View Full Version : Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Jan Klimkowski
04-02-2009, 08:19 PM
I've read Gravity's Rainbow eight times forwards and twice backwards.

It is my favourite work of art.

It is also an amazing artistic journey through deep black material and suppressed and repressed ideas.

Academia defines Gravity's Rainbow as a leading example of postmodernism. And academia thus attempts - often successfully - to castrate its power.

Most of the book ostensibly takes place in the Zone that existed in the last few months of WW2: the time of the V2 rocket, of stateless refugees, of barbarism and small human kindnesses.

Amongst the many key notions in the book are:
- the WASP Puritan concept of Elect and Preterite,
- Paranoia/Connectedness,
- various Jungian concepts and their practical usage in tools such as the Tarot,
- behaviourist science and human experimentation,
- IG Farben and war as business and theatre,
- the practice genocide of the Herero people in Sud-West Afrika in 1904, written out of Their history books but the symbolic heart of Gravity's Rainbow,
- the hunting & the gathering of the Nazi scientists and the archetypal meanings of the rocket.

But the Rocket has to be many things, it must answer to a number of different shapes in the dreams of those who touch it - in combat, in tunnel, on paper - it must survive heresies shining, unconfoundable... and heretics there will be. Gnostics who have been taken in a rush of wind and fire to chambers of the Rocket-throne... Kabbalists who study the Rocket as Torah, letter by letter - rivets, burner cup and brass rose, its text is theirs to permute and combine into new revelations, always unfolding... Manichaeans who see two Rockets, good and evil, who speak together in the sacred idiolalia of the Primal Twins (some say their names are Enzian and Blicero) of a good Rocket to take us to the stars, an evil Rocket for the world's suicide, the two perpetually in struggle.

But these heretics will be sought and the dominion of silence will enlarge as each one goes down... they will all be sought out. Each will have his personal Rocket. Stored in its target-seeker will be the heretic's EEG, the spikes and susurrations of heartbeat, the ghost-blossomings of personal infrared, each Rocket will know its intended and hunt him, ride him a green-doped and silent hound, through our World, shining and pointed in the sky at his back, his guardian executioner rushing in, rushing closer....

p727, Gravity's Rainbow

Magda Hassan
04-03-2009, 11:51 AM
I have not read any Thomas Pynchon and I am obviously missing out on a great experience.

I am intrigued about the reference to:
the the practice genocide of the Herero people in Sud-West Afrika in 1904, written out of Their history books but the symbolic heart of Gravity's Rainbow What happened here?

Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 06:43 PM
I have not read any Thomas Pynchon and I am obviously missing out on a great experience.

I am intrigued about the reference to:
the the practice genocide of the Herero people in Sud-West Afrika in 1904, written out of Their history books but the symbolic heart of Gravity's Rainbow What happened here?

Magda - if I may, with complete and utter respect, you are a highly knowledgeable and resourceful researcher, and a great student of history. That you, and I suspect most other members of DPF, know little about the Herero genocide reveals precisely who writes the history books.

Never forget? It's always been a joke line.

In Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon used original archive research to reveal the horror of the first genocide of the Twentieth Century. He reveals the facts, and passes them through the prism of art and storytelling.

Three decades later, the calculated, meticulous, genocide of the Herero people is still not present in the history books.

The Herero people are an African preterite.

I'll post a couple of introductory histories of this forgotten tragedy below.

Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 06:46 PM
Herero genocide

First published:
Creation 27(3):52–55
June 2005

by Marc Ambler

Like most visitors to Namibia,1 one of the memorable pictures I carried away was of the noble-looking Herero people. Their women wear colourful, voluminous Victorian-style dresses and hats [pictures available in Creation magazine], and the men wear uniforms on ceremonial occasions. How terribly sad it was to learn that 100 years ago, their great-grandparents had been the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

During the colonial land-grab of African countries by European nations after the 1884–85 Berlin Conference,2 Germany annexed Namibia, then known as South-West Africa. German settlers quickly ran roughshod over the historical rights and claims of the Herero tribal inhabitants, and for the next 20 years plundered their lands, houses and livestock. Of this period, the governor, Theodor Leutwein, wrote that the German settlers had an ‘inborn feeling of belonging to a superior race’.3 Thus racism was rife. The Herero were regularly referred to as ‘baboons’; the men were commonly beaten to death for minor infringements, and the women were made sex slaves by the soldiers and settlers.

In these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that an uprising occurred. On 12 January 1904, fighting broke out between Herero tribesmen and the settlers, in the town of Okahandja, where there was a German fort.

The response of the Berlin government to this insurrection by a colonized people who had dared to resist the might of the German nation was fast and ruthless. Kaiser Wilhelm II dispatched 14,000 troops to the region under the command of Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha. Von Trotha was renowned for the ruthless efficiency with which he had helped to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and to quash resistance to his nation’s occupation of German East Africa (today’s Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania).

Von Trotha’s written goal was: ‘I believe that the [Herero] nation as such should be exterminated.’4 He stated: ‘The exercise of violence and crass terrorism and even with gruesomeness was and is my policy. I destroy the African tribes with streams of blood and streams of money. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain.’5

That the German settlers and a high-ranking officer like General von Trotha would hold to these ‘superior race’, ‘survival-of-the-fittest-through-“cleansing”-of-the-weakest’ views is hardly surprising. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (which is subtitled By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life) had been translated into German in 1875, and his evolutionary theories had for decades been avidly promoted to all and sundry by the popular books and theatrical presentations of Ernst Haeckel.6 The German nation had also been subjected for many years to the ‘God-is-dead’ atheism of Nietzsche.7

This, too, was a consequence of Darwinian thought. Nietzsche believed that Darwinian evolution would eventually produce the Übermensch, ‘a superman whose distance from the ordinary man was greater than the distance between man and ape’.8 Then a ‘super-race’ of such beings would impose its will on the weak and the worthless.

Decades later, Hitler would proclaim the same Darwinist superiority views to justify his own subjugation of the ‘lesser’ peoples of Europe.9

In the light of this attitude of racial superiority, it is interesting to compare probably the two most famous documents to come out of the Herero war. In his infamous Vernichtungsbefehl (annihilation order), von Trotha stated: ‘[E]very Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I will no longer accept women and children, I will drive them back to their people or I will let them be shot at.’10
The response of the ‘lesser’ people

In contrast, a letter of Herero chief Samuel Maharero to his people shortly after the outbreak of war11 states that Englishmen, Boers, missionaries and people of other tribes were not to be harmed.12 History has shown that both instructions were diligently carried out.

In a decisive battle at Hamakari, near Waterberg, on 11 August 1904, von Trotha’s troops surrounded the Herero tribespeople on three sides and brutally defeated them. In a cynical ploy, he left open only the way into the Omaheke area of the Kalahari Desert. The battle plan was that those who escaped the German bullets should die of thirst. Waterholes for 150 miles (240 km) around the desert were either patrolled or poisoned, and those Herero who came crawling out of the Omaheke, desperate for water, were bayoneted. This left the Herero ‘with but one option: to cross the desert into Botswana [then called Bechuanaland], in reality a march to death. This, indeed, is how the majority of the Herero perished.’13

Due to missionary pressure and a growing shortage of labour in the colony, von Trotha’s extermination campaign was eventually stopped by Berlin, and the surviving Herero people were put into concentration camps. ‘Put to slave labor, overworked, hungry, and exposed to diseases such as typhoid and smallpox, more Herero men perished in these camps. Herero women, meanwhile, were turned into sex slaves.’14

The result of this policy was that from 1904 to 1908 the Herero were reduced ‘from a tribe of 80,000 persons to 15,000 starving refugees.’15

Following the war, all Herero persons over the age of seven were forced to wear a metal disc around their necks with their registration number, designating them as free labour. This was an ominous foretaste of the Jewish Holocaust star years later, when Hitler similarly enslaved those he considered to be members of inferior races.
Genocide and ‘race branding’

There are powerful links between the Herero genocide, the Holocaust 40 years later, and the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s.16


Francis Galton, the anti-Christian cousin of Charles Darwin, visited South-West Africa in the early 1850s. He went on to develop his theory of eugenics, a term he coined in 1883. This pseudo-science helped promote the racial superiority views which played such a major role in the fate of the Herero people years later.

Making his rounds of the Herero concentration camps was Herr Doktor Eugen Fischer. It was here that Fischer did his first ‘medical’ experiments on race, genetics and eugenics, using as his guinea pigs both Herero full-bloods and the mulatto offspring of Herero women and German men. Under his supervision, the preserved bodies and severed heads of Herero who had been hanged were sent to Germany for dissection.4

Fischer went on to become the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. He co-authored the book The Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene,17 which became the standard textbook in Germany on this subject. Hitler cited it in his Mein Kampf [My Struggle], which became the basis for the destruction of millions of people in his own pursuit of ‘racial purity’.

Hitler appointed Fischer as rector of the University of Berlin in 1933, where he taught medicine to Nazi doctors. Fischer is sometimes referred to as the father of modern genetics. One of his prominent pupils was Josef Mengele, the so-called ‘Angel of Death’, who went on to repeat his teacher’s cruel experiments on Jewish children, and directed the operation of the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

In his book When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Professor Mahmood Mamdani writes: ‘[T]here is a link that connects the genocide of the Herero and the Nazi Holocaust to the Rwandan genocide. That link is race branding, whereby it became possible not only to set a group apart as an enemy, but also to exterminate it with an easy conscience.’18

(An article in Creation magazine called ‘The evolution of the Hutu-Tutsi slayings’19 referred to the Rwanda massacres. It documented how Belgian theistic evolutionary occupiers had persuaded one of the tribes that they were superior, being ‘more highly evolved’.)

Clearly such ‘race branding’ as Mamdani refers to is based on belief in evolution and the idea that different races are at different stages of development in the ‘survival of the fittest’.

This belief has produced, as its logical offspring, the murder of tens of millions of innocent mothers, fathers, sons and daughters in the 20th century, beginning with the Herero genocide.

When the creation/gospel message that we are all closely-related descendants of Adam in need of a Saviour is rejected, there is, it seems, no limit to the evil that results. The remedy seems obvious.
About the author

Marc Ambler is a businessman in Cape Town, South Africa. He is active in ministry in his local church and a director of Answers in Genesis–South Africa. Return to text.
References and notes

1. Formerly the German and then South African Protectorate of South-West Africa, it achieved full independence in 1990 under the auspices of the United Nations.
2. Convened by German chancellor Otto von Bismarck for the purpose of dividing up the African continent and allocating its countries to the major European powers. Fourteen European nations were represented, but there was not one African representative at the conference.
3. Gewald, J.B., Herero Heroes, James Curry, Oxford, UK, p. 145, 1999.
4. Ref. 3, p. 173.
5. Ref. 3, p. 174.
6. See Grigg, R., Ernst Haeckel: Evangelist for evolution and apostle of deceit, Creation 18(2):33–36, 1996.
7. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a German philosopher noted for his vehement attacks on Christianity.
8. Encyclopaedia Britannica 24:938, 15th ed., 1992.
9. This is thoroughly documented in Weikart, R., From Darwin to Hitler, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2004.
10. Ref. 3, pp. 172–173.
11. This letter to his people was later claimed by the German occupiers, without basis, to have been written by him as a call to arms the day before the war broke out.
12. Ref. 3, p. 157.
13. Mamdani, M., When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Princeton University Press, USA, p. 11, 2001. [The author is professor of Government and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. Citing someone in support of a correct conclusion does not mean that we necessarily endorse that person’s views on other issues, even if related—Ed.]
14. Ref. 13, p. 12.
15. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8:494, 15th ed., 1992.
16. This theme has been explored in ref. 13.
17. German title: Menschliche Erblichkeitslehre und Rassenhygiene, co-authored with Edwin Baur and Fritz Lenz in 1921. ‘Race hygiene’ was the German equivalent of eugenics.
18. Ref. 13, p. 13.
19. Creation 21(2):47, 1999.


‘I too travel to heaven in a wagon.’

In his book Herero Heroes, Jan-Bart Gewald describes the death of one of the Herero Christian leaders, as witnessed by a Rhenish missionary, Friedrich Meier.1

Weak from disease and maltreatment, Kukuri was transported to his execution on the back of an ox-cart. He did not show the slightest trace of fear, but instead looked as if he was going to a wedding! At one stage, he said to Meier, ‘Pastor, like Elijah, I too travel to heaven in a wagon.’2

When they arrived at the site, it was still being prepared. Meier feared for Kukuri’s tranquility and asked him to stop looking at the gallows. He replied, ‘Why should I not look at it? Is it not “my wood” [my cross]?’ The two of them prayed together that beautiful hymn, ‘So then take my hand and lead me’. Then Kukuri said, ‘It would appear that you still fear that I am afraid, but when a father calls his child, does that child then fear to go to him? Give my wife, who is in Okahandja, my greetings and tell her that I have died in the faith of the Lord Jesus; so too tell my children if you should ever see them.’ He then said, ‘Lord Jesus, help me.’

Kukuri climbed the ladder and the rope was put around his neck. As he was falling, the noose slipped, so that he landed on the ground, unconscious. Two soldiers lifted him up and, on orders from the major in charge, shot him dead. Thus did Kukuri enter into the presence of his Lord.

