Germany's Forgotten Genocide: The Early Atrocity that Provided a Blueprint For the Nazis | Summary and Q&A

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May 13, 2021
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Germany's Forgotten Genocide: The Early Atrocity that Provided a Blueprint For the Nazis

TL;DR

Germany committed its first genocide in Southwest Africa, exterminating the Herero and Nama tribes to seize land for German settlers.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What inspired Germany's expansionist policies in Southwest Africa?

The concept of lebensraum, or living space, fueled Germany's desire for territorial expansion and led to the colonization of Southwest Africa.

Q: How did the German settlers treat the native tribes?

German settlers abused, beat, and raped the Herero and Nama people, creating a hostile environment and prompting the tribes to revolt.

Q: What actions did the German government take to stamp out the rebellions?

The German government dispatched troops, led by General von Trotha, to exterminate the Herero and Nama tribes and clear the land for German settlers.

Q: Did the German government face any consequences for their actions?

While some progress has been made towards remembrance and reconciliation, the German government has not provided reparations to the descendants of the victims and only recognized von Trotha's military actions as genocide.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Germany, late to the game of imperial expansion, acquired colonies in Southwest Africa in 1884.

  • German settlers, viewing the native Herero and Nama tribes as racially inferior, sought to take their land.

  • The German government implemented policies of mass murder, resulting in the deaths of 60,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama people.

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