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Hanover cancels lecture after protests by anti-racism organizations


Hanover - The city of Hanover has canceled a lecture event on colonial history following boycott threats from an anti-racism organization. The reason for the protests was a planned lecture by the historian Helmut Bley on colonial history. The "Initiative for Discrimination Sensitivity and Racism Criticism" (IDiRa) accused him of not being able to "understand and empathize with African conditions" as an "old white man", Bley told the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.

During an online preliminary meeting for the event originally planned for mid-March it was also stated that “only African people could make authentic statements on the subject”. Shortly after this conversation, an employee of the city informed the professor emeritus about the cancellation of the lecture.

Greens are demanding employment with colonial crimes
Bley, who taught in Tanzania and is considered an expert in dealing with the colonial era, emphasized that it was not possible to dissuade the representatives of IDiRa from their position. He had tried in vain to explain to them that, according to their argument, Africans could not study the conditions in Europe either. "Yet many Africans, Latin Americans and Chinese also took up the teachings of Karl Marx from Trier or took up social democratic positions."

The Greens have called for German colonial crimes to be dealt with more intensively. The Federal Republic must admit to a "genocide" against the Ovaherero and the Nama in Namibia. They are also pushing for an official apology for acts committed during colonialism.

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