The Ovaherero and Nama Peoples v. Germany - Declaration of Matthias Goldmann before the SDNY Court
32 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018
Date Written: April 25, 2018
This declaration was filed before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in case Civ. No. 17-0062 (Ovaherero and Nama peoples et al. v. Germany). Based on archival research, the declaration provides estimates of the financial benefits of Germany derived from the suppression of the Ovaherero and Nama, and specifically from the confiscations of property belonging to the indigenous population as well as their subjection to forced labor during and after the 1904 genocide. Further, the declaration argues that the respective actions of Germany violated international law at the time. When the Germans arrived in what is today Namibia, they did not find a terra nullius that could have been occupied, but entered into treaty relationships with the indigenous tribes exercising sovereign control over their territories at the time. Moreover, at the turn of the 20th century, international law knew a minimum standard of humane treatment, which the German government violated by its acts before, during and after the 1904 uprising.
Keywords: genocide, international humanitarian law, confiscations, expropriation, intertemporal law, sovereignty, terra nullius, occupation, colonialism, Namibia
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