Recognition of the Genocide against the OvaHerero and Nama in Sight

The German government is negotiating with Namibia on recognition of the 1904-08 genocide in response to public pressure that has increased significantly following German demands for recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

*Press release from 25.6.2015*

*100 years after the end of “German Southwest Africa”: Recognition of the genocide against the OvaHerero and Nama is in sight.

*Federal government negotiates with Namibia on recognition of 1904-08 genocide. Handover of the appeal “Genocide is Genocide” and commemorative events with high-ranking delegation of the victims’ associations on July 6/7, 2015*.

In its answers to a minor inquiry by Bündnis 90/Die Grünen on Germany’s colonial past (BT Drucksache 18/5166), the German government stated, among other things, that it is engaged in a dialogue with the Namibian government that “for the first time also includes the search for a common attitude and a common language with regard to the cruel colonial war of the years 1904 to 1908.”

The German government is responding to public pressure, which has increased significantly following German demands for recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Already in March 2015, an online petition of the OvaHerero had been handed over in various German embassies and in Berlin, demanding Germany’s willingness to make reparations. In a current appeal, the alliance “Völkermord verjährt nicht!” and more than 150 first signatories from politics and science, church and culture, black community and NGOs call on the Federal President, the Bundestag and the Federal Government to take action on the100th anniversary of the genocide. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of German colonial rule in present-day Namibia on July 9, 2015, the genocide of the OvaHerero and Nama people was finally named.

The “Genocide is Genocide” appeal also urges Germany to make an official apology, to return the many human remains looted from Africa for racist research, and to involve the OvaHerero and Nama directly in negotiations on appropriate reconciliation measures. In addition to former Development Minister Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Bundestag Diaby (both SPD), Wagenknecht and Movassat (Die LINKE), the most recent signatories were SPD Treasurer Nietan, Bundestag Vice President Roth (B90/The Greens), and parliamentary group and party leaders Gysi and Riexinger (Die LINKE), respectively.

The presentation of the appeal to the Federal President and the commemorative ceremonies will take place on 6. respectively July 7 in Berlin. High-ranking representatives of Namibian victims’ associations are expected in the twin city of Windhoek (Namibia), including OvaHerero Chief Adv. Vekuii Rukoro – successor to Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako – and Member of Parliament and Nama representative Ida Hoffmann .

*Appell, answer of the federal government and further info*:

*Memorial events:* 7/7 at 5pm Cemetery Columbiadamm 122, 10965 Berlin and at 7pm at Werkstatt der Kulturen, Wissmannstr. 32, 12049 Berlin

*Contact: Bündnis “Völkermord verjährt nicht!”, 01799 100 976, buero[at]