Klaus Gockel: Mission und Apartheid, 1. Teilband [PDF]

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Heinrich Vedder und Hans Karl Diehl

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Description

2010
292 pp.
9 b/w photographs

Text language: German

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the ‘color-line’.” These were the words of the prediction expressed by the African-American historian W.E.B. Du Bois in 1900. One of the politically most radical manifestations of white racism of this past century was the introduction of apartheid in southern Africa in 1948. With its socio-political segregation of the population along racial criteria the system of apartheid led to the rigorous depriving of rights of the Black majority, who only regained its independence in the 1990s after decades of struggle for freedom.

The present volume deals with the relationship between mission and state at the time of apartheid in former Southwest Africa, now Namibia. In one partial volume each the author investigates how the missionaries and pastors Dr. Heinrich Vedder and Hans Karl Diehl as well as Hans-Georg Scholz and Dr. Werner Andreas Wienecke, respectively, dealt with the topic of white racism in the shape of apartheid in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The study is based on documents at hand in the archives of the Vereinte Evangelische Mission, both written about and by Vedder and Diehl who are described as prominent figures in the history of the mission. Where did they position themselves as representatives of the white mission when questions about colonialism and apartheid came up, or questions for nonviolent participation in the struggle for political liberation, which was demanded by the Black theology of the country. Did their attitude towards apartheid differ at all from that of the white Southwest and South African government?

For Gockel, racism is a universal problem of humanity, which cannot be done away with through research and education. However, these can contribute to the analysis of processes and structures of racism and of resistance against it as well as to the identification of its background and surrounding conditions. Thereby they allow for a greater future awareness of racism and thus make it possible to fight against it.