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Here's why the German president apologized, asking for forgiveness for the crimes against Tanzanians

By Black Headline News

Last week, the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized, seeking forgiveness for the crimes committed by the military during Germany's colonial rule of Tanzania during a visit to the East African country.


Experts estimate between 200,000 and 300,000 members of the Indigenous Tanzanian population were murdered during the Maji Maji Rebellion uprisings between 1905 and 1907, according to DW News.

Seen as one of the bloodiest uprisings in colonial history, German troops participated in the systematic destruction of fields and villages.


When Africa was divided into colonies and shared among European countries, Germany was not left out. In fact, between 1818 to 1919, Germany was among the leading European colonial powers in Africa, ranking third just behind the United Kingdom and France.

At the time, the German empire extended from South West Africa (now Namibia) to German East Africa which is the territory of today's Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The colonial rule of the German empire was just a little more than three decades long, yet throughout this brief period, the Germans made certain to violently oppress the African colonies under their control. One such colony is present-day Tanzania which was conquered in 1880. Like all the other African colonies, Tanzania was of vital importance to the Germans because of its resources. Among these were agricultural products such as sisal, cotton, and plantation-grown rubber. The Empire also received sustainable earnings from items such as coffee, copra, sesame, and peanuts. However, among the most valuable resources was gold. The German Empire reaped enormous benefits from all of these resources beginning with the finding of gold in the Lake Victoria region in 1894.


Germany had previously acknowledged its colonial-era atrocities in Africa, according to CNN.

In 2021, it announced €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion) support to descendants of the victims of colonial-era genocide committed against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups in Namibia, a former German colony more than a hundred years ago.


Germany and Tanzania are aiming to restrengthen their relations, with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan the only female head of state with executive powers on the African continent.

Tanzania has one of the strongest economies in sub-Saharan Africa and is expected to achieve a 4.9% economic growth rate for the current year, higher than anticipated for Germany.


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