The Marine Memorial in Swakopmund


By Contested Histories Initiative

The Marine Denkmal (Marine Memorial) in Swakopmund, Namibia, commemorates the German imperial soldiers who fought against Indigenous Namibians in the Herero Wars (1904-1908). Amid fraught Namibian-Germany relations and contested national memory politics, this monument has become a reminder of unresolved colonial legacies and traumas. Indigenous Namibian groups have pursued legal measures to secure reparations from the German government for the Herero and Nama genocide of 1904-1907. In 2021, Germany and Namibia reached an agreement in which the former country would pay the latter $1.3 billion over the next 30 years, but this deal remains controversial. This case study explores how monuments that celebrate colonial times from the past can provoke contemporary disputes.

For the case study click here.