By Jeremy Silvester, Jan-Bart Gewald

Jan Kubas used to be an eyewitness of the occasions that happened following the defeat of Herero warring parties in Namibia on the conflict of Hamakari in 1904 and the German pursuit of the Herero group into the parched Omaheke and Kalahari barren region. while interviewed thirteen years later he struggled to articulate his thoughts, complaining that "Words can't be discovered to narrate what occurred; it used to be too terrible". but the phrases of Jan Kubas and forty six different eyewitnesses of occasions, that have been defined as "war atrocities" (and even "genocide"), that happened through the German colonial interval in Namibia have been recorded and released in an respectable British "Blue ebook" in 1918. those statements shape an extraordinary documentation of African voices describing the come upon of African groups with a colonial energy. despite the fact that, in 1926, just a couple of years after its ebook, the "Blue publication" used to be withdrawn from the general public area and orders given for its destruction. The yr 2004 will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Namibian struggle opposed to German rule. it's the goal of the authors that this annotated re-publication of the "Blue booklet" will, in a few degree, be a memorial to those who died.

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Extra resources for Words Cannot Be Found: German Colonial Rule in Namibia : An Annotated Reprint of the 1918 Blue Book (Sources on African History, 1) (Sources on African History, 1)

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B. van Heutsz. To be sure, accounts of atrocities committed by an earlier generation make for troubling reading. Similarly, the statements and accounts included in the Blue Book make for extremely troubling reading, nevertheless, this is not to deny that they took place, nor that the validity of the statements presented is in dispute. D. Morel, The Black Man’s Burden: The White Man in Africa from the Fifteenth Century to World War I (Manchester: National Labour Press, 1920). 76 It is certainly true that, whilst a number of prosecutions took place in a ‘Special Criminal Court’ in the four and a half years of South African military rule that immediately followed the defeat of the German forces in 1915 there were no detailed investigations into specific allegations contained in the Blue Book (such as the alleged massacre at Ombakaha or the extraordinarily death rates at the coastal prisoner-of-war camps) and certainly no attempt to put German officers on trial for war crimes.

German citizens were charged roughly half the price of others wishing to buy farms. The consistency of black resistence to German rule and the high cost of transporting expeditionary forces from Germany meant that preferential conditions for farm purchase were offered to those liable to military service. Farms of up to 5,000 hectare were made available to this special category of German settler for just 30 pfennig per hectare. Many of the German soldiers who traveled to Namibia to fight in the 1904 - 1907 war took the opportunity to obtain land.

The land here, when colonizing was decided on in earnest in Berlin, and after the missions, companies, and traders had been allotted their selected portions, was at first given out, for the most part, to soldiers who had taken their 11 The three files under this title are still held in the National Archives of Namibia and contain details of investigations covered 1908-1914 (NAN ZBU 2054). JAJ 009 boek Words cannot be … 16 26-04-2003 16:06 Pagina 16 PREFACE discharges in this country and had expressed a desire to settle her; rough men who, when released from the military organization under which they had been trained, carried with them to their new possessions the militarist methods and aggressive ideas towards the natives with which they had become imbued during their term of active service here.

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