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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1906, Retrospect on Südwestafrika's Development in 1905
Retrospect on Südwestafrika's Development in 1905

(p. 13) The rebellion was, at the end of 1905, far from being suppressed, but the area affected by the rebellion considerably reduced. The Witbois, in open rebellion since October 1904, collected, well-equipped with horses and c. 600 rifles strong, near Rietmond and Kalkfontein. They soon were enforced by the Red Nation and the Franzmann Hottentots from Gocha, they were further joined by the Northern Bethanians and, against expectations, the Field Shoe Bearers. The farms located nearby were destroyed. The whites murdered (all in all in the rebellion in the south about 60 settlers have fallen victim) and smaller stations were raided with success. First skirmishes near Kub and Huachanas at the end of 1904 did not lead to any decision. Only when Major Meister took over the persecution of the Witbois defeated near Kub and Naris, a serious struggle was fought in the first January days of 1905 not far from Stampritfontein, where our troops, in a fight lasting more than 50 hours, fought with great effort and privation near Gross-Nabas, and forced victory by an assault on the enemy's positions. Further persecution was not possible due to the lack of water and ammunition.
In the same days, Col. Deimling defeated the Simon Kopper men to the south of Gochas, and soon after the Witbois, which had withdrawn in front of Major Meister. But because of problems with transportation and because of a deadly disease affecting horses, donkeys and mules the success at Auob could not be further exploited. The operations against band leader Morenga suffered from difficulties to supply the troops, so that the operation had to be terminated for a while and only could be resumed in autumn. Lt. Georg Kirchner met Morenga near Kosis; the leader fell in a heavy skirmish. On March 19th Lt. Liebert succeeded to push the Morenga band to the English border.
Rumours in the early months of the year contained, Hendrik would have withdrawn onto English territory after the skirmish at Gross-Nabas. But later he was reported at Nossob. Certain reports came in only in July, where the Witboi leader was identified at Isacheib.
A bitter struggle unfolded on 13th September near Nabib, to the west of Haruchas, where, after a 6-hour ascend in steep mountains and after a heavy 5-hour struggle the Hottentots were thrown out of their positions in hand-to-hand combat by Major Meister. The victorious outcome of the struggle on unknown terrain was possible by the personal reconnaissance long prepared by Major Maerker. In October, after treason committed by an indigenous policeman, there has been an ambush near Jerusalem and Schitdrift. In the very same days the Lengerke column advanced against Hendrik Witboi at Aminuis.

For several weeks, nothing was heard of the Witboi leader, until report came in from Gen.Lt. von Trotha that according to a report from Berseba Captain Christian Goliath, Hendrik Witboi would have been woulded on the occasion of an (p. 14) ambush on a supply waggon near Fahlgras, by a shot in his upper thigh, wounded so severely that he had to have his son Isaak elected Captain on November 2nd, anf he died on November 3rd. This was Gen.Lt. von Trotha's last, but, as has to be conceded, important report, as the Gen.Lt. embarked on November 19th at Lüderitzbucht on the steamer "Prinzregent" to return home. He was succeeded as commander of the Schutztruppe by Col. Dame.
His Majesty the Kaiser honoured the brave fighters in Südwestafrika, who, after having long been neglected, now finally found respect among the German people, as their leader, Gen.Lt. von Trotha and Major Meister as well as Lt. Francke were awarded the medal Pour le Mérite.
The next reports from the war theatre were mostly dispatched by Governor von Lindequist, who arrived in Windhuk on November 27th, and mostly concerned the peaceful surrender of fighting Hottentots or Hereros. So, at the end of November, Samuel Isaak, once Witboi's field captain, and 17 Grossmen with their followers, as well as Hans Henrik, Field Shoe Bearer, voluntarily surrendered at Berseba. Further a number of submissions were reported, so that early in 1906 as opponents to be taken serious only Cornelius and Morenga were left (Cornelius surrendered in March). It is to be expected that the year 1906 will finally bring peace and security to the hard-tested protectorate.
This would be necessary, so that economic work can be resumed and the beginnings of institutions can be developed and made useful. In the first place the Otawi Railroad has to be mentioned, which reached Karibib on May 18th 1905, so that two railroads connect Swakopmund and Karibib. In September, Omaruru was reached, at the end of the year the rails have been laid over 320 km and it was hoped to complete the 570 km long line by the middle of 1907.
After the Reichstag approved it just before christmas, since year's end works are undertaken on the railway which shall connect Lüderitzbucht with Kubub. It is hoped to complete the 167 km long line within this calendar year. This South West African southern railway, which connects with the excellent port of Lüderitzbucht, at first will be mainly of strategic importance, but will later win economic value, when continued until Keetmanshoop and perhaps into Cape Province territory.
Farmers' activity has rested due to the insecurity and because the Reichstag has still failed to compensate the settlers fully for the damage they suffered. Only if this demand of justice and humanity is fulfilled, can the focus turn on the reconstruction of the protectorate, as pointed out as desirable by Governor von Lindequist in his address in Windhuk on November 27th. Then Südwestafrika will be a massive, truly German land with a solid basis, which the Germans of all of southern Africa will look up to as a bulwark of Germanness in this part of the globe. Then the tenacity of the old settlers will pay off, with which they held on to their new homeland overseas, and some German son will find a new homeland between Kunene and Orange.


Comparison of Casualty Figures in the Wars of 1864, 1866, 1870/71
and in the War in Südwestafrika

fallen, missing in action, died of wounds wounded, excluding those who died of their wounds died of disease total strength of the fighting force


officers 37 148 310 61.500
medical doctors
NCOs 701 1.988


officers 184 606 6.427 326.000
medical doctors
NCOs 4.450 11.453


officers 1.881 4.239 14.904 936.915
medical doctors
NCOs 26.397 84.304

War in Sud.-Westafrika until Jan. 26th 1906

officers 65 73 23 14.537
medical doctors
NCOs 577 646 615


Colonial Literature of 1905. (main titles) (p. 15)

Bulow, Fr. von. Im Felde gegen die Hereros. Erlebnisse eines Mitkämpfers. (Taking the field against the Hereros. Adventures of a Warrior) G.a.v.Halem, Bremen, 1.50 M.

Erffa, Dr. jur. Burkhart, Frh. v. Reise u. Kriegsbilder von Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Aus Briefen des am 9. April 1904 bei Onganjira Gefallenen. (Travel and War Sketches from Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Excerpts from Letters of a man who fell on April 9th 1904 near Onganjira) Buchh. d. Waisenhauses, Halle a.S. 1905. 2 M.

Falkenhausen, H.v. geb. Nitze. Ansiedlerschicksale. Elf Jahre in Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1893-1904. (Settlers' fates. Eleven Years in Deutsch-Suedwestafrika 1893-1904), D. Reimer, Berlin 1905. 3 M.

Francois, Generalmajor von. Der Hottentotten-Aufstand. Studie üb. d. Vorgänge im Namalande v. Jan. 1904 bis Jan 1905 u. d. Aussichten d. Niederwerfung des Aufstandes. (The Hottentot Uprising. A Study of the Events in Namaland from Jan. 1904 to Jan. 1905 and the Prospects of Suppression) E. S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1905. 1.60 M.

Gumpell, J. Die Wahrheit über Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (The Truth about Deutsch-Suedwestafrika) G. Dufayel, Cassel 1905. 0.50 M.

Hanemann, Dr. Wirtschaftl. u. polit. Verhaltnisse in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (Economic and Political Conditions in Deutsch-Südwestafrika) 2. ed.. D. Kol.-Verl., Berlin 1905. 1.50 M.

Hereroaufstand 1904 in Wort u. Bild, Der. Nach Illustr. v. G. Lange in Swakopmund. (The Herero Rising 1904 in text and pictures. After illustrations by G. Lange in Swakopmund) In commission. Schaar & Dathe, Trier. 8 M.

Hesse, Dr. jur. H. Die Schutzverträge in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Ein Beitrag zur rechtsgeschichtl. u. polit. Entwicklung des Schutzgebietes. (Protection Treaties in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. A Contribution to the Protectorate's Legal-Historical and Political Development) W. Susserott, Berlin 1905. 3 M.

Kuhn, A. Zum Eingeborenenproblem in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Ein Ruf an Deutschlands Frauen. (On the Problem of the Indigenous in Deutsch-Suedwestafrika. A Call on Germany's Women) D. Reimer, Berlin 1905

Kriegsleben in Südwestafrika. Zsgest. nach Originalaufnahmen der Herren Oberlt. Stuhlmann, Oberlt. Frh. von Fritsch u. Herrn Wulff-Gibeon. (Life in Wartime Südwestafrika. Combined after Original Photos by Lt. Stuhlmann, Lt. Frh. von Fritsch and Mr. Wulff-Gibeon) A. Burger, Schweidnitz. 10 M.

Planert, W. Handbuch der Nama-Sprache in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (Manual of the Nama Language in Deutsch-Suedwestafrika) D. Reimer, Berlin 1905. 5 M.

Meyer, Kammergerichtsrat Dr. F. Wirtschaft u. Recht der Hereros. Auf Grund eines Vortrages. (Economy and Law of the Herero, based on a lecture) J. Springer, Berlin 1905. 2 M.

Rohrbach, Dr. P. Deutsch-Südwestafrika ein Ansiedlungs-Gebiet? (Deutsch-Suedwestafrika as a Settlement Region ?) Buchverl. d. "Hilfe", Berlin-Schoneberg. 0.50 M

Rust, Farmer C. Krieg und Frieden im Hererolande. Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kriegsjahre 1904. (War and Peace in Hereroland. Notes from the War Year of 1904.) Hrsg. v. Dr. E. Th. Forster. In Komm. L. A. Kittler, Leipzig 1905. 10 

Schwabe, Hptm. Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Hist.-geogr., militar. u. wirtschaftl. Studie. (Deutsch-Suedwestafrika, A Historical-Geographical and Economic Study) lecture. E. S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1905.

Salzmann, Oberlt. E. v. Im Kampfe gegen die Hereros. (Fighting the Hereros) D. Reimer, Berlin 1905. 5 M.

Sonnenberg, verw. Fr. E. Wie es am Waterberg zuging. Ein Beitrag z. Geschichte d. Hereroaufstandes. (Mrs. E. Sonnenberg, widowed, What happened at the Waterberg. A Contribution to the History of the Herero Rising) W. 
Susserott, Berlin 1905. 2.50 M.

Wohltmann, Pr. Dr. F. Unsere Lage und Aussichten in der Kolonie Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Ein offenes Wort. (Our Situation and our Prospects in the Colony Deutsch-Suedwestafrika. An Open Word) F. Cohen, Bonn 1905. 0.60 M.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1906, p.13ff.

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
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Dokument in deutscher Sprache