A politician named after German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has won a seat at a Namibian election – but says he has no plans for world domination.
Adolf Hitler Uunona was elected with 85 per cent of the vote in the former German colony, where a number of streets, places and people still bear German names.
After winning the seat on the ticket of the ruling SWAPO party – which has ruled Namibia since independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990 – the politician told Bild that he had “nothing to do with” Nazi ideology.
“My father named me after this man. He probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for,” his namesake said.
“As a child I saw it as a totally normal name. Only as a teenager did I understand that this man wanted to conquer the whole world.”
The politician said his wife calls him Adolf, adding that he usually goes by Adolf Uunona but that it would be ‘too late’ to change his name officially.
“The fact I have this name does not mean I want to conquer Oshana,” he said, referring to the region where he won the election. “It doesn’t mean I’m striving for world domination.”
Uunona won 1,196 votes in the recent election compared to 213 for his opponent, giving him a seat on the regional council.
His SWAPO party won 57 per cent of the vote across the country, a sharp decline from the 83 per cent they took in the previous regional elections in 2015.
Once known as German South West Africa, Namibia was a German colony from 1884 until the empire was stripped of its possessions following World War I.
The real Hitler would later use the humiliation of the post-war Treaty of Versailles as a propaganda tool to win support for the Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s.
Hitler’s genocide during World War II has long since overshadowed German atrocities in Namibia, but pressure for reparations has been growing in recent years.
German soldiers slaughtered some 65,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama tribespeople in a bloody campaign to suppress a local revolt between 1904 and 1908.
Last year, a German government minister described the massacre as a genocide while on a visit to the African country.
A small German-speaking community still lives in the country today, and around 120,000 Germans visit Namibia every year.
The German government says it has a ‘special responsibility’ towards Namibia ‘on account of the two countries’ shared colonial past’. – Daily Mail