A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, August 24, 2018

German South West Africa - Bud's Big Blue

Lucky Hereros escaped execution through the desert
Into the Deep Blue
Bud's Observations
Many of Big Blue’s stamps have blood stains, none more so than those of German South West Africa. 

Between 1904 and 1907, the German Empire almost completely exterminated the Herero and Nama people, leaving those who remained to starve in the Namib desert or interning them in concentration camps where they died. It was the 20thcentury’s first genocide. Sadly, many followed.

The “Herero Uprising” generated a grisly body of collectable military correspondence and postal history, much of it graphic and nearly all of it from the German point of view. Feldpost covers abound. 

The stamps themselves are unremarkable, consisting of overprinted numerals and German eagles, followed by the Kaiser’s yacht Hohenzollern -- standard for German colonies.

Census: 13 in BB spaces, 6 tipped-in.

Jim's Observations
Bud's comment and header illustration reveals the dark side - Man's inhumanity to man.

Man was made to mourn: A Dirge
Robert Burns 1784

Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make yourselves
Regret, remorse and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

German South West Africa Post & BB Checklist

Page 1

Comments appreciated!


  1. Sadly this genocide has been almost ignored in modern memory outside of Namibia. The charge against imperialism that it was based on slavery (de facto if not de jure) and exploitation is completely accurate. I can't think of any country that was improved by having been an imperial colony, unless one considers railways and other technology as a sufficient offset against the negative side of imperialism, which is a hard case to make in my book.

  2. Thank you for remembering, Michael. Even the railways in Africa stretch from the interior to the sea, so raw materials can be exploited and the military transported. No railways travel north to south connecting the continent.

    I added the one mark Hohenzollern to my collection today. It served to recall the GSWA atrocities even before I read your thoughtful comment.