German Rule, African Subjects

State Aspirations and the Reality of Power in Colonial Namibia

German Rule, African Subjects (2020, Berghahn Books)

440 pages

English language

Published June 10, 2020 by Berghahn Books.


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Although it lasted only thirty years, German colonial rule dramatically transformed South West Africa. The colonial government not only committed the first genocide of the twentieth century against the Herero and Nama, but in their efforts to establish a “model colony” and “racial state,” they brought about even more destructive and long-lasting consequences. In this now-classic study—available here for the first time in English—the author provides an indispensable account of Germany's colonial utopia in what is present-day Namibia, showing how the highly rationalized planning of Wilhelmine authorities ultimately failed even as it added to the profound immiseration of the African population.