German southwest Africa

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Protected area
German southwest Africa

Flagge von Deutsch-Südwestafrika
capture 1884
seat of the government Windhuk
surface 835,100 km ²
number of inhabitants approx. 200.000 (1902)
approx. 100.000 (1915)
German inhabitants approx. 2500(1902)
Currency 1 realm Mark = 100 Pfennig
today's State of Namibia

the protected area German southwest Africa (DSWA) (today Namibia) was a German colony. With a surface of 835.100 km ² German southwest Africa was approximately 1.5 times as large as the German Reich.

Table of contents


on behalf of Bremen the buyer load-cut acquires 1883 the 21jährige Heinrich bird-sang from the Hottentotten captain Josef Frederick thoseBay of Angra Pequena, which today's load-cut, with five miles hinterland. This area became to 24. April 1884 posed under the protection of the German Reich, in order to secure the land acquisitions of Bremen of the buyer against British territorial claims. Until today the city and the lying close coast has Load-cut (booked) its name kept (and actually still with “u” written). The first official Flaggenhissung found to 7. August 1884 under participation of crews of German warships, representatives of the company Lüderitz and the Hottentottenkapitäns Josef Frederick together with its advice people within the solemn framework instead of. 1885 become in Otjimbingwe the first administrative seat furnished. since that time 1886 do not turn Adolf load-cut from an expedition at the Oranje back and were considered as verschollen.

1890 became larger German southwest around the Caprivizipfel in the northeast, by which new commercial routes promised itself. This area gain was based on the Helgoland Sansibar contract. To 18. October of the same yearly is put to Windhuk on operation of the captain Curt of Francois the foundation-stone for the celebrations „largely “. The protected area administration comes soon thereafter into this fortress. Around it the later state capital Windhuk develops in the course of the coming years.


German southwest Africa was the only colony of Germany, in which a purposeful settlement of Germans took place in the larger style. Apart from the exploitation of diamonds and copper it was in particular the cattle breeding, which lured German settlers in the country. 1902 had the colony about200,000 inhabitants, of it however only 2,595 Germans, 1,354 Buren and the 452 British. To 1914 further 9,000 German settlers were added. There were probably about 80,000 Herero, 60,000 Owambo, 35,000 Damara and 10,000 Nama (abschätzig „Hottentotten “mentioned).


the first railway connection between Swakopmund and Windhuk was opened 1902. Up to the end 1915 a substantial number of connections in the south and the north of the country followed the German rule. Thus German southwest Africa had the most extensive route network of all German colonies. With the structure of this traction networkthe Germans had completely crucial portion of the ascent of the country. The early, of state because of supported attempt to open with truck the country did not bring a success with two imported models, since these sagged in the desert sand. and in such a way one left it up to the end thatGerman rule with the ox-covered trucks, which used also the military.

until 1888 the imperial colonial force consisted

colonial force and first conflicts with native ones of two officers, five NCOs and 20 black soldiers under captain Curt of Francois. 1889 recruited Curtof Francois on behalf the realm 21 men a strong private troop for the German colonization and administration company for colonies on.

In the year 1893 further reinforcement of the colonial force of the German colonization and administration company for colonies took place on altogether 2 companies. To 12. April of this yearly seized from Francois again and again against the GermanRule revolting and plündernden chieftain Hendrik Witbooi in its camps horn ring on. After persistent fight Hendrik Witbooi fled into the Naukluft. Beginning of the yearly 1894 came the major, later national captain and governor Theodor Leutwein into the country. It struck in August/September in the Naukluftgebirge entrenchdWitbooi with 3 companies. After the defeat Leutwein with the chieftain closed a very moderate peace treaty and knows the Witbooi trunk the area around Gibeon as domicile too. Hendrik Witbooi adhered scarcely 10 years to the present Treaty and carried out in some cases even army sequence. Butwhen he saw the interests of his people ever more threatened, he changed the front again.

Governor Leutwein furnished citizens of Berlin the office for colonial the first Herero reservation in the year 1903 against the will of the German settlers and. In December the people of the Bondelzwarts in the south revolted of theCountry. The north was exposed thereby by colonial force units.

the Herero rebellion

at the beginning of January 1904 it came, outgoing from Okahandja under Samuel Maharero to the rebellion of the Hereros. Soon nearly the whole north was seized by this rebellion. At first Ansiedlerfamilien became with Okahandja, later alsoremote farms, attack. Approximately 150 German settlers, mostly men, were killed in this connection by the Hereros. The German colonial force of only 766 riders and native auxiliary troops (mostly Nama) had first not grown the Herero. The Herero went even into the offensive, closed occasionally Okahandja and Windhuk and destroyed the railway bridge with Osona. In addition one of their first war acts was the interruption of the important Telegraphenverbindungen after Windhuk.

