General Lothar Von Trotha Extermination Order against the Herero

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General Lothar Von Trotha Extermination Order against the Herero


source Gewalt, Jan-Bart, trans. (1999). Herero Heroes. Oxford, U.K.: James Currey. See pages 172–173. Also available from Namibian National Archives Windhoek, ZBU (Zentralbureau) D.1.a Band 3–4, leaf 165.

introduction The order given by General Lothar von Trotha is one of the first documented instances of a policy of genocide. The order was ruthlessly carried out and resulted in the extermination of nearly 90 percent of the Herero. The descendants of the the survivors are seeking reparations for the genocide.


October 2, 1904

I the great General of the German troops send this letter to the Herero people.

The Herero are no longer German subjects. They have murdered and stolen, they have cut off the ears, noses and other body parts of wounded soldiers, now out of captain will receive 1000 Mark, whoever delivers Samuel will receive 5000 Mark. The Herero people must however leave the land. If the populace does not do this I will force them with the Groot Rohr [cannon]. Within the German borders every Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I will no longer accept women and children, I will drive them back to their people or I will let them be shot at.

These are my words to the Herero people.

The great General of the mighty German Kaiser.