African Studies Namibia
by
Chris Saunders
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0106

Introduction

The present country of Namibia, which became independent in March 1990, includes what was the former territory of German South-West Africa, along with the enclave of Walvis Bay, which was legally part of South Africa until added to Namibia in February 1994. The colonial boundaries were demarcated from 1878 on, and when the demarcation was complete they enclosed an arbitrary area in which many different people lived. In the north, south of the Portuguese-ruled territory of Angola, a relatively large population of mainly Oshiwambo-speakers had for centuries engaged in mixed agriculture. From the early 20th century, increasing impoverishment drove men out of the region to work as migrant laborers on farms and the new diamond mines in southern Namibia. Much of the western coastal strip and the eastern portion of what is now Namibia have always been thinly populated arid areas, while in the central portion of the territory Herero- and Nama-speaking pastoralists lived alongside some hunter-gatherers. The intrusion of German colonialists from the late 19th century provoked a major war of resistance in the first decade of the 20th century, in which, because of the genocidal policies adopted by the Germans, much of the Herero and Nama population perished. During the First World War, the German rulers were replaced by South African ones, and South African occupation of the territory continued after it became a mandate under the new League of Nations in 1920. South Africa both continued many of the oppressive practices used by the Germans against the indigenous population and intensified segregationist measures, especially after the advent of the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1948. By then a lengthy legal contest had begun over the status of the territory between the United Nations and South Africa. With that dispute unresolved, despite a lengthy case before the International Court of Justice, the nationalist movement SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization) took up arms against the South African occupiers in 1966. Eventually the liberation war, along with other pressures, led the South African government in 1988 to agree to allow the country to become independent via a transition in which a UN presence in the territory would ensure a free and fair election. SWAPO won that election, held in November 1989, and has been the ruling party since independence. While the following bibliography ranges over the whole of Namibia’s history, it emphasizes the more recent period, political rather than economic or other aspects of that history, and works in English.

General Overviews

The first scholarly overview of all of Namibia’s history by a historian did not appear until Wallace and Kinahan 2011. Earlier overviews were limited in one or other way: First 1963 was the work of a journalist and Goldblatt 1971 that of a lawyer, while SWAPO of Namibia 1981 (cited under Historiography) was followed by accounts in similar vein (Moleah 1983 and Katjavivi 1988) that focused on resistance to colonial rule. A conference held in London by the Namibia Support Committee, the main solidarity movement in Britain, in 1984 led to the publication of a major book of essays on many different aspects of Namibian history and politics (Wood 1988). The first and to date the only historical dictionary of the country is Grotpeter 1994. The first general history of SWAPO’s struggle from a critical perspective is Leys and Saul 1995. Other general works appear in other sections of this article.

  • First, Ruth. South West Africa. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1963.

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    A pioneering account by a radical South African journalist, based in part on a visit she made to the territory in 1962.

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    • Goldblatt, Israel. History of South West Africa, from the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century. Cape Town: Juta, 1971.

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      General history from the early 19th century to the 1950s by a leading Namibian lawyer, very descriptive and poorly written, but based in part on archival research.

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      • Grotpeter, John J. Historical Dictionary of Namibia. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1994.

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        The only historical dictionary of the country, a large and relatively comprehensive work.

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        • Katjavivi, Peter H. A History of Resistance in Namibia. London: James Currey, 1988.

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          General account of resistance by a Namibian then completing a doctorate at Oxford.

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          • Leys, Colin, and John S. Saul, ed. Namibia’s Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword. London: James Currey, 1995.

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            Two veteran anti-apartheid activists put together this critical account of SWAPO’s struggle, which included chapters by other contributors on the unions, the churches, and student politics.

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            • Moleah, Alfred T. Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation. Wilmington, DE: Disa, 1983.

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              General account by a South African sympathetic to the liberation struggle, then living in exile in the United States.

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              • Wallace, Marion, and John Kinahan. A History of Namibia: From the Beginning to 1990. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

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                Very impressive general history by Wallace, a leading historian of Namibia based at the British Library; likely to be the best history of the country for many years to come. It begins with a chapter on the archaeological background by Kinahan, an archaeologist, then proceeds through the Namibian War to German and South African rule, ending with a brief conclusion on the post-independence period.

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                • Wood, Brian, ed. Namibia 1884 to 1984: Readings on Namibia’s History and Society: Selected Papers and Proceedings of the International Conference on “Namibia 1884–1984: 100 Years of Foreign Occupation; 100 Years of Struggle,” London 10–13 September, 1984. London: Namibia Support Committee, 1988.

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                  Very large collection of papers by scholars and activists on many different aspects of Namibia’s history and politics.

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                  Reference Works and Guides

                  Miescher 2006 and Wilcox 2004 are guides to Namibian primary material in Basel and the Western Cape, South Africa, respectively, and Hillebrecht 1985 a guide to theses. The best single annotated bibliography remains Eriksen and Moorsom 1989, while Dierks 1999 is the best chronology and Vogt 2004 the most useful guide to monuments.

                  Historiography

                  Historical writing about Namibia’s past began in the German period. Then and for long under South African rule, it presented an exclusively settler view of that past. Its leading exponent, Heinrich Vedder, a German missionary, teacher, and scholar of the indigenous people, wrote prolifically, but became a staunch defender of apartheid in Namibia (Vedder 1966). As the liberation struggle developed, an alternative history began to emerge (Saunders 2008), both from within the struggle itself (SWAPO of Namibia 1981) and by outsiders, including some professional historians based in Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and other countries. After independence, a few Namibians joined the ranks of those who wrote scholarly articles and books about the country’s past, while authors such as Brigitte Lau (Lau 1995a, Lau 1995b), when head of the National Archives; her successor in that position, Werner Hillebrecht (Hillebrecht 2007); and the South Africa–based scholar Tilman Dedering (Dedering 1993) began to challenge earlier views and introduce debates into Namibian historiography, especially concerning the war of 1904–1908. Huge gaps remain to be filled by future historians of Namibia. Wallace and Kinahan 2011 (cited under General Overviews), a general history of the country, includes many examples of still contested areas in Namibian historiography.

