tv Faith Matters - Luthers Legacy in Namibia - Evangelization and Genocide Deutsche Welle October 8, 2017 1:30am-2:00am CEST
lutheran church of catarrh tura a suburb of the now maybe in capital of india. the parish was founded by german missionaries in the nineteenth century. and the apartheid era kept a tourer would become notorious as the dumping ground of forced removals to make way for white suburbs. and. that context of. a heavy load for a missionary where. they have been trying to critique. them up with their own understanding of. their own understanding of. grace in their own context even salvation in their own context.
yes. the theological college where professor teaches was also founded by german missionaries the palin i'm as it's called prepares men and women for a ministry in the namibian charge. and demo way to is a progressive theologian this term he is offering a course in titled the destruction of the environment by commercial green. five hundred years after martin luther nailed his famous theses to the door of the witan castle church professor. is demanding an eco reformation.
he argues that we are overtaxing the enviro insatiable greed for profit he views this capitalist obsession as the most crucial issue for christians in africa. he's also opposed to a literal interpretation of the bible. we have many who are still thinking in terms of the. many congregation members who are not. political but. we think that even the bible itself has an. imperialist dick. and so on and we would that that's what we. do first african heirs like professor
demo where they are developing an assertive african theology. but there is also a white lutheran community and with a strong attachment to its german identity its landmark church is the christers cache in downtown vinter. in the early eighty's a german merchant called out of its landed on the southwest shores of africa he traded with the nomadic people he encountered here and persuaded them to give him land the german kaiser eventually appropriated that land reclaiming it a so-called german protectorate. german missionaries had already ventured into the territory from south africa they established a mission station near present day even turk in eight hundred forty four and called it by a man after the town in germany where the renishaw missionary society was based.
explains this history to his three sons on that annual pilgrimage to. he tells them about missionaries with foreign sounding names like kleinschmidt and who got. in august each year. and his sons. sixty kilometers north of in turkey to attend a gathering of their people. the herrero experience of german soldiers and missionaries is a complex often painful story. through . the berlin conference of eight hundred eighty four to eight hundred eighty five also known as the congo conference was
a land grab it divided africa among the rival european powers imperial germany won the territory that became known as german southwest africa present day namibia. from then on colonial officials in berlin. saw to it the german settlers and traders could conduct their business in africa without interference. his sons the german stole their ancestors cattle and then. they gave them a big. of money he says and a lot of liquor. the missionaries told their converts they must obey the german kaiser he was a lutheran like them they said and god had appointed him their ruler. you know one of the. german businessmen were eager to get their hands on the country's
rich mineral resources. and diamond. mining companies divided up the territory among themselves. the kaiser sent a contingent of several hundred troops to the german southwest africa. the purpose of this so-called protection force was to guarantee the safety of the german settlers traders and miners but also the missionaries. traces of the german presence are still visible all over. us. the germans built the railway for economic and military purposes. the landmark christers cash are now stands in the shadow of the grandiose national museum of namibia. the museum used to be housed in the old fort the headquarters of
the former protection force. here you can see a once famous a question monument the rider of the southwest now relegated to a back courtyard. the lutheran church in namibia is still struggling to come to terms with its colonial heritage. and. struggling with those with those. divisions. somewhere else and. they have become a problem no integration is still a challenge for an image in society in the schools as well as in charges. the local lutheran churches have a lot of political clout almost ninety percent of the population is christian and
about half of those are lutheran. this workshop is taking place in a christian guesthouse and didn't hear. that. things. young people from namibia botswana and germany from lutheran parishes are referencing a musical the songs and script portray the various issues they each deal with in their lives it's called live my life. these are the great grandchildren of those early missionaries and of the africans who used to be called mission children. but in and gets up there the kids are focusing on the problems of everyday life in the other two african countries problems we don't really know about and when you first hear about them you think oh
but it's part of their everyday life so they're tackling them it's also their focus when we say just describe your life in africa if you could change it what would we see. before stay. this is life in a former township lunch at a fast food restaurant is considered a luxury here one hundred years after germany lost its colonies visitors from europe still encounter poverty. i totally reject the idea that we germans still carry a burden of guilt because i'm twenty it has nothing to do with me. but i'm wondering if will be confronted with that and. whether there are graduates i'm wondering but i really hope it's not the case. then a. hearing to the issue between the germans in the now after the name to you know site was done. so. the group
once took over the concert she. relates there's a particularly brutal chapter in the history of germany's involvement with the his sons in the colony known as german southwest africa tensions boiled over towards the end of the nineteenth century the germans behaved towards the natives increasingly like white supremacists and were supported by the church. the missionaries thought they had turned the herero who they converted to christianity into loyal subjects of the kaiser. well saint paul says we must obey the authorities that have power over us in this case the kaiser and his deputies. that was what the missionaries preached to the herrera had been hit with on get pretty. the colonial administrator at the turn of the century was théodore loike fine with military toughness he tried to force an
agreement on the highroad and others the nama and tamara germany would continue to draw the major profits from the mines but the native peoples would receive a small percentage. the missionaries supported like fine. however the heroes were led at this time by an intelligent and assertive chief called sam well my hero. at first he tried to cooperate with the german authorities even wore a german uniform in the typical hat of the protection force but my herero soon realized that the colonialists were exploiting his people they don't cattle from the heroes for a song and then demanded land to graze the land belonged to his people. some while my herero appealed to the missionaries for justice they responded by accusing him of rebelling against his kaiser.
