4. THE COLONIAL PERIOD: GERMAN RULE
4.4 GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICA CONSOLIDATES: 1907-1914
|1907||The "geneticist" Eugen
Fischer uses German South West Africa as a field site for the development of later
notorious theories on European racial superiority. Fischer studies the bodies of 17 Nama
prisoners of war who have perished in a concentration camp on Shark Island near Lüderitz.
These Nama fighters, including Nama leader Cornelius Frederiks of Bethany (who dies in the
Shark Island concentration camp on 16.02.1907) who had surrendered to the Germans in March
1906, are decapitated. A published photograph of three heads supposedly provides visual
evidence to support the "scientific" arguments for German racial superiority
over the Africans. For the year 1906 it is reported that altogether 778 post-mortem tests
were conducted. Consequently also skulls are collected, which Ovaherero female
prisoners-of- war are forced to scrape clean with the aid of glass shards.
The colonial Governor, Von Lindequist, proclaims the Etosha Pan a game reserve. The Deutsche Farm-Gesellschaft AG for Liebigs Extract of Meat Company Ltd is established in Heusis in the Khomas Hochland.
The Ruin of the Manager's House of the Liebig's Extract of Meat
Company Ltd. of 1907 at Heusis (Neu Heusis) in the Khomas Hochland
The Roman Catholic Hospital in Swakopmund is established.
|01.01.||Post offices are opened at Brackwasser and Otjosondu.|
|08.01.||The wooden jetty in Swakopmund is completed but the whole structure has to be strengthened, extended (by 50 m) and widened (by 5 m) during this year.|
|23.01.||A post office is opened at Okowakuatjiwi (later renamed Kalkfeld).|
|25.01.||A Labour Code is passed to confirm "black" labourers dispossession of land and cattle. Workers have to carry passes (numbered metal badge and a service book (Dienstbuch) and are resettled in "locations".|
|February||Gustav Voigts and Richard Voigts (Krumhuk) import breeding cattle from Germany.|
|02.02.||The power station of the Damara & Namaqua Handelsgesellschaft in Swakopmund is opened.|
|March||Chief Simon Koper surrenders but
later continues the fight (1908).
German statistics show that in the concentration camp on Shark Island near Lüderitz, so far 1 203 Nama prisoners had died, of these 460 were women and 274 were children. In summation six months after the Nama communities of the Veldschoendrager (5Hawoben), the Witbooi Nama (*Khowesin) and the Bethany Nama (!Aman) were deported to the island, only 450 remained, out of a total of about 2 000 prisoners.
|31.03.||The German Government declares that
the war is over. The law providing for the expropriation of land and cattle of
"dissident tribes" is also made applicable to the Nama.
The state railway is transferred to the civil administration. Ernst Weiske becomes the Executive Director of the newly-created Kaiserliche Eisenbahnverwaltung ( Imperial Railway Administration).
|April||The cornerstone of the Christuskirche (Christ Church) in Windhoek is laid (by Reverend Wilhelm Anz).|
|01.04.||Von Estorff becomes the new
Schutztruppe commander. One of his first tasks is to close down the Shark Island
concentration camp because conditions in this camp are so bad that he disobeys the orders
of his superiors and moves the camp to a healthier setting in the inland (Burenkamp
outside Lüderitz and Okawayo, northeast of Karibib).
A new post office building is opened in Swakopmund and replaces that of 1895.
|05.05.||Chief Fielding surrenders to the Germans. Only Simon Koper, Jakob Marengo and Lambert of Bethany continue the fight.|
|09.05.||The post office at the Waterberg is closed.|
|12.05.||Though Ovaherero have been ordered to report and surrender themselves to the missionary collection points and military stations, and though military patrols are regularly sent out to seek fugitive Ovaherero, many Ovaherero continue to live in the field and roam from one area to the other. Consequently the commander of the station Waldau, Bauer, writes to the distriktsamt at Okahandja: "As numerous unemployed Herero, men as well as women, have recently been wandering around, in the vicinity of Waldau and along the railway line, who, when hailed, flee into the bush and hide there, I request the "Kaiserliche Distriktsamt" to inform me whether it is permitted to shoot at these ... Herero ... ".|
|17.05.||Bernhard Dernburg is appointed
Colonial State Secretary, and a programme of reform intended to "uplift the
natives" is drawn up. Clashes with the "powder and lead" policy of most
German settlers occur.
