German imperialism and the African Holocaust
Published: 28 November 2013 (GMT+10)
German troops in combat with the Herero in a painting by Richard Knötel. wikipedia.org
Imperialism, or extending a country’s power through military force, drew enormous strength from Darwin’s theory of evolution.1 Many European powers feared losing out in the struggle for existence and earnestly sought to expand their living space by colonizing far and distant places that possessed a wealth of natural resources. One such power was Germany and one place where the natives were murdered and the land plundered was German colonial Africa.
Late-nineteenth-century Germans were influenced by a number of anthropological assumptions, two of which were: (1) White supremacy (on the evolutionary ladder whites were on top and blacks at the bottom), and (2) Ratzel’s Lebensraum theory, the idea that as groups migrate there is a “struggle for space”, which results in the extermination of inferior groups.2 Such a combination had disastrous consequences as Germany colonized parts of the African continent allocated to it at the Berlin Conference of 1884/85.
German South-West Africa
The first German Rhenish missionaries began working in Southern Africa in the late 1820s and experienced significant success in evangelizing and educating their converts.3 But toward the end of the 19th century, a new ‘gospel’ was increasingly introduced to Africa. Germans, many indoctrinated in Social Darwinian ideas, colonized South West Africa (Namibia today) in the 1880s. They generally regarded the Herero people as primitive and frequently referred to them as ‘subhuman’ and ‘baboons.’ According to one missionary living at that time:
“The real cause of bitterness among the Hereros toward the Germans is without question the fact that the average German looks down upon the natives as being about on the same level as the higher primates (‘baboon’ being their favorite term for the natives) and treats them like animals. The settler holds that the native has a right to exist only in so far as he is useful to the white man. It follows that the whites value their horses and even their oxen more than they value the natives.”4
Many Germans also perpetrated inhumane acts toward the Herero: they progressively seized their land and cattle,5 shot people for no reason at all,6 sexually abused and raped the women,7 and because of their interest in evolutionary theory and missing links they dug up the graves of the Herero’s ancestors and stole their skulls.8 Not surprisingly, localized reactions to this from the Herero led to efforts to drive the Germans out of their land.
Some historians consider that this provocation was contrived by the German authorities to give an excuse to ‘solve’ the problem of clearing land for German settlers. The leaders that emerged in this resistance against German imperialism were themselves devout, missionary-educated Christians—e.g. Samuel Maharero and Hendrik Witbooi. Their Christian values were often very much on display in their actions in the face of barbarous European actions.
General Lothar von Trotha
Eventually, General Lothar von Trotha was sent to Namibia to quash the rebellion and utterly destroy the Herero. Von Trotha made it abundantly clear that the decision to exterminate was based on a Darwinian worldview, “I destroy the African tribes with streams of blood and streams of money. Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain,”9 and in a local newspaper von Trotha made the following comment:
“At the outset, we cannot do without the natives [i.e., hard labor]. But they finally have to melt away. Where the climate allows the white man to work, philanthropic views cannot banish Darwin’s law ‘survival of the fittest.’”10
Von Trotha and his troops didn’t even spare the native women and children. The Germans’ most effective method of annihilation was forcing the Herero into the desert and polluting the wells, causing most to die of thirst. German colonial rule succeeded in annihilating 75% of the Herero and 50% of the Nama. Before the war the Herero were 80,000 strong, and after the war only 20,000 remained. The Nama people, a southern tribe that entered the war almost a year later due to similar circumstances, were reduced from 20,000 to 10,000.11 The remaining Herero, as well as the Nama, were sent to concentration camps (e.g. Shark Island) where many more died due to abuse and hard labor.12 The body parts of these dead prisoners were used in racial studies trying to prove the inferiority of blacks. Before the skulls were sent off and sold to German universities, the female prisoners did all the horrendous preparatory work:
“In Swakopmund, female prisoners were forced to boil the severed heads of concentration camp inmates and then scrape them to the bone with shards of glass. The result of their horrific labor is seen in this German postcard from GSWA. One shudders to think of the emotional impact it would have had on these women, who were forced to scrape severed heads clean of flesh, to remove brains, scalp and eyes that could easily have belonged to friends or family members.”13
