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Never again means just that. No nation or people gets a free pass to carry it out. There are no extenuating circumstances that excuse it. There is no “but…”. Never again means never again for anybody.⁠

Germany’s support at the ICJ for Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza shows that they haven't really learned anything from their own history of genocide.⁠

The way history is told makes the Nazis seem like an aberration in German and European history, but fascism and European colonialism are intrinsically linked. Nazi eugenics carried on the lineage of colonial “scientific racism” that had been used to justify slavery; Before concentration camps came to Europe, they were first brought to South Africa by the British, to Cuba by the Spanish, and to the Philippines by the US. As Aime Cesaire argued, fascism is colonial violence and subjugation, brought home. The Nazi “Brown Shirts” were even named after the surplus colonial Schutztruppe uniforms from Germany’s defunct African empire. ⁠

Germany colonised Namibia from 1884 and aimed to create a predominantley white “new African Germany” where the native populations would be put onto reservations and their land distributed among settlers and companies. The nomadic Herero and Nama people in Namibia were brutally oppressed, forced off their land and into slave labour by the settlers. In 1904 the Herero rose up and killed up to 150 Germans. The German response killed between 70-90,000 indigenous people, with survivors placed in concentration camps were they were tortured, starved, enslaved, and had medical experiments performed on them. This was the first genocide of the 20th Century.⁠

Germany is (mostly) contrite about the Holocaust, but less forthcoming in remorse or condemnation for their other genocides. It's almost like they can't see a genocide unless the perpetrators are carrying swastikas (or are Russian/Chinese), so it can be separated off from the history of colonial racist violence. As Namibia's president says, Germany has yet to atone for all of its own genocides and so is "unable to draw lessons from its horrific history". A charge that could easily be levelled at the rest of Europe, the US, UK, Canada and Australia.


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