Herero and Namaqua Genocide

The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is considered to have been the first genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 of the 20th century. It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South-West Africa
German South-West Africa
German South West Africa was a colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990...

 (modern day Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

), during the scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914...

. In fact, the Herero-Namaqua genocide was the first large-scale act of genocide in German South-West Africa, but it was preceded by a less well-known act of destruction: the Khaua-Mbandjeru Rebellion
Khaua-Mbandjeru Rebellion
The aboriginal African natives of the area originally referred to by the Portuguese as Angra Pequena did not share the European attitude of private property ownership. Indeed, the entire "purchase" or "lease" by Heinrich Vogelsang, representative of Lüderitz, was fraudulent for several reasons...


On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero
Samuel Maharero
Samuel Maharero was a Paramount Chief of the Herero people in German South-West Africa during their revolts and in connection with the events surrounding the Herero genocide.- Life :...

, rebelled against German colonial rule
German colonial empire
The German colonial empire was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany's colonial efforts began in 1884...