19.11.2019

The GDR Children of Namibia

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of Namibia (21.3.1990) and the reunification of Germany (3.10.1990). These two events are connected by about 400 Namibian children who were brought from the refugee camps in Angola and South West Africa to the GDR from 1979 onwards for their safety. There the children grew up for over 10 years and went to school, until they were brought back in 1990 with the achievement of Namibia's independence and shortly before the completion of German unity.

In interviews, dramaturg Dirk Neldner explored the definition of Heimat that the former "GDR children of Namibia" carry within them. They experienced a multiple change between cultures, were socialised in the GDR and grew up in Africa. Often they also returned to Germany. What does home mean for the former exiled children? How do the 40-year-olds of today find themselves and where and how do they live after having spent their childhood sheltered and protected in the GDR?

Dirk Neldner had the opportunity to visit some of them in Namibia and talk to them about their biographies. Her fate tells of the complexity of German-Namibian (colonial) history and the basic humanistic beliefs of the GDR.

In his lecture he talks about his encounters and introduces the European Capital of Culture project.