Return all skulls before reparations

Swapo MP Ida Hoffmann says the human remains still in Germany or elsewhere should be repatriated en masse.

10 July 2018 | History

Founder of the Nama genocide discussion and chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee, Ida Hoffmann, says all human remains of Namibian origin still in Germany must be returned before talks of reparations can be done.

“The matter we are dealing with is a holy case. For us it is a sacred and noble cause and must be handled with dignity and respect. Our ancestors will never be able to speak on their own behalf. We are their voices and whatever we do must be done with honesty,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann is referring to a recent statement reportedly made by the German special envoy for the genocide negotiations, Ruprecht Polenz, who said that the next restitution of 22 skulls of Namibian origin Germany to Namibia will be in late August.

She said there are many more skulls in Germany that ought to be returned.

The first consignment of 20 skulls were returned in October 2011 and in March 2012 a further 35 skulls were repatriated.

She said there are still 14 skulls at the University of Freiburg, which were ready for repatriation already in 2011.

Another three skulls were identified at the University of Freifswald and another at the Focke-Museum in Bremen.

Hoffmann said there are also skulls in Hamburg, Frankfurt and in the United States of America.

“Why are the Namibian remains being brought back bit by bit?” questioned Hoffmann.

She reiterated that all human remains must be returned before any real discussions about reparations can be done.

“Customarily, you never discuss heirlooms when the body is still in the mortuary. Our ancestors' bodies are still in the mortuaries of universities and museums. This is disrespectful towards our ancestors who need a proper burial,” Hoffmann said.

She said whatever reparations the German government might agree to pay will be the heirloom of the Ovaherero and Nama.

She bemoaned the fact that there have not been any formal burials of the human remains except the 24 bags of bones retrieved by the Roads Construction Company (RCC) on road works in southern Namibia and buried in 11 coffins by Hoffman and the late chief Dawid Fredericks with no assistance from the government or other traditional authorities.

Hoffmann said a number of bones have also been identified at Charlonton Bay near Lüderitz that have yet to be collected and treated with due respect.

“What game is the Namibian government playing? Why are the human remains, accompanying documents and the Witbooi bible, which is in the Linden Museum in Stuttgard, not returned? Is the government postponing matters?” Hoffmann asked.

Catherine Sasman

Similar News

 

A pilgrimage to Hornkranz

2 weeks ago - 07 March 2019 | History

There is a bliss one cannot put a price on that envelops the rocky plains of Hornkranz, the former headquarters of the late Nama chief...

Northern railway on hold

1 month - 11 February 2019 | History

?With phase one and two of the Ondangwa-Oshakati railway line extension project complete, the project is currently on hold while the works ministry waits for...

Kutako's dwelling to become heritage site

5 months ago - 11 October 2018 | History

The dwelling place of the late Ovaherero Paramount Chief Hosea Kutako will be declared a national heritage site following an order by President Hage Geingob...

Push to honour genocide heroes

6 months ago - 20 September 2018 | History

Culture minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has called for a national debate on how to honour the fallen heroes of the German genocide, in particular those who...

Governments hope to build bridges

6 months ago - 30 August 2018 | History

A high-ranking German delegation will accompany the Namibian emissary that will return to Windhoek with the skulls of 27 Nama and Ovaherero people tomorrow.It is...

Book exposes Swapo's ghastly crimes

7 months ago - 07 August 2018 | History

A survivor of the Lubango dungeons has recounted the horrors he experienced while being incarcerated by Swapo in exile.In a tell-all book titled 'Swapo Captive...

Return all skulls before reparations

8 months ago - 10 July 2018 | History

Founder of the Nama genocide discussion and chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee, Ida Hoffmann, says all human remains of Namibian origin still in...

Ooluhupe yaCassinga ya yi koAngola

10 months ago - 09 May 2018 | History

Ongundu yaantu ya thika po 210 mboka kwa holola kutya oya hupu moshiponokela shaCassinga shoka sha holoka oomvula omi 40 dha piti, oya thigi po...

Site of horror to be protected

10 months ago - 25 April 2018 | History

The largely forgotten German colonial concentration camp at Shark Island in Lüderitz may soon be declared a national heritage site. The National Heritage Council intends...

40 years after battle of Cassinga

11 months ago - 19 April 2018 | History

The Angolan president, João Lourenço will attend the Cassinga Day commemoration on 4 May as guest of honour and will lay a wreath at Heroes'...

Latest News

Millions unaccounted for at NDC,...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Economics

The Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) has failed to submit documentary evidence to prove how it spent N$90.1 million between 2015 and 2017, the latest report...

Aluta continua!

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Columns

Tomorrow is without doubt a significant day in our national history, as we pause to celebrate the spirit of our forefathers and struggle heroes and...

Africa Briefs

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Load More