                  • Dedering, Tilman. “The German-Herero War of 1904: Revisionism of Genocide or Imaginary Historiography?” Journal of Southern African Studies 19.1 (1993): 80–88.

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                    Criticises Lau 1995a, Lau 1995b, and earlier historiography on the war of 1904.

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                    • Hillebrecht, Werner. “‘Certain Uncertainties’ or Venturing Progressively into Colonial Apologetics?Journal of Namibian Studies 1 (2007): 73–95.

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                      A refutation of Lau’s controversial “Uncertain Certainties” article (Lau 1995b), which denied that the war of 1904–1908 was genocidal. Hillebrecht sees Lau’s article as reflecting the psychological reaction of Namibian Germans to the trauma of the past.

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                      • Lau, Brigitte. “‘Thank God the Germans Came’: Vedder and Namibian Historiography.” In Brigitte Lau, History and Historiography, 4 Essays in Reprint. Edited by Annemarie Heywood, 1–16. Windhoek, Namibia: Discourse/MSORP, 1995a.

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                        A very critical account of Vedder’s work, showing him to be very biased toward the settlers and seeking to justify German rule by painting a picture of the indigenous population as barbarous and engaged in constant warfare.

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                        • Lau, Brigitte. “Uncertain Certainties: The Herero-German War of 1904.” In Brigitte Lau, History and Historiography, 4 Essays in Reprint. Edited by Annemarie Heywood, 39–52. Windhoek, Namibia: Discourse/MSORP, 1995b.

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                          An updated version of Lau’s very controversial article, first published in 1989 in the grassroots magazine Mibagus, which rejected the idea that the war of 1904–1908 was genocidal and was read by some as a defense of the Germans (see Hillebrecht 2007 above).

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                          • Saunders, Chris. “Some Roots of Anti-Colonial Historical Writing about Namibia.” Journal of Namibian Studies 3 (2008): 83–93.

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                            Traces the early development of what has become the main tradition in Namibian historical writing, which challenged the then dominant colonial tradition of writing and attempted to write the history of all the people of the country and to record their resistance to German and South African rule. This later fed into more scholarly historical writing, and later into historical writing by Namibians themselves.

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                            • SWAPO of Namibia. To Be Born a Nation: The Liberation Struggle for Namibia. London: Zed Books, 1981.

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                              First major reinterpretation of Namibian history from within the liberation movement, with chapters ranging from the colonial conquest and economic exploitation to mass struggle and popular resistance. Written mainly by the first SWAPO representative in Britain, Peter Katjavivi, and the young British scholar Richard Moorsom.

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                              • Vedder, Heinrich. South West Africa in Early Times: Being the Story of South West Africa up to the Date of Maharero’s Death in 1890. Translated by Cyril G. Hall. London: Cass, 1966.

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                                Reprint of the first edition (Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1938), a translation of Das alte Südwestafrika: Südwestafrikas Geschichte bis zum Tode Mahareros 1890 (Berlin: Warneck, 1934). It was the first detailed account of the history of the territory to 1890. Much criticized in Lau 1995a.

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                                Journals

                                Very few journals have survived in Namibia for more than a few years, the Journal of the Namibia Scientific Society being the main exception. A number of important articles on Namibian history have appeared in general historical journals. The single most important journal is now the Journal of Namibian Studies, but Cimbebasia continues to publish occasional articles on heritage issues.

                                Primary Sources

                                The speeches of the first president of Namibia in his first decade in office were brought together in Nujoma 2000. A major blue book on German rule has been republished (Silvester and Gewald 2003), and the first Namibian newspaper to represent the views of the indigenous majority has been reprinted (Henrichsen 1997). Other primary sources include photographs, usefully collected in Hartmann, et al. 1998, and posters (Miescher, et al. 2009). Witbooi 1989 collects the papers of one of the country’s most impressive leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

                                • Hartmann, Wolfram, Jeremy Silvester, and Patricia Hayes. The Colonising Camera: Photographs in the Making of Namibian History. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 1998.

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                                  A set of pioneering essays examines the use of photography from precolonial days to post-independence, showing how photography was used to pursue colonial aims and to help create the Namibia of today.

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                                  • Henrichsen, Dag, comp. A Glance at Our Africa: Facsimile Reprint of South West News/Suidwes Nuus. Basel, Switzerland: Basel Afrika Bibliographien, 1997.

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                                    Besides the reprint itself, this includes a useful introduction by Zedekia Ngavirue, the first editor of the first nonracial newspaper in the country, and a discussion of the context by Dag Henrichsen.

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                                    • Miescher, Giorgio, Lorena Rizzo, and Jeremy Silvester, eds. Posters in Action. Visuality in the Making of an African Nation. Basel, Switzerland: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, 2009.

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                                      The first general survey of posters relating to Namibia, with special emphasis on the period of the liberation struggle.

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                                      • Nujoma, Sam. Speeches of the President of the Republic of Namibia, March 1990–20 March 1995; March 1995–20 March 2000. Edited by Amy Schoeman. 2 vols. Windhoek, Namibia: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2000.

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                                        Two large volumes of speeches delivered by the president of Namibia on a wide variety of occasions in the first ten years after independence.

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                                        • Silvester, Jeremy, and Jan-Bart Gewald. Words Cannot Be Found: German Colonial Rule in Namibia: An Annotated Reprint of the 1918 Blue Book. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                                          The British produced this blue book to show the atrocities committed by the Germans; it is placed in context by the two editors.

