München: Bertelsmann, 1978
Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2000
English Translation: Morenga (New Directions, 2003)
Rebellion in German South West Africa, the present day Namibia: the Hottentots, lead by Jakob Morenga, the "black Napoleon", are rebelling against their oppressors. Morenga, a former mineworker, and his tribe are fighting a guerrilla war which lasts from 1904 until 1907. Drifting along into the country with the German 'Schutztruppe' is a host of adventurers, crooks, missionaries and traders. They exchange glass beads for land, ostrich feathers for liquor, humbleness for Christianity and the whip for pride - all of this in the name of civilising the Africans.
Johannes Gottschalk, a veterinarian of the German colonial force, gets to see both sides: the officers' mess and the war camps, the African plains and the masses of African people. He experiences their misery and their rebellion and fights for his own moral survival.