Saturday, August 14, 2004

Namibia: German apology to the Herero

OKOKARARA, Namibia (AP) - A senior government official offered Germany's first apology Saturday for a colonial-era crackdown that killed 65,000 ethnic Hereros -a slaughter she acknowledged amounted to genocide.

"We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time," Germany's development aid minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, said at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Hereros' 1904-1907 uprising against their German rulers. "The atrocities committed at that time would have been termed genocide."

While ruling out financial compensation for the victims' descendants, she promised continued economic assistance, particularly in land reform.

"Everything I have said was an apology from the German government," Wieczorek-Zeul concluded, to the delight of the 1,000-strong crowd, who clapped, cheered and shouted: "Yes, yes."

Wieczorek-Zeul is the first top German official to attend a commemoration of the war. (source)
Previous posts ...
  • Namibia: Germany "not prepared" to offer Hereros reparations