Afrikan News And History Post New Entry


Posted by The Reunion Black Family on December 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM




Medical experiments

Further information: Scientific racism and Craniometry

Eugen Fischer, a German scientist, came to the concentration camps to conduct medical experiments on race, using children of Herero people and mulatto children of Herero women and German men as test subjects. Together with Theodor Mollison he also experimented upon Herero prisoners Those experiments included sterilization, injection of smallpox, typhus as well as tuberculosis.

The numerous cases of mixed offspring upset the German colonial administration and the obsession with racial purity. Eugen Fischer studied 310 mixed-race children, calling them "Rehoboth bastards" of "lesser racial quality". Fischer also subjected them to numerous racial tests such as head and body measurements, eye and hair examinations. In conclusion of his studies he advocated genocide of alleged "inferior races" stating that "whoever thinks thoroughly the notion of race, can not arrive at a different conclusion".

Fischer's (at the time considered) scientific actions and torment of the children were part of wider history of abusing Africans for experiments, and echoed earlier actions by German anthropologists who stole skeletons and bodies from African graveyards and took them to Europe for research or sale.

An estimated 3,000 skulls were sent to Germany for experimentation. In October 2011, after 3 years of talks, the first skulls were due to be returned to Namibia for burial.]

Other experiments were made by doctor Bofinger, who injected Herero that were suffering from scurvy with various substances including arsenic and opium; afterwards he researched the effects of these substances by performing autopsies on dead bodies

Influence upon Nazi Germany

The Herero genocide has commanded the attention of historians who study complex issues of continuity between the Herero Genocide and the Holocaust.[89] It is argued that the Herero genocide set a precedent in Imperial Germany to be later followed by Nazi Germany's establishment of death camps.

According to Benjamin Madley, the German experience in South West Africa was a crucial precursor to Nazi colonialism and genocide. He argues that personal connections, literature, and public debates served as conduits for communicating colonialist and genocidal ideas and methods from the colony to Germany.

Tony Barta, honorary research associate at La Trobe University Melbourne, argues that the Herero Genocide was an inspiration for Hitler in his war against the Jews.]

According to Clarence Lusane, Eugen Fischer's medical experiments can be seen as a testing ground for later medical procedures used during the Nazi Holocaust. Fischer later became chancellor of the University of Berlin, where he taught medicine to Nazi physicians. One of his prominent students was Josef Mengele, the doctor who performed genetic experiments on Jewish children at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Ben Kiernan, the director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, pointed out that Eugen Fischer was not the only person who took part in both genocides. Franz Ritter von Epp, who was later responsible for the liquidation of all Bavarian Jews and Roma as governor of Bavaria, took part in the Herero genocide as well.

Mahmood Mamdani argues that the links between the Holocaust and the Herero Genocide are beyond the execution of an annihilation policy and the establishment of concentration camps and that there are ideological similarities in the conduct of both genocides. Focusing on a written statement by General Trotha translated as:

“ I destroy the African tribes with streams of blood... Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain. ”

Mamdani takes note of the similarity between the aims of the General and the Nazis. According to Mamdani in both cases there was a Social Darwinist notion of "cleansing" after which "something new" would "emerge".


Herero chained during the 1904 rebellion

Herero prisoners of war in 1904.

Cover of the 1918 British Bluebook, originally available through His Majesty's Stationery Office. In 1926, except for archive copies, it was withdrawn and destroyed following a "decision of the then Legislative Assembly".

Survivors, majority of whom were women and children, were eventually put in concentration camps, such as that at Shark Island, where the German authorities forced them to work as slave labor for German military and settlers, all prisoners were categorized into groups fit and unfit for work, and pre-printed death certificates indicating "death by exhaustion following privation" were issued.The British government published their well-known account of the German genocide of the Nama and Herero peoples in 1918.

Many Herero died later of disease, overwork and malnutrition.

