Transatlantic Dynamics in Ongoing Postcolonial Negotiations

The AICGS Society, Culture, and Politics Program is hosting the following seminar:           
Transatlantic Dynamics in Ongoing Postcolonial Negotiations

The Recognition of the Genocide of the Herero and Nama in Germany and in the United StatesRegister

The genocide of the Herero and Nama, committed between 1904 and 1908 under German colonial rule in today’s Namibia, is considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Over the past decades and especially since the commemoration of the 100 years of the genocide in 2004, when the German government refused to recognize the crimes committed as such, struggles for the recognition and a reparation of the genocide led by descendants of the survivors have intensified. This presentation will present the results of a two-month research project on the impact of Herero and Nama activists in the United States on the ongoing negotiations between the German and the Namibian governments concerning the recognition and the reparation of the genocide. Based on biographical interviews conducted with Herero and Nama activists living in the United States, it will reflect on how the migration path of the interviewees has evolved over time and has affected their strategies, how the U.S. context has impacted their actions and how their transnational experiences and activities open up possibilities for transnational or postnational memories.

AICGS
1755 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Dr. Elise Pape is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow in July and August 2017. She completed her binational German-French dissertation in the field of sociology of migration at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and at the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2012. She has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Strasbourg (2012-2014) and a postdoc at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris since 2014. Her research interests concern current postcolonial debates in Germany and France, intergenerational transmission in migration processes, social policies, and the use of biographical interviews in social research.

Please contact Ms. Elizabeth Caruth with any questions at ecaruth@aicgs.org. A light luncheon will be served.

Over 1,000 human remains from Tanzania, Ruanda, Burundi to be returned

According to a press release by the human rights advocacy group, Berlin Postkolonial, the state-funded Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage (SPK) has agreed to start provenance research and preparation to repatriate more than 1,000 human remains stolen from Tanzania, Ruanda and Burundi, 1885-1918.   Thousands of human remains plundered from former German colonies remain captive in archives and personal collections in Germany.

Press Statement by Berlin-Postkolonial

Nama and Herero Representatives Meet US Court Judge

On 16th March 2017 the victims of German Genocide, Ovaherero and Nama of Namibia, alongside their Legal Counsel Kenneth Mccallion, appeared for a pre-trial conference before Judge Swain in an open court in Manhattan New York, United States of America.  However, Germany did not show up for the court hearing.  Judge Swain ordered that a second complaint be issued against Germany in terms of the Hague Convention, giving Germany until 21st July 2017 for the next pre-trial conference.

Press Statement by Ovaherero Traditional Authority

Full Stipend to study “Colonial Photographs from the Herero and Nama Genocide at Hamburg’s Ethnological Museum”

Namibian scholars, students and artists are invited to apply for a full stipend of up to 12 months to work with a research team in Hamburg/Germany on a substantial collection of colonial photographs from German Southwest Africa, with a special focus on the Herero and Nama genocide and its aftermath. The collection of about 1,000 photographs is part of a larger collection of colonial-era photographs in Hamburg’s Ethnological Museum. The project is funded by the GerdaHenkel-Foundation with a monthly stipend according to the qualification and standing of the candidate (up to 1,400 €/month).

More information

 

 

Advocate Vekuii Rukoro Strongly Refutes Mr. Polenz’s Distortions About OvaHerero and Nama Reparation Claims

Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, OvaHerero Traditional Authority, Paramount Chief strongly rejects Mr. Rupert Polenz’s statement to German media and the public suggesting that the Nama and OvaHerero reparations claims are about individual financial compensation and enrichment.  Mr. Polenz’s remarks were made in response to the Nama and OvaHerero filing a case in US courts against the German federal government.

“The Ovaherero and Nama demand is on record and has always been for COLLECTIVE REPARATIONS on behalf of the DESCENDANTS of the VICTIM COMMUNITIES who were the subjects of OFFICIAL GENOCIDE committed by the German State. The Ovaherero of today, for example, are the lawful heirs of the 115,830 square miles of land that our ancestors lost to German and other settlers as a direct result of the Genocide and German expropriations without compensation. Such reparations are due and payable to us as a People COLLECTIVELY” says OvaHerero Traditional Authority, Paramount Chief, Advocate Vekuii Rukoro.

