Monday, October 25, 2004

our limitless capacity for mass murder

From Our limitless capacity for mass murder by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Chicago Tribune, 25 October 2004:
Concentration camps. Pseudoscientific experiments that led to theories of racial superiority. The systematic killing of more than two-thirds of an entire population.

These images come not from the Holocaust, but from its lesser-known precedent: the 1904 genocide of the Herero people by the German army in what is now Namibia. Despite being conducted on an exponentially smaller scale than the destruction of European Jewry during World War II, the German campaign in Southern Africa provided many of the methods, racial beliefs and even personnel for the Nazi atrocities.

.... Heinrich Goering was the area's first imperial commander. The father of Adolf Hitler's eventual second in command, Hermann Goering, the senior Goering was expelled by the Hereros in 1888, returning briefly in 1890. Although Goering did not participate in the genocide, he contributed to the arming of the German settlers who later did the killing.

From Tim Ware's Web guide to Gravity's Rainbow:
74; Ex-colonials from the Südwest (South-West Africa) living in Germany; "your dark, secret children" 75; "Ndjambi Karunga" = god or fucking, 100; 153; in exile in Germany for 2 generations, 315; "Last pocket of pre-Christian oneness" 321; "the village built like a mandala" 321; Gondwanaland, 321; 1904 Herero Rebellion, 361; Ovatjimba (aardvark) people, 403; almost wiped out by Germans in 1904, 452; washing-blue "abortifacient" 519; St. Pauli (washing-blue connection), 525; "An Introduction to Modern Herero" 536; "we had been passed over by von Trotha's army so that we would find the Aggregat" 563; 657; "built in mandalic form like a Herero village" 725