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                                          • Witbooi, Hendrik. The Hendrik Witbooi Papers. Translated by Annemarie Heywood and Eben Maasdorp. Annotated by Brigitte Lau. Windhoek, Namibia: National Archives of Namibia, 1989.

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                                            Most recent edition of the remarkable writings of an indigenous Nama leader (b. c. 1830–d. 1905).

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                                            History

                                            What is now Namibia was only created in the late 19th century as a result of the process of colonization. The first section, To the End of the 19th Century, considers work that concerns the period before the Germans arrived in 1984 and began to settle in what is now Namibia. Then, after a section on the German Period, we move to the Namibian War of 1904–1908, which remains a key event in the country’s history, and then, from 1915, the Period of South African Rule, the involvement of the international community, the Namibian War of Independence, 1966–1989, and the movement Towards Independence in 1990.

                                            To the End of the 19th Century

                                            Detailed scholarly work on the southern portion of the territory includes Kienetz 1977, Lau 1987, and Dedering 1997, while Siiskonen 1990 and Williams 1991 are important studies of the Oshiwambo-speaking people of the north in the 19th century.

                                            • Dedering, Tilman. Hate the Old and Follow the New: Khoekhoe and Missionaries in Early Nineteenth-Century Namibia. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1997.

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                                              Based on a University of Cape Town doctorate, this is the finest single study of the interactions between the Khoekhoe (Khoikhoi) and missionaries in southern Namibia.

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                                              • Kienetz, Alvin. “The Key Role of the Orlam Migrations in the Early Europeanization of South-West Africa (Namibia).” International Journal of African Historical Studies 10.4 (1977): 553–572.

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                                                Pioneering article on the intrusion of people from south of the Orange/Gariep River into southern Namibia in the 19th century.

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                                                • Lau, Brigitte. Southern and Central Namibia in Jonker Afrikaner’s Time. Windhoek, Namibia: National Archives of Namibia, 1987.

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                                                  Based on a University of Cape Town master’s thesis, this is a major study of the southern half of the country between 1800 and 1870, with chapters on the Oorlam migrations and the rise and fall of their chief Jonker Afrikaner.

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                                                  • Siiskonen, Harri. Trade and Socioeconomic Change in Ovamboland, 1850–1906. Helsinki: Suomen Historiallinen Seura, 1990.

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                                                    Shows how new trading opportunities brought great changes to Ovamboland in the late 19th century.

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                                                    • Williams, Frieda-Nela. Precolonial Communities of Southwestern Africa: A History of Owambo Kingdoms 1600–1920. Windhoek, Namibia: National Archives of Namibia, 1991.

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                                                      Detailed study of particular kingdoms in the north from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

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                                                      The German Period

                                                      This section lists works that range over the German period; those specific to the war of 1904–1908 are listed in the next. Two German historians produced major books on the German period in 1966 (that have since been republished): Bley 1996 in West Germany, and Dreschler 1980, a more polemic account, in the German Democratic Republic. More recent work includes Gewald 1999 on the Herero during this period, Aitken 2007 on the structure of colonial society, and Zollmann 2010 on the colonial police. Erichsen 2008 presents family histories and oral accounts from the perspective of Namibians living in different parts of the south and central regions of the country.

                                                      • Aitken, Robbie. Exclusion and Inclusion: Gradations of Whiteness and Socio-Economic Engineering in German Southwest Africa, 1884–1914. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007.

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                                                        Drawing on archival material in the Bundesarchiv in Berlin and other sources, Aitken examines how a hierarchical social order was created in German South-West Africa based on the concept of whiteness and the exclusion of those thought undesirable from white society.

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                                                        • Bley, Helmut. Namibia under German Rule. Hamburg, Germany: Lit Verlag, 1996.

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                                                          Classic study by the Professor of African History at the University of Hanover, a reprint of his 1966 South West Africa Under German Rule, with a new introduction by the author.

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                                                          • Dreschler, Horst. Let Us Die Fighting: The Struggle of the Herero and Nama Against German Imperialism (1884–1915). London: Zed Books, 1980.

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                                                            English edition of a classic work published in Berlin (German Democratic Republic) in 1966, based on the German colonial archive in Potsdam.

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                                                            • Erichsen, Casper W. “What the Elders Used to Say”: Namibian Perspectives on the Last Decade of German Colonial Rule. Windhoek, Namibia: Namibian Institute for Democracy, 2008.

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                                                              A report for the Namibia Institute for Democracy that brings together Namibian views on German rule and considers issues such as reparations and the value of oral history.

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                                                              • Gewald, Jan-Bart. Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia 1890–1923. Oxford: James Currey, 1999.

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                                                                Takes the story of the Herero from before the war of 1904 to the reemergence of Herero society after the war, until the death and funeral of Samuel Maharero.

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                                                                • Voeltz, Richard. German Colonialism and the South West Africa Company, 1884–1914. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1988.

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                                                                  Pioneering study of German economic interests in the country.

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                                                                  • Zollmann, Jakob. Koloniale Herrschaft und ihre Grenzen: Die Kolonialpolizei in Deutsch-Südwestafrika, 1894–1915. Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft 191. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010.

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                                                                    One of the most important works in German on the German colonial period.

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                                                                    The Namibian War of 1904–1908

                                                                    No period of Namibian history has produced a larger or more contested literature than the war of 1904–1908. Fortunately, we now have a number of sober accounts from reputable historians: Dedering 1999, Kössler and Melber 2004, and various authors in Zimmerer and Zeller 2008. Olusoga and Erichsen 2010 and Sarkin 2010 both have their weaknesses. See also entries under Historiography and Commemoration, Memory, and Reparations.

                                                                    • Dedering, Tilman. “‘A Certain Rigorous Treatment of all Parts of the Nation’: The Annihilation of the Herero in German South West Africa, 1904.” In The Massacre in History. Edited by Mark Levene and Penny Roberts, 205–222. Oxford and London: Berghahn, 1999.

