1 map, 1 b/w photo, 1 facsimile reproduction
Text language: German
Whereas in Germany Hendrik Witbooi (approx. 1835–1905) is mostly forgotten, he has become a symbol for an unyielding fighter for freedom in Namibia after its independence. Having been baptized and acted as church elder for some time, Hendrik Witbooi had formed close ties to the Rhenish Missionary Society. In 1888 Hendrik became kapitein of the Witboois, a group of Orlam-Nama who had migrated from South Africa to present-day Namibia in the 1850s, and after his religious awakening he tried to lead them on their migration to a “promised land”. As a consequence to this he became engaged into armed conflicts with the Herero which also led to various confrontations with the missionaries and with the German colonial power which began to establish itself during that time. His life drew to a close when he died fighting the German colonial powers in the Nama Rebellion in 1905.
The present biography aims at illustrating the political and religious challenges which Hendrik encountered during his life within the context of his faith and piety. Thus, it draws on sources which have been neglected in previous studies, such as personal letters of Hendrik Witbooi to various missionaries of the Rhenish Mission and to Major Theodor Leutwein, Landeshauptmann of Deutsch Südwest-Afrika for several years.
For the first time these sources help to form a firsthand picture of the personality of Hendrik Witbooi. Thus, this book excellently complements the biography by Gustav Menzel “Zwischen Widerstand und Gottesfurcht”. Hendrik Witbooi und die Rheinische Mission in Namibia,