The Lüderitzstraße is also located in the so-called Afrikanisches Viertel (african quarter) and was named in 1902 after the Bremen merchant Adolf Eduard Franz Lüderitz (1834 – 1886). Lüderitz cheated the Nama (i.e., an ethnic group in the south of Namibia) out of a large part of their land and made them believe in a “Meilenschwindel“, a contract based on a local unit of measurement that was about four times as long as the English geographical mile.
With a series of similar treaties, the colonizer Lüderitz secured a large part of the coast of Namibia, aiming at a German colonial empire that would extend to the east coast of Africa. The region was henceforth called Lüderitzland at the behest of its new owner. The landing site was named Lüderitz and the coastal portion was renamed Lüderitz Bay. To this day, the Namibian coastal region is named after Lüderitz.
Status of the Renaming
The Lüderitzstraße will be renamed Cornelius Fredericks Street due to the decision of the District Assembly (BVV) of Berlin-Mitte in April 2018. Cornelius Fredericks (1864 – 1907, in Lüderitz) led the Nama war of resistance in the colony of “German Southwest Africa”, today’s Namibia.