Full Statement

Nama and OvaHerero People Take Germany to Court

“We have repeatedly requested the German government to meet with us in order to resolve this issue through dialogue. However, the racist arrogant attitude of their representatives left us with no other choice but to seek legal redress through the US courts system.  We know it is going to be a long road to justice and we are very much prepared to sacrifice whatever it takes for our just cause” – Jefta Nguherimo, Vice-President, ONGI, Inc.

 

Press Release: First congress on Ovaherero and Nama genocides in Berlin

First congress focusing on the genocides against the Ovaherero and Nama in Berlin: Reconciliation requires readiness for dialogue and respect. Moving reception for Ovaherero and Nama delegates to the Berlin congress on their arrival in Windhoek, Namibia. A joint resolution of the congress delegates demands direct participation of the Ovaherero and Nama’s representatives in all Namibian-German negotiations on the genocide committed against their communities and global recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Many exuberant supporters welcomed home Ovaherero and Nama delegates Tuesday (October 18, 2016) to Windhoek after the first transnational congress in Berlin under the theme “RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AFTER GENOCIDE“ highlighting the genocides committed between 1904-08. More than 50 Ovaherero and Nama delegates from Namibia, the United States, Canada, and Britain had come together in Berlin on the invitation of Berlin Postkolonial, AfricAvenir and the NGO alliance “Völkermord verjährt nicht!/No Amnesty on genocide!”. The Ovaherero Traditional Authority, Paramount Chief Adv. Vekuii Rukoro, invited all the Ovaherero to Okahandja this coming Sunday to report on the Berlin congress of last weekend.

During several addresses at the congress, two impressive rallies in central Berlin, a press conference organised by Niema Movassat, MP for DIE LINKE, and a work meeting with Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the German parliament or Bundestag, representatives of the Ovaherero and Nama associations made absolutely clear that reconciliation can only be achieved provided they are directly and without any preconditions involved in the negotiations about the issue of genocide against their communities between the Namibian and German governments underway since 2014. They have emphasized that the two governments must recognise the relevant Namibian Parliament’s Resolution of 26th October, 2006, as the only valid and sound basis for the negotiations that must restart afresh with the Traditional Leaders of the Ovaherero and Nama Council on Genocide and Reparation, as well as guarantee the rights of the victim communities under international law.

In close co-operation with African, black and Germany-based non-governmental organisations critical of colonialism, Ovaherero and Nama delegates drew up a joint congress resolution which declares critical debate about the genocides a global task and a subject for society as a whole. Apart from the main demands for an official recognition of the genocides, a sincere apology by the German parlament and government and negotiations on reparations with the Ovaherero and Nama representatives from Namibia and their diaspora, calls were also made for critical observation of the demanded trialogue by non-government organisations (NGO).

Companies such as Deutsche Bank, Wecke & Voigts and Woermann that directly profited from the genocides and the forced labour of Ovaherero and Nama are urged to participate in compensating the affected communities who were entirely expropriated and forced to leave its lands. The congress resolution calls on the world’s nation states, the African Union, the United Nations and Christian churches, partly entangled in the genocides, to take the occasion of the ongoing UN Decade for People of African Descent and officially recognise the Ovaherero and Nama genocides as well as to support the victims’ just struggle for an apology and direct participation in the exclusive government negotiations.
During the next days, the congress resolution will be sent to the German and Namibian governments, to the U.N., to political parties, involved companies and to the Christian churches. According to the Berlin-based Herero Israel Kaunatjike of the alliance „No Amnesty on Genocide!” the congress is a “key step towards expanding the decades-long fight for justice”.

During last year’s allied campaign, “Genocide is Genocide!”, over 50 NGO and 150 prominent figures in politics and academia in Germany had already lent their support to the demands of the Ovaherero and Nama for direct participation in the negotiations on the genocide issue.
Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (SPD), the former Development Minister, sent a greeting with a call for “moral and financial compensation” of the Ovaherero and Nama to the congress in Berlin. Ruprecht Polenz (CDU), the German government’s special representative, was invited to the congress but declined to take part in a panel discussion with the Ovaherero and Nama representatives or to meet the delegation during their stay in Berlin.

