The fate of Namibian skulls in the Alexander Ecker Collection in Freiburg
Reinhart Kößler

This article explores the history of the Alexander Ecker Collection and situates it within the larger trajectory of global collecting of human remains during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is then linked to the specific context of the genocide in then German South West Africa (1904–8), with the central figure of Eugen Fischer. The later trajectory of the collection leads up to the current issues of restitution. The Freiburg case is instructive since it raises issues about the possibilities and limitations of provenance research. At the same time, the actual restitution of fourteen human remains in 2014 occurred in a way that sparked serious conflict in Namibia which is still on-going four years later. In closing, exigencies as well as pressing needs in connection with the repatriation and (where possible) rehumanisation of human remains are discussed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Results of the Charité Human Remains Project
Holger Stoecker and Andreas Winkelmann

From 2010 to 2013 the Charité Human Remains Project researched the provenance of the remains of fifty-seven men and women from the then colony of German South West Africa. They were collected during German colonial rule, especially but not only during the colonial war 1904–8. The remains were identified in anthropological collections of academic institutions in Berlin. The article describes the history of these collections, the aims, methods and interdisciplinary format of provenance research as well as its results and finally the restitutions of the remains to Namibia in 2011 and 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Transnational dynamics in post-genocidal restitutions
Elise Pape

Taking its starting point from a socio-anthropological study combining biographical interviews, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations collected between 2016 and 2018 in Germany, France and the United States among Ovaherero and Nama activists, and also members of different institutions and associations, this article focuses on the question of human remains in the current struggle for recognition and reparation of the genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama from a transnational perspective. First, the text shows the ways in which the memory of human remains can be considered as a driving force in the struggle of the affected communities. Second, it outlines the main points of mismatches of perspective between descendants of the survivors and the responsible museums during past restitutions of human remains from German anthropological collections. Third, the article more closely examines the resources of Ovaherero in the United States in the struggle for recognition and reparation, the recent discovery of Namibian human remains in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the questions that it raises.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Colonialism, grave robbery and intellectual history
Larissa Förster, Dag Henrichsen, Holger Stoecker and Hans Axasi╪Eichab

In 1885, the Berlin pathologist Rudolf Virchow presented three human skeletons from the colony of German South West Africa to the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory. The remains had been looted from a grave by a young German scientist, Waldemar Belck, who was a member of the second Lüderitz expedition and took part in the occupation of colonial territory. In an attempt to re-individualise and re-humanise these human remains, which were anonymised in the course of their appropriation by Western science, the authors consult not only the colonial archive, but also contemporary oral history in Namibia. This allows for a detailed reconstruction of the social and political contexts of the deaths of the three men, named Jacobus Hendrick, Jacobus !Garisib and Oantab, and of Belck’s grave robbery, for an analysis of how the remains were turned into scientific objects by German science and institutions, as well as for an establishment of topographical and genealogical links with the Namibian present. Based on these findings, claims for the restitution of African human remains from German institutions cannot any longer be regarded as a contemporary phenomenon only but must be understood as part of an African tradition of resistance against Western colonial and scientific practices.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Marco Aurelio Guimarães, Raffaela Arrabaça Francisco, Sergio Britto Garcia, Martin Evison, Maria Eliana Castro Pinheiro, Iara Xavier Pereira, Diva Santana and Julie Alvina Guss Patrício

Truth commissions are widely recognised tools used in negotiation following political repression. Their work may be underpinned by formal scientific investigation of human remains. This paper presents an analysis of the role of forensic investigations in the transition to democracy following the Brazilian military governments of 1964–85. It considers practices during the dictatorship and in the period following, making reference to analyses of truth commission work in jurisdictions other than Brazil, including those in which the investigation of clandestine burials has taken place. Attempts to conceal the fate of victims during the dictatorship, and the attempts of democratic governments to investigate them are described. Despite various initiatives since the end of the military government, many victims remain unidentified. In Brazil, as elsewhere, forensic investigations are susceptible to political and social influences, leading to a situation in which relatives struggle to obtain meaningful restitution and have little trust in the transitional justice process.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Open Access (free)
The discovery, commemoration and reinterment of eleven Alsatian victims of Nazi terror, 1947– 52
Devlin M. Scofield

Adenauer first signalled his government’s willingness to compensate Jewish victims.8 On 27 September 1951, Adenauer announced, ‘In the name of the German people, however, unspeakable crimes were committed which require moral and material restitution [Wiedergutmachung]’.9 This readiness to offer financial restitution to the Jewish survivors of the genocide was codified by the Luxembourg Agreement with Israel in 1952. In a gesture of goodwill and in an effort to reconcile themselves with their Western European neighbours, the West German government would also subsequently

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

justice internationale (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2007); E. Barkan, The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000). P. Gray & O. Kendrick (eds), The Memory of Catastrophe (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004). R. Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (Washington: Carnegie Endow­ment for International Peace, Division of International Law, 1944); W. Schabas, Genocide in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). B. Kiernan & R. Gellately, Specter of

in Human remains and mass violence
Paul Henley

preparatory processes and the aftermath of the land restitution claim that, in 1999, resulted in the ≠Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari in South Africa being awarded formal title to some 65,000 hectares of land in and around the Kgalagadi National Park in the Northern Cape district, close to the frontiers with Namibia and Botswana. 2 There are seventeen films in the series, of very variable lengths: the shortest is no longer than a minute, the longest is 52 minutes. All of them are

in Beyond observation
The victims' struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia
Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha

discourse of the Herero–​Nama genocide has mainly focused on the politics of the victims’ ‘unsettled memory’ and the legacy of ‘embedded history’ between Namibia and Germany: apology, restitution and redress for the victims.5 However, none of the existing literature has explored the tension and divide that the return of the skulls has ­created between the local customary rites, on the one hand, and the political morality of the Namibian and German governments on the other. In particular, difficulties emanating from the disappointment of the Namibian delegation (which will

in Human remains in society