Jonas KreienbaumJun 9, 2021
A Sad Fiasco
Colonial Concentration Camps in Southern Africa, 1900–1908
Berghahn Books 2019
Holocaust and Genocide historians have spent much time and effort recently considering the connections between the experiences and ideas of colonialism and subsequent mass atrocity violence. Jonas Kreienbaum's recent book A Sad Fiasco: Colonial Concentration Camps in Southern Africa, 1900–1908 (Berghahn Books, 2019) is an important contribution to this new direction in the field. Kreienbaum is interested in the way in which concentration camps became a widely used tactic in anti-insurgency campaigns. Exploiting extensive primary research, he compares camps in British South Africa and German South-West Africa. His work sheds new light on these specific conflicts. But he goes beyond this, cautioning against over simplistic comparisons between these camps and those of the Third Reich while recognizing the way concentration camps evolved and persisted across time.
Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University.