- Anab Awale, Board Member, Initiative of Black People in Germany
- Saraya Gomis, former State Secretary for Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, Berlin Senate Department for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination
- Paul Spies, Director, Stadtmuseum Berlin; and Chief Curator of the State of Berlin, Humboldt Forum
Germany's confrontation with its difficult pasts – the rise of Nazism, the Holocaust, and the East German dictatorship – is largely considered a success, even a model for others to emulate. However, the “champion of remembering” has a blind spot it is still struggling to reckon with: its colonial past.
From 1884 until the end of World War I, the German empire held numerous colonies, including territories in modern‑day Tanzania, Namibia, and Ghana. Although a relatively short period, it was not short of atrocities: between 1904 and 1908 German colonial troops committed the 20th century’s first genocide when they killed an estimated 80,000 Herero and Nama in what is now Namibia.
Recently, there have been increasing efforts to examine Germany’s colonial past. Taking up these debates, we would like to address the following questions: What are the key aspects of Germany’s colonial past? What steps has Germany taken to acknowledge and address its colonial legacy? How does the colonial past manifest itself in today's education, media, culture, society, and cityscapes?
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