Lawyers for the Herero and Nama tribes on Tuesday appealed a New York court ruling dismissing their compensation claim against Germany for the genocide of their ancestors in present-day Namibia.
In a filing before New York’s federal appeals court, lawyers for the two ethnicities claim a lower court erred in its March 6 decision, which said Germany was protected from their suit by the principle of sovereign immunity of a state.
Germany is vulnerable to the claim because it owns real estate in New York, and the remains of some genocide victims are interred at the city’s American Museum of Natural History, the filing says, repeating arguments rejected in the March ruling.
The two tribes are seeking compensation for the persecution their members suffered in what was known as German South West Africa during colonial rule from 1884-1915. The territory has since become Namibia.
Tens of thousands of members of the Herero tribe and some 10,000 Namas were killed from 1904-1908 after rebelling against German rule.