Other racial studies performed in Namibia influenced racial policy in Germany for decades to come. Eugen Fischer, a geneticist and avid eugenicist,14 was sent to Namibia for one main purpose—to evaluate the physical characteristics and intelligence of several hundred inter-racial children15 and prove that inter-racial relations would be detrimental to European culture. It was Fischer’s work that led to the victimization and sterilization of blacks (and other groups) in the Third Reich!16,17,18
German South-East Africa
The German colony in Namibia was unique in that it was a settler colony. The other German colonies in East Africa (i.e., Tanzania), Togo, and Cameroon were not propitious for rearing German families and, therefore, served as plantations for German economic growth. The prime mover for Germany in East Africa in the 1880s was Carl Peters, a man whose thinking was shaped by Schopenhauer and Darwin. Peters was especially fond of Darwin and made repeated reference to him in his writings.19 Concerning the ‘struggle for existence’ and the implication of German expansion, Peters wrote:
“Steam and electricity have built colossal bridges over which men have been moved into immediate proximity to each other. The planet already looks too small against the background of the restless roving spirit which has totally inflamed the Germanic race … The struggle for existence is more passionate than ever.”20
In East Africa, Peters acquired land three times the size of Germany—and as was the case in Namibia, the African’s only purpose for existence was to serve the European, “The negro is a born slave who needs his despot as the opium smoker needs his pipe”.21 And fellow Germans were frequently asked by Peters, “Haven’t you shot a negro yet?”22 Peters had a reputation as a moral monster. Even the natives called him—“Mkono-wa-damu,” or “man-with-blood-stained-hands.”23 Peters was known for leaving a trail of destruction wherever he went. One Danish explorer, whose expedition followed the same path as one of Peter’s expeditions, wrote:
“On every side I came on traces of war. In the neighborhood of Obangi I found even villages that had been destroyed by fire, and everywhere skeletons of men, women, and children, those of women and children being especially numerous… It was almost impossible for me to procure the necessary rice for my people, for as soon as we approached the whole populace fled panic-stricken. The natives were terrified at my white face, for the last white man they had seen was Dr. Peters.”24
Despite his disregard for blacks, Peters possessed a harem of black women. In one case, there was suspicion that one of his women had sexual relations with a young native. Peters had the young man hung and the woman was flogged daily until her back looked like a piece of chopped meat. After a failed escape attempt the woman was hung as well.25 It was this incident that caused the German government to bring charges against Peters. One day after the hearing in the Reichstag, a German newspaper commented on the Peters affair:
“[Germany] has found its Menelik in a German—in a ‘truly Teutonic man,’ an enraged ‘Aryan,’ who wishes to destroy all Jews, but, for a lack of Jews over there in Africa, shoots Negroes dead like sparrows and hangs Negro girls for his own pleasure after they have satisfied his desires.”26
The only crime of which Peters was convicted was lying to his superiors. Consequently, he only lost his position in East Africa and his pension (which was later restored to him) and his actions were justified by the highest officials, such as General von Liebert, who wrote: “It was impossible in Africa to get on without cruelty.”27
Carl Peters and his cronies committed unspeakable crimes in East Africa; including excessive flogging, chain-gang torture, and punishment by iron-hat. Regarding the latter, “A band of iron was passed round his head, and tightened by means of a vice-like screw, so as to press more especially on his temples. The agony is unspeakable.”28 In 1888, Emil von Zelewski and his men ransacked the small town of Pangani having no regard for native life. They carried off men to do manual labour, raped the local women, and shot anyone who resisted their commands.29 When a complaint was later filed regarding the rape of the native women, the Germans supposedly responded, “That’s how things are done in Europe.”30
Needless to say, such atrocities contributed to a number of uprisings by the natives. The two most significant uprisings occurred in the South—the Wahehe Rebellion (1891–1898) and the Maji Maji Rebellion (1905–1907). The Wahehe fought a long and courageous war, but finally surrendered when the leader committed suicide to avoid capture.31 In the Maji Maji (i.e., sacred water), many native groups were duped by their religious leaders into believing that German bullets would turn into water. The Germans fought ruthlessly. They torched the natives’ villages and food supply, causing a severe famine in the land. It has been estimated that the number of deaths from the Maji Maji Rebellion and its aftermath was 250,000—300,000.32
German Togo and Cameroon
The Germans not only occupied Namibia and Tanzania, but also Togo and Cameroon. These countries on Africa’s west coast were extremely rich in natural resources—cocoa beans, cotton, rubber, oil palms, etc. The German colonies in these places consisted of plantations on which blacks were forced to do the manual labor. German atrocities in Togo and Cameroon were equal to, if not greater than, the atrocities the Germans inflicted on the natives in the other colonies.
