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Thread: German Colonization Past and Future: The Truth About the German Colonies

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    German Colonization Past and Future: The Truth About the German Colonies

    by Dr. Heinrich Schnee.

    After the First World War Germany was forced by the Treaty of Versailles to give up her colonies; the misappropriation of the colonies by the Allies was justified to the world with the mendacious claims that Germany had proven herself incapable and unworthy of governing native peoples. In this book Dr. Heinrich Schnee, the late Governor of German East Africa, refutes this "Colonial Lie" with hard facts and throws upon the subject a very different light from that in which it was shown by Allied wartime propaganda.
    Read it here.

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    It's boggling in retrospect that one power was deemed worthy to rule native peoples and another was not, because only a few years after that, we saw an entire reversal in the thoughtleaders' opinions. All European colonialism was deemed an evil whitey crime. So in one respect, it's good that Germans don't have to deal with that.

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    It seems to have become a bit of a rage in "academic" circles to focus on German colonial policy, namely a few minor instances where German troops were involved in restoring order. This is all part of a larger concerted effort to portray Imperial Germany as a proto-Nazi state, as though somehow the political evolution of German politics towards totalitarianism was inevitable, the British scheming to start WWI, the dishonorable manner in which Germans were treated after the Armistice, the rise of a Communist regime in Russia just could not have had anything to do with this... The British and French were quite ruthless in how they expanded and managed their respective empires; the Russians--even before the Soviets--were particularly barbaric in how they expanded into the Caucasus. None of this elicits nearly the same indignation as that which is directed towards the Germans. Rank hypocrisy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autosomal Viking View Post
    It's boggling in retrospect that one power was deemed worthy to rule native peoples and another was not, because only a few years after that, we saw an entire reversal in the thoughtleaders' opinions. All European colonialism was deemed an evil whitey crime. So in one respect, it's good that Germans don't have to deal with that.

    I've read actually the reverse a few times (just recently, the winds have changed a tad in academia), some newer articles have gone against the general politics of the West of making Germany the sickest of modern countries & the constructed happy League Of Nations/UN narrative that ending Germany's reign as colonial landlord was always positive & morally necessary, at least in regard to comparative colonial policy, pre-World War I, before Germany's "Great Power" license was removed by consensus of the Entente Powers (who created for themselves a moral rationale in splitting Germany's territorial portfolio & colonial investment in infrastructure between themselves).

    Several articles in the last 5 years I've read have "discovered" that Germany was actually, from certain perspectives, the most benevolent and least authoritarian Great Power in the age of colonialism & rush for empire*

    Particularly interesting some also included anecdotes from former German colony natives, who might have the most relevant direct perspective on such a comparison as they experienced French & British policy after they were "liberated" from German into Entente colonial possession. There seemed to be a general theme, in the post-colonial period, where they could answer honestly with reduced fear of negative repercussions, that the days in the colonial portfolio of Imperial Germany were good, but became less so under WWI's victors after "Liberation". In particular I remember that now extremly elderly natives recollected Imperial Germany set up hospitals & access to medicine improving affairs for natives as well as ethnic Germans in colonial service in their part of the tropics, services which were either not replaced by the WWI victors, or if replaced, access not granted to the native ethnics. Also constructing of wells and clean water infrastructure was noted as a positive difference comparing Germany to the post-WWI new bosses.

    I'd be happy to look for some of those articles if anyone is curious.

    * (as compared to the current new age of indirect colonialism & imperialism via multi-national corporations & modern 'humane' methods of extracting useful resources while leaving the natives with the appearance of sovereignity - see the China vs America race in Africa)

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    by Dr. Heinrich Schnee.

