Nazi Germany, Namibia
The Greater German Reich
, often referred to as "Nazi Germany
" in the English speaking world, refers to the period of Adolf Hitler's
and his National Socialist German Workers' Party
. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich
(German Reich) until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich
(Greater German Reich) from 1943 to 1955. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich (Drittes Reich), meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended in 1955 following the death of Hitler and the ensuing civil war.
Hitler rose to power on a platform of restoring German national glory in the face of the humiliating Treaty of Versailles
. Being made chancellor
in 1933, he quickly used his position to consolidate his rule with the aid of the German military. Hitler then began to embark on a program of incorporating all German speaking lands into Germany, beginning with the re militarization of the Rhineland
in 1936, Anschluß
in 1938, and the seizure of Czechoslovakia
in 1939. The nations of Great Britain
had pursued a policy of "appeasement" with Germany in an attempt to buy time for an eventual war. Open warfare soon broke out after Germany invaded Poland
in an attempt to incorporate Danzig
into the Third Reich. The following Western War
was won by Germany thanks to a series of missteps made by the Allies, including an ill-timed invasion of Norway
and a routing of allied forces as Calais. Britain, now isolated after the surrender of France, signed the Peace of 1940
, ceding the former German colonies of Cameroon
, East Africa
, and South West Africa
(having pressured South Africa
). Hitler placed the colonies under SS
control as a consolation prize for refusing SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler
his dreamed fiefdom of Burgundy.
The ease of Hitler's victory over the Western allies panicked Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
, who had signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler the previous year. In July, shortly after the Peace was signed with Britain, Stalin attempted a surprise offensive against German positions. The resulting conflict became known as the German-Soviet War
, though it soon involved more than two rivals. Initially, Russian troops had the upper hand, quickly taking most of Poland and parts of eastern Prussia. However, the war quickly soured for the Soviets once German troops from France made their way to the Eastern Front. The intervention of Japan
in Siberia tipped the tide in favor of the Anti-Comintern Pact
, resulting in German troops in Moscow by the Spring of 1941. Stalin was killed by his own bodyguards. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels
hailed the turn of events as the "deathblow to Judeo-Bolshevism." Years later, he commissioned a film entitled Der Tod von Stalin
featuring an exaggerated account of the subject's assassination.
With their mortal foe defeated, things seemed to be looking up for the Thousand Year Reich. However, cracks almost immediately began to show in the Nazi edifice. The fall of the Soviet Union not only saw the death of Marxism-Leninism
, but also the death of the Anti-Comintern Pact. Mussolini became increasingly frustrated with his treatment as a junior partner, and began to pursue a foreign policy detrimental to German interests, including harboring Jews that were fleeing Germany and other anti-Semitic regimes. Furthermore, Japan had also taken in Jewish refugees, albeit in smaller amounts. Germany felt itself increasingly isolated from its former allies.
Internal problems also began to plague Germany. The rapid expansion of the Third Reich created its own set of logistical problems. The SS struggled to populate the eastern Reichskomissariats
as local nationalists terrorized would-be settlers. The German military found itself bogged down in a protracted counter-insurgency campaign that frustrated even the most competent of commanders. Furthermore, the German economic miracle began to slow down as the regime struggled to reset to a peacetime economy. Establishing a sense of normalcy proved to be far more difficult than the German leadership had anticipated.
As Hitler grew older, he became increasingly recluse, suffering from some scholars suspect to be the effects of Parkinson's disease. This led to a jockeying for position among Hitler's lieutenants. Rudolf Hess
was found in the wreckage of a plane crash in northern Italy for unknown reasons. President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring
and Goebbels conspired to take over as President and Chancellor respectively in the event of Hitler's death. Himmler and his adjutant Reinhard Heydrich
planned a similar strategy, with the former thinking that Hitler would anoint him as the successor. By the summer of 1955, Hitler had all but vanished from the public eye, and had begun to suffer more debilitating symptoms. On August 3, 1955, he died from complications of a stroke. His death came without him making a pronouncement on his successor.
Göring and Goebbels moved fast. Fearing the power of the SS, the pair had struck a pact with members of old wehrmacht
with the intention of shutting out the SS. As luck would have it, both factions attempted a coup on the same day on August 10 1955 shortly after Hitler's state funeral. The result was civil war that lasted for three months, pitting the "conservative" faction versus the SS. The conservatives had the benefit of outside aid, including Italy and the French State. Italy invaded Austria in an attempt to divert SS forces stationed there while French forces occupied the SS-controlled Cameroon and Togoland colonies. As the tide of the war turned towards the conservatives, the SS command in East Africa defected, leaving South West Africa to be the last SS stronghold. Defeated, Himmler and Heydrich fled to German South West Africa along with other National Socialist ideologues, forming the basis of modern Namibia.
Following the civil war, Göring and Goebbels were killed in a mysterious "terrorist plot" blamed on SS operatives, leaving the remaining wehrmacht leadership in charge. A provisional junta of generals led by the aging Erwin Rommel
negotiated troop withdrawals from the reichskomissariats, reducing their control to "Greater Germany." The junta remained in power for a year before inviting Prince Louis Ferdinand
to return as Kaiser...
, known officially as the Greater German Reich, is a partially-recognized state situated in southern Africa. Following the German Civil War, SS forces led by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich fled to what was then known as German Southwest Africa, the last territory held by the SS. (Following the Peace of 1940, Germany had regained its former colonies of Cameroon, Togoland, East Africa, and South West Africa, all of which Hitler handed over to SS administration. SS sympathizers and other Nazis fled to the reich-in-exile.
During the colonial period, SS colonial administrators had already planned further white settlement, as well as utilizing indigenous people for slave labor. Surveyors had found deposits of uranium, which Himmler had interest in exploiting for the creation of an atomic weapon without the sanction of Hitler, who was afraid of their use. Once the remainder of the SS machinery had relocated to South West Africa, becoming increasingly referred to as “Namibia” due to the Namib Desert that encompasses most of the colony, Himmler sought to build the country up as a launching pad by which to reclaim Germany, no matter how unrealistic it was.
Himmler, aided by Heydrich, began to remake the demographics of his kingdom in exile. Local indigenous populations such as the Ovambo
were largely exterminated, with remaining populations used for slave labor. Simultaneously, he encouraged higher birthrates among Germans through financial incentives. By the 1980’s, the white (predominately German) population achieved a plurality. By the 2000’s, whites made up the majority. Irrigation projects expanded the area of arable land, albeit almost all of it is still limited to the coastal and northern regions with the interior being largely barren. The capital of Namibia Horst Wessel Stadt
, renamed from the previously Afrikaans Windhoek, was rebuilt as a city not unlike old Germania
, albeit on a far smaller scale. Finally, the SS completed the coveted prize of a nuclear weapon in 1969 under the administration of Heydrich.
Legally, Namibia is the government of the old Third Reich in exile, and not an “independent” nation. As such, the Namibian government has struggled with recognition from other nations. Namibia does have some level of de facto
recognition from its neighbors South Africa
, and Rhodesia
who engage in small-scale trade with the “Hermit Kingdom.” Otherwise, the nation is largely isolated from the international community.
Foreign policy experts tend to view Namibia as a geopolitical curiosity at best, a hellhole at worst. The regime is largely totalitarian, with Nazism and the state intruding every aspect of its citizen’s lives. Portraits of Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich are omnipresent, with their birthdays celebrated as state holidays. Hitler holds the office of “Eternal Leader,” and is treated with almost divine reverence. In other words, Namibia resembles Germany under the Nazis to an even greater extent.