1. Gewald, J.B., Herero Heroes, James Curry, Oxford, UK, p. 198, 1999.
2. Cf. 2 Kings 2:11.

Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 06:49 PM

- before the genocide
- the genocide
- after the genocide
- witness
- issues


before the genocide

Africa is almost certainly the birthplace of the human species. From it the earliest people ventured into Asia and then across the long-vanished land bridge to the Americas, or across the Pacific island chains to Australasia. They also spread to the lands north of the Mediterranean Sea. Many thousands of years later their European descendants gained glory and wealth by rediscovering the southern hemisphere, and plundering it. They - we - have often treated it, and its inhabitants, with brutality, indifference and contempt. White Europeans forced black Africans to become slaves. White Europeans deprived black people of their homes and communities and cultures. White Europeans sent their missionaries to change black people's religion to their own. And in the 19th century white Europeans began moving into Africa to occupy the land as well. The land was desirable for itself: it provided new territory, new possessions and new trade, both for individuals and their countries. The land had other values, too: it provided bases for further take-overs and further military threats; and, above all, it contained riches.

Along the coastline of Namibia runs the Namib desert, a 1,200 mile long strip of unwelcoming sand dunes and barren rock. Behind it is the central mountain plateau, and east of that the Kalahari desert. Namibia's scarcest commodity is water: this is a country of little rainfall, and the rivers don't always run. But the very sand of the Skeleton Coast is the dust of gemstones; uranium, tin and tungsten can be mined in the central Namib, and copper in the north; and in the south there are diamonds. Namibia also has gold, silver, lithium, and natural gas. For most of the region's history, only metal was of interest to the native tribes. These tribes lived and traded together more or less peacefully, each with their own particular way of living, wherever the land was fertile enough. The San were nomads, hunters and gatherers. The Damara hunted and worked copper. The Ovambo grew crops in the north, where there was more rain, but also worked in metal. The Nama and the Herero were livestock farmers, and they were the two main tribes in the 1840s when the Germans (first missionaries, then settlers, then soldiers) began arriving in South West Africa.

Before the Germans, only a few Europeans had visited it: explorers, traders and sailors. They opened up trade outlets for ivory and cattle; they also brought in firearms, with which they traded for Namib treasures. Later, big guns and European military systems were introduced. The tribes now settled their disputes with lethal violence: corruption of a peaceful culture was under way.

In the 1880s Germany made South West Africa their own colony, and settlers moved in, followed by a military governor who knew little about running a colony and nothing at all about Africa. Major Theodor Leutwein began by playing off the Nama and Herero tribes against each other. More and more white settlers arrived, pushing tribesmen off their cattle-grazing lands with bribes and unreliable deals. The Namib's diamonds were discovered, attracting yet more incomers with a lust for wealth.

Tribal cattle-farmers had other problems, too: a cattle-virus epidemic in the late 1890s killed much of their livestock. The colonists offered the Herero aid on credit. As a result the farmers amassed large debts, and when they couldn't pay them off the colonists simply seized what cattle were left. In January 1904, the Herero, desperate to regain their livelihoods, rebelled. Under their leader Samuel Maherero they began to attack the numerous German outposts. They killed German men, but spared women, children, missionaries, and the English or Boer farmers whose support they didn't want to lose.

At the same time, the Nama chief, Hendrik Witbooi, wrote a letter to Theodor Leutwein, telling him what the native Africans thought of their invaders, who had taken their land, deprived them of their rights to pasture their animals on it, used up the scanty water supplies, and imposed alien laws and taxes. His hope was that Leutwein would recognise the injustice and do something about it.

the genocide

The German Emperor replaced Major Leutwein with another commander, this time a man notorious for brutality who had already fiercely suppressed African resistance to German colonisation in East Africa. Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha said, 'I wipe out rebellious tribes with streams of blood and streams of money. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge'. Von Trotha brought with him to German South West Africa 10,000 heavily-armed men and a plan for war.

Under his command, the German troops slowly drove the Herero warriors to a position where they could be hemmed in by attack on three sides. The fourth side offered escape; but only into the killing wastes of the Kalahari desert. The German soldiers were paid well to pursue the Herero into this treacherous wilderness. They were also ordered to poison the few water-holes there. Others set up guard posts along a 150-mile border: any Herero trying to get back was killed.

On October 2, 1904, von Trotha issued his order to exterminate the Herero from the region. 'All the Herero must leave the land. If they refuse, then I will force them to do it with the big guns. Any Herero found within German borders, with or without a gun, will be shot. No prisoners will be taken. This is my decision for the Herero people'.

After the Herero uprising had been systematically put down, by shooting or enforced slow death in the desert from starvation, thirst and disease (the fate of many women and children), those who still lived were rounded up, banned from owning land or cattle, and sent into labour camps to be the slaves of German settlers. Many more Herero died in the camps, of overwork, starvation and disease.

By 1907, in the face of criticism both at home and abroad, von Trotha's orders had been cancelled and he himself recalled, but it was too late for the crushed Herero. Before the uprising, the tribe numbered 80,000; after it, only 15,000 remained.

During the period of colonisation and oppression, many women were used as sex slaves. (This had not been von Trotha's intention. 'To receive women and children, most of them ill, is a serious danger to the German troops. And to feed them is an impossibility. I find it appropriate that the nation perishes instead of infecting our soldiers.') In the Herero work camps there were numerous children born to these abused women, and a man called Eugen Fischer, who was interested in genetics, came to the camps to study them; he carried out medical experiments on them as well. He decided that each mixed-race child was physically and mentally inferior to its German father (a conclusion for which there was and is no respectable scientific foundation whatever) and wrote a book promoting his ideas: 'The Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene'. Adolf Hitler read it while he was in prison in 1923, and cited it in his own infamous pursuit of 'racial purity'.

The Nama suffered at the hands of the colonists too. After the defeat of the Herero the Nama also rebelled, but von Trotha and his troops quickly routed them. On April 22 1905 Lothar von Trotha sent his clear message to the Nama: they should surrender. 'The Nama who chooses not to surrender and lets himself be seen in the German area will be shot, until all are exterminated. Those who, at the start of the rebellion, committed murder against whites or have commanded that whites be murdered have, by law, forfeited their lives. As for the few not defeated, it will fare with them as it fared with the Herero, who in their blindness also believed that they could make successful war against the powerful German Emperor and the great German people. I ask you, where are the Herero today?' During the Nama uprising, half the tribe (over 10,000) were killed; the 9,000 or so left were confined in concentration camps.

after the genocide

After the First World War, South West Africa was placed under the administration of South Africa. South Africa imposed its own system of apartheid (now banned in Namibia by law). In the late 1940s a guerrilla movement called SWAPO (South West African People's Organisation) was founded to fight for independence. In 1968 the United Nations recognised the name Namibia, and the country's right to independence, but it was another 20 years before South Africa agreed to withdraw and full independence was gained. By then the country was ravaged by war.

Today most of Namibia's 1.7m people are poor, living in crowded tribal areas while powerful and wealthy ranchers still own millions of acres seized by their predecessors over 100 years ago.

Some of the descendants of the surviving Herero live in neighbouring Botswana, but others remained in their homeland and now make up 8% of Namibia's population. Many of them are in the political opposition party. Most Herero men work as cattle-handlers on commercial farms. Although as opposition members they don't get government support, the Herero on their own initiative recently asked Germany to give them compensation for the atrocities the tribe suffered, which the president of Germany recently acknowledged were 'a burden on the conscience of every German'. In fact Namibia gets more aid from Germany than any other country; but most of the money goes to non-Herero majority interests: it's the governing Ovambo (not reached by early colonists, and modern Namibia's main tribe) who led the struggle for liberation and, in 1990, independence.

The 25,000 or so present-day rich German settlers are among those who deny that there was a genocide, fearing that reparation might mean losing their valuable land.


Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 06:55 PM
There are photos at this link:

Herero and Namaqua Genocide

The Herero and Namaqua Genocide occurred in German South-West Africa (modern day Namibia) from 1904 until 1907, during the scramble for Africa. It is thought to be the first genocide of the 20th century.[1] On January 12, 1904, the Herero people under Samuel Maharero rose in rebellion against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama also took up arms against the Germans and were dealt with in a similar fashion. In total, between 24,000 and 65,000 Herero (all values are estimated as being 50% to 70% of the total Herero population), and 10,000 Nama (50% of the total Nama population) perished. Two characteristics of the genocide were death by starvation and the poisoning of wells used by the Herero and Nama populations that were trapped in the Namib Desert.

In 1985, the United Nations’ Whitaker Report recognized Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South-West Africa as one of the earliest attempts at genocide in the 20th century. The German government apologized for the events in 2004.[2]

The Herero were originally a tribe of cattle herders living in a region of German South West Africa, presently modern Namibia. The area occupied by the Herero was known as Damaraland.

During the scramble for Africa, the British made it clear that they were not interested in the territory; so, in August 1884, it was declared a German protectorate and, at that time, the only overseas territory deemed suitable for white settlement that had been acquired by Germany. From the outset, there was resistance by the Khoikhoi to the German occupation, although a tenuous peace was worked out in 1894. In that year, Theodor Leutwein became governor of the territory and it underwent a period of rapid development, while Germany sent the Schutztruppe, or imperial colonial troops, to pacify the region.[3]

European settlers were encouraged to settle on land taken from the natives, which caused a great deal of discontent. Over the next decade the land and the cattle that were essential to Herero and Nama lifestyles, passed into the hands of Germans arriving in South-West Africa. [4] German colonial rule was far from egalitarian; natives were used as slave labourers and their lands were frequently seized and given to colonists.

Note: Though diamonds are often cited as one of major German interests in the area and primary reasons for committing genocide, reports of their discovery only emerged in 1908. Though German colonists did seize and exploit much Herero/Nama soil, as far as current documentation can tell, diamonds did not play a role in Germany’s decision to annihilate the natives of this land. [5]


In 1903, some of the Nama Tribes rose in revolt under the leadership of Hendrik Witbooi, and about 60 German settlers were killed.[3] A number of factors led the Herero to join them in arms in January 1904.

Not surprisingly, one of the major issues was about land rights. The Herero had already ceded over a quarter of their thirteen million hectares to German colonists by 1903,[6] and that was prior to the completion of the Otavi railroad line running from the African coast to inland German settlements.[7] Completion of this line would have rendered the German colonies much more accessible, and would have ushered in a new wave of Europeans into the area. [8] Discussion of the possibility of establishing and placing the Herero in native reserves was further proof of the German colonist’s sense of ownership over the land.[9]

A new policy on debt collection, enforced in November 1903, also played a role in the Herero uprising. For many years the Herero population had been in the habit of borrowing money from white traders at great interest. For a long time much of this debt went uncollected, as most Hereros lived modestly and had no means to pay. To correct this growing problem, Governor Leutwein decreed with good intentions that all debts not paid within the next year would be voided.[10] In the absence of hard cash, traders would often seize cattle, or whatever objects of value they could get their hands on, in order to recoup their loans. This fostered a feeling of resentment towards the Germans on the part of the Herero people, which escalated to hopelessness when they saw that German officials were complicit in this scheme.[11]

Underlying these reasons was the racial tension between the two groups. White Europeans viewed themselves as inherently superior to native Africans: the average German colonist viewed them as a lowly source of cheap labour and others welcomed their extermination.[12] To illustrate the gap between the rights of a European and an African, the German Colonial League held that in regards to legal matters, the testimony of seven Africans was equivalent to that of one white man.[13]

Thus, the Herero felt that their actions were justified when they revolted in early 1904. Led by Chief Samuel Maharero, they killed about 120 Germans, including women and children, and destroyed their farms. The rebels surrounded Okahandja and cut links to Windhoek, the colonial capital.

The timing of their attack was ideal. After successfully asking a large Herero tribe to surrender their weapons, Governor Leutwein was convinced that they and the rest of the native population had given up their will to fight and withdrew half the German troops stationed in his colony.[14]

Leutwein was forced to request reinforcements and an experienced officer from the German capital, Berlin.[15] Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha was appointed Commander in Chief of German South-West Africa on 3 May, arriving with his force of 14,000 troops on June 11.

The civilian Leutwein was subordinate to the Colonial Department of the Prussian Foreign Office, which reported to Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow. Trotha, on the other hand, reported to the military German General Staff, which was only subordinate to William II, German Emperor. Leutwein desired to defeat the most determined Herero rebels and negotiate a surrender with the remainder to achieve a political settlement.[16] Trotha, however, wanted to crush native resistance.

The Genocide

Trotha's troops defeated 3,000–5,000 Herero combatants at the Battle of Waterberg on 11-12 August, but were unable to encircle and eliminate the military threat.[16] The survivors retreated with their families towards Bechuanaland, after the British offered the Hereros asylum under the condition not to continue the revolt on British soil.

Some 24,000 Hereros managed to flee through a gap in the netting into the Kalahari Desert in the hope of reaching the British protectorate. German patrols later found skeletons around holes (25–50 feet deep) that were dug up in a vain attempt to find water. Maherero and 1,000 men crossed the Kalahari into Bechuanaland.

On 2 October, Trotha issued an appeal to the Hereros:

I, the great general of the German troops, send this letter to the Herero people... All Hereros must leave this land... Any Herero found within the German borders with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall no longer receive any women or children; I will drive them back to their people or have them fired upon. This is my decision for the Herero people.[17]

Unable to achieve a conclusive victory through battle, Trotha ordered that captured Herero males were to be executed, while women and children were to be driven into the desert.[16] Leutwein complained to Bülow about Trotha's actions, seeing the general's orders as ruining any chance of a settlement and intruding upon the civilian colonial jurisdiction.[18] Having no authority over the military Trotha, the chancellor could only advise William II that Trotha's actions were "contrary to Christian and humanitarian principle, economically devastating and damaging to Germany's international reputation".[18] The German Empire defended its actions on the world stage by saying that the Herero could not be protected under the Geneva Conventions defining human rights because Germany claimed the Herero were not true humans, but "subhumans".[citation needed]

After a political battle in Berlin between the civilian government and the military, William II countermanded Trotha's decree of 2 October on 8 December, but the massacres had already begun. When the order was lifted at the end of 1904, prisoners were herded into concentration camps and given as slave labourers to German businesses. Many prisoners died of overwork and malnutrition.

