With regard to the recent discussion around the future of colonial monuments and buildings, the Forum of German-Speaking Namibians would like to add its voice.
We acknowledge and fully understand that monuments could be regarded as provocative and hurtful in the eyes of some Namibians. At the same time, it is our belief that all historic events must be seen in the political and cultural context of their time. The tracks they leave behind – in the form of infrastructure, literature, or monuments – are witnesses of their time. They are therefore not necessarily a celebration of the past, but only bear testimony of events and beliefs of bygone eras.
There are various ways to deal with these remnants of the past: they can be removed, they can be replaced, or they can be explained and put into context, for future generations to remember and learn. After many deliberations, the Forum has formed the opinion that this would be the correct and appropriate way forward: to attach explanatory plaques or erect an additional monument which would give the other side of the story, and from today’s perspective.
In this way, the educational aspect of any given colonial monument or building is then highlighted, not an emotional one.
We cannot change the past, but we can strive to work for a better tomorrow.
Harald Hecht, FORUM Chairperson
FORUM Management Committee: H. Hecht (Chairperson), B. Herma (Vice-Chairperson), M. Nambelela, C. von Blottnitz, R. von Hase, H. Schneider-Waterberg, M. von Wietersheim
- Download as PDF file: FDN PRESS RELEASE Monuments and Historic Buildings | 23. Nov 2022