In March, the Turkish parliament speaker thanked Namibia for its international stance in condemning Israel’s genocide atrocities in Gaza.

“I would like to express that as the Turkish nation, we greatly appreciate Namibia’s stance in the international arena against the ongoing atrocities, which have reached the level of genocide, perpetrated by Israel in Gaza for nearly six months,” Numan Kurtulmus said during Namibia National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi’s visit to Türkiye, reported Turkiye news service Anadolu Ajansi.

The African country’s stance against genocide atrocities in Gaza, perpetuated by the Israeli military, is much more than meets the eye. The question that gets little or no attention, in Western media outlets, but receives consternation among Namibians, is why Israel receives annual reparations for the Germany-engineered Holocaust, but Namibia,

(formerly called, South West Africa) which suffered over 100,000 brutal deaths at the hands of its colonial master, has received so far only an apology. Some even refer to the genocide by Germany against the Herero and Nama people as the original Holocaust.


According to Deutch: Federal Foreign Office, “Ever since the Luxembourg Agreement of 1952, the question of reparations has been an important political issue in relations between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Since 2022, German reparation payments have totaled nearly $90 billion. Around $1.6 billion is paid from Germany’s federal budget each year for pension and care costs of victims of Nazi persecution, many of whom live in Israel.

“Germany,” explained “was the third-biggest colonial power in Africa after Britain and France, at one point controlling 30 percent of the world’s diamonds through its exploitation of Namibia’s resources.

But awareness of its colonial-era crimes against humanity has been largely overshadowed by the Holocaust, during which Germany’s Nazi government killed six million European Jews.”

“Some Namibians have pointed to double standards in the reaction to these genocides. Germany has paid about 82 billion euros ($90 billion) in reparations to Israel—including direct payments to victims—but has refused to directly compensate the Herero and Nama,” the outlet reported.

In Caroline Elkins’s 2022 book, “Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire,” she chronicled Germany’s “dysfunctional” brutality. “In South West Africa, Germany’s military descended into ‘dysfunctional extremes of violence,’ nearly wiping out the Herero and Nama peoples, as the historian Isabel V. Hull tells us.

Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s constitution isolated the army from external oversight and critique, and its militarism snowballed in Germany’s empire and informed fascism’s advance.

(Germain American historian Hannah) Arendt called this the ‘boomerang effect,’ and it was not isolated to Hitler’s rise. She looked at Europe’s race thinking and ‘wild murdering’ and ‘terrible massacres’ in the colonies and saw in them the origins of European totalitarianism.”

The UK-based Guardian reported, “Tens of thousands of men, women and children were shot, tortured or driven into the Kalahari desert to starve by German troops between 1904 and 1908 after the Herero and Nama tribes rebelled against colonial rule in what was then named German South West Africa and is now Namibia.”

Al Jazeera called it an attempt at extermination. “In southwest Africa, German settlers were pushing Indigenous people off their lands. When two ethnic groups rebelled and fought back, the Schutztruppe—or colonial guards—responded with such brute force that they almost wiped them out entirely.

The massacre of the Nama and Herero peoples between 1904-1908, now in present-day Namibia, is widely recognized as an intentional extermination attempt.”

A February 2023 UN report noted that, “On October 2, 1904, the (German) colonial regime issued an extermination proclamation targeting the Herero peoples. A similar proclamation targeting the Nama people was issued on April 25, 1905. The articulated extermination policy focused specifically on the Ovaherero and Nama peoples, not on other communities living in Namibia.”

For the first time, on July 10, 2015, according to the UN report, “a speaker for the German Foreign Office hinted that the events of 1904–1908 qualified as genocide.

Since then, the German Foreign Office and other state representatives have used the term ‘genocide’ to refer to the conduct of the German colonial forces between 1904 and 1908 with a reservation indicating that the events could only be qualified as such according to present-day standards, thus it could not be considered a legal terminology, but rather a historical—political—one.”

Nangolo Mbumba, vice-president of Namibia, stated at a news conference, “We need to recognize that the amount of $1.3 billion agreed upon between the two governments (Germany and Namibia) is not enough and does not adequately address the initial quantum of reparations initially submitted to the German government.” 

The German parliament has reiterated its position of last March, saying that, “in the absence of a legal basis, there would be no individual or collective compensation claims of individual descendants of victim groups such as the Hereros or Namas.” Germany and Namibia are co-hosting the UN Summit of the Future in New York City in September, reported

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