It took until 1908 to fully re-establish German authority over the territory. At the height of the campaign, some 19,000 German troops were involved. At about the same time, diamonds were discovered in the territory and this did much to boost its prosperity. However, it was short-lived. The German colony was taken over and occupied by the Union of South Africa in 1915, in one of the colonial campaigns of World War I. South Africa received a League of Nations Mandate over South-West Africa in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles.

Concentration Camps

Survivors, mostly women and children, were eventually put in concentration camps, such as that at Shark Island, similar to those used in British South Africa during the Second Boer War. The German authorities gave each Herero a number and meticulously recorded every death, whether in the camps or from forced labor, even including the name of each dead person in their reports. German enterprises were able to rent Hereros in order to use their manpower, and workers' deaths were permitted, and even reported to the German authorities. Forced labour, disease, and malnutrition killed an estimated 50–80% of the entire Herero population by 1908, when the camps were closed.

An official report on the camps in 1908 described the mortality rate as 45.2% of all prisoners held in the five camps. The prisoners were fenced in, either by thorn-bush fences or by barbed wire and people were typically crammed into small areas. The Windhoek camp held about 5000 prisoners of war in 1906. Food rations were minimal, consisting of a daily allowance of a handful of uncooked rice, some salt and water. Rice was an unfamiliar foodstuff to the Herero and Namaqua people, and the uncommon diet may have contributed the high death rate. Diseases in the camps were rampant and poorly controlled. A lack of medical attention, unhygienic living quarters, and lack of clothing as well as a high concentration of people in a small area contributed to the spread of diseases such as typhoid which then spread rapidly. Beatings and abuse were also part of life in the camps and the sjambok was often used to beat prisoners who were forced to work, a September 28 1905 article in the South African newspaper Cape Argus detailed some the abuse, with the heading: "In German S. W. Africa: Further Startling Allegations: Horrible Cruelty". In an interview with Percival Griffith, "an accountant of profession, who owing to hard times, took up on transport work at Angra Pequena [Lüderitz]", related his experiences. "There are hundreds of them, mostly women and children and a few old men ... when they fall they are sjamboked by the soldiers in charge of the gang, with full force, until they get up ... On one occasion I saw a woman carrying a child of under a year old slung at her back, and with a heavy sack of grain on her head ... she fell. "The corporal sjamboked her for certainly more than four minutes and sjamboked the baby as well ... the woman struggled slowly to her feet, and went on with her load. She did not utter a sound the whole time, but the baby cried very hard."[19]

During the war a number of people from the Cape (in modern day South Africa), strapped for money, sought employment as transport riders for German troops in Namibia. Upon their return to the Cape some of these people recounted their stories, including those of the imprisonment and genocide of the Herero and Namaqua people. Fred Cornell, a British aspirant diamond prospector, was in Lüderitz when the Shark Island camp was being used. Cornell wrote of the camp: "Cold - for the nights are often bitterly cold there - hunger, thirst, exposure, disease and madness claimed scores of victims every day, and cartloads of their bodies were every day carted over to the back beach, buried in a few inches of sand at low tide, and as the tide came in the bodies went out, food for the sharks."[19]

The concentration camp on Shark Island, in the coastal town of Lüderitz, was the worst of the five Namibian camps. Lüderitz lies in southern Namibia, flanked by desert and ocean. In the harbour lies Shark Island, which then was connected to the mainland only by a small causeway. The island is now, as it was then, barren and characterised by solid rock carved into surreal formations by the hard ocean winds. The camp was placed on the far end of the relatively small island, where the prisoners would have suffered complete exposure to the strong winds that sweep Lüderitz for most of the year. The first prisoners to arrive were, according to a missionary called Kuhlman, 487 Herero ordered to work on the railway between Lüderitz and Kubub. In October 1905 Kuhlman reported the appalling conditions and high death rate among the Herero on the island. Throughout 1906 the island had a steady inflow of prisoners, with 1,790 Nama prisoners arriving on September 9 alone. In the annual report for Lüderitz in 1906, an unidentified clerk remarked that "the Angel of Death" had come to Shark Island. German Commander Von Estorff wrote in a report that approximately 1 700 prisoners had died by April 1907, 1 203 of them Nama. In December 1906, four months after their arrival, 291 Nama died (a rate of more than nine people a day). Missionary reports put the death rate at between 12 and 18 a day, as many as 80% of the prisoners sent to the Shark Island concentration camp never left the island.[19]

Dutch historian Jan-Bart Gewald of the University of Cologne has written that the Germans set up special camps for their troops and that many children were born of German fathers and Herero mothers. After most Herero males had been killed, the surviving women were forced to serve as prostitutes for the Germans.[20] Trotha was opposed to contact between natives and settlers, believing that the insurrection was "the beginning of a racial struggle" and fearing that the colonists would be infected by native diseases.[18]

Recognition, denial and compensation

According to the 1985 United Nations’ Whitaker Report, some 65,000 Herero (80 percent of the total Herero population), and 10,000 Nama (50% of the total Nama population) were killed between 1904 and 1907. Other estimates give a total of 100,000 killed. However, German author Walter Nuhn estimates that in 1904 only 40,000 Herero lived in German South-West Africa, and therefore only 24,000 could have been killed [21]. Recent publications consider the total of 24,000-40,000 people killed to be the most reliable estimate.

The German administration never conducted a census before 1904. Only in 1905 did a counting take place which revealed that 25,000 Herero remained in German South-West Africa.[citation needed]

Many modern historians believe the Herero were the first ethnic group to be subjected to genocide in the 20th century.[22] Larissa Förster, a Namibia expert at the Museum for Ethnology in Cologne, explains, “It was clearly a command to eliminate people belonging to a specific ethnic group and only because they were part of this ethnic group.”[23] It has also been linked to later events in Nazi Germany.[24] Other researchers,[who?] accused by those who disagree with them of being historical revisionists, use the term "Herero Wars". While acknowledging the massacres, they deem the evidence insufficient to call it a genocide and reject comparisons to Auschwitz as sensationalism.[citation needed]

In 1998, German President Roman Herzog visited Namibia and met Herero leaders. Chief Munjuku Nguvauva demanded a public apology and compensation. Herzog expressed regret but stopped short of an apology. He also pointed out that reparations were out of the question.

On August 16, 2004, the 100th anniversary of the start of the genocide, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany’s development aid minister, officially apologized for the first time and expressed grief about the genocide committed by Germans, declaring, “We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time.” In addition, she admitted that the massacres were equivalent to genocide, without explicitly mentioning the concentration camps and slavery that also existed, both of which were well documented by the Germans themselves. Furthermore, she ruled out paying a special compensation, declaring that the German government already paid a yearly sum of €11.5 million as development aid for Namibia.[2]

The Hereros filed a lawsuit in the United States in 2001 demanding reparations from the German government and the Deutsche Bank, which financed the German government and companies in Southern Africa.[25][17]

The descendants of Lothar von Trotha and the von Trotha family travelled to Omaruru in October 2007 by invitation of the royal Herero chiefs and publicly apologized for his actions. Wolf-Thilo von Trotha said, “We, the von Trotha family, are deeply ashamed of the terrible events that took place 100 years ago. Human rights were grossly abused that time.” [26]

Former Nambian ambassador to Germany, Peter Katjavivi demanded in August 2008 that the skulls of Herero and Nama prisoners of the 1904-08 uprising, which were taken to Germany for scientific research to "prove" the superiority of white Europeans over Africans, be returned to Namibia.

Katjavivi was reacting to a German television documentary, which reported that its investigators had found over 40 of these skulls at two German universities, among them probably the skull of a Nama chief who had died on Shark Island near Luederitz.[27]

Fictional representations

One chapter of Thomas Pynchon's novel V. (1963) is about the Herero genocide. A group of characters of Herero descent are also present in his Gravity's Rainbow (1974), which hints more than once at the Herero Massacre.


A short documentary in production, From Herero To Hitler: Planting the Seeds of a Future Genocide, will examine how events in German South-West Africa relate to the actions of Nazi Germany.[28]

See also

* Genocides in history
* German war crimes


1. ^ Levi, Neil; Rothberg, Michael (2003). The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings. Rutgers University Press. pp. 465. ISBN 0813533538.
2. ^ a b "Germany admits Namibia genocide" (HTML). BBC News. 2004-08-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3565938.stm. Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
3. ^ a b “A bloody history: Namibia’s colonisation”, BBC News, August 29, 2001
4. ^ Bridgman, Jon M. (1981). The Rise of the Hereros. California University Press. pp. 57.
5. ^ Chalk, Frank; Jonassohn, Kurt (1990) The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies. Yale University Press. pp. 230.
6. ^ Bridgman, 60.
7. ^ Chalk & Jonassohn, 230.
8. ^ Drechsler, Horst. (1980). Let Us Die Fighting. Zed Press. pp. 133.
9. ^ Drechsler, 132.
10. ^ Bridgman, 59.
11. ^ Bridgman, 60.
12. ^ Bridgman, 60.
13. ^ Drechsler, 133.
14. ^ Bridgman, 56.
15. ^ Clark, p. 604
16. ^ a b c Clark, p.605
17. ^ a b “Germany regrets Namibia ‘genocide’”, BBC News, January 12, 2004
18. ^ a b c Clark, p. 606
19. ^ a b c Prevent Genocide International.
20. ^ Mail&Guardian: The tribe Germany wants to forget
21. ^ Walter Nuhn: Sturm über Südwest. Der Hereroaufstand von 1904. Bernhard & Graefe-Verlag, Koblenz 1989. ISBN 3-76375-852-6.
22. ^ Allan D. Cooper (2006-08-31). "Reparations for the Herero Genocide: Defining the limits of international litigation" (HTML). Oxford Journals African Affairs. http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/106/422/113.
23. ^ "Remembering the Herero Rebellion" (HTML). Deutsche Welle. 2004-11-01. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1084266,00.html.
24. ^ "Imperialism and Genocide in Namibia" (HTML). Socialist Action. 04 1999. http://www.socialistaction.org/news/199904/Namibia.html.
25. ^ "German bank accused of genocide" (HTML). BBC News. 2001-09-25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1561463.stm.
26. ^ "German family’s Namibia apology" (HTML). BBC News. 2007-10-07. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7033042.stm.
27. ^ http://www.namibian.com.na/2008/August/national/0822B4B7E0.html
28. ^ Rosemarie Reed Productions, LLC - Films for Thought: From Herero to Hitler: Planting the Seeds of a Future Genocide

[edit] Bibliography and documentaries

* Clark, Christopher (2006). Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600–1947. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard. pp. 776. ISBN 067402385-4.
* Exterminate all the Brutes, Sven Lindqvist, London, 1996.
* A Forgotten History-Concentration Camps were used by Germans in South West Africa, Casper W. Erichsen, in the Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg, 17 August, 2001.
* Genocide & The Second Reich, BBC Four, David Olusoga, October 2004
* German Federal Archives, Imperial Colonial Office, Vol. 2089, 7 (recto)
* The Herero and Nama Genocides, 1904-1908, J.B. Gewald, in Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, New York, Macmillan Reference, 2004.
* Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia 1890 - 1923, J.B. Gewald, Oxford, Cape Town, Athens OH, 1999.
* Let Us Die Fighting: the Struggle of the Herero and Nama against German Imperialism, 1884-1915, Horst Drechsler, London, 1980.
* The Revolt of the Hereros, Jon M. Bridgman, Perspectives on Southern Africa, Berkeley, University of California, 1981.

A probable source for much of this information is Isabell Hull's Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005). Parts of this entry are nearly word-for-word summaries of Hull's analysis.


Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 07:28 PM
Germany admits Namibia genocide
BBC, 14 August 2004

Germany has offered its first formal apology for the colonial-era massacre of some 65,000 members of the Herero tribe by German troops in Namibia.

German minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul told a commemorative ceremony that the brutal crushing of the Herero uprising 100 years ago was genocide.

But the German government has ruled out compensation for victims' descendants. A group of Herero has filed a case against Germany in the United States demanding $4bn in compensation.

"We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility," Ms Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany's Development Aid Minister, told a crowd of some 1,000 at the ceremony in Okokarara. "Germany has learnt the bitter lessons of the past."

But after the minister's speech, the crowd repeated calls for an apology.

"Everything I said in my speech was an apology for crimes committed under German colonial rule," she replied.

The Herero rebelled in 1904 against German soldiers and settlers who were colonising south-west Africa.

Driven into desert

In response, the German military commander, General Lothar von Trotha, ordered the Herero people to leave Namibia or be killed. Herero were massacred with machine guns, their wells poisoned and then driven into the desert to die.

Ms Wieczorek-Zeul repeated that there would be no compensation, but she promised continued economic aid for Namibia which currently amounts to $14m a year.

Germany argues that international laws to protect civilians were not in force at the time of the conflict.
Herero chief Kuaima Riruako said the apology was appreciated but added: "We still have the right to take the German government to court."

However, correspondents say the lawsuit filed in the US three years ago against the German government and two German companies is seen as having a limited chance of success.


Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 07:45 PM
Here's the wiki entry on Nazi anthropologist, eugenicist and racial hygienist, "Professor" Eugen Fischer:

Eugen Fischer (July 5, 1874 – July 9, 1967) was a German professor of medicine, anthropology and eugenics . He was one of those responsible for the Nazi German scientific theories of racial hygiene that legitimized the extermination of Jews, sent an estimated half a million Gypsies to their death in the Porajmos, and led to the compulsory sterilization of hundreds of thousands of other individuals, deemed racially defective, such as the Rhineland Bastards, the mentally ill, and the mentally challenged.

[edit] Biography

Born in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden, Fischer joined the Nazi Party soon after it was established. A book, Human Hereditary Teaching and Racial Hygiene, co-written by him and Erwin Baur and Fritz Lenz, served as the "scientific" basis for Nazism's attitude toward other races. He served as the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, until 1933, when Adolf Hitler appointed him rector of a Berlin University of Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin, now Humboldt University[1].

Under the Nazi regime, Fischer developed the physiological specifications used to determine racial origins. He and his team experimented on Gypsies and African-Germans, taking blood and measuring skulls to find scientific validation for his theories.

Fischer retired from the university in 1942. After the war, he completed his memoirs, which critics claim whitewash his role in the genocidal program of the Third Reich. He died in 1967.


That history is shameful. However, it's also incomplete.

During the period of colonisation and oppression, many women were used as sex slaves. (This had not been von Trotha's intention. 'To receive women and children, most of them ill, is a serious danger to the German troops. And to feed them is an impossibility. I find it appropriate that the nation perishes instead of infecting our soldiers.') In the Herero work camps there were numerous children born to these abused women, and a man called Eugen Fischer, who was interested in genetics, came to the camps to study them; he carried out medical experiments on them as well. He decided that each mixed-race child was physically and mentally inferior to its German father (a conclusion for which there was and is no respectable scientific foundation whatever) and wrote a book promoting his ideas: 'The Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene'. Adolf Hitler read it while he was in prison in 1923, and cited it in his own infamous pursuit of 'racial purity'.


European History Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 3, 429-464 (2005)
DOI: 10.1177/0265691405054218

From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe
Benjamin Madley

Yale University, USA

The German terms Lebensraum and Konzentrationslager, both widely known because of their use by the Nazis, were not coined by the Hitler regime. These terms were minted many years earlier in reference to German South West Africa, now Namibia, during the first decade of the twentieth century, when Germans colonized the land and committed genocide against the local Herero and Nama peoples. Later use of these borrowed words suggests an important question: did Wilhelmine colonization and genocide in Namibia influence Nazi plans to conquer and settle Eastern Europe, enslave and murder millions of Slavs and exterminate Gypsies and Jews? This article argues that the German experience in Namibia was a crucial precursor to Nazi colonialism and genocide and that personal connections, literature, and public debates served as conduits for communicating colonialist and genocidal ideas and methods from the colony to Germany.


Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 07:49 PM
(The FASEB Journal. 2008;22:332-337.

German science and black racism—roots of the Nazi Holocaust
François Haas1

New York University Institute of Community Health and Research, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

1 Correspondence: 400 East 34th St., RR114, New York, NY 10016, USA. E-Mail: francois.haas@med.nyu.edu


The Nazi’s cornerstone precept of "racial hygiene" gave birth to their policy of "racial cleansing" that led to the murders of millions. It was developed by German physicians and scientists in the late 19th century and is rooted in the period’s Social Darwinism that placed blacks at the bottom of the racial ladder. This program was first manifested in the near-extermination of the African Herero people during the German colonial period. After WWI, the fear among the German populace that occupying African troops and their Afro-German children would lead to "bastardization" of the German people formed a unifying racial principle that the Nazis exploited. They extended this mind-set to a variety of "unworthy" groups, leading to the physician-administered racial Nuremberg laws, the Sterilization laws, the secret sterilization of Afro-Germans, and the German euthanasia program. This culminated in the extermination camps.—Haas, F. German Science and Black Racism—Roots of the Nazi Holocaust.


Nazi policy was actually presaged prior to WWI in Germany’s African colonies. The native populations were regarded as inferior and treated in kind, and racism was institutionalized. Indigenous populations were coerced into forced labor in Togo, Cameroon, and South West Africa (Namibia), but conditions reached their peak in the latter under Namibia’s first governor, Heinrich Ernst Goering (father of Hitler’s deputy Herman Goering).

Among the populations inhabiting this colony were the more than 80,000 Hereros (10) , who rebelled against their German overlords in 1904. The Germans sent an army under Lothar von Trotha who called the conflict a "race war." He declared in the German press that "no war may be conducted humanely against non-humans" (11) and issued an "annihilation order":

...The Hereros are no longer German subjects. All Hereros must leave the country...or die. All Hereros found within the German borders with or without weapons, with or without animals will be killed. I will not accept a woman nor any child. ...There will be no male prisoners. All will be shot (11) .

That order set this racial genocide apart from other colonial mass murders and heralded the Nazi final solution (11) .

As would occur under the Nazis, these killings were often framed in public health rhetoric. Von Trotha wrote, "I think it is better that the Herero nation perish rather than infect our troops...." By the time his order was rescinded, an estimated 65,000 Hereros had been killed (12) . The remaining 15,000 (mostly women) were interned in Konzentrationslager.3 Germany’s first official use of this term occurred when Chancellor von Bülow rescinded the annihilation order and established camps for the survivors (11) which were designed to extract economic benefits from their forced labor under conditions that would lead to mass fatalities (12) . The Herero uprising was eventually followed by the Nama (called Hottentots at that time) and Kaffirs.

Fritz Isaac states under oath:4 ‘...I was sent to Shark Island by the Germans. We remained...one year. 3,500 Nama and Kaffirs were sent to the Island and 193 returned. 3,307 died on the Island’

Samuel Kariko states under oath: ‘There were only a few thousands of us left, and we were walking skeletons. ...The people died there like flies that had been poisoned. The great majority died there. The little children and the old people died first, and then the women and weaker men (13) ’

Almost half of the approximate 17,000 natives incarcerated in the concentration camps died (11) . These camps, abolished only in 1908 (10) , were a template for the Nazi extermination and forced labor camps such as Auschwitz and Buchenwald, respectively.

The African colonies and concentration camps also served racial scientific inquiry. Post-mortems were performed to study causes of death and bodies of executed prisoners were preserved and shipped to Germany for dissection (Fig. 1 , (14) ). A 1907 chronicle reported that: "A chest of Herero skulls was recently sent to the Pathological Institute in Berlin, where they will be subjected to scientific measurements (10) ."

Figure 1
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Figure 1. Head of a Nama man who died at Shark Island concentration camp, Namibia, which was sent to Germany for anthropological "research" (14) (with permission, E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung http://www.schweizerbart.de).

Probably the most well-known study was the physician Eugen Fisher’s evaluation of Basters,5 the mixed-blood children of Dutch men and Nama women. He argued that "Negro blood" was of "lesser value" and that mixing it with "white blood" would destroy European culture, and advised that Africans should be exploited by Europeans as long they were useful, after which they could be eliminated (15) .

Fisher went on to co-author the seminal Outline of Human Genetic and Racial Hygiene with Fritz Lenz and Edwin Baur. Echoes appear in Hitler’s Mien Kampf (Hitler had been given a copy while in jail and writing Mein Kampf) and eventually in the Nuremberg racial laws6 forbidding marriage and sexual relations between Germans and "unfit" groups (Jews, Sinti, Roma, and Africans) (3) , and in the sterilization laws. Fisher became Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, and served on commissions that planned for the sterilization of Afro-Germans and provided scientific testimony on the racial heritage of German citizens (11) .

Fisher summarized the role of racial hygiene in the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung: "It is rare and special good fortune for a theoretical science to flourish at a time when...its findings can immediately serve the policy of the state (16) ."

Full article online here:

Jan Klimkowski
04-03-2009, 08:45 PM
In Gravity's Rainbow, a few of the Herero survivors are taken to Germany in the decades after the genocide: as servants, for experimentation, to be trained as Uncle Thomas and returned?... (There is some historical evidence for this.)

It's 1945. A band of Hereros are loose in the Zone of collapsed Nazi Germany, children of their history.

They still call themselves Otukungurua. Yes, old Africa hands, it ought to be "Omakungurua", but they are always careful - perhaps it's less healthy than care - to point out that omu- applies only to the living and human. Otu- is for the inanimate and the rising, and this is how they imagine themselves. Revolutionaries of the Zero, they mean to carry on what began among the old Hereros after the 1904 rebellion failed. They want a negative birth race. The program is racial suicide. They would finish the extermination the Germans began in 1904.

A generation earlier, the declining number of live Herero births was a topic of medical interest throughout southern Africa. The whites looked on as anxiously as they would have at an outbreak of rinderpest among the cattle. How provoking, to watch one's subject population dwindling like this, year after year. What's a colony without its dusky natives? Where's the fun if they're all going to die off? Just a big bunch of desert, no more maids, no more field-hands, no laborers for the construction or the mining - wait, wait a minute there, yes it's Karl Marx, that sly old racist skipping away with his teeth together and his eyebrows up trying to make believe it's nothing but Cheap Labor and Overseas Markets.... Oh, no. Colonies are much, much more. Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit. Where he can fall on his slender prey roaring as loud as he feels like and guzzle her blood with open joy. Eh? Where he can just wallow and rut and let himself go in a softness, a receptive darkness of limbs, of hair as woolly as the hair on his own forbidden genitals. Where the poppy, and cannabis and coca grow full and green, and not to the colors and style of death, as do ergot and agaric, the blight and fungus native to Europe. Christian Europe was always death, Karl, death and repression. Out and down in the colonies, life can be indulged, life and sensuality in all its forms, with no harm done to the Metropolis, nothing to soil those cathedrals, white marble statues, noble thoughts.... No word ever gets back. The silences down here are vast enough to absorb all behavior, no matter how dirty, how animal it gets...

Some of the more rational men of medicine attributed the Herero birth decline to a deficiency of Vitamin E in the diet - others to poor chances of fertilization given the peculiarly long and narrow uterus of the Herero female. But underneath all this reasonable talk, this scientific speculating, no white Afrikaaner could quite put down the way it felt... Something sinister was moving out in the veld: he was beginning to to look at their faces, especially those of the women, lined beyond the thorn fences, and he knew beyond logical proof: there was a tribal mind at work out here, and it had chosen to commit suicide... Puzzling. Perhaps we weren't as fair as we might have been, perhaps we did take their cattle and their lands away... and then the work-camps of course, the barbed wire and the stockades... Perhaps they feel it is a world they no longer want to live in. Typical of them, though, giving up, crawling away to die... why won't they even negotiate? We could work out a solution, some solution...

It was a simple choice for the Hereros, between two kinds of death: tribal death, or Christian death. Tribal death made sense. Christian death made none at all. It seemed an exercise they did not need. But to the Europeans, conned by their own Baby Jesus Con Game, what they were witnessing among these Hereros was a mystery potent as that of the elephant graveyard, or the lemmings rushing into the sea.

Gravity's Rainbow, p317-8

Magda Hassan
04-03-2009, 11:04 PM
This is fascinating stuff Jan. I had no idea. The Germans also had New Guinea for a while and they were not missed by the local population when that colony was confiscated after WW1 and handed to Australia to 'administer'. I am not aware of any such happenings there but there are certainly no happy memories and much cruelty. The whole trial run type thing is pretty spooky. And I don't think they have gone away just gone quiet and work in different ways. The whole 'elite' type thinking and being afraid of the masses.

Magda Hassan
04-04-2009, 01:27 AM
I just saw my South African born doctor this morning and he has never heard of this either. Not surprising given the state of Afrikaner education but what does that say for our education?

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
04-04-2009, 03:19 AM
I read Gravitys Rainbow five times but it was in the middle of the Reagan Administrations so it counts as 15.

It is like reading the small intestines of history backwards and forwards between 1941 and 1966-73. I find new allusions that it is making in history all the time-- eg I just last night was reading of Der Springer Press in Adenauers West Germany CIA country.

I have to agree that readers of DPF will really dig this book. Their headstart in footnoting the paranoia of history will be a huge headstart. I just sort of assumed that everyone had read it.

Peter Lemkin
04-04-2009, 04:55 AM

Jan Klimkowski
04-04-2009, 10:20 AM
I read Gravitys Rainbow five times but it was in the middle of the Reagan Administrations so it counts as 15.


It is like reading the small intestines of history backwards and forwards between 1941 and 1966-73. I find new allusions that it is making in history all the time-- eg I just last night was reading of Der Springer Press in Adenauers West Germany CIA country.

I have to agree that readers of DPF will really dig this book. Their headstart in footnoting the paranoia of history will be a huge headstart. I just sort of assumed that everyone had read it.

Gravity's Rainbow burrows deep down into the hidden, suppressed, crannies of history, into the archetypal Zone where everything burns and everything shines.

Where everything is theatre.

Or is it?

Jan Klimkowski
04-04-2009, 10:22 AM

There are lots of academic Pynchon sites online.

I once went to an academic Pynchon conference. And felt like vomiting.

Academia castrated Gravity's Rainbow by using it as an example of postmodernist thought.

A pox on the professors of Pynchon studies who are so smug and super smart they spent decades asking the wrong questions and demanding their students do the same.

Jan Klimkowski
04-04-2009, 10:29 AM
This is fascinating stuff Jan. I had no idea. The Germans also had New Guinea for a while and they were not missed by the local population when that colony was confiscated after WW1 and handed to Australia to 'administer'. I am not aware of any such happenings there but there are certainly no happy memories and much cruelty. The whole trial run type thing is pretty spooky. And I don't think they have gone away just gone quiet and work in different ways. The whole 'elite' type thinking and being afraid of the masses.

