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German first and last names are not uncommon in the former colony of Namibia. A local politician caused a sensation after his election as district administrator with his unusual name. In the former German colony of Namibia, a politician with an unusual name now serves as district administrator: Adolf Hitler Uunona. The Namibian from the ruling Swapo party was elected district administrator of Ompundja, a constituency in the north of the country. On Wednesday he was sworn in in his office, a video showed. The 54-year-old reacted slightly annoyed to questions from the AFP news agency about his name. It surprised him that people were so fascinated by his name, he said. Uunona did not want to explain why his parents named him after the German dictator. “Do you really want us to have a whole conversation about my name? How will this make Namibia a better country, how will it contribute to the development of our country?” Asked Uunona.
The name caused astonishment among some Twitter users: “Why would you name your child after Hitler? Why would you go into politics with such a name?”, Wrote one. There are numerous locals in Namibia with German first and last names. Children were often named by or after their parents’ employers. On the one hand, because the Europeans found it difficult to pronounce the native names correctly, on the other hand, out of respect for the employer or superiors. From 1884 to 1915 parts of Namibia belonged to the German Empire. At that time, the colonial rulers brutally put down rebellions by the Herero and Nama ethnic groups, and tens of thousands died. To this day, the relationship between Namibia and Germany is not an easy one – the federal government has been holding tough talks with the Namibian capital Windhoek about coming to terms with the crimes during the colonial era for years.