i hate it. when the germans came and told the herero they had to become christians they built a church and. they also established a school and taught the herero to read. that was good. but then the germans started to press the herero with saw that they were not on first they said become christians and then they attacked us. in january nine hundred four rumors began to spread that the herero were gathering in large numbers angry and armed most of the colonists sought refuge in the protection force garrisons. the trained out of dyckman procrastinated he was caught by the rebels and shot dead in
together with his wife and six month old baby. this incident sparked outrage among the white colonists. with the killing of the date man's the conflict escalated into war. the local lutheran missionary. viewed some well my hero as a friend he spoke herero fluently and on several occasions had acted as an intermediary between the paramount chief and governor lloyd fine but the incident in turn deal against his hair oh friend he accused the chief of being responsible for the murders in a letter to the governor he raised the possibility of war and said sam well my hero must accept his fate from the hands of god he deal would do nothing to help him. ted or lloyd vine trying to contain the conflict he thought some limited punitive
action by the protection force would be sufficient to put down the revolt and placate the colonists but the kaiser took a different view vilhelm the second considered lloyd fine ineffective. within a few weeks thousands of reinforcements from berlin were dispatched to the rebellious colony. lloyd vine was replaced as governor. left tenant general low tough on who had already earned himself an infamous reputation as the butcher of east africa was put in charge and given command of military operations then the horror of began. the missionaries called our people to the church and said let us pray then as the people prayed german soldiers came and fired into the church and killed many people. that may be just
a legend but there is no doubt that phone photos methods were brutal. the herrero were nomadic katzman the german general trained artillery on the camps the protection force was ratcheted up to more than eight thousand men the opposing force was no more than five or six thousand lightly armed herdsman. own ancestors trying to resist the germans but they only had rifles and sticks. they fought but they weren't armed like the germans. however the herero had one significant advantage they knew their land using guerilla tactics they managed to kill some two hundred german soldiers in the first three months of the war. then general phone made his notorious decisive move with artillery and machine guns he drove the herero onto
a strip of land at the foot of the voter back mountain forty thousand of them men women and children. then the germans attacked on three sides the only hope for the herero was to flee across the area on the heck a platter. of those who try to a match from the desert were shot by german patrols along the perimeter of the omega. thousands of hero died of hunger and dehydration it was the first plan genocide. of the twentieth century. of the asli through the order of the general front that every hero man woman and child must be killed and those who survive must free the lead. and so the end result was that eighty percent of our people actually.
you know massacre that they were. killed. by the end of one thousand nine hundred sixty thousand. fewer than twenty thousand survived. because a group of christian missionaries demanded an end to. the survivors were interned in concentration camps. was the official designation of the prisons but they were held virtually as slaves. committed that one hundred eleven years ago has left some very deep scar us. emotionally psychologically physically and otherwise on the overhead people. the. we were deprived
of our means of livelihood. the land which is the very basis of one livelihood. in the hundreds of thousands were confiscated. very means of livelihood. taken away. at the end of that three day journey. and his sons have arrived in. gathering known as herero day. commemorates the hero chiefs and in particular some well madero who resisted the german occupation. achieve great some with the traditional blessing. of the commemoration last three days the man when military style fantasy uniforms
in the german manner as they say and the women wear the traditional dress of the herrero it's an occasion of national pride but also overshadowed by colonial history. our people until today feel this effects of poverty and deprivation we have lost our ancestral lands. with us on a daily basis. the suffering of the people didn't end with the collapse of the colonial power. at the conclusion of the first world war the league of nations transferred the so-called south west african protectorate to south africa the government in pretoria
stretched the tentacles of apartheid over its western neighbor. it wasn't until one thousand nine hundred ninety that namibia achieved independence . but independence was preceded by a long of attrition with alleged atrocities on both sides. on a hill outside vent her stands a memorial to the country's freedom fighters this is also where her arrow is now buried the hero a leader who defied the germans. pastor lawrence to. heroes to this international group of christians. he explains that the monument is intended to honor all at nemi bears heroes those
who like sam well my herrera resisted the german colonial force and those who fought against the forces of apartheid they are all no maybe and heroes. also the fallen heroes of. cuba and the soviet union supported the liberation struggle and maybe as heroes acre is very much in a communist style. there's no commemoration of the german settlers here history has labeled them oppressors. yet when we. go in winter is a place where my heroes that what the liberation struggle so i feel very proud when i'm here yes and i feel they're good and that they know namibia is a better place for living for all of us that we're living in the rabiya so for me personally. i'm very proud of this place actually to say that. namibia is one
of the main beneficiaries of german development but i herero also want reparation for the suffering inflicted on their people and the genocide perpetrated by german troops in one thousand and four. and be expect that just like germany has done with other people in similar circumstances where people are also equally entitled to reparations to effect social justice to what has happened there not in a symbolic way but in a minute for a way because that's the only way that we can heal the wounds of the past and effect. actually create the basis for meaningful reconsider the asian between our two peoples and our two countries russia in cata two or this former township is hardly any different from other suburbs of entire supermarkets tarmac roads and masses of cars but one are spanx hasn't changed since the apartheid era
no whites live in cata tura. the lutheran macedonian church is an entirely black parish. the music group comprising singers from namibia botswana and germany is performing in the church this evening they've been rehearsing together for a week and found a common myth of. the young germans will return home with the impression that black namibians don't feel any animosity towards germans in spite of their colonial history. from namibia they traveled to berlin where this year the five hundredth anniversary
of the reformation is being celebrated at the evangelical church convention. here prominent lutherans are discussing whether the reformation benefited distant countries like those in africa and whether the church today bears a responsibility for the mistakes of the past. the evangelical church in germany has explicitly acknowledged its guilt with regard to the genocide in the middle now it must bear fruit it must have political consequences germany has to do some. but i don't have a bad conscience about the fact that. the. specific. well known.
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