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Nazi Sympathiser For What? – Kapofi

By: Justicia Shipena

Defence and veteran affairs minister Frans Kapofi says he sees no wrongdoing in using Arnold Wolfers’ quote during his budget motivation in the National Assembly.

Kapofi yesterday came under fire for quoting Wolfers, with LPM accusing him of being a Nazi sympathiser.

Kapofi quoted Wolfers by saying: “A nation is secure to the extent which it is not in danger of having to sacrifice its basic values, if such State is willing to avoid war, and is able if challenged, to maintain them by victory…”

According to him, he does not see any Nazi ideology in the quote he used.

“The author of that speech is a renowned professor at Yale University in the United States. If it was used in the Nazi ideology, I could not remember,” he said.

Kapofi expressed that there was nothing wrong with that quote used in his speech in his view, adding that people are entitled to their opinions.

“I don’t believe the quote I used is a Nazi ideology. I made a quote regarding what I was saying for the safety and security of our nation,” he told The Villager.

Kapofi further said he does not think Wolfers’ literature has shaded up Nazi ideology.

“Yes, he lived in Europe in Germany during the formation of Nazis ideology but left Germany and migrated to the United States. He became one of the scholars in international relations, safety, and security. I don’t think so.”

He said Wolfers later became anti-Nazi when he left Europe.

Kapofi also expressed that he does not see how he could be a Nazi sympathiser.

“So I don’t see anything wrong with that. And people calling me a Nazi sympathiser, I don’t see how I can be one of them. A sympathiser of Nazis for what? What do I have to gain by being a Nazi sympathiser?” questioned Kapofi.

Moreover, he said he has never come close to the ideology of the Nazis.

“It is unfortunate that I am labelled that way, but I never come near the ideology of the Nazis. What for?”

Kapofi defended the quote, saying LMP is entitled to their view.

“I stand my ground. It’s their right to ask the President to call me to order. If they feel like I need to be called to order, it’s up to them. But I don’t think I have done anything wrong,” he expressed.

A statement by the defence ministry stated that LPM’s insinuations demonstrate their lack of understanding of crucial national security.

“The LPM’s piece attacking me was therefore clearly based on a superficial knowledge of Arnold Wolfers and perhaps lack of knowledge of leading authorities in the field of international relations, defence and strategic studies,” the statement reads.



Meanwhile, political analyst Prof Henning Melber said it is good to see that ministers’ statements are adequately scrutinised and receive the critical attention they deserve.

“It is the political opposition’s task to engage and raise contentious issues. But this also requires some responsible handling of such issues. In this particular case, criticism is, to some extent, justified but way over the top,” he said.

Melber said Kapofi quoted an internationally recognised scholar with a dubious track record in his early career who was later an anti-communist advocate of pro-Western expansion and imperialism.

“He has supported some of Hitler’s early policies, particularly Eastern Europe and the racist perceptions of the people there. But while a scholar in economics and international relations in his early to mid-career in Germany, he was declared an undesirable person for being, in part, Jewish. He, therefore, relocated to the USA in 1933 and pursued a career as a scholar at Yale University. While initially still (until the mid-1930s) showing sympathy with Hitler’s expansionist plans into Eastern Europe, he then supported USA’s war against Nazi Germany,” he explained.

However, Melber said Wolfers could be described as an advocate of Western imperialism.

“This can also not be concluded from the quote in Kapofi’s statement. It documents a degree of national identity at stake for countries under threat,” he said.

Hence Melber said associating it with Nazi ideology is as sloppy as the fact that the speechwriter and Kapofi did not bother to verify the background of the quoted scholar.

“Such scrutiny should have concluded that there would be others who deserve to be quoted.”

However, he said, accusing Kapofi of being a ‘Nazi sympathiser’ because of this quote is ridiculous and over the top.

“Neither was Kapofi by quoting Wolfers “praising the Nazis.”

Melber said the LPM statement by Utaara Mootu is trapped in the same pitfalls they accuse Kapofi of.

“If they have not done a proper homework but lash out for the sake of lashing out, thereby simplifying matters to the extent that they become misleading and lack credibility. It is a failed effort to score cheap points but no sign of serious engagement,” he adds.

He said it construes misleading accusations bordering on defamation.

“It could have been an opportunity for the LPM to make some ironic and teasingly critical remarks regarding the unfortunate choice of quoted persons without the far-reaching personal insinuations calling Kapofi names he does not deserve for this.”

He further said LPM’s statement seeks to make unjustified claims.

Melber indicated that if the quote had been a statement without Wolfers given as the source, nobody would have ever suspected this to be Nazi ideology.

“But it deserves no place in a budget debate in Namibia’s National Assembly.”

Melber also said LPM would be well advised to decide which battles to wage carefully.



Moments after the National Assembly had adjourned, LPM’s Mootu released a statement saying Kapofi had displayed his Nazi sympathetic traits.

Mootu said Kapofi justified the importance of ‘state security by quoting a racist Nazi supporter, lawyer and economist, Wolfers.

Mootu described it as shocking for Kapofi to select ‘Nazi statements’ and place it in a formal National document.

“The ministers’ referencing their work should be condemned in the highest order by all peace-loving and justice demanding Namibians, who value equality, freedom and the sanctity of the human life,” she said.

The statement further reminded Kapofi of his tabled motion on the first genocide in the Namibian Parliament.

“He labelled traditional leaders, who demanded to be part of the negotiation processes as ‘delusional’. The minister is well aware that the Nazi founders took inspiration from the genocide committed against the Ovaherero and Nama communities to guide their operations. The minister praised the Nazis, which is disrespectful to the nation and our ancestors,” it reads.

Mootu added that Kapofi’s quote of a Nazi sympathiser betrays his utmost admiration and assimilation of the values and virtues of the Nazis.

“We demand that the President of the Republic of Namibia and the Commander and Chie the armed forces, H.E Dr Hage Geingob, intervene to call his Minister of Defence to order.”




Justicia Shipena

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