German Colonial Wars and the Context of Military Violence
Germany fought three major colonial wars from 1900 to 1908: the Boxer War in China, the Herero and Nama War in Southwest Africa, and the Maji Maji War in East Africa. Recently, historians have emphasized the role of German military culture in shaping the horrific violence of these conflicts, tracing…
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Addressing his troops prior to their departure for China in 1900, Kaiser Wilhelm urged them to behave like the Huns and give no quarter to the Chinese accused of murdering the German ambassador during the Boxer Rebellion.
Four years later, German troops mercilessly drove the Herero and Nama people of what is now Namibia into the desert to die, while their comrades in what is now Tanzania fought a vicious war to suppress another colonial revolt. These events have recently returned to broader consciousness as the victims’ descendants demand reparations.
Without minimizing the violence, Kuss shows how it was rooted…
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