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Intimidation and racism accusations : Merkel Advisor Nooke is the Problem for the government

Europe's fate depends on Africa. Of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is satisfied. Your government wants to support the neighboring continent, therefore, to the forces for stability, boost the local economy and to contain Migration.

Central to the "partnership and cooperation", the "eye level" with the people in the South. Each Minister or skilled politician who speaks on the subject, pray these phrases. The message: the way of the colonial views of Africa, not only the crises see, but also the opportunities inherent in the diverse continent.

racism-accusations against the Africa representative

How serious it really is, wanted to Merkel, already 2010. At the time you created a Post in the government only for Africa. Your party friend, the former GDR civil rights activist Günter Nooke, was the first Africa of the German Chancellor - Merkel's personal adviser representative, with a private office and two employees at the Federal Ministry for economic cooperation and development (BMZ). Since 2014 Nooke advises development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU). In the BMZ, he held the rank of a Department head.

the Chancellor sees Nooke up today an important source of support, may, however, be doubted. The statements and actions of its officers are in any case contrary to the stated goals of Merkel's Africa policy. Nooke is not accused of just glaring gaps in our knowledge, it is also the racism accusation is in the room. In addition, he should have tried to make a critic to intimidate.

daily mirror tomorrow location for Free order

The Trouble began when Nooke in the autumn gave the tabloid "BZ" for an Interview. What he said did not really match the differentiated vision and the "eye level", as propagated by the Federal government: "Africa is different," said Nooke. The heat there, the cabinets, the "labour productivity in construction", the societies are characterised by "clan structures" and "tribal leaders". However, 've helped in the colonialism, "to solve the continent of archaic structures".

The Federal government is at a distance

What was intended as a short experts talking about Africa, and quickly became a Nuisance for the Federal government. In the SPD, the shaking of the head over Nookes blanket statements. The Opposition calls for his resignation were loud. The Central Council of African community complained racism, and a belittling of the colonial period. Also in the BMZ, we went on a distance. Since then, where it is emphasized that Nooke "has his work in us," in the first line, but Merkel's man.

The government was finally to a clarification forced you to fight "racism in any Form". Colonialism was not to be put in perspective.

but Why aroused Nooke in the Public a different impression? The historian Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk, like Nooke, The majority of civil rights activists believe, once a Dissident in the GDR, has an explanation: "the events of 1989 should be singular. The colonial history of take not true at all.“

Herero and Nama demand from Germany an apology for the genocide of their ancestors more than 100 years ago.Photo: picture alliance / Johannes Schm

That, of all things, Merkel's Africa Advisor reclaims the colonial age to the public the positive aspects of it, is for the Federal government to be a Problem. It is in the case of the subject under observation, and Zugzwang. The coalition agreement promised reappraisal of German colonial does not move forward, crime, triggers the already anger of the descendants of the victims, such as in Namibia. To belong to "partnership" and "eye level" is a recognition of German guilt and an official apology, they say.

Set Nooke an expert under pressure?

Also in the Diaspora communities in Germany, one sees it that way. "We need a critical reappraisal of colonialism in all areas of society - and not a Transfiguration of the former time," asks Tahir Della of the Initiative of Black people in Germany (ISD).

this is The request of the scientists of the "professional Association of African studies", with the Africa representative of the Chancellor on the cross. The Association accuses Nooke "intimidation" to a young colleague: the Hamburg Junior Professor Raija Kramer. The had demanded in an open letter to Merkel Nookes dismissal "because of its colonial revisionist Statements".

Nooke wanted to sit up. He invited Kramer to the BMZ. There, he handed her a elfseitiges piece of writing, written from the Görlitzer Professor Matthias Theodor Vogt. The development Ministry had given the "expert opinion" on Nookes desire in order - even though Vogt is no Africa expert, but theatre scholars. As a good friend Nookes, he complied with the request to an "expert opinion" free of charge. In the Letter under Vogt the Afrikanistin Kramer scientific misconduct was conduct and recommended to the Ministry, the Junior Professor for your "master" view. "This was a clear attempt to get me silenced," says Kramer. "But it is also an attack on the freedom of science."

"Lusatian granite skull"

Post from the Ministry of development, you will be waiting at the University of Hamburg, however, still. The Federal government wants to keep the topic small. If Kramer had felt threatened by Nooke, was "regrettable," according to a government spokesman to the daily mirror. In principle, threats to the scientific discourse were "inappropriate".

Nooke itself will not comment on this. In his environment, it means that the matter was "unfortunate". The 60-Year-old was the victim of its own Stubbornness. "The Lusatian granite skull" called Vogt.

"he really has no idea of Africa", says Clément Klutse. The Hamburger is a CDU member and in Togo was born. For years, he is dedicated to Africa, organized events, also of the CDU-near Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Nooke he has met three times in person. The was clearly the wrong man for the Job as the Africa representative, Klutse.

More about

representatives of the Federal government's racism charge against Africa envoy Nooke

Paul Starzmann

There were enough competent people with African roots, it could be better: "In the policy on Africa, Africans should have the Say, or at least join in the conversation," urges Klutse. "The policy does, however, as we would not exist. We are not asked.“

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