    After the First World War Germany was forced by the Treaty of Versailles to give up her colonies; the misappropriation of the colonies by the Allies was justified to the world with the mendacious claims that Germany had proven herself incapable and unworthy of governing native peoples. In this book Dr. Heinrich Schnee, the late Governor of German East Africa, refutes this "Colonial Lie" with hard facts and throws upon the subject a very different light from that in which it was shown by Allied wartime propaganda.
    Rewriting German colonial history to demonise the Germans and make Germany look bad and themselves look good is yet another example of mendacious anti-German propagandising practised by the Allies after both world wars. Imperial Germany was a perfectly able and capable colonial power and administrator. Versailles stripped Germany of her colonies because the French and the British wanted Germany's former colonies added to their own colonial empires in the guise of receiving League of Nations' "mandates". It was a land grab, cynically disguised. That is the truth.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Germany and the German people have been wrongly villified to the point of absolute idiocy. And those that still persist in villifying Germany and her people are not only wrong, but idiots. So much anti-German propaganda has spewed out over the last one hundred years and so many falsehoods about Germany and German history have been propagated and outright lies presented as facts that it would and should thoroughly disgust any properly informed and fair-minded person. This sort of drivel should have ended decades ago, but regrettably anti-German propagada continues to persist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todesritter
    I'd be happy to look for some of those articles in anyone is curious.
    Todesritter, I'm curious. I would like to read some of those articles if you have got them or can point me in the right direction. Many thanks, sport.

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    Senior Member Heinrich Harrer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    So much anti-German propaganda has spewed out over the last one hundred years and so many falsehoods about Germany and German history have been propagated and outright lies presented as facts that it would and should thoroughly disgust any properly informed and fair-minded person. This sort of drivel should have ended decades ago, but regrettably anti-German propagada continues to persist.p
    In a way it's mind-boggling that they were able to dupe so many people into believing in this extremely skewed version of history with Germany being the prime evil. Some days ago I came across this video:


    Watching this vile anti-german propaganda made me feel physically sick.

    "Won Oscar in 1946 for Best Documentary, Short Subjects"

    1946, the year in which Germans all over eastern europe were still being dehumanized, butchered and driven off from their native homelands.

    Stalin makes an appearance as well in the segment about the happy future towards the end.

    Fun quote: "These are the most dangerous... german youths! (..) Trained to win by cheating. Trained to pick on the weak. They've heard no free speeches, read no free press. They were brought up on straight propaganda. Production of the worst educational crime in the history of the world." (the irony), "Practically everything we believe in, they've been trained to hate and destroy."

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    Germans rejoice, because the french and the british now have the former german colonials as former french and british colonials living in Britain and France. Would you rather have Tanzanians living in London or Berlin?
    Das Recht und die Gerechtigkeit haben nur selten miteinander etwas zu tun. Höchstens machen sie winki winki wenn sie aneinander vorbei gehen.
    The Law and Justice have only seldom anything to do with one another. At the most they wave at each other when they pass one another on the street.
    Niemals vergessen. Niemals vergeben.

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    I'm still digging for a couple of more recent articles which I'd read recently online and which seemed to break the mold of reinforcing the Treaty of Versailles propaganda, thereby exonerating Imperial Germany ...

    Continuity thesis

    In recent years scholars have debated the "continuity thesis" that links German colonialist brutalities to the treatment of Jews, Poles and Russians during World War II. Some historians argue that Germany's role in southwestern Africa gave rise to an emphasis on racial superiority at home, which in turn was used by the Nazis. Other scholars, however, are skeptical and challenge the continuity thesis.

    Confiscation

    Germany's overseas empire was dismantled following defeat in World War I. With the concluding Treaty of Versailles, Article 22, German colonies were divided between Belgium, the United Kingdom, and certain British Dominions, France, and Japan with the determination not to see any of them returned to Germany — a guarantee secured by Article 119.
    In Africa, Britain and France divided German Kamerun*(Cameroons) and Togoland. Belgium gained Ruanda-Urundi*in northwestern German East Africa, Great Britain obtained by far the greater landmass of this colony, thus gaining the ‘missing link’ in the chain of British possessions stretching from South Africa to Egypt (Cape to Cairo), Portugal received the Kionga Triangle, a sliver of German East Africa. German South West Africa*was taken under mandate by the Union of South Africa
    .

