Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition, by Christina Rockstroh et al.

Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition, by Christina Rockstroh et al. Gondwana History, Vol 5. Nature Investments, Namibia, 2014. ISBN 9789991689616/ ISBN 978-99916-896-1-6

Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition, by Christina Rockstroh et al. Gondwana History, Vol 5. Nature Investments, Namibia, 2014. ISBN 9789991689616/ ISBN 978-99916-896-1-6

Many of Namibia's stories have been published as books in recent years and Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition, by Christina Rockstroh et al. is the 5 th volume of the Gondwana History series.

Christina Rockstroh  

Wilhelm Mattenklodt: From Hunter to Hunted

"When we entered the bush I gave my horse a touch of the spurs and we flew away, never to turn back again. With this step I left everything behind that once had been, I gave up my farm and my possessions and became restless, a fugitive. But I valued freedom more than anything else, even more than life." Giving up the life that you have built through hard work and putting freedom above all else is an attitude to life that evokes curiosity. Who was the man who thought like this and what had he done to become "restless, a fugitive"? He was Ernst Wilhelm Mattenklodt, a Schutztruppe soldier and farmer who published his story in his book "Verlorene Heimat" (Lost Motherland) in 1928. Wilhelm Mattenklodt, from Lippstadt in Germany, emigrated to German South West Africa in 1908 when he was 22 years old and bought the farm Leipzig southeast of Grootfontein. He also supplemented his income occasionally as a transport driver. He was an ardent hunter and most of all loved to spend time in the bush. His hunting excursions took him to southern Angola and into the Caprivi. If it had been up to him, life could have gone on like that forever. But it all came to an abrupt end when the First World War broke out. A loyal servant to his home country, Mattenklodt reported for duty with the Schutztruppe and fought for Fort Naulila in Angola, initially still in a cheerful mood of adventure. He and his comrades then waged war against the South African Union troops at the Langer Heinrich mountain, at Jakalswater and at Trekkopje in the Namib Desert east of Swakopmund. Since he was a reservist, Mattenklodt was discharged on his word of honour after the Schutztruppe's capitulation near Khorab in July 1915. He was allowed to buy two horses for 200 Marks and to return to his farm. He was free again. However, events soon took a different turn when he promised to help interned Schutztruppe officers to escape from the Okanjande camp. A South African informer learnt about his plans and Wilhelm Mattenklodt was arrested on his farm. He managed to get away as he was being taken back to the camp, however, and hid in the bush. His escape promptly landed him at the top of the South African's list of most wanted persons, while on the German side he was greatly admired for his courage. "When I stood outside at night, in desperate need of support, it never happened even once that I had to knock twice before the door was opened for me," he wrote about the helping hands that were extended to him (p. 88). While the war continued the South Africans twice urged Mattenklodt to surrender. In both cases his answer was "thanks, but no thanks" (p. 130). He posed as a Swiss citizen, calling himself "Freischütz", and was issued a passport in that name by the South African authorities in Windhoek. Pursued and hunted he travelled to the Okavango area, to southeastern Angola, the Omuramba-Omatako, Kaudom, to the dry Kaukau Vley and into Bechuanaland (Botswana). At the end of the war he asked the German representative, Captain Trainer, to negotiate with the South Africans on his behalf. But to no avail: "...if I were to be arrested there would be no mercy," he writes. "I would be summarily executed under martial law" (p. 167). Mattenklodt decided to leave the country. He wanted to cross Angola and head for the neutral Spanish colony of Rio Munizu. He found two travelling companions, Georg Voswinckel and Alfred Feuerstein. [...]

This is an excerpt from Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition, by Christina Rockstroh et al.

Title: Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 5th edition
Authors: Inke Stoldt; Sven-Eric Kanzler; Kirsten Kraft; Christina Rockstroh; Ron Swilling; Anna Hillebrecht; Savelia Nanyanga; Antje Otto; Hergen Junge; Stefan Saayman
Series: Gondwana History, Vol 5
Publisher: Nature Investments
Namibia, 2014
ISBN 9789991689616/ ISBN 978-99916-896-1-6
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 111 pages, 85 images, 1 map, English text

Stoldt, Inke und Kanzler, Sven-Eric und Kraft, Kirsten und Rockstroh, Christina und Swilling, Ron und Hillebrecht, Anna und Nanyanga, Savelia und Otto, Antje und Rusch, Walter und Oberhauer, Daniel und Saayman, Stefan im Namibiana-Buchangebot

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