Namibia: Genocide Ruling - What Is So Funny?

15 March 2019

Pockets of boisterous celebrations were observed last week in the wake of news that a New York federal court has dismissed a case in which leaders of Ovaherero and Nama communities sued the German government over its forefathers' crime of genocide in Namibia.

This sad attitude reminds us of how the Nazis celebrated murdering the Jews during the Second World War. Edward B Westermann, a professor of history at Texas A & M University, recounts how a Nazi policeman drunkenly bragged: 'Man, today I am celebrating my 1000th execution!'

In the wake of last week's ruling, some Namibians reacted with an "I told you so" attitude towards their own compatriots whose only offense, it seems, was to seek justice against Germany for the killings on a grand scale of their forebearers.

In Germany, they must be laughing their heads off knowing that Namibians are divided on genocide and the demand for reparation payments.

The Germans know a divided Namibia, one that lacks the united front approach that won it battles of all kinds in the history of its existence, is easy to brush aside in this pursuit of genocide reparations.

The setback suffered in New York, whatever way one looks at it, is no cause for joy in Namibia as it only perpetuated the pain we must all be feeling from the original killings of Namibians by Imperial Germany troops.

Germany and her allies can laugh and rejoice in this temporary victory - but any Namibian joining the laughing party must be ashamed of themselves.

They lack empathy, oneness and understanding of patriotism.

If anything, the court ruling in the US sounded a strong clarion call that summons us all to stand together as one and double our efforts in ensuring that Germany does not get away with murder, literally.

There is nothing in conventional wisdom that vindicates the kind of behavior displayed by some Namibians. What is so funny about seeking justice against robbery of birthright to land, liberty and, eventually, mass killings?

What's funny about survivors of the massacre being rounded up in places like Shark Island Concentration Camp, where the Germans forced them to work as slaves and skin the bodies of their dead tribesmen for shipping to German laboratory tests?

Yes, those who took the matter to New York are at loggerheads with the Namibian government over how the issue must be approached, but so what?

Whatever modus operandi is adopted in the end will not change that innocent Namibians were swooped upon by foreign forces that attempted to terminate their existence altogether.

And, instead of laughing hysterically like an amused audience of a Trevor Noah comedy show, those who found joy in the court ruling of last week must take a long look of themselves in a mirror. They are sure to find that they are actually the joke!

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Era

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.