LAST JULY, Germany’s Foreign Ministry delivered a long-awaited acknowledgment that the near extermination of the Herero and Nama peoples of present-day Namibia under German colonial rule in the early twentieth century constituted genocide. Bilateral negotiations about how Germany should atone for this crime are ongoing, but descendants of the survivors have filed a class-action lawsuit in New York seeking direct reparations. Meanwhile, a recent exhibition on German colonialism at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin has lent credence to the thesis that, while previously dismissed as insignificant, given that it lasted little more than thirty years, Germany’s reign in South West Africawith its concentration camps, forced labor, and medical experimentsprovided a gruesome blueprint for the Holocaust some three decades before the Nazis came to power. Berlin’s art
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