August 18, 2008
Kwame Opoku writes about the return of human remains to Africa from Germany & how the process is frustrated by the need for official requests to be made in the correct way.
BONES DO NOT DIE: GERMANS TO RETURN NAMIBIAN SKULLS.
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sun, 17 Aug 2008
“I, the great general of the German troops, send this letter to the Herero people… All Hereros must leave this land… Any Herero found within the German borders with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall no longer receive any women or children; I will drive them back to their people. I will shoot them. This is my decision for the Herero people.” (The German commander General von Trotha)
We have had the occasion to refer to the problem of the thousands of African human remains that are still in European museums many decades after independence and the duty to repatriate them on dignified terms and conditions. *
As indicated in the report below, the Germans have stated their willingness to return 47 Namibian skulls. However, the Germans are insisting on an official request from the Namibian government. The Namibian Prime Minister, Nahas Angula, has rightly responded that when the Germans were taking away those skulls they did not ask anybody for permission.
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