Germany to return skulls of Herero and Nama-speaking Namibians

21 Sep

15/09/2011
Namibia’s Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture via the Information Ministry announces per fax sent to media around 16h00 that the handing over of the skulls “of Namibians who were victims of the Germany (sic!) war of extermination” in Berlin on the 30th September 2011 “may take their private arrangements to travel to Germany.”

16/09/2011 (Friday)
According to government media (of 20/09, http://www.newera.com.na, Minister Kazenambo met the Genocide Committee to brief them about dates and official delegations to Germany etc.
Why not hold a press conference to inform media as well??

Herero people in Namibia start lighting special fires at several places to mark the timeline for the countdown to 30 September at the Charité Hospital, Berlin.
Apparently special events are to be organised like an exhibition, an ecumenical church service in Windhoek (?),  etc but where and when? Any programme available??

18/09/2011 Sunday
Rumour has it that the Namibian government quietly sent a “technical team” with staff from the National Heritage Council over to Berlin to check “on the condition of the skulls”, if documents are needed to repatriate them etc.
Allegedly 47 skulls are in Berlin, all from the Swakopmund prison camp of 1904-1908. Only 20 will be handed over, 11 Nama and 9 Herero skulls. The others will follow later.

20/09/2011 Tuesday
An ecumenical church service to be held at a Katutura church at night. It starts an hour late, the church is quite full.
Via the grapevine people hear that the Namibian government pays the expenses for the 54 member delegation, not the German govt. Why?

Only government media are apparently on the list of the delegation. Why?

21/09/2011 Wednesday
Again, only on hearsay,  but it seems that Minister Kazenambo and ELCRN Bishop Kameeta leave tonight with a few others (who?)  by plane to Germany as an ‘advance team’.
Maybe they have a look as well at the 30 or so skulls stored in the Freiburg University? Apparently over 300 Namibian skulls might be stored in Germany. Will this part of history swept under the carpet?

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