A delegation of nearly five dozen Namibians were in Berlin Friday to receive the skulls of 20 indigenous people killed during a massacre by colonizing German forces more than a century ago.
It is hoped that the solemn ceremony will be a first step toward a greater reckoning with Germany’s brief but brutal African adventure a century ago, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We have come to first and foremost to receive the mortal human remains of our forefathers and mothers and to return them to the land of their ancestors,” delegation member Ueriuka Festus Tjikuua told reporters in Berlin.
He said the mission intended to “extend a hand of friendship” to Germans and encourage a dialogue “with the full participation and involvement of the representatives of the descendants of those that suffered heavily under dreadful and atrocious German colonial rule.”
The skulls are among an estimated 300 taken to Germany after a massacre of indigenous Namibians at the start of the last century during an anti-colonial uprising in what was then called South West Africa, which was a German colony from 1884 to 1915.