Bruno Helmut Erich von Schuckmann becomes the new colonial Governor and succeeds Von Lindequist.
|June||The British in the Cape Colony release Jakob Marengo from the Tokai prison in Cape Town. He is instructed to report to the Civil Commissioner at Upington where he is ordered not to cross the border into German South West Africa. In spite of this order Marengo crosses into SWA at Gamsib Ravine (probably during July or August).|
|08.06.||Construction of a branch line from the main OMEG railway from Otavi to Grootfontein (91 km) commences. This results in the opening of further copper mines at Guchab (later Kombat), Gross Otavi and Asis.|
|10.06.||A post office is opened at Onguati.|
|01.07.||A post office is opened at Kanus.|
|09.07.||A post office is opened at Wilhelmstal.|
|20.07.||A post office is opened at Kuibis.|
|16.08.||An instruction is issued by the commander of the German Schutztruppe that his troops are to prevent Marengo from entering SWA.|
|18.08.||The Germans issue a proclamation to the effect that indigenes may not possess land or cattle.|
|24.08.||The British Cape Government informs the Germans that Marengo is hiding near the Back River mouth at the border between SWA and the Cape Colony.|
|25.08.||Lieutenant von Hanenfeldt who is stationed at the garrison of Ukamas travels to Upington in order to co-ordinate the German and British forces against Marengo. A heliograph link is established between Ukamas and Upington.|
|26.08.||Captain von dem Hagen co-ordinates the German troops with the British ones in Cape Town. It is decided to mount a common action against Marengo on 01.09. in order to preventJakob Marengo from uniting his forces with those of Simon Koper.|
|03.09.||The colonial administration issues a proclamation that government farms may not be sold to farmers who live together with "native" women.|
|20.09.||The unified German-British efforts
are eventually successful. Jakob Marengo is killed in action by a South African patrol
under the command of Major Elliot in Eenzamheed in the Cape Colony. His son, Samuel
Marengo, his nephews, Michael Marengo, Hendrich Marengo and Johannes Marengo and his
secretary Saul Damara are killed together with him. Petrus Marengo escapes.
An ex-combatant of the battle of Narudas ("Robber Henricks Place") in March 1905 pays later tribute to Jakob Marengo: "In those old days, forty years ago, South West was still a wild country. ... Perhaps that is the reason why Jakob Marengo has received no recognition from any one for his outstanding intelligence and bravery, but I am sure that there are many old people still alive who like me would bow their heads in respect at the grave of Jakob Marengo".
|22.09.||A post office is opened at Aris.|
|24.09.||Karakul sheep are introduced in SWA (from Russia). They form the breeding stock on the farm Voigtsgrund (Albert Voigts). Further breeding sheep are imported to the experimental farm Fürstenwalde near Windhoek (1909).|
|October||The southern railway line reaches Brackwasser.|
|01.10.||A post office is opened at Groß Witvlei.|
|07.10.||A post office is opened at Otjosonjati.|
|November||A post office is opened at
Feldschuhhorn (without its own postmark). Cancellations are done in Brackwasser.
Roman Catholic missionaries travel to the Kavango. Mbukushu Chief Diyeve confirms his support for missionary work.
|01.11.||A post office is opened at Berseba.|
|25.11.||A post office is opened at Otjihavera.|
|27.11.||Post offices are opened at Richthofen and Osona.|
|30.11.||The post office at Groß Barmen is re-opened.|
|End November||The southern railway line reaches Feldschuhhorn (287 km).|
|01.12.||A post office is opened at Neudamm (after the experimental farm has been established there).|
|06.12.||Post offices are opened at Aub and Gochaganas.|