Hutu, Tutsi and the Germans: Racial Cognition in Rwanda Under German Colonial Rule

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Hutu, Tutsi and the Germans: Racial Cognition in Rwanda Under German Colonial Rule

Type: Master thesis
Title: Hutu, Tutsi and the Germans: Racial Cognition in Rwanda Under German Colonial Rule
Author: Scholz, Anton
Issue Date: 2015-08-31
Keywords: Colonialism
German rule
Ethnicity
Rwanda
Abstract: The thesis approaches the complex of ethnicity in Rwanda under German colonial rule (1885-1916) and focuses on how Rwandan social structures were perceived by German colonialists and influenced by their policy. The research question – what was the German approach to ethnicity in the former protectorate of Rwanda, what informed it, and how did it impinge on the society? – already suggests that this period is severely under-researched. Challenging the contemporary discourse that it was the Belgian rule under which Hutu and Tutsi were divided into two premordial entities, the thesis argues that it was earlier, during the German period, that social differences were introduced as racial differences. This argument gets developed on the basis of archive material and with a focus on four key personalities who were implementing German racial ideology in Rwanda by translating it into colonial policy. Without attributing direct responsibility for the 1994 genocide to the German rule, the case shows that the search for root causes of ethnic conflict in Rwanda must consider this timespan as a crucial incision for the further developments that tore society apart along racial lines.
Supervisor: Gewald, Jan-Bartde Goede, Meike
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: African Studies (Master)
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/35741
 

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