In 1906, Shark Island registered an annual death rate of 227% for the Nama, and 86% for the Herero; other camps, such as Windhoek, showed mortality rates as high as 61% The mortality rate in the camps reached 45% in 1908. The death rates are calculated at between 69 and 74%.

Food in the camps was extremely scarce, consisting of rice with no additions. As the prisoners lacked pots, the rice they received was uncooked and indigestible; horses and oxen that died in the camp were later distributed to the inmates as food. As a result dysentery spread, in addition to lung diseases, despite those conditions the Herero were taken outside the camp every day for labour under harsh treatment by the German guards, while the sick were left without any medical assistance or nursing care.

Shootings, hangings and beatings were common, and the sjambok was used by guards who treated the forced laborers harshly; a September 28, 1905, article in the South African newspaper Cape Argus detailed some of the abuse, with the heading: "In German S. W. Africa: Further Startling Allegations: Horrible Cruelty". In an interview with Percival Griffith, "an accountant of profession, who owing to hard times, took up on transport work at Angra Pequena, Lüderitz", related his experiences.

“ "There are hundreds of them, mostly women and children and a few old men ... when they fall they are sjamboked by the soldiers in charge of the gang, with full force, until they get up ... On one occasion I saw a woman carrying a child of under a year old slung at her back, and with a heavy sack of grain on her head ... she fell. The corporal sjamboked her for certainly more than four minutes and sjamboked the baby as well ... the woman struggled slowly to her feet, and went on with her load. She did not utter a sound the whole time, but the baby cried very hard." ”

During the war, a number of people from the Cape (in modern day South Africa) sought employment as transport riders for German troops in Namibia. Upon their return to the Cape, some of these people recounted their stories, including those of the imprisonment and genocide of the Herero and Namaqua people. Fred Cornell, a British aspirant diamond prospector, was in Lüderitz when the Shark Island extermination camp was being used. Cornell wrote of the camp:

“ "Cold - for the nights are often bitterly cold there - hunger, thirst, exposure, disease and madness claimed scores of victims every day, and cartloads of their bodies were every day carted over to the back beach, buried in a few inches of sand at low tide, and as the tide came in the bodies went out, food for the sharks." ”

The extermination camp on Shark Island, in the coastal town of Lüderitz, was the worst of the German South West African camps. Lüderitz lies in southern Namibia, flanked by desert and ocean. In the harbour lies Shark Island, which then was connected to the mainland only by a small causeway. The island is now, as it was then, barren and characterised by solid rock carved into surreal formations by the hard ocean winds. The camp was placed on the far end of the relatively small island, where the prisoners would have suffered complete exposure to the strong winds that sweep Lüderitz for most of the year.

German Commander Von Estorff wrote in a report that approximately 1,700 prisoners had died by April 1907, 1,203 of them Nama. In December 1906, four months after their arrival, 291 Nama died (a rate of more than nine people a day). Missionary reports put the death rate at between 12 and 18 a day; as many as 80% of the prisoners sent to the Shark Island extermination camp never left the island.

There are accusations of Herero women being coerced into sex slavery as a means of survival.

Trotha was opposed to contact between natives and settlers, believing that the insurrection was "the beginning of a racial struggle" and fearing that the colonists would be infected by native diseases.

Benjamin Madley argues that it would be more accurate to describe Shark Island not as a concentration camp or work camp, but as an extermination camp or death camp.


Brigitte Lau has challenged the analyse of GDR historian Horst Drechsler (Let Us Die Fighting, London, 1988 translation). She considers that his work contains important factual errors, pointing amongst other things to his and other's reliance on First World War British propaganda.

Werner Hillebrecht, who criticized Brigitte Lau's work at great length, agrees that there was no plot to commit genocide, and that von Trotha "initially planned to take prisoners". However as the logistical impossibility of dealing with tens of thousands of prisoners became apparent he let the desert deal with the problem. He does consider the German High Command guilty of genocide because: "They let it happen".

