The great General of the Kaiser

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The great General of the Kaiser

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: The great General of the Kaiser
Author: Gewald, J.B.
Journal Title: Botswana notes and records
Volume: 26
Start Page: 67
End Page: 76
Pages: 10
Issue Date: 1994
Keywords: Namibia
Herero revolt
Abstract: On the 12th of January 1904 a full-scale war broke out in what was then German South West Africa (present-day Namibia) between the Herero-speaking people of Namibia and imperial Germany. The war culminated in the issuing of the 'Vernichtungsbefehl', or extermination order, by the supreme commander of the German troops in German South West Africa, General Lothar von Trotha, in October 1904. The order stated that all Herero men in German territory were to be shot or expelled. Recently, a number of authors have sought to deny the existence, or at least downplay the implications, of the 'Vernichtungsbefehl'. However, research conducted in the Botswana National Archives, where the authentic text of the order is held, as well as in other places, has brought to light evidence which conclusively proves the existence of the 'Vernichtungsbefehl' and a conscious commitment on the part of the German colonial authorities to ensure the implementation of the order. The paper presents a copy of the original document by Trotha, written in Otjiherero, as well as a literal transcription and an English translation. App., bibliogr., notes

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