In today's class with Martha we learned about the techniques the Germans employed to take over the land belonging to the native Namibians. In their first phase, they manipulated local politics such that they promised some tribes protection from other tribes in exchange for access to the harbor and for small tracts of land. Because the Germans didn’t see the locals as people, but as animals and slaves, the new migrants to the country abused the local people, raping and murdering without consequence. The Herero nation was the first to rise against the Germans, expecting there to be a few battles and then a treaty, as there had been in the past, and that it would show the German migrants that they needed to have respect for the natives or there would be consequences. A new general was brought in though and he met the Herero with overwhelming force, killing many in one battle and scattering the rest into the desert. Any that remained, regardless of whether they had been a part of the war, were women, or were children, were gathered and placed in the first German concentration camps. This is the model that the Holocaust is built from, and yet no one remembers the genocide of the Namibians because the Holocaust was the resultant death of millions of white people, and while the Namibian genocide resulted in more than 80 percent of the Herero population being wiped from existence, and many Nama with them, it’s insignificant because their color was black. Germany still claims that there is no need to apologize because such things weren’t war crimes when they were committed, but Germany still displays the human remains of these people in museums. A soldier gave his collection of skulls to a museum under the stipulation that he or his family could one day have them back. Like they’re artwork, a decoration for the wall, and not someone’s ancestor who was slaughtered through slavery.
It was a long and depressing class. For dinner, we went to Joe’s Beerhouse, a restaurant famed for its assortment of game meats, touristy décor, and a long list of local brews. It also has a vegetarian menu with vegan options, which was important for Jalyn who is practically a vegan. Being vegetarian and especially vegan is very difficult here. Most locals think that fish and poultry are still allowed and finding something that doesn’t have meat that also doesn’t have cream or cheese is nearly impossible. She was able to have a mushroom burger and I had the Cajun chicken pasta which was so good I could’ve melted into it. I drank a zombie, a powerful mixed drink made with rum and juice, and nearly everyone else drank a giant mixed drink with me. I got a bit drunk, saw a cat that looked nothing like mine, started missing my cat, and then started crying because I missed my cat, then I started laughing at how ridiculous it was that I was crying at a restaurant because I missed my cat.