The truth is that the root of genocide is the concept of a master race, of "pure" blood, of "good" blood and "bad" blood.

Racial hygiene. The phrase says it all.

Exterminate, eliminate black, gypsy, slav, Jew blood.

The root is eugenics.

And eugenics, perfection of the blood, is a deep secret sine qua non of the ruling elites.

They believe Their blood is superior.

They know that They cannot say this openly.

Magda Hassan
12-16-2012, 02:28 PM
The Blue Book they didn't want us to read: How Britain, Germany and South Africa destroyed a damning book on German atrocities in Namibia.

Link to this page

In 1926, both the British and South African governments ordered the destruction of a 212-page "Blue Book" on the "first organised genocide of the 20th century" committed by the German colonial government in Namibia, for which the Herero people are now suing the German government and three German companies for $4 billion damages.

The British government had ordered the publication of the Blue Book in 1918. The expression "Blue Book" was used in those days to refer to any report published and distributed by the British parliament (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/British+Parliament).

The full title of the Namibian "Blue Book" was: "Union of South Africa (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Union+of+South+Africa) -- Report On The Natives OfSouth-West Africa (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/South-West+Africa) And Their Treatment By Germany".

It was prepared by the South African Administrator's Office in Windhoek in January 1918, and published in the UK by the British government's official publisher, His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/HMSO)). Sold at the unit price of "2s 6d net", the Blue Book was presented to both Houses of Parliament (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Houses+of+Parliament) in London "by command of His Majesty (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/His+Majesty)" in August 1918.

Yet, eight years later, in 1926, His Majesty's Government and its allies in South Africa (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/South+Africa) were ordering the "total destruction" of the book. Germany was being rehabilitated after World War I by the Allies, and the Blue Book had become an "embarrassment" as it "painted the European in too poor light".

Some copies did survive though, and New African (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/New+African) is happy to announce that we now have a copy. From next month, we are going to serialise (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/serialise) it for the benefit of all.

But for now, as a taster (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/taster), we publish below excerpts from Jeremy Silvester's excellent paper (published two years ago) about the background to the compilation and destruction of the Blue Book.

Silvester, from the History Department of the University of Namibia (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/University+of+Namibia), tided his paper: "The Politics of Reconciliation: Destroying the Blue Book". It is a veritable eye-opener.

"The Blue Book drew heavily on statements from 47 different witnesses to produce a stinging criticism of the German colonial period (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Colonial+Period) in Namibia. However, within a decade, orders were issued for every copy of this indictment of German colonialism to be destroyed.

The destruction, in 1926, was carried out as an act of post-War reconciliation as efforts were made to integrate the German-speaking white population of Namibia within a new South African-sponsored colonial project.

Major Thomas Leslie O'Reilly was appointed as the military magistrate for Omaruru on 22 August 1916. O'Reilly would be the primary compiler of the Blue Book, which had been drafted by the end of 1917.

The first image that confronts the reader and which sets the tone for the rest of the book is one of six dead Namibians hanging from a makeshift gallows (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/gallows) with a number of apparently disinterested German soldiers standing around.

The 212-page final report that follows is divided into two sections. The first 150 pages contained 15 chapters written by O'Reilly, entitled "Natives and German Administration", whilst the second section (49 pages) with the heading "Natives and the Criminal Law" was the responsibility of Mr A. J, Waters, who had served as the crown prosecutor (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Crown+Prosecutor) for Namibia from October 1915.

The final pages of the Blue Book reproduce (as appendices) three more sets of documents. The first is a short "medical report on German methods of punishment" (accompanied by 11 more photographs of various types of chains, prisoners in chains and a final pair of images of five more Namibians hanging from trees).

The next two appendices contain documents written in German - the first, a letter sent by the German governor to his district officers, and the next letters sent by German officials based at Luderitzbucht which complain about the ill-treatment of the local black population by the white residents of the town and surrounding district.

The central role played by O'Reilly in gathering the evidence contained in the Blue Book can be seen in the fact that many of the witnesses he prominently quoted were living in the Omaruru District.

In his role as military magistrate, O'Reilly had a close and, some would argue, "sympathetic" relationship with local Herero leaders, such as Daniel Kariko.

It seems likely that the entire report was compiled in less than 12 months as the initial imperial initiative for such a document seems only to have been undertaken in March 1917 - whilst the final addition to the report - a preface by E.H.M. Gorges, the first South African administrator of the [South West Africa (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/South+West+Africa)] 'Protectorate' is dated 18 January 1918.

O'Reilly served, from 1916, as a member of the Special Criminal Court that acted as the highest court in the territory during the period of martial law (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/martial+law) (19 15-1920), and it is noticeable that the second section of the Blue Book consists largely of commentary on cases heard by this court (with the addition of material on a few "high profile" cases from the German period).

Eighty-five of the cases referred to by Waters in the second half of the Blue Book were heard by the Special Criminal Court on which O'Reilly sat as a member.

O'Reilly seems to have retired and left South West Africa shortly after completing his work on the Blue Book. The last trace in his personal file in the archives listed him as living at 4 St Qunitons Road, Gardens, Cape Town (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Gardens%2c+Cape+Town), South Africa.

The genocide debate

After Namibia's independence, the Blue Book became the focus of academic discussion. The hidden text emerged from the shadows of the archives.

It was attacked in an article (titled Uncertain Certainties: The Herero War of 1904) published in 1995 by the late Brigitte Lau in which she challenged the argument contained in Let Us Die Fighting, the 1980 work of Horst Dreschler, that the Germans had pursued a policy of 'genocide' against the Herero people. Lau described this argument as 'inappropriate' and 'inaccurate'.

Dreschler had argued that the Blue Book had not only been destroyed by the South African colonial administration in 1926, but has also, subsequently, been 'systematically ignored by German authors'. He suggested that this was because it provided 'a fairly accurate picture' of events as they took place during the 1904-1908 War [during which over 65,000 Hereros were wiped out].

Dreschler acknowledged that there were some weaknesses in the text: 'The introductory chapters contain a number of factual errors. Moreover, the general tone of the work betrays a tendency toidealise (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/idealise) British colonial policy.' However, he obviously considered the Blue Book to be an important primary source of evidence.

Lau, on the other hand, took a far more hostile view of the Blue Book, describing it as an English anti-German propaganda publication. She asserted that it was purely 'war propaganda' with 'no credibility whatsoever'.

Furthermore, she claimed that 'its further distribution was proscribed (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Proscribed) by embarrassed Union [of South Africa] officials in 1926', ignoring the evidence that the destruction of the book owed far more to the dynamics of local and international politics at the time.

Lau's article generated an extensive 'genocide debate' in which a number of academics challenged her criticism of Dreschler and, by implication, the 'credibility' of the Blue Book.

In the key chapter on 'The Herero Uprising', Dreschler provides 140 endnotes giving the sources of his evidence and, whilst many of these endnotes contain more than one reference, only three cite the Blue Book.

In the most direct response to Lau's criticisms, Jan Bart Gewald (in his 1996 PhD thesis, Towards Redemption: A sociopolitical (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sociopolitical) history of the Herero of Namibia between 1890 and 1923), has gone so far as to argue that: 'The bulk of evidence contained in the Blue Book is little more than the literal translation (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Literal+translation) of German texts published at the time which were the findings of a German commission of inquiry into the effects of corporal punishment (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/corporal+punishment).

Book still unknown

It seems incredible that, given its centrality to a crucial period of Namibian history, the Blue Book still remains largely unknown in Namibia. In contrast, there has been a stream of local publications that reprint accounts of the [1904-1908] War written by German participants.

The writers of the Blue Book emphasised the extent to which they had gathered oral testimony from Namibian survivors of the 1904-1908 War and explicitly argued that 'the following sad and terrible details...are not figments of the imagination, but sworn descriptions of eye-witnesses'.

Furthermore, O'Reilly claims that the narratives were collected as 'voluntary statements made on oath by surviving chiefs, headmen (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Headmen), an prominent leaders of the aboriginal tribes'.

Yet, the oral testimony of the Namibian witnesses to the War remains 'forgotten' whilst the written accounts of the German forces continue to be repeatedly reproduced.

German official response

In 1919, the year after the publication of the Blue Book, the German Colonial Office published at official response (titled, The Treatment of Native and other Populations in the Colonial Possessions of Germany and England: An Answer to the English Blue Book of August 1918), and criticised the dependence placed by the compilers of the Blue Book 'for the greater part' on 'the sworn testimony (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Sworn+testimony) of the natives themselves, poor, primitive creatures who have no conception of the nature of an oath' (1919: p57).

The Germans argued that 'an uneducated black' would have no concept of the difference between fact and fiction. Thus, the 51 witnesses are recast (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/recast) as the artful (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/artful) weavers of fanciful stories.

"Those who are familiar with African psychology," the German counter-report went on, 'know how the natives love to indulge their fancies with sanguinary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sanguinary) atrocity stories and how they invent these in the most senseless fashion, even where there is not the slightest foundation for their imaginings' (1919: p73).

The counter-report claimed that when 'natives' are called to the witness stand, 'an unbridledphantasm (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/phantasm) usually distotts their vision of reality, transforms it in their memory and permits it to become manifest in their evidence' (1919: p138).

In contrast to this loud orchestra of allegedly false accusation, a significant part of the German defence rested on the claim that German soldiers actually 'refraincd from carrying out the command of the German general, Von Trotha [to 'exterminate' the Herein]', but, unfortunately for the German Colonial Office, the soldiers did this 'silently' (1919: p70).

The Colonial Office drew particular attention to what it considered as one of its two strongest arguments against the reliability of the Blue Book -- the fact that 'apparently only a few white witnesses were examined (l9l9: p71).

Rather than attempt to analyse and criticise the contents of the statements as a criterion for judging the reliability and credibility of the book, the German Colonial Office focuses on the issue of the colour of those making the statements used in the Blue Book.

According to (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/according+to) the Colonial Office, the testimony provided in the Blue Book should not be taken seriously, because 'only a single white man' is quoted.

The final nail in the coffin of the reliability of the Blue Book, according to the German Colonial Office, is that the single white man quoted by the British, can, in fact, be revealed to be 'not a European but a so-called Cape Boy, that is a South African with coloured blood' (19l9: p74).

In the absence of supposedly reliable 'white history', the British authors of the Blue Book are accused of making the mistake of presuming (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/presuming) that their 'native' informants are 'honest', when 'the plain fact', according to the Germans, was that 'the natives are lying' (1919: p71).

German criticisms

The second main thrust of the German criticisms of the Blue Book was that it was only created as an effective tool for use by the British delegation to the negotiations that led to the end of World War I.

The British agenda, according to the Germans, was to discredit Germany as a colonial power in order to ensure that the former German colonies (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/former+German+colonies) would be swallowed by the British Empire (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/British+Empire).

In the words of the German Colonial Office, the Blue Book was thus, "a hideous travesty of truth, a grotesque caricature cunningly and with malice aforethought (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/malice+aforethought) constructed to justify the moralising of greed when bent upon alienating the property of others' (19l9: p57).

It is clear that the evidence contained in the Blue Book played a significant role during the discussions at Versailles about the future of the German colonies.

The former governor of German East Africa (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/German+East+Africa), Heinrich Schnee, was a particularly strong proponent of this argument, claiming that the basis for the commissioning of the Blue Book was laid following the formation of a 'special commission' in March 1917 charged with preparing material to be used by the British delegation to the Versailles peace conference.

Schnee argues in his book, German Colonialism: Past and Future, published in 1926, that 'it was this commission that mobilised the attacks against the German colonial administration (Schnee 1926: p67).

In an earlier pamphlet entitled How German Colonies Were Seized, Schnee made this allegation that the Blue Book was simply a ploy by an imperial rival with greater passion:

'...When the Versailles Treaty was forced upon Germany, the alleged maladministration (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Maladministration) of her colonies was used as a pretext wherewith (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/wherewith) to quieten the scruples of those who had been assured, and who still believed, that England did not go to war for the acquisition of more territory.

Schnee further argues that the British prime minister, Lloyd George (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Lloyd+George), on 14 January 1919 explicitly used the example of Namibia during the Versailles negotiations to argue that Germany was unworthy of being a colonial power, because 'in South West Africa they had deliberately pursued a policy of extermination' (Schnee: p53).

The war of words

Jan-Bart Gewald refers to two significant pieces of correspondence in which E.H.M. Gorges, the administrator of South West Africa, reports to the South African prime minister, Jan Smuts (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Jan+Smuts), who played a leading role in the establishment of the mandate system.

In June 1918, (shortly before the Blue Book was presented to the British parliament in August), Gorges informed Smuts that he had written to all the military magistrates in Namibia and urged them 'to do their utmost to suppress any attempts of the ill-treatment of the natives [by the South Africans (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/South+Africans)], pointing out that a clean record in this matter was essential if we wanted to use the Germanmaltreatment (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/maltreatment) of the natives as a reason for keeping this country' (Gewald 1996: p343).

Later, in an official report written shortly after the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Treaty+of+Versailles), Gorges noted that:

'Great use was made in Paris of the Blue Book compiled here under my directions, dealing with the ill-treatment of the Hereros and other tribes of this country by the Germans; and the solemn declaration was made that the care of these hapless and undeveloped peoples is to be one of the primary duties of the League of Nations, and that the custody and tutelage (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tutelage) of these peoples is to be given to a state which has shown that it can exercise a conscience in the matter (Gewald 1996 p303).

