01.10.2015 – Joint Petition by Ovaherero and Nama

Our Colonial Present: Germany's Herero and Nama Genocide

01.10.2015 – Joint Petition by Ovaherero and Nama

Joint Petition by the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation and the Nama Technical Committee on Genocide on the Eve of the 111th Anniversary of the Extermination Order against the Ovaherero and in the year of the 110th Anniversary of the Extermination Order against the Nama.

  1. Still haunted by the horrific nature of the war crimes and inhumane treatment of our ancestors at the hands of the German Imperialist Troops;
  2. Cognisant of the fact that the acts of the German troops indeed constituted the first Genocide of the 20th Century;
  3. In remembrance of the blood of our ancestors, shed during the anti-colonial battles they waged jointly and separately against German Colonialists; and cognisant of the fact that the blood of our ancestors is still crying for redemption and well aware that their souls are yet to find eternal peace;
  4. Disturbed, disappointed and disillusioned by the continued refusal of the German government to engage in a dialogue with the direct descendants of this Genocide;
  5. Taking further cognisance of the dialogue that has been going on between the government of Namibia and its German counterpart on the pertinent and vexed issue of Genocide and Reparations;
  6. Noting that this dialogue has been taking place without the know, recognition and participation of the direct descendants;
  7. Determined and resolute that it cannot be about us without us: anything about us without us, is against us;
  8. Appreciative of the internationalism of the German civil society, their unconditional solidarity with us and their untiring efforts to ensure that the remembrance of the genocidal excesses of Imperial Germany is not obliterated from the annals of history of the Federal Republic of Germany;
  9. Further conscious of, and in full and unconditional support of the Motion submitted by members of the Bundestag, Niema Movassat and others;
  10. Aware of the 02 October 2015 deadline, by which the government of the Federal Republic of Germany should declare its intent on unconditionally engaging all stakeholders, including representatives of the descendants of the victims of Genocide;
  11. Welcoming and appreciating recent pronouncements by eminent and high-ranking German State officials to the effect that Imperial Germany’s atrocities in the then German South West Africa were Genocide, and
  12. Aware of the visit of the President of the Bundestag Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Norbert Lammert, to Namibia next week;

Now, therefore, we hereby wish to categorically reiterate our uncompromising position regarding the issues of Genocide and Reparations to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany,

This position being that:

  1. The German Government officially acknowledges that what happened to our ancestors as a result of the Extermination Order of General Von Trotha constitute acts of Genocide and war crimes;
  2. Pursuant to the above the German government offers an unqualified apology to the descendants of the victims targeted by the Extermination Order;
  3. The German government in principle accept responsibility to pay Reparations to representatives of the descendants of the victim groups who were exterminated pursuant to the Extermination Orders;
  4. The German government agrees to sit down and discuss with representatives of the descendants of the victims the details and modalities relating to the payment of Reparations in the same fashion as it discussed and agreed Reparations with the Jewish Claims Conference as a non-State entity.
  5. The Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama most certainly reject any secret deals that do not involve them as direct descendants of the victims.

Signed by:      Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation & Nama Genocide Technical Committee at Windhoek, Namibia.

Submitted to the German Ambassador to Namibia on 01 October 2015