The First Genocide of the 20th Century

Nearly 100,000 people died, but you probably didn't learn about the Namibian Genocide in history class, the first genocide of the 20th century.

The forgotten Namibian genocide, first of the 20th century

Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast. The country is home to diverse wildlife, including a significant cheetah population. The capital, Windhoek, and coastal town Swakopmund contain German colonial-era buildings such as Windhoek's Christuskirche, built in 1907. In the north, Etosha National Park’s salt pan draws game including rhinos and giraffes.

It is the birthplace of the world’s first genocide of the 20th century in Namibia, the Herero and the Nama were exterminated. In January 1904, the Herero revolted against the German colonizers, killing around 100 people. In response, German general Lothar von Trotha was sent there to subdue the rebellion. Known for his cruelty, he signed an extermination order. The soldiers forced the children to watch all these murders. The colonial army developed various genocide techniques: massacres, exile in the desert and concentration camps. Children, women, old people, men, everyone had to be exterminated. They forced them into the desert, where they died of hunger, they poisoned their wells. Roughly 50% of the Nama and 80% of the Herero were exterminated and nearly 100,000 people died based on data from the Courtesy of National. Their skulls were then sent to Germany for scientific experiments.

Physician Eugen Fischer, whose historical racist writings would influence Adolf Hitler, officiated in the Namibian camps. His goal was to prove the superiority of the white race. Although they represented nearly 40% of the Namibian population at the beginning of the century, the Herero now account for only 7%. For the past three decades, descendants have been demanding recognition and reparations from the German authorities. They have consistently refused to talk to us, arguing that we are a non-sovereign, non-state entity.

Several German leaders have already recognized this genocide, but the government opposes any financial reparations.


06/25/2019 12:00 PM


  • Lili A.
    10/16/2020 06:35

    All these disgusting comments come from the same types of people. Ugly.

  • Lili A.
    10/16/2020 06:31

    This is disgusting and sad. How can someone have so much hate and cruelty in their hearts?

  • Yvonne S.
    10/12/2020 15:48

    hast du davon im Geschichtsunterricht gehört? Ich nicht, obwohl ich auf dem Gymnasium war. Stattdessen hab ich gelernt, dass ein gewisser Pippin die Herzogswürde aufgehoben hat. Fraglich ist nun, welche Story größere Auswirkungen auf das Heute hat. Und danach muss man sich die Frage stellen, weshalb man von der einen Geschichte nichts hört, obwohl sie erst vor gut hundert Jahren stattgefunden hat, während die andere Geschichte vor über tausend Jahren stattfand und stundenlang im Unterricht breitgetreten wurde.

  • Joyce G.
    10/03/2020 13:50

    Man some deep history this touch my heart with tears

  • Yanni D.
    09/16/2020 23:06

    i want revenge

  • Yanni D.
    09/16/2020 23:03

    long live the African

  • Yanni D.
    09/16/2020 23:03


  • Christine M.
    09/14/2020 18:30

    What humans do and have done to each other is despicable...nothing really changes, we don’t deserve this planet....we are not getting better in our attitude, we are still on the decline.

  • Maia D.
    09/14/2020 05:21

    Chancellor Angela Merkel, needs to address the issues the Nama and Herero people have endured over generations. The tunnel and bridge levies German people pay to go into other European countries, is proof the German government has addressed Germanys involvement in WW2. Why are the Nama and Herero people still living in poverty? Also I’m more than certain tribal lands were confiscated too 💯 The genocide of the Nama and Herero people, a travesty of the 20th century 💯

  • Findlay J.
    09/14/2020 00:03

    Blame trump

  • James T.
    09/10/2020 03:52

    Nice history lesson.... Go look at Africa today!

  • Demesas B.
    09/09/2020 04:41

    They have to pay and say sorry or they will try it agiain.😓😓😓

  • OB R.
    09/09/2020 04:09

    European countries and America We are now wise enough to see how you divided us black people and it's just a matter of time for us to take Revenge and burn you and your properties in Africa We don't need you here anymore only our corrupt leaders to because to bribe them

  • Nabin A.
    09/08/2020 23:50

    But when we grew as a child the media always fed on this racist stuffs portraying black as hate and wrong . Which seems to be the other side of story . Because the narrators were whites and they were in power to do so , the people we misinterpreted. 🙁🙁🙁

  • Derrick C.
    09/08/2020 19:12

    ✊🏿.......OUR TIME WILL COME 🧐🤨

  • Antonio M.
    09/07/2020 03:57

    Politics destroys lives eqalls greed...

  • Jayne J.
    09/05/2020 10:35

    The Vikings committed atrocities in my country and many others but we cannot keep going back, most countries across the globe have experienced this, we must move on and live life on the present, be kind to all

  • Tanya G.
    09/04/2020 22:20

    This was truly a travesty

  • Jerome B.
    09/03/2020 21:17

    ...and the Blacks think they have it bad now! WAKE UP!

  • Rose K.
    09/02/2020 05:16

    Disgusting!Burn in Hell!

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