One morning last summer, I was ushered into a little office in the Botswana National Archives. I’d asked the archivists to dig out a document that I had wanted to see for 20 years. After a couple of phone calls, the file was brought in. Near the top of a stack of yellowing papers was a signed, original copy of the Vernichtungsbefehl – the extermination order.
Drafted in 1904, it is an explicit command for the extermination of an entire people. It bore the signature of its author, the German general Lothar von Trotha, and was addressed to the Herero people of Namibia, Botswana’s neighbour to the west, and formerly the German colony of South West Africa.… Seguir leyendo »