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Colonialism, grave robbery and intellectual history

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
The victims' struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia

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
Open Access (free)

was soon appointed Production Manager and was able to hold on to this job for a few years. The deterioration of my personal, social and public living conditions came so slowly, in little stages, that it was hardly noticeable. Naturally, thoughts of emigration must have occurred to me from the very beginning, but the changes seemed remote. Aliens Identity cards for Josef and Bertha Wolff, March 1939 [ 50 ] Section of restitution claim form, 1951 Damaged photographs of Rosa and Heinrich Wolff Austerity baby The receipt, in August 1933, of a ‘friendly letter

in Austerity baby
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genocide on European soil since the Second World War. Serbs, Kosovar Albanians, Croats, and Bosnian Moslems each claimed to be defending themselves from annihilation, arguing that one or more dangerous enemies were trying to destroy their nation, according to an age-old blueprint for hatred and treachery. Images of Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian Moslem, and Kosovar Albanian genocides and ‘holocausts’ frequently appeared in the popular media, and the reader, listener, or internet surfer was berated with a continuous stream of material, all seemingly arguing the same thing

in Balkan holocausts?
The Catholic challenge during the Thirty Years’ War

hit Margaretha for refusing to wash her hands before meals, which was another habit of disobedience she had acquired.6 Margaretha’s recalcitrance came to a head in the spring of 1627, when she ran away from the mill to her stepbrother in Gebsattel. She claimed that she was treated badly in the Herman household, but Michael Hörber showed little THE CATHOLIC CHALLENGE DURING THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR 107 sympathy for her complaints and sent her back to the mill. There she was questioned about the reasons for her flight and for her continued refusal to pray willingly by

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
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Corpses and mass violence: an inventory of the unthinkable

, massacres which continually widen our notions of these human catastrophes. Asia, for instance, has been scarred not only by the Great Chinese Famine, which, according to some estimates, claimed up to 40 million victims during the policy of the ‘Great Leap Forward’,5 but also by the Cambodian genocide, which resulted in 1.5 million deaths between 1975 and 1979,6 along with the mass violence committed in Indonesia under the Suharto regime, which has to be considered in terms of both its political and its ethnic character.7 HRMV.indb 1 01/09/2014 17:28:32 2  Élisabeth

in Human remains and mass violence
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The discovery, commemoration and reinterment of eleven Alsatian victims of Nazi terror, 1947– 52

process of cultural and political re-​education.13 Measuring the progress of material restitution was straightforward in the sense that French officials could refer to quantifiable data. Tangible markers of the progress of re-​education were more difficult to identify. It is 143 Corpses of atonement   143 in this latter context that the ceremonies surrounding the ­discovery and memorialisation of the eleven Alsatians became so significant. For French authorities, the discovery and display of the atrocity provided an educational opportunity to remind the local German

in Human remains in society

’s concerns in telling this story is to establish the veracity of miracles. The Bensalemites, although they approach the pillar as a heavenly sign, must have been sensitive to a significant problem for believers, which is the sceptics’ claim that miracles can be faked or explained away as misunderstood natural phenomena. The Bensalemites’ answer is to rely not just on the internal evidence of the experience of faith, but also on the power of science to determine that an apparent miracle is not a natural, artificial, or illusory or deceitful event. This reliance Price_06_Ch

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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projects that can be partial and even erroneous in its claims. By the 1950s, the priority for most governments, academics and agencies concerned with the advancement of low-income countries was identifying the necessary incentives for industrialisation. In exploring the inspiration for such measures, scholars have focused on models provided by economists such as W. Arthur Lewis, Raul Prebisch and W. W. Rostow. 3 In contrast, this account shows how ideas about industrial development were worked out in a period before the advent of famous theoretical interventions such as

in Science at the end of empire
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The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa

-humanizing gesture.38 But were the bodies of those claimed to be terrorists reduced to mere animal matter or dead meat? Here, perhaps ironically, by staging such incidents as the deaths of ‘terrorists’ who had blown themselves up, the security police attached an identity that remained essentially human, part of a political community, even if, for some, they may have been regarded as inhumane. Indeed, what has been termed here as the routine bureaucracy of death served only to reinforce the fact that these were humans. Thus, for instance, the pieces of flesh from blown-up bodies

in Destruction and human remains