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                                                                      Sober account by a scholar of German origin based in South Africa.

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                                                                      • Kössler, Reinhart, and Henning Melber. “Völkermord und Gedenken: Der Genozid an den Herero und Nama in Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1904–1908.” In Völkermord und Kriegsverbrechen in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Edited by Irmtrud Wojak and Susanne Meinl, 37–75. Frankfurt: Campus, 2004.

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                                                                        One of the best overviews, linking the genocide to the way it has been memorialized.

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                                                                        • Olusoga, David, and Casper W. Erichsen. The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism. London: Faber and Faber, 2010.

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                                                                          Very readable popular account of the war, which fails in attempting to link it to the Holocaust in Europe.

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                                                                          • Sarkin, Jeremy. Germany’s Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2010.

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                                                                            Study by a legal scholar that tries to pin the genocidal policy of the Germans on the Kaiser.

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                                                                            • Zimmerer, Jürgen, and Joachim Zeller, eds. Genocide in German South-West Africa: The Colonial War of 1904–1908 and Its Aftermath. Monmouth, UK: Merlin, 2008.

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                                                                              The best single collection of papers on aspects of the war and its aftermath.

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                                                                              The Period of South African Rule

                                                                              South Africa occupied Namibia for seventy-five years, and much about its rule remains unresearched. Hayes, et al. 1998 is a useful but far from comprehensive collection on the first three decades, while du Pisani 1985 goes into great detail on the decades before the mid-1980s. On nationalist politics, there are very able accounts (Emmett 1999 and Dobell 1998), while Dedering 2009 covers indigenous protest in the interwar period. Jaster 1985 provides an able analysis of the South African prime minister’s policy on Namibia, while Kössler 2006 explores aspects of the history of southern Namibia and Wallace 2002 the medical history of Windhoek.

                                                                              • Dedering, Tilman. “Petitioning Geneva: Transnational Aspects of Protest and Resistance in South West Africa/Namibia after the First World War.” Journal of Southern African Studies 35.4 (2009): 785–801.

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                                                                                Shows how Namibians appealed to the League of Nations against South African rule.

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                                                                                • Dobell, Lauren. SWAPO’s Struggle for Namibia, 1960–1991: War by Other Means. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 1998.

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                                                                                  Remarkable master’s thesis presented to Queen’s University, Canada, in 1992, based in part on fieldwork in Namibia, which remains probably the best single analysis of SWAPO’s changing ideology and practice in its struggle for Namibian independence.

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                                                                                  • du Pisani, Andre. SWA/Namibia: The Politics of Continuity and Change. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 1985.

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                                                                                    An almost encyclopedic account of Namibian political history, which examines the colonial legacy and ethnic politics under South African rule, and then focuses on the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, discussing both internal developments and the attempts made to lead Namibia to independence.

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                                                                                    • Emmett, Tony. Popular Resistance and the Roots of Nationalism in Namibia, 1915–1966. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 1999.

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                                                                                      A doctoral thesis presented at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1984, this remains the fullest account of its subject.

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                                                                                      • Hayes, Patricia, Jeremy Silvester, Marion Wallace, and Wolfram Hartmann, eds. Namibia under South African Rule: Mobility and Containment 1915–46. Oxford: James Currey, 1998.

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                                                                                        The single most important collection of scholarly essays on the first three decades of South Africa’s rule of Namibia.

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                                                                                        • Jaster, Robert S. South Africa in Namibia: The Botha Strategy. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985.

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                                                                                          Examines the South African government’s strategy of building up an internal party in Namibia to which to hand power, while seeming to go along with the UN plan for a transition.

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                                                                                          • Kössler, Reinhart. Search of Survival and Dignity: Two Traditional Communities in Southern Namibia under South African Rule. Frankfurt: IKO, 2006.

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                                                                                            Detailed study of the impact of South African rule on people in southern Namibia.

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                                                                                            • Wallace, Marion. Health, Power and Politics in Windhoek, Namibia, 1915–1945. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 2002.

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                                                                                              The first full study, completed for a doctorate at the University of London, of how Windhoek’s African population experienced public health care during the first three decades of South African rule.

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                                                                                              The International Contest over Namibia

                                                                                              Namibia’s history can only be understood in a transnational context, and the international status of the territory under South African rule was vitally important. Udogu 2012 presents the latest attempt at a survey of this, while Crocker 1992 and Davies 2007 analyze the 1980s, Jabri 1990 and Vergau 2010 the Western Contact Group negotiations, and Crawford 2002 the earlier arguments about the territory’s status.

                                                                                              • Crawford, Neta. Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization and Humanitarian Intervention. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                South West Africa/Namibia is explored as a special case within the author’s larger arguments about ethical arguments in world politics.

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                                                                                                • Crocker, Chester A. High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood. New York: W. W. Norton, 1992.

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                                                                                                  A lively and detailed but also self-serving account by the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Reagan administration of his attempts to secure Namibia’s independence.

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                                                                                                  • Davies, J. E. Constructive Engagement? Chester Crocker and American Policy in South Africa, Namibia and Angola. Oxford: James Currey, 2007.

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                                                                                                    Critical analysis of Crocker’s policy in Southern Africa, with special focus on the context within which the Namibia/Angola settlement of 1988 was reached.

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                                                                                                    • Dugard, John, ed. The South West Africa/Namibia Dispute: Documents and Scholarly Writings on the Controversy between South Africa and the United Nations. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.

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                                                                                                      The key collection of material relating to the dispute from 1946 until the 1971 Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice.

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                                                                                                      • Jabri, Vivienne. Mediating Conflict: Decision-Making and Western Intervention in Namibia. Manchester, NH: Manchester University Press, 1990.