Contact: Israel Kaunatjike, Bündnis „Völkermord verjährt nicht!“, 0049-173-1035605 & Christian Kopp, Berlin Postkolonial, 0049-179-9100 976, buero@berlin-postkolonial.de
Attachments: Berlin Congress Resolution
Photos by:
J. Nguherimo (congress on 14./15.10. in Berlin’s Centre Francais de Berlin): https://www.flickr.com/photos/namibdesert/sets/72157671857378894/<a
O. Feldhaus (March on 16.10.): https://www.flickr.com/photos/petshoppetshop/sets/72157673973860422
J. Zeller (March on 16.10.): https://www.flickr.com/photos/148332649@N03/
B. Sauer-Diete (13.10. Protest outside DHM & March on 16.10.): https://www.flickr.com/photos/basspunk/30115685750/
More information on: http://genocide-namibia.net/

Open Letter to: The Special Envoys ……

In an Open Letter to the special envoys Mr. Polenz and Dr. Ngavirue, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, and the Namibia Institute for Democracy, Mr. Festus Muundjua, a descendant of the 1904-1908 genocides victims, calls the ongoing negotiations between the German and Namibian a charade and an attempt to deceive the Namibian people and deny justice to the descendants of victims of the Ovaherero and Nama genocides. Mr. Muundjua cites the existence of a secret agreement between the German and Namibian governments that Germany does not have to pay reparations.

 

Restorative Justice After Genocide

 Non-Governmental Congress on the Ovaherero and Nama Genocides, 1904-08

 October 14-16, 2016, Centre Francais de Berlin, Germany

We are pleased to announce the Non-Governmental Congress on the Ovaherero and Nama Genocides, 1904-08, scheduled for October 14-16, in Berlin, Germany.

ABOUT

The congress will bring together, in solidarity and common purpose, black, white and African people in Germany with descendants of the victims of the Ovaherero and Nama genocides 1904-1908 from all over the world including Africa, Europe and America.

Inviting hosts of the congress are Berlin Postkolonial in cooperation with AfricAvenir International, the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF), the Nama Technical Committee on Genocide, the Association of the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu Genocide in the USA (OGA), the OvaHerero/Mbanderu and Nama Genocides Institute (ONGI), and the German NGO Alliance “No Amnesty on Genocide!”.

MAIN GOALS

The main goals of the Congress are:

  1. to reflect on the past struggle for restorative justice for the Ovaherero and Nama genocides.
  2. to evaluate recent developments and the present situation in Germany and Namibia with regard to the exclusion of Ovaherero and Nama from the genocide negotiations.
  3. to affirm the right of the Ovaherero and Nama communities to be directly involved in negotiating a comprehensive solution, including recognition of the genocides, a sincere apology and just reparations for the genocides.
  4. to chart a course for transnational actions to secure restorative justice and the repatriation of all Ovaherero and Nama human remains shipped to Germany.

 DATES and TIME

The congress will begin on Friday, October 14 at 2:00 pm and conclude on Sunday, October 16, at 1:00 pm. It will conclude with a march through Berlin on Sunday morning.

PROGRAM

Once finalized, the program will be posted on the websites of the inviting hosts: www.berlin-postkolonial.de & http://theongi.org/ & www.africavenir.org &  www.ovaherero-ovambanderugenocideassociation.org

PLACE / HOTEL

The congress will be held at the Centre Francais, 13349 Berlin, Germany, Müllerstraße 74. The associated Hotel de France is offering single & double rooms for Oct 14 & 15 at a congress rate: www.hotel-francais-berlin.de, phone: +49(0)30 417 29 0.

QUESTIONS / REGISTRATION/ INVITATIONS

For questions and registration please send an email to buero@berlin-postkolonial.de. Please register no later than September 14 and include your full name, affiliation, and telephone number. 

EXHIBITION

In Autumn 2016 there will be a major exhibition on German colonialism in Berlin. The opening event will be in the evening of Oct 13: www.dhm.de/en/ausstellungen/preview/german-colonialism.html