Herero and Hottentot Uprising of 1904-07

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Herero and Hottentot Uprising of 1904-07


an uprising of the native population of South West Africa (Namibia) against German domination.

The uprising resulted from cruel colonial rule, particularly huge expropriations of land from African tribes. It began on Jan. 12, 1904, with the action of the Herero tribe under the leadership of S. Maharero. The uprising liberated the central part of the country and besieged Windhoek, the administrative center of German South West Africa. With reinforcements from Germany, however, the colonizers defeated the rebels on April 9 at Mount Onjati and surrounded them on August 11 in the Waterberg region. Some of the Herero were destroyed in the fighting, and the rest retreated into the desert where the majority perished; many were captured and forced to work on the farms of the German colonizers.

On Oct. 3, 1904, a Hottentot uprising led by H. Witbooi and J. Morenga began in the southern part of the country. After Witbooi’s death on Oct. 29, 1905, the rebels, now divided into many small groups, continued the partisan war until 1907. The German colonizers, supported by British forces stationed on the border of the Cape Colony in South West Africa, destroyed a major part of the Hottentots and resettled the rest of them on arid, barren lands. In 1907 the land of the Herero and the Hottentots was confiscated and their communal and tribal organization was abolished. During 1904-07, Chancellor B. Bülow used the Herero and Hottentot Uprising as a pretext for founding the reactionary “Hottentot bloc.”


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Drechsler, H. Südwestafrika unter deutscher Kolonialherrschaft. Berlin, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.