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memorial in the Old Cemetry

Luderitz | Namibia

In 1883 Adolf Luderitz acquired land along the coast of the southwest Africa, which he placed under the protection of the German Empire in 1884. The Memorial in the Old Cemetery in Luderitz is a natural stone beacon that recognizes the importance of his achievements. The beacon stood for a long time in the Nautilus graveyard until the cemetery was relocated to Shark Island in 1977, containing the graves of 41 German soldiers and 33 civilians. The German colonial involvement was prominent in shaping early Namibian history, still evident in the country today, especially in Luderitz.

This memorial marks the first surveyor's beacon that 'identified the acquisitions of Adolf Luderitz'. It is not the site where the German flag was raised in 1884 which was 100m further away. The flagpole on which the original flag was raised was removed in the 1930's due to erosion. This was an early example of a 'health and safety hazard', or a flagpole about to fall over and cause an accident, as it was know then.

The official notice states that:

'…this obelisk-shaped beacon was erected in 1903 and replaced the original wooden tablet erected by Franz Adolf Luderitz in 1883. The original tablet indicated, as does the obelisk, that the territory was under the protection of the Imperial German Government.'

It was officially proclaimed a national monument on 15th March 1969 and was replaced because the cemetery was relocated to Shark Island in 1977. The new proclaimation declared 'the historic Luderitz memorial, together with 5 metres of surrounding land' a national monument on another proclaimation on 10th June 1980. It is situated east of the former Luderitz Bay Cannery premises, north of Luderitz.

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