Genocide In History

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Genocide: The deliberate and systematic extermination of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation (Dictionary.com). When you look at the rawness of the definition of genocide, it seems crazy. The harsh reality, however, is that genocides happen more often than people would like to admit, the 75,000 Herero people can definitely attest to this (Zimmerer and Neuberger). The most well-known genocide is the Holocaust, however there are many more genocides, both before and after, as well as more brutal, than the Holocaust. The first known genocide is called the Herero Genocide, or the Herero-Nama Genocide, and involved the Herero and the Germans (Laumann). The way the Germans tortured and brutally murdered…show more content…
They had lived in peace for several decades before tensions began to grow between the groups. In the 1880s the Germans ruled a colony in Africa that was populated by various African groups, including the Herero, a group of about 75,000 cattle-herders. During the war of 1904-1908 the Germans took over a chuck of Herero land and planned to build a railway. However, the Herero, and other groups living in the German territory, didn’t agree that the Germans should have their land. A man named Samuel, a Herero leader, resorted to war. He wrote to the leaders of other groups, “Our weak nations across Africa must stand against the Germans, and not allow them to eliminate us so that only they live on our land.” In reality, however, the Herero stood alone against the…show more content…
On October 2, 1904, von Trotha issued an order to exterminate the Herero from the region, “All the Herero must leave the land. If they refuse, then I will force them to do it with the big guns. Any Herero found within German borders, with or without a gun, will be shot. No prisoners will be taken. This is my decision for the Herero people.” 2 days later, von Trotha wrote to the Chief of Staff: “I believe that this nation as a nation must be exterminated… I prefer for the nation to disappear entirely rather than allow them to infect our troops with their diseases.” After the defeat of the Herero, the Nama rebelled against the Germans, but von Trotha and his troops quickly shut them down. On April 22, 1905 von Trotha sent a message to the Nama, “The Nama who chooses not to surrender and lets himself be seen in the German area will be shot, until all are exterminated. Those who, at the start of the rebellion, committed murder against whites or have commanded that whites be murdered have, by law, forfeited their lives. As for the few not defeated, it will fare with them as it fared with the Herero, who in their blindness also believed that they could make successful war against the powerful German Emperor and the great German people. I ask you, where are the Herero today?” In total around 65,000 Herero, about 80% of the population, and 10,000 Nama, about 50% of the
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