In Cameroon, Hans Dominik and Jesko von Puttkamer were the moral equivalent of Carl Peters or Lothar von Trotha. Regarding the natives of Cameroon, Lieutenant Dominik said:
Jesko von Puttkamer and Hans Dominik (right)
They must know that I am their master and that I am stronger, and as long as they do not believe that, they must be made to feel it, and I mean severely and pitilessly, so that rebellion will pass by them for all time.33
It was Hans Dominik who led a team to massacre the adult population of natives near Nachtigal Falls simply because they refused German protection. The natives’ babies, fifty-two in number, were placed in baskets and thrown into the rapid waters of the Nachtigal.34 Dominik was also known for ordering his men to mutilate the dead bodies of natives, and in one case, mutilation was carried out on living men!35
Jesko von Puttkamer, one of the governors of the colony, was most responsible for this brutality in Cameroon. He described the Duala people of Cameroon as “the most lazy, false, and base rabble the sun ever shone upon, and it would certainly have been better if, during the conquest of the land in 1884, they had at least been kicked out of the country if not exterminated.”36
Under his governorship (1895–1906) the natives were also severely flogged, property was confiscated, villages were burned, natives were murdered, chiefs were imprisoned, and labor was forced and unpaid. These were some of the complaints of the native chiefs against Puttkamer. The German government, however, found such charges unworthy of investigation.37 It was only due to the efforts of a coalition of missionaries and large companies that Puttkamer was replaced as acting Governor.
The most horrific punishment the natives of Togo and Cameroon (as well as the other German colonies) endured was flogging. Flogging was so excessive that the German colonies were known by the other European colonists as “the flogging colonies” and “colonies of the twenty-five.”38 The brutality of flogging was explained in detail by a German deputy in 1906:
“The native, after having been completely stripped, is strapped across a block or a barrel that has been firmly fixed; his hands are bound in front, his feet behind, so that he cannot move; and he does not get a few blows with an ordinary stick held in one hand, but the strongest among the black soldiers has to wield a plaited rope or a correspondingly thick stick with both hands, and with all his strength, and that with such violence that each blow must whistle in the air. It has happened that if the blow does not whistle, it has to be repeated; and, if it does not do so, the Hausa gets it himself. It is self-evident that in the portion of the body thus struck, the blood congeals and causes swelling; and so it has happened that a man thus flogged has been ill or sickly for the rest of his life.”39
Such a tortuous punishment, often resulting in death, was inflicted on the natives regardless of gender or age. The crimes worthy of flogging included: perpetual laziness, failure to pay taxes, inability to supply an oxen under fair value price, protecting native women from the Germans, and offending a German officer. Even the chiefs in the Jaunde district of Cameroon were flogged if they couldn’t provide the Germans with decent carriers and after the flogging were expected to carry the loads themselves.40 In Namibia, the Herero were not only flogged on their backs, but also on their stomachs and between their legs; often resulting in crushed testicles, intestines torn out, and unborn babies ripped to pieces.41
As in the other German colonies, such a treatment of the natives led to a number of uprisings that were quashed due to the superior weaponry of the Europeans. The death toll of the natives in Cameroon alone from uprisings, disease, and plantation work was exceptionally high.42
The atrocities committed on the African people were done by men who believed in racial inequality and racial extermination. The Germans, as well as the other European powers, followed a blueprint laid out many decades earlier in Darwin’s writings. Similar atrocities were being perpetrated at this time in other parts of the ‘new world’; against aboriginal people in Australia and North America for instance. In South Africa, Cecil John Rhodes, was checked somewhat by the Christian sensibilities of a large European community in the Cape Colony. But without such restraint in what became Rhodesia, he perpetrated a massacre against the Ndebele people. Rhodes’ ideas and actions were described by GK Chesterton as the “dregs of Darwinism which had already grown not only stagnant, but poisonous”.43
The scramble for Africa was an attempt at national expansion and to win out in the struggle for existence. Many years later a German political party would apply almost the very same methods and procedures in their quest for expansion. This time it wasn’t carried out on ‘inferior natives’, but on fellow Europeans whom the Nazis nevertheless regarded as Untermenschen (subhumans).44 Hitler and his party did not operate in a vacuum, but were in lockstep with a worldview conceived by Darwin, and procedures born in Africa.
