Tuesday 15 August 2023


The Herero were originally a group of cattle herders living in the central-eastern region of German South-West Africa, presently modern Namibia. The area occupied by the Herero was known as Damaraland.

It is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. It took place between 1904 and 1907 during the Herero Wars.

On 12 January 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, rebelled against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha forced the Herero people into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of dehydration. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate.

In total, 24,000–100,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama died from starvation and dehydration due to the Herero being physically prevented from leaving the Namib Desert by German forces. The Germans were thought to have systematically poisoned desert wells. 

In 2004 the German government recognised and apologised for the events.In July 2015, the German government and parliament officially called the events a "genocide" and "part of a race war".

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