Mission und Apartheid

ISBN 978-3-89645-754-7

Mission und Apartheid

Heinrich Vedder und Hans Karl Diehl

Author: Klaus Gockel. Series edited by: Archiv und Museumsstiftung der VEM, Wuppertal.

Series: MuG Mission – Past and Present Volume 4

292 pp.
9 b/w photographs
Text language(s): German
Format: 160 x 240 mm
580 g
€ 39.80

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“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the ‘color-line’.” These were the words of the prediction expressed by the African-American historian W.E.B. Du Bois in 1900. One of the politically most radical manifestations of white racism of this past century was the introduction of apartheid in southern Africa in 1948. With its socio-political segregation of the population along racial criteria the system of apartheid led to the rigorous depriving of rights of the Black majority, who only regained its independence in the 1990s after decades of struggle for freedom.

The present volume deals with the relationship between mission and state at the time of apartheid in former Southwest Africa, now Namibia. In one partial volume each the author investigates how the missionaries and pastors Dr. Heinrich Vedder and Hans Karl Diehl as well as Hans-Georg Scholz and Dr. Werner Andreas Wienecke, respectively, dealt with the topic of white racism in the shape of apartheid in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The study is based on documents at hand in the archives of the Vereinte Evangelische Mission, both written about and by Vedder and Diehl who are described as prominent figures in the history of the mission. Where did they position themselves as representatives of the white mission when questions about colonialism and apartheid came up, or questions for nonviolent participation in the struggle for political liberation, which was demanded by the Black theology of the country. Did their attitude towards apartheid differ at all from that of the white Southwest and South African government?

For Gockel, racism is a universal problem of humanity, which cannot be done away with through research and education. However, these can contribute to the analysis of processes and structures of racism and of resistance against it as well as to the identification of its background and surrounding conditions. Thereby they allow for a greater future awareness of racism and thus make it possible to fight against it.

Under these links you will find two more volumes of Mission und Apartheid and further studies of the history and the work of the UEM United Evangelical Mission:

Furthermore, you will find a review of the series:

Accompanying material:



Was das Buch wie auch seine beiden Vorgängerbände [...] sehr interessant macht, sind die vielen direkten und indirekten Zitate aus unveröffentlichten Dokumenten. Das Buch ist ein wichtiger Beitrag zur VEM-Geschichte und ich wünsche ihm viele Leser.

Wolfgang Apelt in In die Welt für die Welt – Magazin der Vereinten Evangelischen Mission, 4/2010, 26

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PDFReview of the series “Mission and Apartheid” by Jörg Baumgarten(≈ 1 MB)
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