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                                                                                                        Fullest study to date of the Western Contact Group negotiations on Namibia in 1977–1978.

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                                                                                                        • Udogu, Emmanuel Ike. Liberating Namibia: The Long Diplomatic Struggle between the United Nations and South Africa. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.

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                                                                                                          An overview of the diplomatic tussle between the UN and South Africa, based on relatively few primary sources, from a conflict resolution perspective. Key documents are included as appendices.

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                                                                                                          • Vergau, Hans-Joachim. Negotiating the Freedom of Namibia: The Diplomatic Achievement of the Western Contact Group. Basel, Switzerland: Basel Afrika Bibliographien, 2010.

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                                                                                                            Account of the mediation of the Western Contact Group by the head of the German team involved, a man who was sometimes called, by those involved, “Mr. Namibia.”

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                                                                                                            The Namibian War of Independence, 1966–1989

                                                                                                            The armed struggle that began in 1966 escalated into a major war, which by 1987–1988 was fought mainly in Southern Angola. Brown 1995 is the best short overview. Steenkamp 1989 is a detailed work from the South African angle. New perspectives on the war are opened up in Baines and Vale 2008, though accounts from the South African side continue to appear (especially Geldenhuys 1995). Namakulu 2004 is one of the few from the Namibian side. Heywood 1994 is on the Cassinga massacre, Herbstein and Evenson 1989 on Koevoet and the war in northern Namibia, and Trewhela 2010 on SWAPO’s atrocities.

                                                                                                            • Baines, Gary, and Peter Vale, eds. Beyond the Border War: New Perspectives on Southern Africa’s Late–Cold War Conflicts. Pretoria, South Africa: Unisa, 2008.

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                                                                                                              This collection opened new perspectives on what from a South African point of view had been called the “border war.” These included its Cold War context and filmic and literary portrayals of the war. A key chapter, by Edgar Dosman, is on Cuba’s Angolan campaign, which was of fundamental importance for pushing forward Namibia’s path to independence.

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                                                                                                              • Brown, Susan. “Diplomacy by Other Means: SWAPO’s Liberation War.” In Namibia’s Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword. Edited by Colin Leys and John S. Saul, 19–39. London: James Currey, 1995.

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                                                                                                                Excellent general analysis of the different phases of the war.

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                                                                                                                • Geldenhuys, Jannie. A General’s Story: From an Era of War and Peace. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 1995.

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                                                                                                                  Memoir by the former head of the South African Defence Force, justifying South Africa’s role in the Namibian war. See also his We Were There: Winning the War for Southern Africa (Pretoria, South Africa: Kraal, 2011), a collection of personal narratives by South African men who fought in the Namibian war for independence, justifying their involvement and suggesting that the war was in some sense “won.”

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                                                                                                                  • Herbstein, Denis, and John Evenson. The Devils Are among Us: The War for Namibia. London: Zed Books, 1989.

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                                                                                                                    Important chapters on Koevoet and life in Namibia’s northern war zone, alongside ones on economic interests in Namibia and the 1980s (which the authors call “the deceitful decade”).

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                                                                                                                    • Heywood, Annemarie. The Cassinga Event: An Investigation of the Records. Windhoek, Namibia: National Archives of Namibia, 1994.

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                                                                                                                      Closely argued analysis of the background to the attack on Cassinga by the South African Defence Force in May 1978 and the event itself.

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                                                                                                                      • Namakulu, Oswin O. Armed Liberation Struggle: Some Accounts of PLAN’s Combat Operations. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 2004.

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                                                                                                                        The only substantial account to date of the war from the side of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia.

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                                                                                                                        • Steenkamp, Willem. South Africa’s Border War, 1966–1989. Gibraltar, UK: Ashanti, 1989.

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                                                                                                                          Still the fullest account from the South African perspective, by a former war correspondent based in Cape Town.

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                                                                                                                          • Trewhela, Paul. Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO. Auckland Park, South Africa: Jacana Media, 2010.

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                                                                                                                            This reproduces articles from Searchlight Southern Africa that exposed the atrocities committed by SWAPO in its camps in Angola. See also Trewhela’s Truth and Omission in the History of SWAPO, Politicsweb, 7 August 2011.

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                                                                                                                            Towards Independence

                                                                                                                            There is a large literature on the way in which Namibia moved to independence, much of it concerned to show how the Namibia/Angola conflict was resolved. The single most useful overview is Cliffe, et al. 1994, but it needs to be read with George 2005 on the Cubans in Angola, while Henning Melber has focused on the roles of South Africa (Melber 2003) and the United Nations (Melber 2004). Melber and Saunders 2007 considers the reasons why the conflict was resolved in broad terms, Saunders 2009 is concerned with the events of 1988, and Weiland and Braham 1994 provides the views of leading actors on the events leading to independence.

                                                                                                                            • Cliffe, Lionel, Ray Bush, Jenny Lindsay, Brian Mokopakgosi, Donna Pankhurst, and Balefi Tsie. The Transition to Independence in Namibia. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner, 1994.

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                                                                                                                              General account of the transition, with detailed chapters on the background and the process.

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                                                                                                                              • George, Edward. The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965–1991: From Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale. London: Frank Cass, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                This is included here because of the relevance of the Cuban presence in Angola from 1975 to the late 1980s to the movement to Namibia’s independence. George’s book does not contain the detail to be found, say, in Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), or in other work by Gleijeses.

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                                                                                                                                • Melber, Henning. “From Controlled Change to Changed Control: The Case of Namibia.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 21.2 (2003): 267–284.

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                                                                                                                                  South Africa’s attempts to control the process leading to the independence of Namibia are examined, as well as how they failed, though South Africa retained much influence over the new state.

