Selective Memory: British Perceptions of the Herero-Nama Genocide, 1904-1908 and 1918

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This article examines British officials’ perceptions of, and degree of involvement in, the Herero–Nama war and subsequent genocide in German South-West Africa in 1904–1908. By examining contemporary British correspondence on this event and comparing it to the British ‘Blue Book’ of 1918, the article shows that British officials were far more interested in retaining stability than in the suffering of Africans in German territory at the time of the genocide. Nevertheless, by 1918 they used this event as an instrument to confiscate Germany’s colonies. Being part of a wider transnational approach to German colonial history, this article challenges the idea of German colonial exceptionalism and the approach to this genocide within a historical framework of the Third Reich. Instead, this event should be understood within the wider transnational context of imperial history.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Southern African Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

ID: 189450717