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Compensation from Germany to Namibia: Herero chiefs in a gold rush

Written by Alexander Graf for Junge Freiheit.

The German government's planned apology for the suppression of the uprisings in the former colony of German South West Africa, today's Namibia, turns into a bizarre farce. The reason is once again the love of money. After Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) announced last week that Germany would be paying 1.1 billion euros in development aid to Namibia “as a gesture of recognition of immeasurable suffering”, this aroused covetousness in the African country.

Initially, some associations of the Herero ethnic group rejected the offered sum as an "insult" . Now they have announced what they think is a reasonable amount: According to Bild newspaper, they should ask for the equivalent of 477 billion euros.

To put it into perspective: The gross domestic product of Namibia was just under ten billion euros in 2019. Converted to the approximately 70,000 Herero and Nama who perished during the uprisings between 1904 and 1908, that would be 6.8 million euros per death if the required amount was counted.

Herero rely on the racism card
A look at the conditions in Namibia reveals a network of tribes and royal families, each of whom not only wants a piece of cake, but preferably their own cake from Germany. It is true that Maas had emphasized when announcing the planned payment that no legal claims to compensation could be derived from it, just stupid that the chiefs were not interested.

The tapped racism card is already being played as a joker by individual tribal leaders. They try to increase the moral pressure for payments from the former colonial power.

The casino is open
If one looks at the behavior of German diplomacy over the past few years and decades, which has constantly walked through the world with confessions of guilt and the emphasis on high moral demands on itself, the brazen approach of the Africans is not surprising. They may not even believe they will get anywhere near that amount. But they drive up the price and put the federal government under pressure. In the other ex-colonies of the German Reich, too, people will be interested to see how much money can be made under certain circumstances.

The compensation casino is open. There are no limits when it comes to gaming. Consolation prizes guaranteed. The bank pays.

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