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                                                                                                                                  • Melber, Henning. “Decolonization and Democratization: The United Nations and Namibia’s Transition to Democracy.” In The UN Role in Promoting Democracy: Between Ideals and Reality. Edited by Edward Newman and Roland Rich, 233–257. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                    The UN role in Namibia’s transition to independence is analyzed.

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                                                                                                                                    • Melber, Henning, and Christopher Saunders. “Conflict Mediation in Decolonisation: Namibia’s Transition to Independence.” Africa Spectrum 42.1 (2007): 73–94.

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                                                                                                                                      Analyzes how Namibia moved to independence via a series of negotiations, mediated by the Western Contact Group in 1977–1978 and by the United States in the 1980s.

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                                                                                                                                      • Saunders, Chris. “The Angola/Namibia Crisis of 1988 and its Resolution.” In Cold War in Southern Africa: White Power, Black Liberation. Edited by Sue Onslow, 225–240. London: Routledge, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                        Shows how a crisis that could have led to a major war between the Cubans and South African forces was successfully resolved.

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                                                                                                                                        • Weiland, Heribert, and Matthew Braham, eds. The Namibian Peace Process: Implications and Lessons for the Future; A Review of an International Conference Jointly Organized by the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute and the International Peace Academy, 1–4 July 1992, Freiburg, Germany. Freiburg, Germany: Arnold Bergstraesser Institut, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                          Review of a conference held in Germany in 1992, which brought together leading actors to discuss the various negotiations leading to Namibian independence and the process before and immediately after independence.

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                                                                                                                                          UN Involvement in 1989

                                                                                                                                          From April 1989 to March 1990 there was a United Nations presence in Namibia to oversee the process leading to independence. Detailed studies of this key year are Harlech-Jones 1997, written by a liberal academic; Hearn 1999, which focuses on the UN role; Lush 1993, an account by a leading journalist; and Thornberry 2004, a memoir by a key UN official.

                                                                                                                                          • Harlech-Jones, Brian. A New Thing? The Namibian Independence Process, 1989–1990. Windhoek, Namibia: EIN, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                            Detailed examination of the events of 1989 by an activist liberal academic.

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                                                                                                                                            • Hearn, Roger. UN Peacekeeping in Action: The Namibian Experience. Commack, NY: Nova Science, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                              Fullest study of the UN Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia in 1989.

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                                                                                                                                              • Lush, David. Last Steps to Uhuru: An Eye-witness Account of Namibia’s Transition to Independence. Windhoek, Namibia: New Namibia, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                A journalist’s lively account of the final phase before Namibia’s independence.

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                                                                                                                                                • Thornberry, Cedric. A Nation Is Born: The Inside Story of Namibia’s Independence. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                  A UN official tells the story of UN involvement in Namibia, focusing especially on 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                  Post-Independence

                                                                                                                                                  Torreguitar 2009 is now the fullest study of the way in which SWAPO took power, and its decades in power have been analyzed in Melber 2000, Melber 2003, and Melber 2007.

                                                                                                                                                  • Melber, Henning, ed. Namibia: A Decade of Independence, 1990–2000. Windhoek, Namibia: Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                    Looks at the achievements and failings of the new state in its first decade.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Melber, Henning, ed. Re-Examining Liberation in Namibia: Political Culture since Independence. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                      Collection of papers on aspects of what liberation had meant for Namibia after its first decade.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Melber, Henning, ed. Transitions in Namibia: Which Changes for Whom? Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                        Wide-ranging collection of papers on the meaning of independence in Namibia, focusing on the question of who has benefited from it. Among the topics discussed are land, politics, economy, Caprivi, China in Namibia, and HIV/AIDS.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Torreguitar, Elena. National Liberation Movements in Office: Forging Democracy with African Adjectives in Namibia. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                          Based on a thesis presented at Boston University in 2008, this is a lengthy and detailed study, with a misleading title, of how a liberation movement (SWAPO) moved from an armed struggle into government.

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                                                                                                                                                          Commemoration, Memory, and Reparations

                                                                                                                                                          The past weighs heavily on the present in Namibia, and there has been much contestation over reparations and how the trauma of the past should be remembered. Melber 2005, an essay in du Pisani, et al. 2010, and Sarkin-Hughes 2009 discuss the legacy of the German–Namibian war, while du Pisani 2007 and Hunter 2008 are concerned with more recent legacies, those of the struggle and the fight against apartheid.

                                                                                                                                                          • du Pisani, Andre. “Memory Politics in ‘Where Others Wavered: The Autobiography of Sam Nujoma. My Life in SWAPO and My Participation in the Liberation Struggle of Namibia’.” Journal of Namibian Studies 1 (2007): 97–107.

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                                                                                                                                                            A critical reading of Nujoma’s autobiography shows that memory, so important in self-identity, is an unreliable source of knowledge about the past.

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                                                                                                                                                            • du Pisani, André, Reinhart Kössler, and William A. Lindeke, eds. The Long Aftermath of War: Reconciliation and Transition in Namibia. Freiburg, Germany: Arnold Bergstraesser Institut, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                              Essays on different aspects of the legacy of the liberation war, along with others relating to memory in Namibia, including one by Memory Biwa on “Political Intervention and the Image of History: Communal Memory Events in Central and Southern Namibia,” pp. 331–370.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Hunter, Gustine. Die Politik der Errinnerung und des Vergessens in Namibia: Umgang mit schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen der Ära des bewaffneten Befreiungskampfes, 1966 bis 1989. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                Based on a German doctoral dissertation, this study deals with amnesty and how many Namibians have wanted to forget their tragic past.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Melber, Henning. “Namibia’s Past in the Present: Colonial Genocide and Liberation Struggle in Commemorative Narratives.” South African Historical Journal 54 (2005): 91–111.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/02582470509464900Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Discusses the ways in which the genocide of the early 20th century has been remembered, and the implications for the present. Similar to his “The Genocide in ‘German South West Africa’ and the Politics of Commemoration: How (Not) to Come to Terms with the Past,” in Michael Perraudin and Jürgen Zimmerer (eds.), German Colonialism and National Identity (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 251–264.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Sarkin-Hughes, Jeremy. Colonial Genocide and Reparation Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims under International Law by the Herero against Germany for Genocide in Namibia, 1904–1908. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                    A leading human rights lawyer analyzes the legal implications of the human rights violations committed by Germany against the Herero and the legal justification for reparations.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Economy, Land, Labor, and Migration

