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Colonialism, grave robbery and intellectual history
Larissa Förster
,
Dag Henrichsen
,
Holger Stoecker
, and
Hans Axasi╪Eichab

In 1885, the Berlin pathologist Rudolf Virchow presented three human skeletons from the colony of German South West Africa to the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory. The remains had been looted from a grave by a young German scientist, Waldemar Belck, who was a member of the second Lüderitz expedition and took part in the occupation of colonial territory. In an attempt to re-individualise and re-humanise these human remains, which were anonymised in the course of their appropriation by Western science, the authors consult not only the colonial archive, but also contemporary oral history in Namibia. This allows for a detailed reconstruction of the social and political contexts of the deaths of the three men, named Jacobus Hendrick, Jacobus !Garisib and Oantab, and of Belck’s grave robbery, for an analysis of how the remains were turned into scientific objects by German science and institutions, as well as for an establishment of topographical and genealogical links with the Namibian present. Based on these findings, claims for the restitution of African human remains from German institutions cannot any longer be regarded as a contemporary phenomenon only but must be understood as part of an African tradition of resistance against Western colonial and scientific practices.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Unmasking coloniality/modernity and ‘imperial difference’ in post (real)socialist urban sites of remembrance
Miriam Friz Trzeciak
and
Manuel Peters

achievements in pathology and public health. What is less known is that Virchow was also a major proponent of racial Darwinism. He founded the Berlin Society of Anthropology (1869) and the German Anthropological Society (1970). Most importantly, he contributed to a Darwinian understanding of evolution of human ‘races’. With the intention to study the stages of development from ‘savagery’ to ‘civilisation’, Virchow collected over four thousand objects, including human remains from all parts of the world (Becker, 2008 : 96). Virchow also undertook extensive studies on racial

in European cities