Press Release: Genocide not an issue? Office of the Federal President refuses to receive Herero and Nama Delegation in Berlin

At 10am on 06 July, shortly before the centenary of the end of German colonial rule in present-day Namibia, the NGO-alliance No Amnesty On Genocide! handed over the petition Genocide is Genocide! in the presence of a high-ranking Namibian delegation under the leadership of the OvaHerero Paramount Chief Adv. Rukoro, and Ms Ida Hoffmann, Member of Parliament and Nama representative, at the Office of the Federal President. At present, the petition has been signed by more than 2000 persons. Despite prior notification, neither the Federal President Mr Gauck, nor representatives of the Office of the Federal President were willing to receive the descendants of the genocide victims from Berlin’s city-partner Windhoek for a discussion. nThe NGO-alliance No Amnesty on Genocide! and more than 150 prominent first signatories from academia, politics, the churches and cultural life, the Black Community, and almost 50 NGOs call on the German President, Government, and Parliament, to finally acknowledge the genocide against the OvaHerero and Nama on the occasion of the centenary of the end of ‚German Southwest Africa‘ on 9 July 2015. In the petition, the signatories also demand an official apology, the return of numerous human remains removed from Africa for racist research, and the direct involvement of the OvaHerero and Nama in the negotiations about appropriate actions towards reconciliation. nOn 07 July 2015, at 5pm, representatives of the civil society and the Namibian victims’ associations will place flowers at the insulting ‚Namibia Stein‘ – to date the only place in Berlin which relates to the memory of the victims of German colonial rule. At 7 pm, the Namibian guests will participate in a panel discussion at the Werkstatt der Kulturen, and will report on the genocide of 1904-08 and their ongoing struggle for restorative justice.nWith regard to today’s handing-over of the petition, Ms Ida Hoffmann, Member of Parliament and Nama representative says: “I am very disappointed that despite the announcement of our visit, the German President not even asked us to come in. Instead, we were given little attention at the gate. Is that how the descendants of victims of genocide should be treated? I am deeply worried about the Namibian-German relations. Today, unfortunately, the high-handed attitude of the German state clearly showed itself again. We will see what the Namibian government is going to say about such treatment of its citizens. We thank the organisers of the petition in Germany. Clearly, the petition is a step forward.”  nPetition, government answer, opposition motions, etc.: ceremony: 7.7. um 17 Uhr, Friedhof Columbiadamm 122, 10965 BerlinnPanel discussion: 7.7. um 19 Uhr, Werkstatt der Kulturen, Wissmannstr. 32, 12049 BerlinnPress contact: Alliance „No Amnesty on Genocide!“ & Namibian delegation, 01799 100 976, buero[at]


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