                                                                                                                                                                    On the great Ovambo strike of 1971–1972 and the organized labor movement that emerged in its wake, see especially Bauer 1998 and Peltola 1995. Moorsom 1996 studies the roots of migrancy, Gordon 1977 life in a migrant compound, Werner 1998 change in a Herero reserve under South African rule, and Sherbourne 2009 the modern economy more generally, while Notkola and Siiskonen 2000 is a pioneering consideration of aspects of demographic history.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Bauer, Gretchen. Labor and Democracy in Namibia, 1971–1996. London: James Currey, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Traces the growth of labor organization in the 1970s and 1980s and what happened to the labor movement after independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Gordon, Robert. Mines, Masters and Migrants: Life in a Namibian Mine Compound. Johannesburg: Ravan, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                                        An anthropological study of a mine compound and the life of the migrant laborers there.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Moorsom, Richard. Underdevelopment and Labour Migration: The Contract Labour System in Namibia. Windhoek, Namibia: University of Namibia, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Brilliant study, emerging from a master’s thesis at Sussex University, of the roots of the migrant labor system in northern Namibia.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Notkola, Veijo, and Harri Siiskonen. Fertility, Mortality and Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ovamboland in North Namibia, 1925–90. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Detailed study of birth, death, and movement among the Oshiwambo-speaking people.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Peltola, Pekka. The Lost May Day: Namibian Workers Struggle for Independence. Helsinki: Finnish Anthropological Society, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Analyzes the rise of the unions in Namibia, especially the National Union of Namibian Workers, and why the unions lost influence immediately after independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Sherbourne, Robin. Guide to the Namibian Economy. Windhoek, Namibia: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Useful overview of the Namibian economy in the first decade of this century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Werner, Wolfgang. “No One Will Become Rich”: Economy and Society in the Herero Reserves in Namibia, 1915–1946. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Doctoral thesis analyzing socioeconomic change among the Herero.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  External Influences

                                                                                                                                                                                  Throughout the 20th century, the history of Namibia was intertwined with that of other countries, and it cannot be understood in isolation. German and South African involvement has to some extent been covered in other sections; this section includes items on other forms, including economic (Cooper 1988) and solidarity, with Saunders 2012 considering support for Namibian independence in Britain and Sellström 1999 and Sellström 2002 the role of Sweden, which provided an extraordinary amount of aid to SWAPO during its liberation struggle. Dreyer 1994 remains perhaps the best attempt at setting the liberation struggle within a regional context.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cooper, Allan D., ed. Allies in Apartheid: Western Capitalism in Occupied Namibia. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Shows how Western companies active in Namibia benefited from their involvement there.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dreyer, Ronald. Namibia and Southern Africa: Regional Dynamics of Decolonization, 1945–90. London: Kegan Paul International, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Shows the importance of the regional context for the way in which Namibia moved to independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Saunders, Chris. “Activism in Britain for Namibian Independence: The Namibian Support Committee.” In Southern African Liberation Struggles: New Local, Regional and Global Perspectives. Edited by Hilary Sapire and Chris Saunders, 274–289. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Analysis of the role of activism in Britain, showing who was involved and what was done to help bring about Namibia’s independence. Based on an article in the Journal of Southern African Studies, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sellström, Tor, ed. Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish Voices: Interviews from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Frontline and Sweden. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Collection of interviews, including some by leading Namibian activists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sellström, Tor. Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa. 2 vols. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Both volumes contain important chapters on Namibia that go beyond a narrow focus on Swedish assistance to SWAPO.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                            This relatively new field of study now includes important work such as Becker 1995, Hartmann 2007, LaFont and Hubbard 2007, Nghidinwa 2008, and Ruppel 2008. While Becker 1995 provides a more institutional history, Hartmann 2007 analyzes gender relations in a particular colonial city, Windhoek. LaFont and Hubbard 2007 focuses on the more contemporary scene, Nghidinwa 2008 on women journalists, and Ruppel 2008 on women and the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Life-Histories and Oral Testimonies

                                                                                                                                                                                            Many Namibians have now told their own stories, and a few biographies have been written. Among the leading autobiographies are Namhila 1997, Nathanael 2002, Mercer 1989, and Nujoma 2001. Biographies include those on kaNdola (Namhila 2005) and Michael Scott (Yates and Chester 2006), while more focused group oral histories are to be found in Becker 2005 and Leys and Brown 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Becker, Barbara. Speaking Out: Namibians Share Their Perspectives on Independence. Windhoek, Namibia: Out of Africa, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Oral histories of twenty-seven Namibians, most from northern Namibia, who recount their experiences before and after independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Leys, Colin, and Susan Brown, ed. Histories of Namibia: Living through the Liberation Struggle. London: Merlin, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Eleven full interviews recorded between 1989 and 1992 about experiences before independence, especially of suffering at the hands of the liberation movement.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mercer, Dennis, ed. Breaking Contract: The Story of Vinnia Ndadi. London: IDAF, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Account by one who became a leading figure in SWAPO, first published in 1974, which focuses especially on the harsh “contract labor” system in Namibia and the resistance to it, including the formation of SWAPO.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Namhila, Ellen Ndeshi. The Price of Freedom. Windhoek, Namibia: New Namibia Books, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Account of a young woman going into exile and her life in the camps in Angola and in Finland.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Namhila, Ellen Ndeshi. Kaxumba kaNdola: Man and Myth: The Biography of a Barefoot Soldier. Basel, Switzerland: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Biography of a SWAPO activist, long imprisoned on Robben Island in South Africa.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nathanael, Keshii Pelao. A Journey to Exile: The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter. Aberystwyth, UK: Sosiumi, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Autobiography of a SWAPO Youth League activist forced into exile in Sweden.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nujoma, Sam. Where Others Wavered: The Autobiography of Sam Nujoma. London: Panaf, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nujoma’s account of his life, with most of the emphasis on his political work in SWAPO, a very self-serving account which must be read critically.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Yates, Anne, and Lewis Chester. The Troublemaker: Michael Scott and His Lonely Struggle against Injustice. London: Aurum, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Much of Scott’s campaigning work concerned Namibia, which he brought to international attention from the late 1940s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Politics, Law, and Human Rights