It is clear that the Blue Book was indeed an instrument deployed in the argument used to prevent Germany from any hope of retaining its African empire as part of the peace settlement.

However, the recognition of this fact does nothing in itself to discredit the actual contents of the Blue Book, but does perhaps explain why so much of the German arguments against the Blue Book were actually preoccupied with criticising Britain's own colonial human rights record.

In fact, the terms in which the discourse of the propaganda war was waged over the 'colonial question' is important, as it explains why it was so easy for the British to agree to the removal of the Blue Book from the library shelves of the world less than a decade after its original damning conclusions had been published.

The discussion of 'German colonial guilt' was always presented by British propaganda writers within a wider framework in which the morality and, indeed, desirability of colonialism by Western powers was assumed.

Evans Lewin was the most prolific of the British propagandists to write on the theme of German colonialism from his desk in the library of the (British) Royal Colonial Institute (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Colonial+Institute).

In a pamphlet published in 1915, (titled, The Germans and Africa: Their Aims on the Dark Continent (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Dark+Continent) and How they Acquired their African Colonies), Lewin argues that there is a racial explanation for the 'success' of British colonialism and the 'failure' of German colonialism. His opinion is that:

'Britons, unlike Germans, have generally possessed the faculty of correctly gauging native feeling and have thus been able to appreciate the force of native sentiment.

'Germans, on the other hand, lacking the subtler psychological characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon, have failed miserably whenever they have been brought into contact with a native sentiment which they have not been able to understand' (1915:p112).

In another publication in 1918, (German Rule in Africa), the same year as the publication of the Blue Book, Lewin clearly stated his belief that there were 'subject races' who were 'the world's children' (1918: p45).

'...The natives of Africa,' he argued, 'whether they are regarded as economic assets or as human beings, are in reality children, with certain vices of their own, but in their raw state uncontaminated with the more hideous vices introduced by a corrupt and sensual civilisation. They may be moulded like clay in the hands of the potter' (1918:p45).

The extent to which this depiction of the local population was shared by the colonial powers is perhaps best exemplified by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Covenant+of+the+League+of+Nations) itself, which defined the people of some former German colonies, such as Namibia, as 'peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world' (UNIN (http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/UNIN) 1987: p311).

In this context, the German Colonial Office was able to present the Blue Book as 'a great wrong' not just against Germany but 'against the white race as a whole' (1919: p146).

The book must go

The destruction of the Blue Book cannot be simply dismissed as the actions of 'embarrassed' South African officials, but must be viewed within the context of the forms of international andmote (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/mote) parochial 'reconciliation' that were raking place in the mid-1920s.

Internationally, British support for the destruction of the Blue Book should be seen as linked to moves to incorporate Germany into the League of Nations.

Inside Namibia, the campaign for the book's destruction can be viewed as a consequence of an effort to build unity within the multi-lingual white settler community.

In his 1926 book, Heinrich Schnee, the former German governor of East Africa, argued that the 'fiction of colonial guilt' should be rescinded. He wrote:

'We Germans owe it to ourselves and to our children, we owe it to our position amongst the nations, that these reflections upon our honour should be rebutted before the world. We also owe it to the future of our race, in order that the way may be cleared for the return of Germany to the ranks of the colonising nations (Schnee 1926: p50)

Thus, in 1926, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations and granted a permanent seat on the 'League Council' (a privilege that might be compared to the permanent membership of the UN Security Council today).

Whilst efforts were being made to promote a policy of 'international reconciliation' through the League of Nations, a form of 'national reconciliation' was also being advocated inside Namibia itself.

The South African occupation had been accompanied by concerns about the presence of a significant and potentially hostile local population. The black population made it apparent that they held high expectations of recovering their land and property lost under German rule, while the German settlers were still clearly hostile to the South African take-over of Namibia in 1915.

The South Africans, therefore, pursued a strategy of encouraging rapid white settlement in Namibia, and the development of internal political structures to help forge greater unity amongst the white settler community.

The year 1926 saw the first election campaign in Namibia since the South African takeover -- under a franchise that was limited to white males.

In a campaign speech made at Keetman-shoop, Mr Jooste, the local chairperson of the National Parry argued strongly for: 'The cooperation of all sections of the community--the farmers must work together whether they were German, Dutch or English'.

The extent to which this process of 'reconciliation' had progressed was most apparent in the speech by the new administrator, Mr Werth, when he arrived in Namibia during the election campaign. According to the Windhoek Advertiser of 20 March 1926, Werth argued that:

'He was aware that South West Africa wanted settlers, and the first duty of the administration was to get sufficient people into the country... Knowing that Afrikaners were excellent settlers, he would try to get as many people from the Union [of South Africa] as possible. On the other hand, he would welcome immigrants from North Europe, history having proved that the best colonists came from that part of Europe.'

In other words (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/in+other+words), German settlers were now being implicitly encouraged, once again, to immigrate (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/immigrate) to Namibia. The claim made in the Blue Book that the 'German emigrant' had proved himself to be utterly incapable and unsuitable' as a colonist was forgotten.

Indeed, a totally contrary argument was now presented-'history' had 'proved' that Germans were actually 'the best colonists'. The local press now called for 'local patriotism'. The 'South Wester' was to be born from the ashes of the Blue Book.

The final nail

In July 1926, the Legislative Assembly voted that German should become the 'third official language' in Namibia--a decision that explains why many information boards (that were erected be ore independence in 1990) can still be found that bear text written in Afrikaans, English and German.

Less than a week later, in August, Mr Stauch (inscribed (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inscribed) in the history books because of his association with the discovery of the first diamond in Namibia in 1908), proposed a resolution 'regarding the destruction of the Blue Book'.

He argued that the book should simply be regarded as an 'instrument of war', and should, therefore, be destroyed as part of the post-War peacemaking (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Peacemaking) process.

Stauch made the position of the German-speaking members of the Legislative Assembly clear. To them, the Blue Book was 'one of the most serious obstacles to mutual trust and cooperation in this country'.

Stauch said: 'The Germans were ready and anxious to co-operate in the building up of South West Africa, [but] they could not do so fully until the stigma imposed by the Blue Book had been removed from their name.' He felt that the Blue Book besmirched the 'honour of Germany'.

The leader of the Union Parry in the Legislative Assembly, D.W. Ballot, pledged his support, arguing that the subject of the war was a sensitive and 'delicate' one.

Whilst stating that he would not 'criticise the contents of the book or its compilers', Ballot argued that its destruction would be 'an act of justice' to the German-speaking community of Namibia.

'Few civilised (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/civilised) races,' Mr Ballot said, 'could look back over their colonial history without regrets in regard to some of the incidents that have darkened (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/darkened) their past.' His argument was, therefore, not that the Blue Book was inaccurate, but that it was hypocritical (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hypocritical).

Thus on 29 July 1926, the resolution to destroy the book was passed 'unanimously' by all 18 members of the Legislative Assembly.

An editorial in The Windhoek Advertiser on 31 July 1926 mused on the significance of the total support given to the resolution by the Assembly. 'In effect,' the paper said, 'the House of Assembly has resolved that the matter shall be forgotten'.

The resolution not only called for the Blue Book to be impounded and all copies destroyed, but also demanded that the British and South African governments 'expunge' all references to the Blue Book contained in 'official records'.

Perhaps this explains why inquiries have uncovered no trace of relevant papers in the British archives, and why Major O'Reilly's two boxes of research material seem to have disappeared.

Endnote (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/endnote)

Roger Smith has argued that 'memory requires renewal'. There have to he 'reminders' that call attention to the past: public commemorations, a literature or art that can summon the past into the present'.

In Namibia, there are no public commemorations of the calamitous (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/calamitous) events of the 1904-1908 War. No national monuments recall the names of any of the Herero or Nama people who were the main victims of the War, or mark the sites of the prison camps where thousands died.

In contrast, the names of every German fatality (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fatality) from the War is listed on plagues that line the wall of the church that straddles the routes to State House and Parliament.

The War is not represented in popular art forms, and the published literature remains limited to the repetitive reprinting of contemporary German accounts of the War.

Namibia provides a prime example of 'dissonant heritage' with an apparent reluctance on the part of heritage agencies to attempt the 'very difficult challenge of memorialising the atrocity as an instrument of reconciliation between the descendants of the perpetrators and victims'.

Yet the country's president, Sam Nujoma (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Sam+Nujoma), argued in his introduction to Horst Dreschler's account of the 1904-1908 War that: 'Society is only fully intelligible when it is studied in terms of its history and of the economic, social, political and spiritual factors which helped to form it' (Nujoma 1980:pvii).

If the historians' vision of a post-authoritarian democracy embraces a 'new, shared and ceaselessly debated memory of the past', then the silenced voices of the Blue Book must be heard again.

(Well, New African, through our forthcoming serialisation (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serialisation), will give the "silenced voices" of the Blue Book the opportunity to he "heard again " So, book your copies in advance).
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Blue+Book+they+didn't+want+us+to+read%3a+How+B ritain%2c+Germany+and...-a081298638

Jan Klimkowski
12-16-2012, 02:40 PM
A truly disgraceful history of the suppression of genocide.

The concentration camp was born in German and British colonial Africa.

Peter Lemkin
12-16-2012, 04:47 PM
I have just finished the very excellent book [I recommend it highly to every/anyone] by H.P. Albarelli 'A TERRIBLE TRUTH -THE MURDER OF FRANK OLSEN AND THE CIA'S SECRET COLD WAR EXPERIMENTS' [Even if you think you know all about CIA-OSS-MI mind control and drug experimentation, you don't fully until you read this book - in addition to the other better ones!] I look forward to his next book on the JFK Assassination due out [after long delays to put in new material] in March! The reason it is on this thread is that one of two the NY State Prosecutor's men assigned to the 'cold' case was a Pynchon fan and used to quote Pynchon in regards to his investigation and things that happened. Albarelli also has a few Pynchon quotes in his book......

I have read two of TP's books, Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 59. I'm a James Joyce fan and Pynchon shares much with Joyce's word play and complexity/multiple levels of meaning in writing. Both books I need to re-read now that I know MUCH more about what Pynchon had in mind....and didn't have the 'guide' I did with Joyce in my father, who had been reading Joyce all his adult life and taught me all he knew.

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

Jan Klimkowski
01-14-2013, 07:27 PM
“What more do they want? She asks this seriously, as if there's a real conversion factor between information and lives. Well, strange to say, there is. Written down in the Manual, on file at the War Department. Don't forget the real business of the War is buying and selling. The murdering and violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as a spectacle, as a diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world. Best of all, mass death's a stimulus to just ordinary folks, little fellows, to try 'n' grab a piece of that Pie while they're still here to gobble it up. The true war is a celebration of markets. Organic markets, carefully styled "black" by the professionals, spring up everywhere. Scrip, Sterling, Reichsmarks, continue to move, severe as classical ballet, inside their antiseptic marble chambers. But out here, down here among the people, the truer currencies come into being. So, Jews are negotiable. Every bit as negotiable as cigarettes, cunt, or Hershey bars.”

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Charles Drago
01-14-2013, 09:15 PM
"It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.”

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

This is wisdom, timeless and inescapable.

Jan Klimkowski
01-15-2013, 09:21 PM
"It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.”

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

This is wisdom, timeless and inescapable.

It is.

But indulge me, Pynchon's prose is resonant, and a longer excerpt sprinkles some subtly different magick dust.

The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as a spectacle, as a diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.

Mass death.

Grieving parents.

Griefstricken friends.

Mass death. Bloody slaughter.

Trauma used to switch the points.... to send the train hurtling along the chosen tracks...

Don Jeffries
01-26-2013, 04:16 PM
Gravity's Rainbow represents, in my view, one of the most impressive novels of the twentieth century. It's a book that probably very few young people today, with their ever shortening attention spans, could possibly read. If you think James Joyce or Kurt Vonnegut liked varying plots and seemingly unconnected transitions, Pychon is in a league of his own in this regard.

Reading this book today, one realizes just how puritanized our culture has become. Pynchon has a long scene in Gravity's Rainbow, which features an underage girl (I believe she's 11) as a knowing temptress who is spanked in front of the entire ship, who are so turned on by it that an impromptu orgy ensues. She is later raped and killed on board. I don't think a major publisher would permit such a scenario in today's America, much as the 1978 movie Pretty Baby would be considered child pornography now. Whether that means we've regressed in our views towards sexuality, or merely adopted a more sensible, moral approach, it can't be denied that a startling change has taken place on this subject in the past 25 years or so.

My favorite scene in Gravity's Rainbow is when Slothrop goes literally down the toilet and meets a military officer in the sewer. Here's a snippet of their conversation:

"Look on it as an optimization problem. The country can best support only one of each.
Q: Then what about all the others? Boston. London. The ones who live in cities. Are those people real, or what?
A: Some are real, and some aren't.
Q: Well are the real ones necessary? or unnecessary?
A: It depends what you have in mind.
Q: Shit, I don't have anything in mind.
A: We do."

I was so impressed with this that I was later inspired to title my 2007 novel The Unreals.

Btw, Pynchon was considered one of the most notorious shut-ins the literary world has ever produced. Has he ever been photographed? Supposedly, he provided a voice for one of the Simpsons episodes, but I'm not sure it was ever verified to have been him.

