The German government confirmed today that it is negotiating with Namibia possible compensation for the Herero massacre by German colonial troops in the early 20th century, which the parliament and the Berlin executive do not officially recognize as “genocide.”
After major German media reported that representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples had filed a collective plea against Germany to demand economic compensation in the United States, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schafer said that Berlin has a direct dialogue With the Namibian government.
The compensation that is being analyzed includes possible economic damages, Schafer admitted, noting that the German executive has no official information on the collective claim.
He pointed out that the interlocutor of the German executive is the Namibian government, although it is not excluded that in the future civil organizations can join the negotiations.
The massacre of tens of thousands of Herero and Namas between 1904 and 1908 is one of the darkest chapters in the history of the German colony of Southwest Africa (now Namibia) and is considered a precedent for other ethnic cleansing.
The Herero uprising against German rule began on January 12, 1904, and just over 15,000 of the close to 80,000 Herero survived the colonial war and internment in concentration camps. It is estimated that Kaiser Wilhelm II soldiers also killed 10,000 Namas, 50% of the total population.
Schafer explained that talks with Namibia, which began about two years ago, run “well, but they are not easy, because the issue is difficult.”