New Book on Elders’ Oral History

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By Frederick Philander

WINDHOEK

‘What the elders used to say – Namibian perspectives on the last decade of German colonial rule’, is the title of a book that will be launched this morning in the capital.

The book is a collective project by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Namibia Institute for Democracy and the Namibian German Foundation/Goethe-Centre. The book was written by Casper W. Erichsen.

“The book deals with a report on the oral history relating to the events of 1903-1908. It taps into and records existing community and family memories in a variety of mostly rural Namibian communities.

“Led by a team of Namibian historians and experts with direct access to these communities, the project included ethnic groups that traditionally did not participate in debates pertaining to the 1903-08 events,” says Petra Schmidt in a press release.

According to her the book will be handed to the Minister of Education for storage in the national archives for future use.

“An abbreviated version of the interviews will later also be available on DVD.

The basic research material (interviews, translations, transcriptions) will be presented at the book launch to the Minister of Education, with the intention to store it in the national archives. This will enable the use of the material for further historical research purposes,” she said.

The project was financed by the Cultural Preservation Fund of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The book project was executed by the Namibia Institute for Democracy and the Namibian German Foundation.

The speakers at the launch will be Hans-Erik Staby, chairperson of NID and chairperson of NaDS, author Casper W. Erichsen, and German ambassador Arne Freiherr von Kittlitz und Ottendorf.

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