Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1905 - Deutsch-Neuguinea
I. Deutsch - Neuguinea.

a) Kaiser-Wilhelmsland.

Size : About 179,000 square km (half of Prussia).

Population : is estimated at 100,000 (at the beginning of 1904) 113 Europeans, 98 Germans. Melanesians or Papua, with many different, but related dialects.

Morphology and Hydrology : Along the 800 km long coast many coral reefs, smaller islands and bays. The most important are the Huon Gulf and the Astrolabe Bay.

(640 x 597)    (1256 x 1173)

The interior is little explored. Between Huon Gulf and Astrolabe Bay the Finisterre Mountains (3,475 m); between it and the coast a coastal mountain range reaching 1,000 m altitude. In the interior the yet unknown Kraetke Chain, further north the Bismarck Chain. The expedition under Dr. Lauterbach, Dr. Kersting and E. Tappenbeck in 1896 discovered the largely navigable Ramu River. A newer expedition discovered the latter's identity wit the Ottilien River and has navigated the same up for a distance of 110 nautical miles.

In the protectorate's north the Kaiserin-Auguste-River, navigable for larger vessels, with favourable estuary not blocked by reefs. The Gogol River feeds into the Astrolabebai, the Markhamfluss into the Huon Gulf.

Climate : marked tropical climate. Along the coast highest temperature in the shadow 35 degrees Celsius, lowest 20 degrees, average annual temperature 26 degrees. Between April and September south east passate, from October to March north west monsoon. Clear distinction between dry and rainy season in most years not notable.

Trade And Transportation : exported are mainly tobacco, copra, lumber, cotton, trepang, mother-of-pearl and capoc. 1903 exports 243,654 Mark, imports 798,857 Mark.

District Office : Friedrich - Wilhelmshafen. Main places where Europeans reside : Berlinhafen, Potsdamhafen, Friedrich - Wilhelmshafen, Stephansort, Finschhafen, Salamaua. Coloured police force : 100 men.

Schools for the indigenous have been established by missionaries.

b) The Bismarck-Archipelago (p.19)

Size : about 61,000 square km (two thirds of Bavaria).

Population : The coloured population is estimated at roughly 200,000 (Melanesians or Papua). The main islands of the Bismarck Archipelago are the islands Neu-Pommern with the Gazelle Peninsula and Neu-Mecklenburg, separated by the St. Georg Channel. In the northeast the Admirality Islands. In the St. Georg Channel the island group Neu-Lauenburg. At the northwestern edge of Neu-Mecklenburg the island Neu-Hannover. Of the Solomon Islands the northernmost, Buka and Bougainville, of importance as recruitment area for workers. The European population amounted, on January 1st 1903, to 277 persons, of them 182 Germans, on January 1st 1904 : 320 whites, of them 203 Germans.

Morphology and Hydrology : all islands are mountainous. On Neu-Mecklenburg mountains up to a height of 1,200 m. Neu-Pommern has many coastal rivers; the Holmesfluss on the Gazelle Peninsula. On Bougainville the Kaisergebirge with the three-peak Balbiberg (3,067 m). The interior of the Solomon islands is yet unexplored (dense tropical forest).

Climate : The Archipelago has a tropical climate, mildened by the maritime surrounding. Lowest rainfall mostly July to October.

Currency : Diwarra (indigenous clam currency)

Export Articles : copra, cotton, capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, coffee. The total value of exports in 1902/03 amounted to 918,914 Mark, that of imports to 1,714,900 Mark. 1903 : export : 963,066 Mark, import 2,114,957 Mark.

Trade is mostly organized by the German Trade and Plantation Corporation of the South Sea Islands and by the German merchant house Hernsheim & Co., as well as by the house Forsayth (Ralum).

Seat of the Imperial governor and District Office : Herbertshöhe. Stations: Nusa, Kawieng, Namatanai.

c) The Carolinas, Palau-Islands and Marianas,

formerly Spanish, were transferred into German property in June 1899 by purchase.

The Carolinas have an area of 1,600 square km (of which the Palau islands 450 square km). Population : East Carolinas 25,000 inhabitants, 1904 : 89 whites, of them 32 Germans. West Carolinas 13,264 inhabitants (of them the Palau islands 3,748), 56 whites, of them 11 Germans. The Marianas have an area of 625 square km, population : 2646 indigenous, 13 whites, of them 7 Germans, but 45 Japanese, 21 more than last year.
The main islands of the Carolinas are : Kusaie, Ponape, Truk and Jap. The most important island of the Palaus is Baobeltaob. The main Mariana Islands are Saipan and Tinian.

Seat of district administrations : Ponape, Jap, Saipan

Trade And Transportation : Exported are : copra, trepang, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl.
Imported are : textiles, tobacco, food etc. 1903 exports of the East Carolinas 180,740 M., West Carolinas 359,059 M., Marianas 230,576 M.; imports into the East Carolinas 338,749 M., West Carolinas 442,110 M., Marianas 71,989 M.

II. The Marshall Islands.

Size : about 400 square km, distributed over 353 islands.

Population : about 15 000 inhabitants, pure Micronesians with dark skin. On January 1st 1903 : 77 whites, of them 51 Germans. 1904: 81 whites, 61 Germans.

The islands belong to Micronesia and fall into two groups : the Ratak Group in the east and the Ralik Group in the west.

Climate : very hot and humid, regular tropical (27 degrees C.).

On average about 300 rainy days per year, annual precipitation 4000 to 5000 mm.

Trade and Transportation : main export item : copra, 1902 : 500,600 M., 1903 : 521,598 M., the total value of imports in 1902 : 487,679 M., 1903 : 497,794 M.

Jabor on Jaluit, seat of the Imperial administrator. District office on Nauru.

III. The Samoa Islands. (Navigators' Islands)

Size : Since Nov. 14th 1899, the following islands belong to the German protectorate of Samoa : Sawaii (1,691 square km), Upolu (868 square km, seat of the government), Manono (8,5 square km), Apolima (4,7 square km), total 2,572 square km (= the size of the Duchy of Sachsen-Meiningen). The other islands of the Samoan group belong to the U.S.A. Sawaii and Upolu are mountaineous (1646 and 975 m altitude) and volcanic.

Population : 1902 : 32,512 inhabitants, 1903 : 381 Europeans, of them 192 Germans, in addition a bastard population of about 600; 1904 no changes worthy to mention.

Climate : tropical (May to September southeast passate). Average annual temperature 25,70 degrees Celsius, mild, healthy.

Trade and Transportation : Export consists mainly of copra, fruits and lately of cocoa. In 1902 it amounted to 1,691,851 M., import to 2,603,111 M., 1903 export 1,384,507 M., import 2,681,405 M.

Navigation : navigation amounted in 1903 to 111 incoming and departing ships with 46,514 resp. 46,324 tons. The connection with Apia is served every four weeks by steamers of the Union Steamship Co., which sail the route 
Sydney-Auckland. Further, steamers of the Oceanic Steamship Co., sailing between San Francisco and Sydney, stop at Tutuila every three weeks; from there a local steamer connects with Apia. Journey via Australia 60 days, via America 40 days.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1905, p.18f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache