Jan 13–15, 2005

Genocides: Forms, Causes and Consequences

The Namibian War (1904-08) in historical perspective

With the financial support of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

The 20th century can be seen as a century of genocide. Never before in the history of humankind were so many people killed or their culture destroyed on the grounds of their descent and ethnic affiliation. Unfortunately it is likely that genocide will be serious policy option for some political leaders in the future. Understanding the causes of genocide is therefore not only of academic interest, but will also enable action to be undertaken, which, while may not preventing genocide from taking place, will allow for timely and humane responses to this most fundamental of crimes against humanity.

In 1904, the first genocide of the 20th century took place in German South West Africa (Namibia). In order to commemorate this event and to put this historical milestone into perspective, a conference will be held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin between 13th and 15th January 2005. The conference will also serve as a the foundation meeting of a European network of genocide scholars.


Convenors: Juergen Zimmerer / Jan-Bart Gewald / Andreas Eckert

In cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, the Institute für Voelkerkunde, University of Cologne (Michael Bollig), the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum für Voelkerkunde, Cologne (Klaus Schneider) and the Department of History, University of Duisburg-Essen (Christoph Marx)