The author wishes to thank CMI-South Africa’s Marc Ambler for his valuable contributions to this article.
References and notes
- Himmelfarb, Gertrude, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, W.W. Norton and Company, New York, p. 416, 1959. Return to text.
- Weikart, Richard, Progress Through Racial Extermination, German Studies Review, 26, p. 278, 2003. Return to text.
- It is from the accounts of some of these missionaries that many of the later atrocities are known. Return to text.
- Bridgman, Jon M., The Revolt of the Hereros, University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 62, 1981. Return to text.
- Drechsler, Horst, Let us die fighting, Zed Press, London, pp. 111–114, 119, 132, 1981. Return to text.
- Ref. 5, p. 143, “All our obedience and patience with the Germans is of little avail, for each day they shoot someone dead for no reason at all.” Return to text.
- Ref. 5, pp. 133–35. Return to text.
- Pool, G., Samuel Maharero, Gamsberg Macmillan, Windhoek, Namibia, p. 195, 1991. Return to text.
- Ref. 5, p. 154. Return to text.
- Scaller, Dominik J., The Genocide of the Herero and Nama in German South-West Africa, 1904–1907, Centuries of Genocide, Routledge, New York, p. 97, 2013. Return to text.
- Ref. 5, p. 214. Return to text.
- Ref. 5, pp. 211, 212. Return to text.
- Ericksen, Casper, The Angel of Death Has Descended Violently Among Them, African Studies Centre, Leiden, pp. 142, 143, 2005. Return to text.
- Eugenics, founded by Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, applied Darwinian principles to human breeding by discouraging ‘inferior’ groups and individuals from contributing their genes to society—applied with ghastly consistency in Hitler’s Germany. Return to text.
- His work focused on the Baster community, a mixed blood group of people who left the Cape Colony and settled in Rehoboth, near Windhoek. A Christian culture, they rejected many of Fischer’s degrading ‘scientific’ investigations. Return to text.
- Haas, Francois, German Science and Black Racism—Roots of the Nazi Holocaust, The FASEB Journal, 22, p.334, Feb. 2008. Return to text.
- Madley, Benjamin, From Africa to Auschwitz, European History Quarterly, 35, pp. 453, 454, 2005. Return to text.
- Kestling, Robert W., Blacks Under the Swastika: A Research Note, The Journal of Negro History, 83, pp. 89, 90, Winter 1998. Return to text.
- Perras, Arne, Carl Peters and German Imperialism, 1856–918: A Political Biography, Clarendon Press, New York, p. 28, 2004. Return to text.
- Ref. 19, p. 28; see also Ref. 26, p. 70, “…the higher culture must eliminate the lower if it can’t incorporate it, in order to allow for the improvement of earthly humanity.” Return to text.
- Opitz, May, Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, p. 26, 1992. Return to text.
- Ref. 19, p. 118. Return to text.
- Pakenham, Thomas, The Scramble for Africa, 1876–1912, Random House, New York, p. 624, 1991. Return to text.
- Sellers, Edith, Dr. Carl Peters, Fortnightly Review, 67, p. 134, 1897. Return to text.
- Africanus, The Prussian Lash in Africa, Hodder and Stoughton, London, pp. 81, 82, 1918. Return to text.
- Davis, Christian S., Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, p. 1, 2012. Return to text.
- Ref. 25, pp. 37, 83. Return to text.
- Weston, Frank, The Black Slaves of Prussia, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York and Boston, p. 8, 1918. Return to text.
- Glassman, Jonathon, Feasts and Riots: Revelry, Rebellion, and Popular Consciousness on the Swahili Coast, 1856–1888, Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, pp. 217, 257, 1995. Return to text.
- Ref. 29 p. 217. Return to text.
- Redmayne, Alison, Mkwawa and the Hehe Wars, The Journal of African History, 9 (3), pp. 409–436, 1968. Return to text.
- Lliffe, John, A Modern History of Tanganyika, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 200, 1979. Return to text.
- Rothfels, Nigel, Savages and Beasts, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md., p. 67, 2002. Return to text.
- Lewin, Evans, How Germany Treats the Native, Quarterly Review, 229, p. 377, April 1918. Return to text.
