The Lowdown Hub

Germany pledges €1.1bn to Namibia as it formally recognizes colonial-era genocide

A ceremony held at Frenzosische Dom in Berlin for the victims of Namibian genocide in 2018 after Germany handed over the remains of some 20 Herero and Nama people its troops murdered in the early 20th century

German's colonial forces committed genocide in Namibia in the early 20th century, the government officially recognized for the first time on Friday.

Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, acknowledged the systematic murder of tens of thousands of men, women, and children and the attempted extermination of the Herero and Nama peoples.

“In light of Germany's historical and moral responsibility, we will ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness,” he said.

He pledged that Germany would spend €1.1bn (£950m) on a new development program for Namibia as a “gesture to recognize the immense suffering inflicted on the victims”.

Seven Herero men in chains in what was then German Southwest Africa

Historians have long regarded what took place in Namibia between 1904 and 1908 as the first genocide of the 20th century and a precursor to the Holocaust.