German state minister receives Namibian skulls repatriation in good faith

29 Aug 2018 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 29 AUG (NAMPA) – German Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Michelle Müntefering has welcomed Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and her 74-member delegation in repatriating 27 human remains of Namibian origin.
Hanse-Himarwa and the delegation left for Germany on Sunday for the third repatriation of remains.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the German Embassy in Namibia, Müntefering said Namibia and Germany share a long and painful history which fortunately, brought the two countries to close relations and personal friendships.
“Your journey to receive your ancestors whose remains were taken to various institutions in Germany under horrific circumstances for so-called scientific research, which had nothing to do with science, but was part of a racist ideology shows how much it means to you all. And hopefully they will now find the peace that were denied in such a shameful way.”
Müntefering noted that actions of Germans during the colonial period were shameful.
She further encouraged the delegation to focus on remembering and respecting the dead as both governments are engaged in a dialogue on how to deal with shadows of the colonial past.
“I know that a number of the delegation will be taking part in these talks while others will not and the path to such negotiations can be difficult, but I am more grateful that a huge number joined the minister on this dignified occasion,” said Müntefering.
She said the repatriation will be a further step among the numerous efforts of state and civil society actors to build bridges between the two countries to invest in a better future.
The German representative added that German society must learn more about this chapter of history to ensure that present and future generations remember, so that they too can take responsibility for a common future.
Müntefering will accompany the delegation to Namibia on Friday.