Peter Lemkin
01-26-2013, 04:56 PM

Jan Klimkowski
05-13-2013, 09:48 PM
From an interview with Alex Constantine (http://www.secondsmagazine.com/articles/48-constantine.php):

CONSTANTINE: To give you an example, Phil Ochs developed a multiple personality. He was a part of a group I called the "Baez Contras" who surrounded Joan Baez. It's known that Joan was used in C.I.A. mind control experimentation at a very early age. She was subjected to trauma-based programming, which is still in use today in the creation of multiple personalities. If you look at the latest record by Joan Baez, she thanks her multiple personalities on the back of the record. Then you have her friend Phil Ochs, who was equally adamant in his opposition to the U.S. government and covert operations — and he developed a multiple personality by the name of John Train. It wasn't until ten years later that the name "John Train" surfaced as a C.I.A. operative working on Wall Street. As a matter of fact, Lyndon LaRouche complained about an agent named John Train who supposedly led him to his present jail sentence. During the 1960s and Seventies, John Train of the C.I.A. had the job of disrupting the Left, which was the sole purpose of Operation Chaos. So how was it that Phil Ochs came to have a multiple personality with the name of an actual C.I.A. agent? We know Phil Ochs was found hung in 1976 and it was his alternate personality that did the hanging that actually assassinated the host personality.

The F.B.I. and C.I.A. came together in Operation Chaos; it was an inter-agency program that drew upon the entire intelligence apparatus of the U.S. government. As I say, it was the largest covert project in American history.

SECONDS: Could you provide more informational support on the idea that Joan Baez was involved?

CONSTANTINE: Yes. She's admitted in private letters to two organizations for mind control victims that she had been submitted to trauma-based programming as a child.

SECONDS: What's trauma-based programming?

CONSTANTINE: The C.I.A. found they could take a young child, subject that child to extreme trauma, forcing the child to withdraw within himself. That's called disassociation and at that stage you can begin to program the child by creating altered personalities. Often the altered personality lives in the area of the body that is tortured. So if the child is tortured in the shoulder, for instance, he may have a multiple personality that lives in the shoulder.

SECONDS: How would a child he tortured?

CONSTANTINE: With electric shock.

SECONDS: Joan Baez's family was —

CONSTANTINE: Her father was the head of Operations Research at Cornell University, which is known today as being the home base for all MK-Ultra contracts during the 1950s.

SECONDS: What does "Operations Research" mean?

CONSTANTINE: I'm not sure, but that was his title. Cornell was the home of all mind control experimentation conducted by the C.I.A. It was the also the home of the Human Ecology Fund, which is well known as the contract base of MK-Ultra. The C.I.A. handed out contracts to Ivy League universities and behind the fences of these colleges around the country there were scientists conducting over one hundred and twenty different sub-projects in the field of mind control.

SECONDS: So we have Phil Ochs and Joan Baez —

CONSTANTINE: In a small circle of Folk singers, what are the odds that two of them would have multiple personalities? Now Joan Baez reaches the age of seventeen and hits those coffeehouses with her guitar and begins associating with a young man named Bob Dylan who, if you recall, has a motorcycle accident in 1966. This is three months after Joan Baez's brother-in-law had a fatal motorcycle accident. How was it this came about? Those are questions I want to ask about these musicians and their tragic lives. In the case of Phil Ochs, it's easy to understand why he was targeted by Operation Chaos. He was at the Chicago convention — remember "Pig For President"? That was his pig. He was one of the organizers of the Chicago event. His career was on the rise up to the Chicago convention; then after the convention it went into steep decline. He was blackballed by the radio stations; he had a difficult time getting record contracts; his career nose-dived from 1968 until his death.

SECONDS: What other musicians were assassinated?

CONSTANTINE: There's a whole slew of musicians who were vocally political and opposed the Central Intelligence Agency. Joan Baez had gone to Chile and rallied against the C.I.A. — and the youth movement in general had targeted the Central Intelligence Agency for its role in the Vietnam War and bringing the United States into it. You had Fascism openly condemned on campuses; they were burning Nixon in effigy — this is why Operation Chaos geared up. To put down the youth movement entailed assassinating political leaders and musicians who spoke openly against the Nixon regime.

Mimi Baez, Joan's sister, was married to the folk singer and poet Richard Farina.

Farina was the best friend of Thomas Pynchon.

Farina is Joan Baez's brother-in-law who died in a motorcycle accident.

Pynchon dedicated Gravity's Rainbow to Richard Farina.

The following is strictly for those with Eyes Wide Open.

“Pavlov was fascinated with the “ideas of the opposite”. Call it a cluster of cells, somewhere on the cortex of the brain. Helping to disintiguish pleasure from pain, light from dark, dominance from submission….but when somehow – starve them, traumatize, castrate them send them over into one of the transmarginal phases, past borders of their waking selves, past equivalent and paradoxical phases – you weaken this idea of the opposite, and here all at once is the paranoid patient, who would be master, yet now feels himself a slave…..who would be loved, but suffers his world’s indifference, and “I think”, Pavlov writing to Janet, “it is precisely the ultraparadoxical phase which is the base of the weakening of the idea of the opposite in our patients. Our madmen, our paranoid, maniac, schizoid, morally imbecilic.
Spectro shakes his head. “You are putting response before stimulus. Not at all. Think about it. He is out there, he can feel them coming, days in advance, but it is a reflex. A reflex to something that is in the air right now, something were too coarsely put together to sense, but Slothrop can.”

Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Tyrone Slothrop.

Infant conditioning.

IG Farben.

Behaviourist conditioning.

Nazi scientist Laszlo Jamf Paperclipped to the USofA.

A programmed Reflex, linking Sex and Death.


Conditioning infants.

The Good Rocket to take us to the Stars.

The Evil Rocket for the World's suicide.

The two perpetually in struggle.

So generation after generation of men in love with pain and passivity serve out their time in the Zone, silent, redolent of faded sperm, terrified of dying, desperately addicted to the comforts others sell them, however useless, ugly or shallow, willing to have life defined for them by men whose only talent is for death.

Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

There is also the story about Tyrone Slothrop, who was sent into the Zone to be present as his own assembly--perhaps heavily paranoid voices whisper, 'his time's assembly'--and there ought to be a punchline to it, but there isn't. The plan went wrong. He is being broken down instead and being scattered. His cards have been laid down, Celtic style, in the order suggested by Mr. A.E. Waite, laid out and read, but they are the cards of a tanker and feeb: they point only to a long and scuffling future, to mediocrity...-to no clear happiness or redeeming cataclysm.

Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

David Guyatt
05-14-2013, 09:29 AM
"It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.”

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

This is wisdom, timeless and inescapable.

It is.

But indulge me, Pynchon's prose is resonant, and a longer excerpt sprinkles some subtly different magick dust.

The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as a spectacle, as a diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world.

Mass death.

Grieving parents.

Griefstricken friends.

Mass death. Bloody slaughter.

Trauma used to switch the points.... to send the train hurtling along the chosen tracks...

The cold, calculated use of genocide simply as a means of deflection. It's chilling. No, it's worse.

To carry out such a thing you have to be devoid of a heart, free of thoughts of right or wrong. Pathological. Malevolent. What used to be called evil.

Peter Lemkin
05-14-2013, 10:09 AM
Mimi Baez, Joan's sister, was married to the folk singer and poet Richard Farina.

Farina was the best friend of Thomas Pynchon.

Farina is Joan Baez's brother-in-law who died in a motorcycle accident.

Pynchon dedicated Gravity's Rainbow to Richard Farina.

Interesting, new to me [only knew what is on the first line], and with a strange synchronicity to it.

Dawn Meredith
05-14-2013, 02:31 PM
Mimi Baez, Joan's sister, was married to the folk singer and poet Richard Farina.

Farina was the best friend of Thomas Pynchon.

Farina is Joan Baez's brother-in-law who died in a motorcycle accident.

Pynchon dedicated Gravity's Rainbow to Richard Farina.

Interesting, new to me [only knew what is on the first line], and with a strange synchronicity to it.

Same here. I knew Farina was married to Joan's sister and that he died in a motorcycle accident. I read Been Down So Long It Looks LIke Up to me at age eighteen.
But the stuff about Joan Baez being an MKULTRA victim is totally new to me. As is the Phil Oachs info. I too loved his music and his politics, see this article by BK as unwitting Cointelpro.
Operation Chaos had to destroy the love/anti war movement as it had become too large. The years between 1967 - 1970 were such a time of hope.
It felt like we- the love generation- really could change the world. Alas, such thought is quickly extinguished. Always. All through history.
The masters in control worship evil.
I weep for my teen-early adult years that now feel like a lie. Of course it was a lie. MLK and Bobby had already been assassinated.
Peace was never an option.
"All we are saying". And then he too was killed, when no-one expected it.

I too had not heard of this work Jan, so thanks for posting this.

David Josephs
05-14-2013, 07:48 PM
Looks like an amazing read... hope I can get to it in due time


Richard Farina

Beyond the
Un Perm' au
In the Zone
4 The

before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre.
There are no lights inside the cars. No light anywhere. Above him lift
girders old as an iron queen, and glass somewhere far above that
would let the light of day through. But it's night. He's afraid of the way the
glass will fall—soon—it will be a spectacle: the fall of a crystal palace.
But coming down in total blackout, without one glint of light, only great
invisible crashing.

Anthony Thorne
05-14-2013, 09:11 PM
Constantine mentions the death of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and alleges that the singer was targeted due to his participation with an East Timor documentary. An INXS fan-site has the transcript of a chat Hutchence did in 1997, in the months before he died, and the issue was clearly on Hutchence's mind -


From C303103B@Juno.com: Dear Mr. Hutchence, Do you have any political party affiliation. If so, what is it?
Michael Hutchence Says: I vote Labor in Australia, (and too bad they're not in anymore!) As far as my views go, Amnesty Interntional, everyone should support them, and a little known fact is that East Timor needs all the help they can get. They've been overrun by the Indonesians.

Constantine seems to be a longtime source of compelling, convincing but hard-to-verify info (such as an earlier piece linking 9/11 with Adnan Khashoggi) and I'd love it if he put his research into books more frequently, rather than leaving them hidden in various blogs online. Anyway, the specifics Constantine gives regarding MK-Ultra in that interview from more than a decade ago are startling.

Jan Klimkowski
05-14-2013, 09:30 PM
Gravity's Rainbow was written in the 1960s and finally published in 1973.

MK-ULTRA was brought to public attention by the Church Committee in 1975, and was essentially unknown until then.

Thomas Pynchon moved in the same circles as Mimi and Joan Baez.

He was a very bright and original researcher of dusty tomes and hidden history, as the Herero material earlier in this thread clearly demonstrates.

In a dream from this time, his father has come to find him. Slothrop has been
wandering at sundown by the Mungahannock, near a rotting old paper mill,
abandoned back in the nineties. A heron rises in silhouette against luminous
and dying orange. "Son," a falling tower of words tumbling over and over
themselves, "the president died three months ago." Slothrop stands and
curses him. "Why didn't you tell me? Pop, I loved him. You only wanted to
sell me to the IG. You sold me out." The old man's eyes fill with tears. "Oh
son ..." trying to take his hand. But the sky is dark, the heron gone, the
empty skeleton of the mill and the dark increase of the river saying it is time
to go . . .

Better behave yourself or we'll send you back to Dr. Jamf !

When Jamf conditioned him, he threw away the stimulus.

Looks like Dr. Jamf's been by to set your little thing today, hasn't he?

—Neil Nosepicker's Book of 50,000 Insults,
§6.72, "Awful Offspring,"
The Nayland Smith Press,
Cambridge (Mass.), 1933

PUDDING.-But isn't this—
PUDDING: Isn't it all rather shabby, Pointsman? Meddling with another
man's mind this way?
POINTSMAN: Brigadier, we're only following in a long line of experiment
and questioning. Harvard University, the U.S. Army? Hardly shabby
PUDDING: We can't, Pointsman, it's beastly.
POINTSMAN: But the Americans have already been at him! don't you
see? It's not as if we're corrupting a virgin or something—
PUDDING: Do we have to do it because the Americans do it? Must we
allow them to corrupt us?
Back around 1920, Dr. Laszlo Jamf opined that if Watson and Rayner
could successfully condition their "Infant Albert" into a reflex horror of
everything furry, even of his own Mother in a fur boa, then Jamf could
certainly do the same thing for his Infant Tyrone, and the baby's sexual
reflex. Jamf was at Harvard that year, visiting from Darmstadt. It was in the
early part of his career, before he phased into organic chemistry (to be as
fateful a change of field as Kekulé's own famous switch into chemistry from
architecture, a century before). For the experiment he had a slender grant
from the National Research Council (under a continuing NRC program of
psychological study which had begun during the World War, when methods
were needed for selecting officers and classifying draftees). Shoestring
funding may have been why Jamf, for his target reflex, chose an infant
Measuring secretions, as Pavlov did, would have meant surgery.
Measuring "fear," the reflex Watson chose, would have brought in too
much subjectivity (what's fear? How much is "a lot"? Who decides, when
it's on-the-spot-in-the-field, and there isn't time to go through the long
slow process of referring it up to the Fear Board?). Instrumentation just
wasn't available in those days. The best he might've done was the
Larson-Keeler three-variable "lie detector," but at the time it was still
only experimental.
But a harden, that's either there, or it isn't. Binary, elegant. The job
of observing it can even be done by a student.
Unconditioned stimulus = stroking penis with antiseptic cotton swab.
Unconditioned response = hardon.
Conditioned stimulus = x.
Conditioned response = hardon whenever x is present, stroking is no
longer necessary, all you need is that x.
Uh, x? well, what's x? Why, it's the famous "Mystery Stimulus" that's
fascinated generations of behavioral-psychology students, is what it is.
The average campus humor magazine carries 1.05 column inches per
year on the subject, which ironically is the exact mean length Jamf
reported for Infant T.'s erection.
Now ordinarily, according to tradition in these matters, the little
sucker would have been de-conditioned. Jamf would have, in Pavlov-ian
terms, "extinguished" the hardon reflex he'd built up, before he let the
baby go. Most likely he did. But as Ivan Petrovich himself said, "Not
only must we speak of partial or of complete extinction of a conditioned
reflex, but we must also realize that extinction can proceed beyond the
point of reducing a reflex to zero. We cannot therefore judge the degree
of extinction only by the magnitude of the reflex or its absence, since there
can still be a silent extinction beyond the zero.'1'' Italics are Mr. Pointsman's.
Can a conditioned reflex survive in a man, dormant, over 20 or 30
years? Did Dr. Jamf extinguish only to zero—wait till the infant
showed zero hardons in the presence of stimulus x, and then stop? Did he
forget—or ignore—the "silent extinction beyond the zero"? If he ignored
it, why? Did the National Research Council have anything to say about
When Slothrop was discovered, late in 1944, by "The White Visitation"—
though many there have always known him as the famous Infant Tyrone—
like the New World, different people thought they'd discovered different

But one day Milton Gloaming popped in to deliver him from his
unmoving. Gloaming was just back from a jaunt through the Zone. He'd
found himself on a task force with one Josef Schleim, a defector of
secondary brilliance, who had once worked for the IG out of Dr.
Reithinger's office, VOWI—the Statistical Department of NW7. There,
Schleim had been assigned to the American desk, gathering for the IG
economic intelligence, through subsidiaries and licensees like Chemnyco,
General Aniline and Film, Ansco, Winthrop. In '36 he came to England to
work for Imperial Chemicals, in a status that was never to be free from
ambiguities. He'd heard of Slothrop, yes indeed . . . recalled him from the old
days. When Lyle Bland went out on his last transmural journey, there'd been
Green Reports flapping through the IG offices for weeks, Geheime
Kommandosache, rumors coupling and uncoupling like coal-tar molecules
under pressure, all to do with who was likely to take over the Slothrop
surveillance, now that Bland was gone.
This was toward the beginning of the great struggle for the IG's
intelligence machinery. The economic department of the foreign office and
the foreign department of the economic office were both after it. So were the
military, in particular the Wehrwirtschaftstab, a section of the General Staff
that maintained OKW's liaison with industry. The IG's own liaison with OKW
was handled by Vermittlungsstelle W, under Drs. Dieckmann and Gorr. The
picture was farther confused by the usual duplicate Nazi Party offices,
Abwehr-Organizations, set up throughout German industry after 1933. The
Nazis' watchdog over the IG was called "Abteilung A" and was set up in the
same office building as—in fact, it appeared perfectly congruent with—the
IG's own Army liaison group, Vermittlungsstelle W. But Technology, alas,
braid-crowned and gold-thighed maiden, always comes up for grabs like
this. Most likely the bitching and bickering of Army vs. Party was what
finally drove Schleim over the hill, more than any moral feelings about
Hitler. In any case, he remembers the Slothrop surveillance being assigned to
a newly created "Sparte IV" under Vermittlungsstelle W. Sparte I was
handling nitrogen and gasoline, II dyes, chemicals, buna rubber,
pharmaceuticals, III film and fibers. IV handled Slothrop and nothing else,
except—Schleim had heard tell—one or two miscellaneous patents acquired
through some dealings with IG Chemie in Switzerland. An analgesic whose
name he couldn't recall, and a new plastic, some name like Mipolam . . .
"Polimex," or something. . . .
"Sounds like that would've come under Sparte II," was Gloaming's only
comment at the time.
"A few directors were upset," Schleim agreed. "Ter Meer was a
Draufgänger—he and Hörlein both, go-ahead fellows. They might have got
it back."
"Did the Party assign an Abwehr man to this Sparte IV?"
"They must have, but I don't know if he was SD or SS. There were so
many of them around. I can remember some sort of rather thin chap with
thick eyeglasses coming out of the office there once or twice. But he wore
civilian clothes. Couldn't tell you his name."
Well now what'n the bloody 'ell. . . .
"Suveillance?" Roger is fidgeting heavily, with his hair, his necktie, ears,
nose, knuckles, "IG Farben had Slothrop under surveillance? Before the
War? What for, Gloaming."
"Odd, isn't it?" Cheerio boing out the door without another word,
leaving Roger alone with a most disagreeable light beginning to grow, the
leading edge of a revelation, blinding, crescent, at the periphery of his brain.
IG Farben, eh? Mr. Pointsman has been chumming, almost
exclusively these days, with upper echelon from ICI. ICI has cartel
arrangements with Farben. The bastard. Why, he must have known
about Slothrop all along. The Jamf business was only a front for . . . well
say what the hell is going on here?

Infant Tyrone.

Infant Joan.

Victims, not perps.

Of something that would have seemed unbelievable before Paperclip and MK-ULTRA were revealed...

Jan Klimkowski
05-15-2013, 09:20 PM
The fear balloons again inside his brain. It will not be kept down with
a simple Fuck You. . . . A smell, a forbidden room, at the bottom edge of
his memory. He can't see it, can't make it out. Doesn't want to. It is allied
with the Worst Thing.

He woke begging It no—but even
after waking, he was sure, he would remain sure, that It could visit him
again, any time It wanted. Perhaps you know that dream too. Perhaps It
has warned you never to speak Its name.

There is a fat file on Imipolex G, and it seems to
point to Nordhausen. The engineer on the customer end of the
Imipolex contract was one Franz Polder. He came to Nordhausen in
early '44, as the rocket was going into mass production. He was billeted
in the Mittelwerke, an underground factory complex run largely by the
SS. No word on where he went when the plant was evacuated in
February and March. But Ian Scuffling, ace reporter, will be sure to find a
clue down in the Mittelwerke.

Slothrop sat in the swaying car with thirty other cold and tattered
souls, eyes all pupil, lips cratered with sores. They were singing, some of
them. A lot of them kids. It is a Displaced Person's song, and
Slothrop will hear it often around the Zone, in the encampments, out on the
road, in a dozen variations:

If you see a train this evening,
Far away against the sky,
Lie down in your wooden blanket,
Sleep, and let the train go by.

Trains have called us, every midnight,
From a thousand miles away,
Trains that pass through empty cities,
Trains that have no place to stay.

No one drives the locomotive,
No one tends the staring light,
Trains have never needed riders,
Trains belong to bitter night.

Railway stations stand deserted,
Rights-of-way lie clear and cold:
What we left them, trains inherit,
Trains go on, and we grow old.

Let them cry like cheated lovers,
Let their cries find only wind.
Trains are meant for night and ruin.
We are meant for song, and sin.

Pipes are passing around. Smoke hangs from the damp wood slats, is whipped
out cracks into the night slipstream. Children wheeze in their sleep, the
rachitic babies cry . . . now and then the mothers exchange a word. Slothrop
huddles inside his paper misfortune.

The Swiss firm's dossier on L. (for Laszlo) Jamf listed all his assets at the
time he came to work in Zurich. Apparently he had sat—as token scientist—
on the board of directors of the Grössli Chemical Corporation as late as 1924.
Among stock options and pieces of this firm and that back in Germany—
pieces to be gathered in over the next year or two by the octopus IG—was the
record of a transaction between Jamf and Mr. Lyle Bland, of Boston,

On the beam, Jackson. Lyle Bland is a name he knows, all right. And a
name that also shows up often in the private records Jamf kept of his own
business deals. Seems that Bland, during the early twenties, was heavily
involved with the Hugo Stinnes operation in Germany. Stinnes, while he
lasted, was the Wunderkind of European finance.

Based out of the Ruhr, where his family had been coal barons for generations,
young Stinnes built up a good-sized empire of steel, gas, electric and water
power, streetcars and barge lines before he was 30. During the World War he
worked closely with Walter Rathenau, who was ramrodding the whole
economy then. After the war Stinnes managed to put the horizontal electrical
trust of Siemens-Schuchert together with the coal and iron supplies of the
Rheinelbe Union into a super-cartel that was both horizontal and vertical,
and to buy into just about everything else—shipyards, steamship lines, hotels,
restaurants, forests, pulp mills, newspapers—meantime also speculating in
currency, buying foreign money with marks borrowed from the Reichs-bank,
driving the mark down and then paying off the loans at a fraction of the
original figure. More than any one financier he was blamed for the Inflation.

Those were the days when you carried marks around in wheelbarrows to your
daily shopping and used them for toilet paper, assuming you had anything to
shit. Stinnes's foreign connections went all over the world—Brazil, the East
Indies, the United States—businessmen like Lyle Bland found his growth rate
irresistible. The theory going around at the time was that Stinnes was
conspiring with Krupp, Thyssen, and others to ruin the mark and so get
Germany out of paying her war debts.

Eland's connection was vague. Jamf's records mention that he had
negotiated contracts for supplying tons of private currency known as Notgeld
to Stinnes and colleagues, as well as "Mefo bills" to the Weimar
Republic—another of Hjalmar Schacht's many bookkeeping dodges to keep
official records clear of any hint of weapons procurement banned under the
terms of Versailles. Some of these banknote contracts were let to a certain
Massachusetts paper mill, on whose board Lyle Bland happened to sit.

The name of this contractor was the Slothrop Paper Company.

He reads his name without that much surprise. It belongs here, as do the
most minor details during déjà vu. Instead of any sudden incidence of light
(even in the shape of a human being: golden and monitory light), as he
stares at these eight ink marks, there passes a disagreeable stomach
episode, a dread tangible as vomit beginning to assert itself—the same
vertigo that overtook him one day long ago in the Himmler-Spielsaal. A
gasbag surrounds his head, rubbery, vast, pushing in from all sides, that
feeling we know, yes, but. . . He is also getting a hardon, for no immediate
reason. And there's that smell again, a smell from before his conscious
memory begins, a soft and chemical smell, threatening, haunting, not a
smell to be found out in the world—it is the breath of the Forbidden Wing . . .
essence of all the still figures waiting for him inside, daring him to enter and find a secret he
cannot survive.

Once something was done to him, in a room, while he lay helpless. . .

His erection hums from a certain distance, like an instrument
installed, wired by Them into his body as a colonial outpost here in our
raw and clamorous world, another office representing Their white
Metropolis far away. . . .

A sad story, all right. Slothrop, very nervous by now, reads on. Lyle
Bland, eh? Well, sure, that fits. He can recall dimly once or twice having
seen Uncle Lyle. The man used to come to visit his father, affable, fairhaired,
a hustler in the regional Jim Fisk style. Bland was always picking
young Tyrone up and swinging him around by his feet. That was O.K.—
Slothrop had no special commitment at the time to right side up.

From what it sez here, Bland either saw the Stinnes crash coming
before most of its other victims, or was just naturally nervous. Early in '23
he began to sell off his interests in the Stinnes operations. One of these
sales was made through Laszlo Jamf to the Grössli Chemical Corporation
(later Psychochemie AG). One of the assets transferred in this sale was
"all interest in Schwarzknabe enterprise. Seller agrees to continue
surveillance duties until such time as Schwindel operative can be relieved
by purchaser equivalent, acceptability to be determined by seller."
Jamf's codebook happens to be in the dossier. Part of the man's
personality structure, after all. "Schwindel" was his code name for Hugo
Stinnes. Clever sense of humor, the old fart. Across from
"Schwarzknabe," now, are the initials "T.S."

Well, holy cow, Slothrop reckons, that must be me, huh. Barring the
outside possibility of Tough Shit.

Listed as a "Schwarzknabe" liability is the unpaid remainder of a bill
to Harvard University, about $5000 worth including the interest, "as per
agreement (oral) with Schwarzvater."

"Schwarzvater" is the code word for "B.S." Which, barring the
outside possibility of Bull Shit, seems to be Slothrop's own father,
Broderick. Blackfather Slothrop.

Nice way to find out your father made a deal 20 years ago with
somebody to spring for your education. Come to think of it, Slothrop
never could quite put the announcements, all through the Depression, of
imminent family ruin, together with the comfort he enjoyed at
Harvard. Well, now, what was the deal between his father and Bland? I've
been sold, Jesus Christ I've been sold to IG Farben like a side of beef.
Surveillance? Stinnes, like every industrial emperor, had his own company
spy system. So did the IG. Does this mean Slothrop has been under their
observation—m-maybe since he was born? Yaahhh . . .

The fear balloons again inside his brain. It will not be kept down with
a simple Fuck You. . . . A smell, a forbidden room, at the bottom edge of
his memory. He can't see it, can't make it out. Doesn't want to. It is allied
with the Worst Thing.

He knows what the smell has to be: though according to these papers
it would have been too early for it, though he has never come across
any of the stuff among the daytime coordinates of his life, still, down
here, back here in the warm dark, among early shapes where the clocks
and calendars don't mean too much, he knows that what's haunting him
now will prove to be the smell of Imipolex G.

Then there's this recent dream he is afraid of having again. He was in
his old room, back home. A summer afternoon of lilacs and bees, and
warm air through an open window. Slothrop had found a very old
dictionary of technical German. It fell open to a certain page prickling
with black-face type. Reading down the page, he would come to
JAMF. The definition would read: I. He woke begging It no—but even
after waking, he was sure, he would remain sure, that It could visit him
again, any time It wanted. Perhaps you know that dream too. Perhaps It
has warned you never to speak Its name. If so, you know about how
Slothrop'll be feeling now.