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International report

German colonialism part 3

Audio 05:15
Slaves working on the tobacco plantations in the frieze on historic Ermelerhaus, named after Ferdinand-Wilhelm Ermeler, the co-founder of the tobacco industry in Berlin
Slaves working on the tobacco plantations in the frieze on historic Ermelerhaus, named after Ferdinand-Wilhelm Ermeler, the co-founder of the tobacco industry in Berlin Rfi / Emmanuelle Chaze

In the third episode of our series on German colonial history, we look at the question of the restitution of looted human remains. At the beginning of the 20th century, after colonial massacres, German museums, universities and hospitals inherited thousands of skulls and other body parts, brought back from Africa for “research purposes”.Today, symbolic gestures of restitution show a willingness by the German government to atone for past crimes, yet the restitution of human remains to the affected communities is still diplomatically challenging for Germany, and many are demanding not only restitutions, but also for compensation.

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