World War One and Namibia” at Khorab Lodge, Otavi. The exhibition was launched last week, near the site of the surrender of German troops during World War One and timed to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the event.
The exhibition was produced by the Museums Association of Namibia and History students of the University of Namibia (UNAM). The launch was attended by the Mayor of Otavi, the Museums Association of Namibia, the British High Commission, the German Embassy, UNAM’s History Department, UNAM students, and secondary school pupils from Otavi and Tsumeb.
As part of the UKs Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s First World War Centenary Commemoration Programme activities, the project, funded with N$89,000, created an educational opportunity for young Namibian history students in the form of conceptualizing a mobile exhibition, documenting the impact of WWI on Namibia and how the war significantly changed Namibian history. The mobile exhibition will be made available to museums and schools throughout Namibia.
The exhibition features information about some of the forgotten battles, such as Sandfontein, Trekkopies and Gibeon, and will reveal the impact of the war on local communities.
Hans-Christian Mahnke, British High Commissioner to Namibia during the launch said, “As we launch the mobile exhibition exactly 100 years after Germany and South Africa signed the surrender agreement on 09 July 1915, near the historic site of the German surrender, ending the war at least locally, there is time for us to commemorate the fallen soldiers and civilians globally.”
Said Mahnke, “throughout 2015, the First World War Centenary is being commemorated globally. As one of the countries outside of Europe that was drawn into the war, implicated by the situation that was transpiring in the Union of South Africa, the country that was to invade and occupy German South West Africa, Namibia’s history warrants inclusion in the worldwide WWI centenary commemorations.”