namibia
TargetEnd Resistance from Herero, Saan and Namaqua peoples
Attack type
Genocidal massacre, starvation, concentration camps, human experimentation
PerpetratorsLieutenant General Lothar von Trotha and the German colonial forces
Motivewhite supremacy, collective punishment, German colonialism, German imperialism

On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, fought back against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama people also fought against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate.

In total, from 24,000 up to 100,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama died.[9][10][11][1][12] The genocide was marked by many deaths by starvation and thirst because the Herero who fled the violence were not allowed to go back to the Namib Desert. Some sources also claim that the German colonial army normally poisoned desert wells.[13][14]

In 1985, the United Nations' Whitaker Report said that the aftermath was an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South West Africa, and said it was one of the first tries at genocide in the 20th century. The German government said that the genocide happened and said sorry for the events in 2004, but did not give compensation to the victims' relatives.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Walter Nuhn: Sturm über Südwest. Der Hereroaufstand von 1904. Bernhard & Graefe-Verlag, Koblenz 1989. ISBN 3-7637-5852-6.
  2. Colonial Genocide and Reparations Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims under International Law by the Herero against Germany for Genocide in Namibia by Jeremy Sarkin-Hughes
  3. According to the 1985 United Nations' Whitaker Report, some 65,000 Herero (80% of the total Herero population) and 10,000 Nama (50% of the total Nama population) were killed between 1904 and 1907.
  4. Olusoga, David and Erichsen, Casper W (2010). The Kaiser's Holocaust. Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23141-6
  5. Levi, Neil; Rothberg, Michael (2003). The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings. Rutgers University Press. p. 465. ISBN 0-8135-3353-8.
  6. Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, p. 12
  7. Allan D. Cooper (2006-08-31). "Reparations for the Herero Genocide: Defining the limits of international litigation". Oxford Journals African Affairs.
  8. "Remembering the Herero Rebellion". Deutsche Welle. 2004-11-01.
  9. Colonial Genocide and Reparations Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims under International Law by the Herero against Germany for Genocide in Namibia, 1904-1908 (PSI Reports) by Jeremy Sarkin-Hughes
  10. Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) A. Dirk Moses -page 296(From Conquest to Genocide: Colonial Rule in German Southwest Africa and German East Africa. 296, (29). Dominik J. Schaller)
  11. The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy (Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany) by Sara L. Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne M. Zantop page 87 University of Michigan Press 1999
  12. Marie-Aude Baronian, Stephan Besser, Yolande Jansen, "Diaspora and memory: figures of displacement in contemporary literature, arts and politics", pg. 33 Rodopi, 2007,
  13. Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny, "Century of genocide: critical essays and eyewitness accounts" pg. 51, Routledge, 2004,
  14. Dan Kroll, "Securing our water supply: protecting a vulnerable resource", PennWell Corp/University of Michigan Press, pg. 22
  15. "Germany admits Namibia genocide". BBC News. 2004-08-14. Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-04-23.