Arnon Grunberg



Norimitsu Onishi in Monday's International NYT on Namibia and its colonial wounds:

"Professor Zuern said the German-Namibian community was stuck in the past. Unlike Germans, who have slowly come to terms with their colonial past, many German-Namibians reflexively seek to defend the era, minimize its harmful legacy or even deny the genocide, she said. In public — and even more so in community meetings held in German — some German-Namibians still express the kind of racist views that would be unthinkable in South Africa or other neighboring countries, Professor Zuern said.

Six years ago, the most prominent statue of the German colonial era was toppled from a hill overlooking Windhoek, the capital. The equestrian monument, known as the Reiterdenkmal, showed a soldier on horseback, commemorating the Schutztruppe, or protection force, which played the main role in putting down the challenge to German rule.

The equestrian monument was moved to make way for a North Korean-built independence museum that is a paean to Swapo’s liberation movement. It is now in storage inside the courtyard of a nearby German fortress, a source of enduring bitterness for many Namibians of German descent."

Read the article here.

Ah, the German-Namibian community, I remember my first trip to Namibia in 2005.

The German-Namibian community is somehow avant-garde. What's flooding Europe and the Western World now, 19th century nationalism, 19th century dreams of national purity and a hatred of the other, has been always rather common in this community.

I have to go back to Swakopmund in the near future.

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