    In the Pacific, Japan gained Germany’s islands north of the equator (the Marshall Islands, the Carolines, the Marianas, the Palau Islands) and Kiautschou*in China. German Samoa*was assigned to New Zealand; German New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago*and Nauru*to Australia as mandatory.

    British placement of surrogate responsibility for former German colonies on white-settler dominions was at the time determined to be the most expedient option for the British government — and an appropriate reward for the Dominions having fulfilled their "great and urgent imperial service " through military intervention at the behest of and for Great Britain. It also meant that British colonies now had colonies of their own — which was very much influenced at the Paris proceedings by W.M. Hughes, William Massey, and Louis Botha, the prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The principle of 'self-determination,' embodied in the League of Nations covenant was not considered to apply to these colonies and was "regarded as meaningless." To "allay President [Woodrow] Wilson’s suspicions of British imperialism," the system of ’mandates’*was drawn up and agreed to by the British War Cabinet (with the French and Italians in tow), a device by which conquered enemy territory would be held not as a possession but as ‘sacred trusts.’ But "far from envisaging the eventual independence of the [former] German colonies, Allied statesmen at the Paris Conference regarded 1919 as the renewal, not the end, of an imperial era." In deliberations the British "War Cabinet had confidence that natives everywhere would opt for British rule," however, the cabinet acknowledged "the necessity to prove that its policy toward the German colonies was not motivated by aggrandizement," since the Empire was seen by American eyes as a "land devouring octopus" with a "voracious territorial appetite."
    Epilogue

    President Wilson*saw the League of Nations*as "'residuary trustee' for the [German] colonies" captured and occupied by "rapacious conquerors". The victors retained the German overseas possessions and did so with the belief that Australian, Belgian, British, French, Japanese, New Zealand, Portuguese and South African rule was superior to Germany’s. Several decades later during the collapse of the then existing colonial empires, Africans and Asians cited the same arguments that had been used by the Allies against German colonial rule — they now simply demanded "to stand by themselves."

    In the 1920s, some individuals and the German Colonial Society fought for the idea of colonialism. Settlement in Africa though was not popular, and also not a focus of interest of the Hitler government.

    There are hardly any special ties between modern Germany and its former colonies; for example, there is no postcolonial league comparable to the British Commonwealth of Nations. In stark contrast with French*and English, both of which are widely spoken across the continent by those of both African and European ancestry, the German language*is not a significant language in Africa even within former colonies; although it is spoken by a significant minority of the population of Namibia. Germany cooperates economically and culturally with many countries in Africa and Asia, independent from colonial history.
    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/top...olonial_empire

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    I said it before, and I'll say it again, Imperial Germany was a perfectly able and capable colonial power and administrator. Portraying German colonial rule as bad, and British, French, etc. colonial as benign and good, is just one of the many lies that Allied propaganda spewed out after both world wars. Demonising Imperial Germany as a colonial power suited Allied purposes, so they propagated the myth that Germany was a bad colonial power and administrator. The French and the British etc. wanted to grab the German colonies and these colonies' resources and that is the real reason why Versailles stripped Germany of her colonies and redistributed them as "League of Nations' Mandates".

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    The actions of Imperial Germany were not entirely benevolent, how horrible was Lothar von Trotha? Though an examination of the facts about this supposed 'first genocide' in the 20th century shows it was nothing racial but an exaggerated response by von Trotha himself, similar to the Wushe Incident in Taiwan (for example), and his actions were condemned in Germany by the aristocracy no less. And I can understand von Trotha's righteous anger after what happened to the settlers - his own race - the history books play down. Still the German Empire, though I see it positively compared to say France or Belgium, it does have some bad stains.

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