German Genocide in Southwest Africa

As a follow up to an earlier post from Ben Kiernan's book Blood and Soil.
The destruction of the Herero proved to be the opening genocide of the twentieth century. Among the three main Southwest African ethnic groups, totaling 125,000 people before 1904, German repression took approximately 80,000 lives in three years, at a cost of 676 German dead, 907 wounded, and 97 missing. The toll exacted by Europe’s leading military power highlights the contrast between the German policy toward civilians and that of their Herero and Nama opponents, who made concerted efforts to spare women and children. As historians Jon Bridgman and Leslie Worley point out, “representatives of the German government” set out “to destroy a whole people with the knowledge and the tacit approval of the Kaiser and the General Staff.” (386)

It was convenient to have the American example in their dealings with indigenous people.

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