Thanks bixa. I'm glad the article mentions Belgium (or rather the personal property of the King, the huge Congo) as that was a genocide of the order of the Nazi one against Jews, Roma (Gypsies) and many other human groups and categories. Germans weren't alone in "scientific racism", there were many examples among European and American slavers and colonialists.
There is a problem of periodisation: many genocides against Indigenous peoples in the Americas were still ongoing (and elsewhere, but I'm more knowledgeable about the Americas, including the near extermination of the Indigenous people in little Uruguay).
It is important that Germans, like other peoples, look at the genocide(s) perpetrated by the Nazis as something other than a historical anomaly. I just hope that this is not restricted to them. We remember that King Edward, Henry Ford and the aviator and Presidential candidate Lindbergh shared the extreme anti-Jewish hatred espoused by the Nazis, and Ford was also extremely discriminatory towards African Americans.
When the Germans paid reparations to the French (and others) after WW1, the proletariat got all pissy about it after a few years and it led to electing Hitler and moving along to WW2. I hope they won't do the same thing this time, since Merkel is already treading on thin ice domestically.
Genocides are usually quite memory selective. We all know about Jews in death camps and o have always applauded at the way Germans handled it afterwards. Hutus and Tutsis seems also correctly handled. Cambodia is doing the job now. Most other genocides are still largely ignored by the countries that perpetrated them : kulaks etc in Russia which is however USSR anymore : who knows what the kolyma is ? Seminoles in the U.S. ? Armenians in turkey ? Does Japan fully acknowledge what they did in Nanking and Korea ?
About Belgium the situation is simple : anybody who went to school before 1984 never heard about any death in former Congo and nobody talks about it. I personally discovered it some years ago thanks to Internet. But finding no 'official' truth makes it difficult for me as Belgian to know what to believe. My daughters have been told obliquely about it but at least know we behaved like complete in humane bastards.
Now about reparations ? History is full of slaughters - where do we stop ?
What I mostly notice about countries deciding to pay reparations for their past misdeeds is that they wait until everyone involved, victims and perpetrators alike, has died of old age. This is also evident when a country -- well, certainly the US -- finally gets around to resolving things with its own veterans.
True. It seems we're more likely to learn -- stumble across, really -- that kind of history in novels rather than in school books. I just completed Lisa See's The Island of Sea Women. Honestly, I almost ditched it early on because the writing style is almost YA. Then suddenly, almost halfway through, there is an explosion of horrifying violence. That was how I learned of the Jeju massacre, which wiped out about 1/5 of the island's population. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_South_Korea
The main thing I got from the book was that I know almost nothing about Korea.