Uncharted Territory


RSS     Archives

first genocide of the 20th century

Al Jazeelaは月刊誌のアプリを提供してくれていて今月はルワンダ特集でした。そのWhat’s in a word?という記事の始まりが以下です。この記事はgenocideという言葉を巡って20世紀を回顧しています。

In August 2004, a German minister used a public platform in
a foreign land to "accept... [Germany's] historic and moral
responsibility" for the deaths of an estimated 65,000 men,
women and children massacred by machine guns or driven into
the wilderness to die. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany's
minister of development, apologised for the killings which she
described as constituting genocide.

But Wieczorek-Zeul was not discussing the Holocaust. She was
talking about Germany's little known war against the ethnic Herero
of Namibia, which was a German colony when these atrocities
took place in 1904. While the history of the destruction of the
Herero is not well known outside of Africa it is regarded by some
academic specialists as the first genocide of the 20th century.


読んでいたAdichieのHalf of a Yellow Sunは1960年代のビアフラ危機ですが、Hereroが触れられていた部分がありました。

Half of a Yellow SunHalf of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


'How can you ask what I mean? It's self-evident, starting with
Herero people.' Odenigbo was shifting on his seat, his voice
raised and Olanna wondered if he remembered how loud they
had been, how afterwards he had said, laughing, 'If we go on like
this at night, we'll probably wake Ugwu up, poor chap.'

'You've come again, Odenigbo,' Miss Adebayo said. 'You're
saying that if white people had not murdered the Herero, the
Jewish Holocaust would not have happened? I don't see a
connection at all!'

'Don't you see?' Odenigbo asked. 'They started their race studies with the Herero and concluded with the Jews. Of course
there's a connection!'

'Your argument doesn't hold water at all, you sophist,' Miss
Adebayo said, and dismissively downed what was in her glass.


The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century.[1][2][3][4][5] It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South-West Africa (modern-day Namibia), during the Herero Wars.

On 12 January 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, rebelled against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate.

In total, from 24,000 up to 100,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama died.[6][7][8][9][10] The genocide was characterised by widespread death from starvation and thirst because the Herero who fled the violence were prevented from leaving the Namib Desert. Some sources also claim that the German colonial army systematically poisoned desert wells.[11][12]

In 1985, the United Nations' Whitaker Report classified the aftermath as an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South-West Africa, and therefore one of the earliest attempts at genocide in the 20th century. The German government recognised and apologised for the events in 2004, but has ruled out financial compensation for the victims' descendants.[13]