A vital documentary film, Skulls Of My People, forms part of the line-up for this year’s Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.
The 1904 to 1908 genocide in Namibia carried out by the German empire and which exterminated more than 100 000 Herero, Nama and San people is a historical event that has never been acknowledged to the extent that it should be.
After the Germans confiscated most of their land, thus depriving them of a means to raise their cattle, two Herero and Nama men led their people in an uprising against German colonial rule.
The backlash to that uprising was swift and merciless, with German troops shooting the people, hanging them from trees and forcing them into the desert, where they starved to death.
At least 80% of Herero and 50% of Nama people were wiped out this way.
The survivors were then put in concentration camps, where they were tortured, raped and ultimately killed.
It was the first genocide of the 20th century, predating the Holocaust.
The skulls of the deceased were then taken to Germany for racial scientific profiling, where racist researchers used them to “prove” that Europeans were superior to Africans.
While the German government agreed to give back 20 skulls in 2011, Namibians believe there are still hundreds that must still be returned.
They are also demanding to have the re ... Read Full Review