great use to historians of Namibian and colonial history... I wish that
I could have seen this book when I was conducting my research in the
"... a vivid
and detailed experience... one gets goose-bumps just reading it"
In the autumn of 1942 Eugen Mansfeld, then aged 71 and living in Cape Town, painstakingly typed out his autobiography in German; double-spaced on 179 pages of lined paper. It was an incredible story. Landing in Walvis Bay in 1897, Mansfeld was active during many key events in colonial-era Namibian history. As one of the earliest German colonists, and a former director of the Deutsche Kolonial Gesellschaft für Süd West Afrika, Mansfeld was directly involved in appropriating Namibian land from the Africans who lived there. He fought to put down the Herero uprising, issued licences to white diamond prospectors in the early 1900s, and was active against the British and South African forces as an officer in the Schutztruppe Reserve during the First World War.
This memoir has now been translated into English and published for the very first time. Originally written for his sons, the book contains uncomfortable truths about the brutality of German colonial rule in Africa. Mansfeld describes personally committing extraordinary acts of violence during the Herero uprising, including the summary execution of captured Herero combatants near Waldau, and burning down the village of Barmen.
Mansfeld includes a detailed and fascinating account of his military service as an officer during the First World War; wounded at Jakalswater, he went on to see action at the Battle of Otavi, and provides a unique account of the South African victory there.
accounts of life in the Namibian colonial period are scarce; and it is
rare indeed to find an autobiographical account as
detailed, gruesome, frank and readable as this.
Namibian history library
Namibian book depot