- Ref. 34, pp. 377, 378. Return to text.
- Rothfels, Nigel, Catching Animals, Animals in Human Histories, University of Rochester Press, Rochester, N.Y., p.225, 2002. Return to text.
- Puaux, Rene, The German Colonies: What is to Become of Them?, Wightman and Company, London, pp. 10,11, 1918. Return to text.
- Ref. 34, p. 388. Return to text.
- Ref. 34, p. 388. Return to text.
- Ref. 34, pp. 386, 387 Return to text.
- Edgerton, Robert B., Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy, Westview Press, Boulder, Col., p.67, 2002. Return to text.
- Rudin, Harry R., Germans in the Cameroons 1884–1914, Yale University Press, New Haven, pp. 113, 114, 308–310, 327–330, 345–353, 1938. Return to text.
- As quoted in The Founder, Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power, Robert I. Rotberg, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 9. Return to text.
- A term used by Friedrich Nietzsche to describe the common man but applied by Hitler and the Nazis to non-Aryan people groups such as the Jews, Gypsies and Africans. Return to text.
Such a horrendous history! I have not ever heard of this before. I know that Australia had some similar occurrences, but I am wondering how this compares/contrasts with American history? I would hope that the more Christian colonization would have held back violence of this sort.
We have documented similar, Darwinian inspired racial abuse in the USA in articles such as at creation.com/ota-benga-the-pygmy-put-on-display-in-a-zoo . Unfortunately it is a truism that the 'victor writes the history books' and certainly on my continent of Africa, some of these horrors were hidden or glossed for much of the 20th century but are increasingly coming to light. The 'racial science'of the late 19th, early 20th C tended to be applied by Darwin's converts in parts of the new world without a significant Christian influence to check the horrors and were hidden by the perpetrators and their supporters from Western sensibilities. An example is the Belgian atrocities in the Congo (todays' DRC) which King Leopold II carried out under certain fronts such as anti-slavery, in order to cover his true motives and actions from his own people. In fact, it was largely the actions of Christian missionaries in these areas that either put a check on them, or provided much of the information we have today about these horrors.
Yes, a helpful yet disturbing story. A study of the history of Man hurts.
I appreciate the thought behind the comments of Susan P. Nevertheless, we need to demolish false premises people put up to justify their sinfulness.
It must not go unnoticed that by the time these atrocities were being committed scholars in Germany had made it all the more possible for the people of Germany to dilute the injunctions of the Bible (particularly those recorded by Moses) through advocacy of Higher Criticism/Historical-Critical Method of reading and interpreting the Bible.
As others have indicated, the nation of my habitation is not without imperfections and, if opportunity permits, I will try to provide something to CMI in this regard.
And in our more "enlightened" age, we no longer shoot and burn African people, but try to abort and contracept them out of existence, all the while keeping them in grinding poverty by refusing them access to affordable, dependable electrical power out of concern for "climate change" and the "environment." Western civilization is crumbling, and the sooner the better for our African brothers and sisters.
As an African I heartily concur. It is one of the terrible ironies of our time that an organisation with such an overtly Darwinian, racist foundation, Planned Parenthood, is encouraged and supported by the South African government today to murder about 100,000 mainly black babies a year. Of course our political leaders are the lackeys of secular western education and institutions.
Another wave of trouble may arise from environmentalism. It is based on evolution too. They diminish the value of humans relative to other things and so they could be willing to smash people and feel good about it (starting with invisible abortion, efficient euthanasia, population control).
We need discernment to distinguish between valid environmental (conservation) concerns and those that merely mask an ideological agenda. Also to distinguish between those that promote their ideological agendas using an environmental cause as a front, and those that are their 'true believers' based on the acceptance that "the science is settled". A biblical worldview gives us a wonderful basis for managing, utilising and conserving God's creation. Something that no other worldview logically provides. See the article - http://creation.com/conservation
Thanks for this article. I have read at times, comments from people who wish you would concentrate on science at this website, but I've appreciated the well-rounded education I've re-ceived at CMI's Web University! As my history teacher often said, 'How can we know where we're going if we don't know where we've been?'
You are definitely one of the things I'm thankful for this season and throughout the year. Thank you again!
In response to Denese K, the inquisition was based on religion more than anything else. The crusaders in their minds believed they were doing the work of God (Jesus called for the great commission and as we know God is love and not violence) they were acting on their own impulses. The Islamic invaders also killed and converted forcibly with the sword.
