The Kaiser's Holocaust : Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism, Paperback

The Kaiser's Holocaust : Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


On 12 May 1883, the German flag was raised on the coast of South-West Africa, modern Namibia - the beginnings of Germany's African Empire.

As colonial forces moved in , their ruthless punitive raids became an open war of extermination.

Thousands of the indigenous people were killed or driven out into the desert to die.

By 1905, the survivors were interned in concentration camps, and systematically starved and worked to death.

Years later, the people and ideas that drove the ethnic cleansing of German South West Africa would influence the formation of the Nazi party. "The Kaiser's Holocaust" uncovers extraordinary links between the two regimes: their ideologies, personnel, even symbols and uniform.

The Herero and Nama genocide was deliberately concealed for almost a century.

Today, as the graves of the victims are uncovered, its re-emergence challenges the belief that Nazism was an aberration in European history. "The Kaiser's Holocaust" passionately narrates this harrowing story and explores one of the defining episodes of the twentieth century from a new angle.

Moving, powerful and unforgettable, it is a story that needs to be told.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, Illustrations (some col.), maps, ports.
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780571231423



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German concentration camps in Namibia: a pre-cursor to those of WW2, 10 July 2015This review is from: The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism (Paperback)An extremely well-written account of an event of which I certainly was unaware - namely the appalling treatment of the native peoples of German S W Africa (now Namibia) in the early years of the 20th century. Based on the Kaiser's desire to create 'lebensraum' - space for the Aryan race to flourish, separate from the 'natives' - the German colonists created horrific concentration camps, notably that of Shark Island, near Luderitz.But the author's don't confine themselves to relating African history; after explaining the German situation from WW1 to the disintegration of the country in its wake, and the rise of the Third Reich, they go on to draw parallels between the racial discrimination that was used to justify the treatment of natives in Africa, and that later used against Slavs and Jews."So much of what took place in German SW Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century horribly prefigures the events of the 1940s: concentration camps, the bureaucratisation of killing, meticulous record-keeping of death tolls and death rates, the use of work as a means of extermination, civilians transported in cattle trucks then worked to death, their remains experimented upon by race scientists, and the identification of ethnic groups who had a future of slaves and those who had no future of any sort."A shocking book, yet written in a very readable style, and I learned so much, both about African and European history.