Namibian delegation arrives in Germany for repatriation of skull

03 Mar 2014 17:10pm
FRANKFURT, 04 MAR (NAMPA) - A Namibian government delegation arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on Monday for the repatriation of skulls of Namibians who were killed and taken to Germany for experimentation at the turn of the 20th Century.
The delegation is led by the Minister of Youth, National Services, Sports and Culture (MYNSSC) Jerry Ekandjo, and they are expected to return home on Thursday this week with 35 skulls and three human skeletons.
The skulls and skeletons are of Namibians who were killed and taken to Germany by imperialist colonial agents sometime during the 1904-1908 genocide in Namibia.
Other members of the delegation are Chief Immanuel /Gaseb, the deputy Chairman of the Council of Traditional Leaders, Esther Moombolah-Goagoses, the head of the National Museum of Namibia and Nzila Mubusisi, a Heritage Officer of the National Museum of Namibia.
They are also accompanied by Phillip Tjerije, the Special Advisor on Traditional Matters to the Minister of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development as well as Natangwe Asino, the personal Assistant to the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture.
Upon their arrival at the Frankfurt airport, the group was received by the First Secretary of the Namibian Embassy in Germany Helena Eiseb and Alexa Kintu who is the assistant to Namibia’s Ambassador to Germany Neville Gertze.
The delegates will view the remains of the first 14 skulls at the University of Freiburg prior to the official handing over ceremony on Tuesday.
The handover ceremony of the remaining 21 human remains and the three skeletons will take place on Wednesday at the Charite University.
Minister Ekandjo is scheduled to hold talks with the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Stephan Steinlein on Wednesday as well.
The 35 skulls and three skeletons are said to be those of OvaHerero and Nama people killed by German colonial forces during the 1904-1908 genocide.
The human remains are expected to arrive in Namibia on Friday, and the Namibian Government will organise an official ceremony at Parliament Gardens in the capital to receive the skulls.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba is expected to accord the remains of the fallen Namibian nationals a fitting welcome home and the public will have the opportunity to view the remains and perform all the traditional and religious rituals required.
This is the second time that Namibian skulls are being repatriated to Namibia from Germany.
The first repatriation exercise was carried out in October 2011, and saw 20 skulls return to Namibia.
It is believed that the skulls were transported to Germany to be used in purported ‘research’ to prove that white people are superior to blacks.
The repatriation follows a protracted battle by members of the OvaHerero/OvaMbanderu and Nama people, led by their various traditional leaders, with German government authorities to have the skulls released.