Franz Ritter von Epp arrived in Africa as an ambitious young infantry officer in 1904. Over the next two years, he took part in a colonial campaign of racial extermination that left 100,000 Africans dead. Tens of thousands were driven into the desert to die of dehydration. Others died in concentration camps. Almost thirty years later, as the Nazi governor of Bavaria, the same man would preside over the establishment of the first concentration camp in Germany at Dachau, and deportation of thousands of Jews to the death camps of the Holocaust. Von Epp is just one of the figures explored in a new art exhibition opening in Hamburg on Monday which aims to shine a light on Germany’s forgotten genocide. Thirty years before the Holocaust, between 1904 and 1908 German colonial troops in Africa attempted to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of what is now Namibia. It was the first genocide of the 20th century. (…) “Nazi policies of eastward expansion and Lebensraum bear a striking similarity to settler colonialism. In my understanding Nazi expansionism was a second German attempt to create a colonial empire, this time in the east,” says Prof. Jürgen Zimmerer of Hamburg University, the foremost expert on the Herero genocide.
Justin Huggler in Hamburg forces Germany to confront colonial legacy with forgotten genocide exhibition (Telegraph)