Alright folks, it’s time for another history lesson! You might remember from school, or from playing Oregon Trail, that during the 19th-century hundreds of thousands of Americans loaded up their wagons and headed west to the American frontier, to strike out new homes for themselves and fulfill “Manifest Destiny.” As it turns out, around the same time thousands of South Africans were making similar wagon journeys across their country. These were the Voortrekkers who undertook the Great Trek during the 1830s and 1840s.
Aus is a small, dusty village along the unending stretch of desert road that links Lüderitz to the rest of the country. There is not much to Aus, save for a white-washed German church, a gas station, a railway stop and a school. But it turns out this sleepy town played an important role in a forgotten chapter of the First World War.