The international NGO alliance “Genocide has no statute of limitations!” reported last week:
Around 7 a.m. today, the bones of 35 African people – among them victims of the genocide against the Herero and Nama – who were taken to Germany for racist research during the colonial era, arrived in the Namibian capital Windhoek. At 10 a.m., government had invited the concerned ethnic groups and their traditional leaders to the Parliament Garden, where about 300 people gathered. Nevertheless, half of the chairs remained empty.
This is because the Traditional Leaders and Victims’ Associations of the Nama and Herero, who were not invited to Berlin by the German government, and who were still present at the first repatriation of remains in 2011 and had raised reparation demands in Berlin, boycotted the act of state. On the day of the current handover of their ancestors in Berlin, the victims’ associations had complained in sharp words at a joint press conference in Namibia that they had not been invited, contrary to all agreements. Their press release speaks of a plot by the federal government to shirk its historical responsibility and therefore excluded the victims’ associations from the handover in Berlin.”
Shortly before the eclat in Windhoek, Prof. Claus Melter analyzed the handing over of the bones in a plea critical of racism and embedded it historically. It concludes with the claim:
“Today’s racism in Germany can only be meaningfully understood and dealt with in the context of Germany’s colonial past, the racist ideologies of that time and today, the exploitative and murderous practices of that time, and the repression of the colonial period.
The Left Party, the Greens, and the SPD, which in previous motions in the Bundestag have advocated official recognition of the genocide against the Herero and Nama, must now push through recognition with their de facto parliamentary majority.
There is no statute of limitations on genocide. And racist past and present are not changed by denial, minimization, non-acknowledgement, non-excuses, and concealment.”