To sum up the crusade was more about religion than race.
Excellent article. To this day Darwin's severely flawed and racist theory continues to justify the financial predation upon billions of humans for the sake of profit as the "natural behavior" of alpha predators. Altruism, cooperation and respect are tossed aside as "weaknesses" while cruelty and irresponsibility are praised.
Some here have written this is not Darwin's fault. I say it is.
Of course 'dislike for the unlike' is as old as mankind but Darwin made de-humanizing other humans a "scientific virtue" rather than a cruel vice.
And then Freud made things even worse with his celebration of ego worship and the calloused rejection of humility, self control and other tenets of Christianity as "Neurotic" behavior.
Thank you for this article. It sheds light on the fact that neither Hitler or the Eugenics society in the USA, that he so admired, rose in a vacuum; they were both products of racism based on Darwinian pseudo science.
This is one of the most heartbreaking articles I have read for a very long time. One can only take comfort that such people shall ultimately be comforted by our Father.
Sobering thought indeed though that those who de-humanise unborn babies are essentially rehashing this. 100 years from now, hopefully we'll be looking back on this barbarism in the same way as everyone rightly looks back on the sort of barbarism highlighted in this article.
Thank you for revealing distasteful details so often censored of what sin & enabling concentrated, united power looks like in every age. How we need the grace of God's Word given of the Spirit to enlighten, challenge & convict God-given conscience ---& to silence every book of Romans-denying or allegorizing tongue! We are indeed without excuse ---& in America, too, the lines are not so clear as we've been led to believe, though not so systematic & with the racism more of the elite pagan variety that resulted in, & preceded Darwinism: that of Erasmus & the "Gentleman's" Clubs, secret societies etc. We also need the reminder of the Pilgrim Church historically, & biblically, that avoided entirely at great cost, or that entirely came out of ---the bloody & filthy state church of the fornicating union of Constantine, Augustine & the Church of Rome; that was inadvertently carried into imperial & state churches by many of the Reformers & those who followed the men rather than the Word as it revealed error & ungodliness; and which will ultimately culminate in that dreadful unified Harlot of Revelation 17 precisely as written. Exclusive rationalism &/or superstitious mysticism, human tradition & philosophy, coming & valued before & above the authoritative test of Scripture can only result in such re-emergings of this ancient barbarity of vomit & wallows that 2 Peter 2 warns of. It is no wonder that the way of Christ is ill spoken of & our prayer must never be full of hubris, but always offered in humility & dependence & submission to God as Daniel 9 & 2 Timothy 2. May God bless you & keep you in pursuing always the full uncensored disclosure of history & current events, letting every man & idol fall as they may before the concentrated light of the full counsel of God's Word.
Reading this article I cannot help but be sickened. However, reading this and similar articles I am concerned that evolution can seem to be viewed the root cause of racism and genocide. Sin is the cause of racism, genocide and every evil that taints God's creation. Evolution is just one world view that distracts people from God's love and power and our need for forgiveness. Sin, including racism and genocide predated evolution as a world view, and they will continue even if evolution is superceded as a world view, until Christ returns. I think it's incredibly important to present factual support for God's work in creation, and for Christians to understand how prevailing world views, including evolution, influence not only our own opinions and views, so that we can make sure we hold fast to God's word and are not lead astray, but also how dominant world views influence society, and the choices that our society makes. In this way we can be voices in society for God's rules.
However, we should be very clear that it is not evolutionary ideas persay that are the problem, but sin. What society ultimately needs is not an end to evolution, but repentance and forgiveness. Many times I read creationist authors, whose work I respect highly, however the message can seem that there was no racial hatred before evolution and that the end of evolution will bring the end of these societal sins. I am sure that this is not the intention of these writers, and I am convinced that evolutionary ideas contribute to many evils in our world. None the less, this underlying theme concerns me greatly. Christians need to be evangelists for Christ not just for an end to evolutionary ideas. We need to preach God's judgement and forgiveness not just the social consequences of evolutionary ideas.
As a ministry we certainly do try and maintain this balance, recognizing the sinfulness of mankind that has led to various evils under different pretexts throughout history. There is though a case to be made that the Darwinian worldview provided the philosophical underpinnings of the atrocities of the 20th century, unparalleled in the history of the world. A well known evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould stated that ‘Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.’ Though an evolutionist himself, he recognized that Darwinism provided a 'scientific' rationale for racism that went beyond anything that had taken place before.
