In order to examine the colony’s influence on the third Reich the author contextualizes it within the scope of racism and violence of other colonial regimes in Africa. Likewise, the article explores how German South West Africa colonial policies such as the acquisition of Lebensraum, treating colonized as inhuman and legally institutionalizing racism were used by the Nazis. The article examines how genocidal style, annihilation war and the use of concentration camps were altered across time and adopted. The article also explores how Hermann Goring and Eugen Fischer, among others served as human conduits in order to facilitate ideas and methods between the colony and Nazi Germany. Therefore, the article uses various literature to establish the second Reich experience in German South West Africa is vital to third Reich imperialism and genocide.
German South West Africa was somehow a colonial. This is so because its violence defeat was similar to the holocaust as well as other colonial vast murders. It was referred to as a transitional case between the two types of violence. However, what made German South West Africa genocide different from other colonial mass murders is that the Germans in Colonial Namibia incorporated a policy of total destruction. Although the Wilhelmine rule was not the key inspiration for Nazi policies in Eastern Europe, it contributed methods and ideas that Nazi leaders used to progress. Therefore, the German South West African experience was among the several colonial incidents that inspired Nazi subjugation and genocide in Eastern Europe.
The German took the hold of Namibia in 1884 and outnumbered those with Wilhelmine overseas possession. The Herero decided to revolt against German rule in order to stop their dispossession, political subordination and misery. Since German soldiers were well armed, they defeat Herero at the battle of the Waterberg. The commanding officer Lothar von Trotha launched an explicit genocide program that aimed to annihilate the rebelling tribes with rivers of blood and gold. Germany soldiers killed about 70,000 Herero and only 15000-20000 managed to survive the war and subsequent genocide. When Norma decides to revolt against German oppression, about 12000 to 15,000 were killed. Despite the killings, Namibia was not unique in colonial Africa nor was it the only probable colonial inspiration for Nazi imperialism and genocide. Given the number of rebellion against imperial policies, which threatened their political position, Germany managed to initiate another overt genocide in the third Reich.
Nazi colonial expansion and settlement were focussed on the desire to establish Lebensraum. The desire to have lebensraum was inspired by idealized constructions of medieval german migrations. Therefore, the Ratzel’s theory described the geographic space vital to sustain people, these people were expected to expand their territory and have a powerful agricultural base. This theory was closely linked to colonialism and German South West Africa. This theory assumed that superior cultures would destroy inferior cultures in fight for living space.
Finally, the German South West Africa colonists implemented Weltanschauung where superior Germans ruled over sub-humans with brutality and slavery. This policy offered new ideas and methods for Nazi colonialism. The Germany advocated the idea of the superior Germans ruling over inferior Africans. The introduction of metropolitan Germans to continue brutality was seen as part of colonial rule. Likewise, the conflict between German South West Africa and third Reich race laws demonstrated the colony’s legal system. This system subjected Africans to racial treatment where they were legally beaten with whips and fists. Therefore, the second Reich experience in German South West Africa paved the way to third Reich imperialism and genocide.
Madley, Benjamin. “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe.” European History Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2005): 429-464.