It has been pointed out that although German colonists did seize and exploit much Herero/Nama soil, diamonds cannot have been a motive as reports of their discovery did not appear until 1908.


A BBC Documentary Namibia - Genocide & the second reich explores the Herero/Nama genocide and the circumstances surrounding it.


In the documentary 100 Years of Silence, filmmakers Halfdan Muurholm and Casper Erichsen portray a 23-year old Herero woman, who is aware of the fact that her great-grandmother was raped by a German soldier. The documentary explores the past and the way Namibia deals with it now

The Herero were originally a of cattle herders PEOPLE living in a region of German South West Africa, presently modern Namibia. The area occupied by the Herero was known as Damaraland. In 1883, during the scramble for Africa, Franz Adolf Eduard Lüderitz purchased land from the Nama and, in August 1884, it was declared a German protectorate, despite the German government's knowledge that their means of acquisition were fraudulent; at that time, it was the only overseas German territory deemed suitable for white settlement.

Chief of the neighbouring Hereros, Kamaharero had made himself great by uniting all the Herero. Faced with repeated attacks by the ǀKhowesin, a subtribe of the Khoikhoi under Hendrik Witbooi, he signed a protection treaty with Imperial Germany's colonial governor Göring on 21 October 1885 but did not cede the land of the Herero. This treaty was renounced in 1888 due to lack of German support against Witbooi but it was reinstated in 1890.

A hundred years ago, some 605,000 of the Herero people of the German colony of South West Africa (today Namibia) were killed. Many in concentration camps. Today, the descendants of the survivors are seeking reparations from the German government.


The Herero leaders repeatedly complained about violation of this treaty, as Herero women and girls were raped by Germans, a crime that the German authorities were reluctant to punish.

In 1890 Kamaharero's son Samuel signed a great deal of land over to the Germans in return for helping him to ascend to the Ovaherero throne, and to subsequently be established as paramount chief.] German involvement in tribal fighting ended in tenuous peace in 1894. In that year, Theodor Leutwein became governor of the territory, which underwent a period of rapid development, while the German government sent the Schutztruppe, imperial colonial troops, to pacify the region.

Under German colonial rule natives were routinely used as slave labourers, and their lands were frequently confiscated and given to colonists, who were encouraged to settle on land taken from the natives;, that land was stocked with cattle stolen from the Hereros and Namas, causing a great deal of resentment.

Eventually the area was to be inhabited predominantly by whites and become "African Germany".Over the next decade, the land and the cattle that were essential to Herero and Nama lifestyles passed into the hands of German settlers arriving in South-West Africa.

As they Lynching our brothers and sisters in America,they are lynching us at home Africa...AFRICA SOLD AFRICANS IS A BIGEST LIE OF THE CENTURY..


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Reply Pamela Joyner
7:20 PM on February 10, 2013 
A great example of the tools of division used to influence peoples minds towards violence. We must be vigorous in seeking the truth and revealing the greed behind violence and destroying the loving lives of other human beings. History leaves us a great tool of knowledge about the rights and wrongs of our human passage ... if we wish to choose to survive our own corruptable and ignorant minds we need listen and learn! :)
Reply Joe Garcia
5:44 AM on March 26, 2013 
Is he not the devil on Earth?
Reply Christopher Page
8:52 AM on March 21, 2014 
No worries, what goes around, comes around.
Reply luci ryan
9:39 AM on August 13, 2016 
These perpetrators both in Africa and America, are not worthy of being classified as humanoids. They are demons posing as humans. Dark hearted, evil, wicked creatures who have historically roamed the earth seeking whom they may devour. Judgment shall fall upon them all.
Reply luci ryan
10:12 AM on August 13, 2016 
These perpetrators both in Africa and America, are not worthy of being classified as humanoids. They are demons posing as humans. Dark hearted, evil, wicked creatures who have historically roamed the earth seeking whom they may devour. Judgment shall fall upon them all.