August Kuhlmann’s letter to von Trotha

I have spent 2 days in the archives of the ‘Vereinte Evangelishe Mission’ who have a vast amount of old documents from the missionary activities in Namibia (amongst others). I could page through hundreds of letters and reports written by my great-great-grandfather, my grand-father and some from their wifes. So interesting and informative. I have been so grateful for the people who have already researched and typed some of the information, as the old German lettering and handwriting is damn difficult to decipher. Seeing history through the eyes of my own ancestors is so helpful and interesting, giving a very personal account of how they saw the world and how and why they acted the way they did. I feel blessed to have so much information about my ancestors, not only within the family, but also, additionally in well-organized and accessible archives.
And I could see that my ancestors already questioned what was happening and tried to get involved as best they can, given their circumstances. Missionary August Kuhlmann (my great-grandfather) wrote several letters to von Trotha and von Lindequist, pleading and arguing for a more humane and fair treatment of the Herero people. This photo is from one such letter displayed in the museum currently.

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