Lothar von Trotha
"The Herero nation must now leave the country. If it refuses, I shall compel it to do so using cannons. Any Herero found inside the German frontier, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall spare neither women nor children. I shall give the order to drive them away and fire on them. Such are my words to the Herero people."
"Von Trotha's extermination order"

Lothar von Trotha (July 3rd, 1848 – March 31th, 1920) was an Imperial German general notorious for attempts to exterminate the Herero and the Nama, two ethnic groups in Namibia.

Early Life

Von Trotha was born in Magdeburg on July 3, 1848.

Career Before the Genocide

He joined the Prussian army in 1865, and served with distinction in the Austro-Prussian war a year later.

Herero and Namaqua Genocide

On May 3, 1904, he was appointed commander in chief of the armed forces in German Southwest Africa (now Namibia).

After the Genocide

He served in World War I as an infantry general, and is suspected of perpetrating some serious atrocities.


On August 16, 2004, the German government officially apologized for the genocide and its complicity in it.