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Words cannot be found

German colonial rule in Namibia: an annotated reprint of the 1918 Blue Book

Words cannot be found by J Silvester
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Jan Kubas was an eyewitness of the events that took place following the defeat of Herero combatants in Namibia at the battle of Hamakari in 1904 and the German pursuit of the Herero community into the parched Omaheke and Kalahari Desert. When interviewed 13 years later he struggled to articulate his memories, complaining that "Words cannot be found to relate what happened; it was too terrible". Yet the words of Jan Kubas and 46 other eyewitnesses of events, which have been described as "war atrocities" (and even "genocide"), that took place during the German colonial period in Namibia were recorded and published in an official British "Blue Book" in 1918. These statements form a rare documentation of African voices describing the encounter of African communities with a colonial power. However, in 1926, only a few years after its publication, the "Blue Book" was withdrawn from the public domain and orders given for its destruction.

The year 2004 will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Namibian war against German rule. It is the intention of the authors that this annotated re-publication of the "Blue Book" will, in some measure, be a memorial to those that died.

BRILL; January 2003
405 pages; ISBN 9789047400042
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Title: Words cannot be found
Author: J Silvester