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unusually blunt statement

The German commander in South West Africa issues a proclamation in October 1904 to people of the Herero tribe:

'I, the Great General of the German soldiers, address this letter to the Herero people. The Herero are no longer considered German subjects. They have murdered, stolen, cut off ears and other parts from wounded soldiers, and now refuse to fight on, out of cowardice. I have this to say to them. The Herero people will have to leave the country. Otherwise I shall force them to do so by means of guns. Within the German boundaries every Herero, whether found armed or unarmed, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall not accept any more women or children. I shall drive them back to their people - otherwise I shall order shots to be fired at them.

Signed: the Great General of the Mighty Kaiser, von Trotha.'

Quoted Thomas Pakenham The Scramble for Africa, Abacus 1992, page 611

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