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Statue of Leading German Settler Removed from Namibia’s Capital City

Namibian authorities have removed a controversial statue of a German colonial officer that was erected to mark the anniversary of the founding of the city of Windhoek, now the capital. Critics petitioned for the removal of the monument to a man who led German troops in a massacre of native people, and they dispute the idea that the city was founded by Germans. Scores of Namibians celebrated as the statue of German colonial officer Curt von Francois was removed Wednesday from a pedestal in front of Windhoek’s city buildings, where it stood for more than half a century. The monument was erected in 1965 to honor the 75th anniversary of the city’s founding, which was credited to von Francois. Hildegarde Titus is with the A Curt Farewell movement that in 2020 petitioned for the statue’s removal. She says its presence whitewashed atrocities by German colonial forces and South Africa’s apartheid government against native Namibians. South Africa’s white minority government, which controlled Namibia until it won independence in 1990, forcibly removed black residents from an area of the city called the “Old Location” in 1959.