Basics about the colonial history of Germany


The beginning of German colonization:


  • 1683 first colonial experience -> building the fortress GroƟ Friedrichsburg in Ghana for trading rubber, gold and slaves
  • Until 1871 Germany was split into many little states
  • But till 1884 there were no further colonies because Bismarck did not want to endanger the European balance of power
  • In 1884 Bismarck changed his attitude towards colonies -> economical reasons, the growing population
  • 1884 first African bases under the German flag

Height of German colonization:


  • Nov. 1884 Congo Conference -> Dividing the last parts of Africa between the leading European powers
  • With gifts and if necessary by force the village chiefs were made to sign contracts
  • Christian missionaries wanted to get the natives civilized
  • Nearly every colony was a losing deal
  • Colonial scandals -> rebellions were put down bloodily
    -> bad press in the mother country

The ending of German colonization:


  • At the end of 1914, Togo, German New Guinea, Samoa and Kiautschu fell to the allies
  • Only German East Africa was not defeated until 1918
  • Years later Adolf Hitler planned to colonize Africa once more
  • The colonial dream ended finally with the unconditional surrender of the German Empire in 1945

Namibia - a former German colony

problems today and the responsibility of the colonizers


Situation today:

  • Bad economic situation in Namibia
  • High unemployment
  • Life expectancy very low
  • Personal income also very low
  • HDI (Human Development Index): rank 125
  • Situation is very bad but the situation in other African countries is much worse
  • AIDS is a very big problem
-> over 20% of the young generation is infected
  • Many children can`t go to school
    -> have to help their parents
    -> low level of education
  • Medical supply is very bad

German responsibility:

  • Germany most important donor
  • Spends a lot of money every year to help their former colony
  • Germany feels responsible for Namibia
  • Tourism is also very important
    -> over 80.000 German tourists every year
  • Museums and other institutions

Bad economic situation in colonies - the fault of the old colonizers?

  • Culture was oppressed all the time
  • Natives were treated like slaves or animals not as human beings
  • Colonies couldn`t profit
  • Natives get exploitet
  • Colonizers were very brutal
    -> No economic development
    -> only the colonizers profited from colonization

Colonies are not independent

-> they need the help of the former colonizers


Comment Finland:
The text is clear and quick to read, and the main points are easy to find. Good job!
Between Finland and Germany there isn't many similarities what comes to colonization. Either Finland or Russian, of which we were a part of, have never had any colonies.

Comment Italy:
The work is very synthetic and concise even if it isn't so clear about some issues,
above all the lack of explanations about the "situation today". For example what is HDI?