Posts Tagged ‘Budanstag’

The First German Genocide

April 20, 2008

Before the Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust, German militants killed off much of the Herero population. This little known genocide is one of the precedents in the theory that certain societies are pre-disposed to genocide. So, the Jews established a norm with the Herero that made killing the Jews easier.

The genocide of the Herero however has been rejected by the German Budenstag.  Dr. Norman Lapert commented on the event. “I got a recommendation from that committee that this motion will not find a majority in the Bundestag – it will be rejected,” he said. Asked whether this would mean that the approximately 600 German MPs would not declare what happened under colonial rule 100 years ago as ‘genocide’, Lammert replied that Germany was aware of its special responsibility towards Namibia, but concrete support to Namibians, in the form of development assistance, was far more helpful.

Why like Turkey would the German’s want to politicize and legitimize a genocide that happened 100 years ago? Admitting to genocide is not good for either country politically nor in terms of self image. Yet, failing to acknowledge a genocide does not mean that the genocide did not occur. A lack of legitimization of a historical event is faulty thinking and in the end NEVER works. Furthermore, covering up thte genocide with aide is also cheap. Its like the cheating husband who “buys” off his wife with diamonds– they are relationships in which the underlying conceptualization is flawed.

Genocide scholars know of the plight of the Herero but few others do. Deleting a genocide from memory or failing to recognize its existence is falliable and should be condemned. I hope German citizens rethink their position.  Your thoughts? Why would this be beneficial? Is the German goverment’s response with actions not words the most appropriate way to go??