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View Diary: Black Kos, Week In Review (164 comments)

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  •  which means that the Germans (4+ / 0-)

    didn't even try to understand the tribal spiritual aspect and what the theft of theses skulls meant to them. Insensitive and ignorant and intellectually, as well as emotionally lazy, in their approach to handle that "programme" they set up in conjunction with the Namibian Embassy and Minister Kazenambo's office.  

    It is clear that the matter can't be addressed without resolving the issue of paying reparations.

    I have not read much about it so far, but it looks like the Germans were rather caught by surprise. The magnitude of the skull theft is enormous and I wonder when the Germans actually found out about how many were in their museums or former "research" centers boxed away and forgotten. Many in facilities of former East Germany.

    It would be possible to pay reparations to the tribes idirectly. Germany is rich enough and the tribes poor enough and victimized and deeply disrespected and dehumanized in the past. So I understand when they say this:

    Speaking to German journalists, Karas Governor Clinton Swartbooi asked why there should be a discussion on whether genocide was committed in Namibia when it was quite clear that German colonial forces committed the act.

    "It was genocide by Germany for own economic and colonial agenda," he said, adding that it was important for Germany to apologise in order to bring closure and "for us to move to the next stage of building strong relations within the pretext of reparation".

    Swartbooi said it was also important for Germany to behave properly as a responsible member of the international community the same way they did with the Jews.

    "They must begin to respect African people," he said, adding that Germany is now part of financing the Eurozone bail-out and it was quite clear that it being the largest economy in Europe had sufficient resources if it wanted reparation to happen in Namibia.

    Swartbooi said as a younger generation of those that suffered atrocities of German genocide, "we will be unrelenting in pursuing this matter to its logical conclusion, it can take 20 years, 30 years, 100 years, but we will not rest until reparation is done to our people."

    Chief Petrus Kooper, who was part of the delegation to Germany, said he felt proud to bring the skulls back and that as traditional leaders they felt good to have made their contribution.

    Ueriuka Tjikuua, secretary of the OCD-1904, said he took the journey back home with mixed feelings as the treatment in Germany was not good, but praised the three groups for working together as one.

    He said some of the things that disappointed him were when Cornelia Pieper, the Minister of State in the German Foreign Ministry, gave her speech at the skulls' handover and then left without listening to Minister Kazenambo's speech.

    He added that the German government was invited to a public discussion but refused to attend and that they also did not attend the memorial service except Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the former German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, who also apologised to the Herero people at the 100th anniversary of the genocide.

    Cornelia Piper should be fired.

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