This utterly horrific article lays bare the depraved mind of humanity. While I have no doubt that the evolutionary theory of "favoured races" fuelled this holocaust, and gave the perpetrators a rationale for their actions, I cannot comprehend that evolutionary theory alone was responsible for it. One has only to look back to the horrors of the Inquisition - perpetrated by people of the church. This was centuries before Darwin. There is a depravity within humanity that surely links straight back to the Fall in the Garden of Eden.
I can understand the Inquisition taking place in a world where access to the Bible was very (deliberately) limited. Yet by the time of German colonisation, surely everyone had unfettered access to the Word of God. There must be a further explanation then - such as these colonists "cherry-picking" from the scriptures (if they even referred to them at all).
The utter depravity of these horrific acts can only happen in a world where people don't believe that God created every one of us in His image, loves every single one of us, and sent His Son to die for every single one of us.
Could anyone look another person in the eye, and with the full knowledge that God loves that person, commit heinous atrocities against that person?
Keep up the good work of doing what you do, CMI. Understanding that the WHOLE Word of God is true is convicting and life-changing. Clearly, this was lacking among the German colonisers of Africa.
Wow! I knew bits and pieces of this, but had no idea of the scale. A very moving and powerful piece! Expect great outrage from the evolutionists for exposing these facts, which show the logical and psychological tendency of their dogmas.
It occurs to me that there is a close historical connection with the horrific slave trade, in which England and the Dutch vied for the lead.
One must understand that the "industrial revolution" was capitalized by the vast profits of the slave trade. Apparently, it was decided that stealing the men from their land, then transporting and selling them was not sufficiently profitable; nor as "efficient" as just taking their land and working them as slaves in it (thus avoiding the constraints of Christian civilization).
What a pity that the European nations used their technical superiority to abuse and alienate those whom they ought to have brought the gospel, and raised from their degradation!
Thank you for the great work you are doing!
Tragically, People still adhere to Social Darwinism to this day, though they would never claim it to be so. There is a culture of death lurking about and more and more people are adhering to it. They support abortion due to overpopulation and Assisted Suicide for the same reasons. Utilitarianism and the "happiness principle" seems to be on the rise, and with it comes a sacrifice of truth and extermination of those who adhere to it. Utilitarianism will fail because these days, "they call evil good and good evil."(Isaiah 5:20)
The description of the German atrocities in Africa are no different from those perpetrated against the Australian aborigines by the British settlers.
It has to be pointed out that Darwin was deeply opposed to slavery and to accuse his evolutionary theory as causing atrocities ignores such events as the massacre of the Cathars by the Catholic Church many years befor Darwin.
The Darwinian roots of similar atrocities as you mention have been documented on our website. While atrocities in the name of religion have often been overstated, such cruelties in the name of Christianity are contrary to the very faith the perpetrators claim to be defending. Darwinism provides no such philosophical check on the cruelty of sinful men.
One wonders that such atrocities are done in the name of Social Darwinism. Just as Carl Sagan said racism is common throughout history but Darwinism gives scientific justification of racism and fuels it. Evolution is not the cause of racism but is sin but Evolution stems out of men's desire to understand the world without God and rebelled in terms of man-made philosophy. Social Darwinism is not only understood by the scientists but also to the general public through their indoctrination. Eventhough today's evolutionists deny the theory had anything to do with social darwinism but one really wonders that the overall philosophy justifies such action. The evolutionists of today deny it because the law of God is written in their heart. They know is wrong but their presupposition is not of God. ... either you're with God or you're against Him and evolution is the latter. This is supported in a book called Darwin to Hitler although the author tries to be cautious not to make connections with today's evolutionists. Yours in Christ
Utterly disgusting! How could human beings even do such horrendous acts?
Unfortunately all one has to do is be convinced that a group of people are somehow less than human, and all sorts of horrors become possible. Darwinism provided such a justification by teaching than human beings have evolved by random processes of vast periods of time from animal like ancestors. By definition then, some groups are less evolved than others, and therefore less entitled to humane treatment. This was the attitude of those justifying the slave trade, the modern abortion genocide, Nazism and the tragic history documented in this article.