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hopwood 2007 provides the best general overview of politics in Namibia. Diescho 1994 and van Wyk, et al. 1991 analyze the constitution, Hinz 2010 the justice system, Hangula 1993 the boundaries of the state, and Horn and Bösl 2009 human rights issues since independence. Ngavirue 1997 remains an important study of political interest groups in Namibia, while Ronen 2011 places the South African occupation of Namibia in a broad analytical context.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Diescho, Joseph. The Namibian Constitution in Perspective. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Discussion of the origins and main features of the liberal constitution adopted in 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hangula, Lazarus. The International Boundary of Namibia. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only study, based on a thesis in German, of how all the various boundaries were demarcated, and of the issues that arise from those demarcations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hinz, Manfred O., ed. In Search of Justice and Peace: Traditional and Informal Justice Systems in Africa. Windhoek, Namibia: Namibia Scientific Society, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A number of essays in this collection concern Namibia, including, inter alia, its ombudsmen and the German-Herero war.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hopwood, Graham. Guide to Namibian Politics. New ed. Windhoek, Namibia: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensive guide to the political system and to the leading people in it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Horn, Nico, and Anton Bösl, eds. Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Namibia. 2d ed. Windhoek, Namibia: Macmillan, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Important essays on the Namibian constitution and human rights.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ngavirue, Zedekiah. Political Parties and Interest Groups in South West Africa (Namibia): A Study of a Plural Society. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An Oxford doctoral dissertation completed in 1972, this was a pioneering study of relations between political groups in Namibia, drawing in part on the author’s own involvement with the South West Africa National Union.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ronen, Yaël. Transition from Illegal Regimes under International Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511978142Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Namibia is one of six case studies of territories occupied illegally in international law, and of the consequences of such illegality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • van Wyk, Dawid, Marinus Wiechers, and Romaine Hill. Namibia: Constitutional and International Law Issues. Pretoria, South Africa: VerLoren van Themaat Centre for Public Law Studies, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Important essays by leading South African lawyers on the Namibian constitution and related issues.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Local Studies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Only a small selection of such studies can be included here. Some of these are concerned with particular localities: Berat 1990 on Walvis Bay; Dieckmann 2007 on Etosha; Eckl 2007 on Kavango; Kangumu 2011 and Melber 2009 on Caprivi; Miescher and Henrichsen 2000 on Kaoko; and Pendelton 1994 on a township. Gordon and Douglas 2000 is a general study of the San people in Namibia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Religion and Cultural Interactions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Buys 2003 provides a detailed overview, Katjavivi, et al. 1989 focuses on the role of the church in the liberation struggle, and Loth 1963 is concerned with mission work in the 19th century. Nampala and Shigwedha 2006 and McKittrick 2002 focus on cultural change in Ovamboland, Oermann 1999 and Tötemeyer 2010 on relations between church and state, Oermann under German rule, and Tötemeyer before and after independence. Goldblatt 2010 is a pioneering study of relations between a liberal white lawyer and black nationalists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Buys, G. L. History of the Church in Namibia, 1805–1990. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              General history, ranging over almost two centuries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Goldblatt, Israel. Building Bridges: Namibian Nationalists Clemens Kapuuo, Hosea Kutako, Brendan Simbwaye, Samuel Witbooi. Edited by Dag Henrichsen, Naomi Jacobson, and Karen Marshall. Basel, Switzerland: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Examines links between the leading lawyer in Windhoek and a group of Namibian nationalists in the 1960s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Katjavivi, Peter, Per Frostin, and Kaire Mbuende. Church and Liberation in Namibia. London: Pluto, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Published on the eve of the transition to independence, this book includes a set of essays and a large collection of documents on the relationship between the church and the struggle for independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Loth, Heinrich. Die Christliche Mission in Südwestafrika: Zur destruktiven Rolle der rheinischen Missionsgesellschaft beim Prozess der Staatsbildung in Südwestafrika (1842–1893). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1963.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Critical analysis of the role of the Rhenish Missionary Society in Namibia in the 19th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McKittrick, Meredith. To Dwell Secure: Generation, Christianity and Colonialism in Ovamboland. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fullest study of the impact of Christianity in Ovamboland to date.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nampala, Lovisa T., and Vilho Shigwedha. Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change: Perspectives from Northern Namibia. Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Two master’s theses from the University of Namibia, one on the impact of Christianity, the other on changes in costume and fashion, both heavily based on oral testimonies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Oermann, Nils Ole. Mission, Church and State Relations in South West Africa under German Rule (1884–1915). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Admirable study of the church in the period of German rule.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tötemeyer, Gerhard. Church and State in Namibia: The Politics of Reconciliation. Freiburg, Germany: Arnold Bergstraesser Institut, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wide-ranging discussion of the relationship between the church and the state, arguing that the black churches can be agents for reconciliation in the post-independence environment.

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