Einsegnung der 2. Marine-Feldkompanie vor dem Kampf gegen die Hereros 1904
Einsegnung of the 2. Naval field company before the fight against the Hereros already

1904 in April 1904 became as result one in Windhukheld meeting of the German population of the protected area an urgent input addressed to the Gouvernement. In order to later represent in the determining places their war-conditioned claims for damages, the South West African settlers sent a delegation of five men from its center: Earthling, Erhard, Kürsten, Schlettwein, Voigts, in oneBrochure the causes of the rebellion and the claims for damages of the Ansiedler represented. This delegation was received in August in Berlin from the realm chancellor, who let himself be informed about conditions in southwest Africa and support promised. Hasty from Germany supplied troops under lieutenant general Lothar von Trotha struck likewisein August the insurgent ones in the battle to wading hereditary suppl. The Herero yielded into the waterless Omaheke - quilt, a western Ausläufer of the Kalahariwüste out, where a large part of them verdurstete, since the German colonial forces had received the instruction from their commander from Trotha, thoseto occupy surrounding water places and shoot at each Herero. Only few could save themselves in the British neighboring country. With these arbitrarily arranged shut-off measures Lothar von Trotha did not however only tighten itself the displeasure and disapproving the German population sensitized by press reports; also thoserealm government at that time reacted abstrafend. As of Trotha to 19. November 1905 southwest Africa always left, it humanly, politically and militarily many fruitful beginnings had destroyed, which would have been enough to the country for the advantage. After his arrival in Berlin did not become from Trotha from these reasons consciouslyby emperor Wilhelm II. received and later also from official circles avoided.

In October 1904 the Hottentotten or Nama in the south of the country rose. Abtrünnig the chieftain Hendrik Witbooi become let the office for district of Gibeon, kill of Burgdorff. One to today the one which can not be arrangedAct. At the same time captain Jakob Morenga rose and intervened in the fights. A zermürbender guerilla war for many years with the colonial force followed that only 1907/08 to be finally struck down could. Around the first emergencies of the German Farmer concerned by the rebellion too lindern, the Germans collectedin the homeland by the German colonization and administration company for colonies (call of 25. January), the central emergency committee for the German evacuees in southwest Africa and other private combinations. Many the German Ansiedler had not been only driven out by the war by house and yard, but had all their haveand property lost. The German colonization and administration company for colonies collected in such a way to at the beginning of November 1904 approximately 275,000 Marks. It sent 70,000 Marks to the central emergency committee in Windhuk and just as much under the branch emergency committees in Karibib, Grottfontein, Omaruru, Swakopmund and Outjo was distributed. In addition the German colonization and administration company for colonies senta large transmission from dresses and pieces of laundry to Windhuk. (This time is described in the book „Morenga “from Uwe Timm after material experiences very much meeting and maintenance SAM.)

as addition of the colonial force 1905 a police force were set up, the 1907 in their structure and in the uniformssomething was amended. Their strength was with approximately 500 men.

In December 1906 with the help of German mission acres, which had been already during the Hereroaufstandes helping and mediating active, a peace treaty with the last Bondelzwarts insurgent on Südwester area was obtained.

Altogether became during of theRebellion between 25.000 and 100.000 Herero killed. From 20.000 Nama less than half the fights survived. 1749 Germans died in the process of these fights.

history after the rebellion

in March 1908 undertakes captain Friedrich of Erckert a military expedition against outEnglish Betschuanaland again and again incident captain Simon Kopper. The colonial force riding with camels succeeds, Koppers threw to destroy, captain of Erckert falls however with this combat. Found in the same year in the desert Namib diamond by the railway official August toss. First along the railroad linebriefly before loading cutting bay, with the station grass field. Bush begins with the promotion and becomes very rich thereby.

In the year 1912 the national advice in such a way specified, a preliminary stage for a parliament of German southwest Africa, assembles again.

the end of the colony

in the 1. World waropened South African troops to 13. September 1914 with an assault on the police station of RAM to drift hostilities. German settlers were removed into the concentration camp with Pretoria, later in by Pietermaritzburg. To 20. September 1914 began the attack of South African troops on the German colony.Due to the large superiority of the troops of the South African union to the colonial force only a delaying resistance, also burische free corps , which intervened on German side in the fights, succeeded could not much align. To 9. July 1915 capitulated Victor Franke, the last commander of the colonial force,with Khorab.

(see in addition also: The First World War at colonial scenes, German southwest Africa)

after the war went the area at England and by South Africa was later administered. To 21. March 1990 became the former colony under the name Namibia independently. Since that time the former liberation movement governs SWAPO.

Of the German colonial age still another as well as those remind multiplicity of German names, buildings and business approx. 20,000 ethnic Germans settlers, who live still in the country.

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