Successful nations appreciate their history: Pohamba

WINDHOEK: Successful nations are those that learn from and appreciate their history,” said President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the inauguration of the Independence Memorial Museum and unveiling of the Sam Nuyoma and Genocide Memorial statues in the capital on Thursday.

He said during the inaugural ceremony that the nation is filled with emotions of sadness as it recalls the horrors that its people were subjected to before independence by the colonial troops.

“Thousands have lost their lives during that war, however, we are fortified by the knowledge that the current and future generations will continue to carry the flame of the revolution forward,” he said.

He added that the Genocide Memorial Statue was conceived and erected as a national symbol in remembrance of all the people who lost their lives and were subjected to untold hardships and suffering at the hands of the heartless and heavy-handed soldiers of the Schutztruppe which was an African colonial armed force of the Imperial Germany and the entire German colonial colonial machinery.

He noted that the two monuments unveiled and the museum were unveiled and inaugurated at the location where a concentration camp was built during the apartheid era.

“Withing its walls, our people were dehumanised. They were tortured, starved and summarily killed without any regard to their dignity and their humanity. They were treated worse than the beasts of the veld.

“No distinction was made by the Schutztruppe and the rest of the German colonial colonial machinery whether they were men, women, or children; they were all brutalised without mercy,” he said, reflecting back to the incidences that occurred at the site.

Although the German colonial Reiterdenkmal horse was removed from the public’s eye, Pohamba highlighted that many of the colonial symbols like the Leutwein Statue in front of the Municipality building, are still standing in may towns across Namibia and various streets still carry the names of governors, commissioners and soldiers today.

He noted that the construction of the Independence Memorial Museum is part of the fulfillment of the sacred task to tell, record and preserve Namibia’s history as it is perceived, experienced and preserved by its people.

“Cabinet therefore took a decision to establish the Independence Memorial Museum to serve as the central repository of material and memorabilia related to Namibia’s anti-colonial resistance and the armed liberation struggle,” he said.

(edited)WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba says successful nations are those that learn from and appreciate their history.

He said this while speaking at the inauguration of the Independence Memorial Museum and unveiling of the Genocide Memorial and Sam Nujoma statues in the capital on Thursday.

Pohamba stated that Namibians are filled with sadness when they recall the horrors their people were subjected to while the country was under colonial rule.

“Thousands lost their lives… however, we are fortified by the knowledge that the current and future generations will continue to carry the flame of the revolution forward,” he said.

Pohamba said the Genocide Memorial Statue was conceived and erected as a national symbol in remembrance of all the people who lost their lives and were subjected to untold hardships and suffering at the hands of the Schutztruppe, which was the African colonial armed force of imperial Germany.

He noted that the two statues and museum – situated in Robert Mugabe Avenue in Windhoek’s central business district – were inaugurated at the location where a concentration camp was built during the apartheid era.

“Within its walls, our people were dehumanised. They were tortured, starved and summarily killed without any regard to their dignity and their humanity. They were treated worse than the beasts of the veld.

“No distinction was made by the Schutztruppe and the rest of the German colonial machinery whether they were men, women, or children; they were all brutalised without mercy,” he said.

The two new statues replace the Reiterdenkmal statue which was removed from the site in December last year.

The Reiterdenkmal honoured soldiers and civilians who died on the German side during the 1904-1908 genocide.

Pohamba said although the Reiterdenkmal was removed from the public’s eye, many colonial symbols like the Leutwein Statue in front of the Windhoek Municipality building, are still standing in towns across Namibia and various streets still carry the names of German governors, commissioners and soldiers.

He noted that the construction of the Independence Memorial Museum is part of the fulfilment of the sacred task to tell, record and preserve Namibia’s history as it is perceived and experienced by its people.

“Cabinet therefore took a decision to establish the Independence Memorial Museum to serve as the central repository of material and memorabilia related to Namibia’s anti-colonial resistance and the armed liberation struggle,” he said.

SOURCE: NAMPA