Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1906, Deutsch-Südwestafrika
Deutsch-Südwestafrika (p. 12)

Size : 835 100 square km (= 1 ½ times Deutsches Reich).

Population : about 200 000. (?? for the time being more precise figures can not be given). Most numerous group among the indigenous are the Herero, a Bantu tribe, according to Schinz 86 000 souls. They inhabit the inner highland to the north of the Swakop, to the north up beyond Waterberg, to the east until the 18th degree longitude east of Greenwich, 80 000 - 90 000 square km. The Bergdamara (according to missionary Viehe numbering 35 000), rather distinct from the Hottentots, appear anywhere in Deutsch-Südwestafrika south of the Etosha depression and live in small groups between the Hereo and the Hottentots. The Hottentots (about 10 000) or Nama (of yellow skin) are to be found in Gross-Namaland and in a part of the Kaokofeld. The Owambo (about 60 000), a Bantu tribe in Amboland, between the (p. 12) 18th degree southern latitude and the Kunene. The bushmen, numbering a few thousand, live unrestrained in the Kalahari and in the area between Etosha depression and Damaraland. The Bastards, most populous settlement near Rehoboth (all of them Christians), are of mixed European and Hottentot descent (according to Wagner 2000 in number). The white population amounted, on January 1st 1903, to 4682 persons, of them 2998 Germans. Because of the uprising it is impossible to establish statistical data for 1905.

Geomorphology : In its entire extent Deutsch-Südwestafrika is a terrasse landscape, first rising gently, then steep, up to 1200 m., which c. 300 km inland begins to descend toward the interior. The width of the coastal desert girdle is several day's rides; the valleys of the larger rivers form oases. In the interior various singular, irregularly distributed mountain ranges, tops and mountain chains are located, which rise several 100 m over the average surrounding landscape (gneiss und granite). In the south the 2000 m high Karasgebirge, between Rehoboth and Windhuk the Auasgebirge (2481 m high), further north Mt. Omatako (2680 m). To the east the plateau descends to the Kalahari steppe, which in its interior is located 500 m lower

Irrigation : all existing rivers are not navigable. Only the Orange and Kunene, as well as the Okawango, feeding into Lake Ngami, have water year round, but are not navigable. The other rivers feeding into the Atlantic are dry for most of the year and rarely form continuous bodies of water even during the rainy season (Swakop, Kuiseb). There are a considerable number of sources in Hereroland; here precipitation is higher than in Gross-Namaland. The question of the opening-up of water resources is the most important problem in the protectorate.

Climate : The climate is hot in the summer, but dry and healthy. The winter is moderate. Night frosts are not rare in the interior. The coastal stretch is continuously cool; up to 50 km inland the only form of precipitation is 
fog. Dominating winds from southern direction, in the warmer half of the year (October-March) also winds from northern direction, which cause the main rainy season, between January and March (p. 13). The average annual 
temperature in Windhuk is 20o, in the coolest month, July, 19o, in the warmest, January, 25o.

Trade and Transportation : we lack a port for the central region of the protectorate. Swakopmund is only an open roadsted. The pier constructed in 1900 has failed to meet expectations. Lately the nice port of Lüderitzbucht has been mentioned, and it has been frequented. transportation in the interior is the ox-cart; pulled by 10 to 20 oxen, it covers, loaden with 1500 to 2500 kg, 18 to 35 km per day. Between Swakopmund and Windhuk 
operates a narrow-gauge field railway since Juli 1902 (382 km). Passenger trains leave twice per week in each direction, freight trains on demand. The railway Swakopmud-Otawi (planned until Tsumeb, 570 km)is under construction, by the end of 1905 320 km until Omaruru were in service. 
Import products are all kind of goods offered by the European market, especially drinks, tobacco, coffee, canned food, flour, rice, clothing and jewelry. 
Imports 1902: 8 567 550 M., 1903: 7.930.754 M. For 1904 and 1905 there are no data because of the rebellion.
Exported are cattle, small animals, copper, animal skins, horns, ostrich feathers, resins, tannins, Guano (Cape Cross), raw furs. Export 1902: 2 212 973 M., 1903 3 443 551 M. For 1904 and 1905 we have no data, due to the 
The Guano islands situated off the coast (between 24 degrees 37 min. and 28 degrees southern latitude), as well as the Walfischbai area, are British possession.

Administration : At the top the Governor, seat Windhuk. The protectorate is divided in six districts : Keetmanshoop, Gibeon, Windhuk, Swakopmund, Gobabis and Outjo. To these have to be added the autonomous districts Karibib and Grootfontein. A number of local police officess are placed their authority. The mines inspectorate is seated at Windhuk. A new mining ordinance is in force since January 1st 1906.

Officers stations (prior to the rebellion) : Windhuk, Rehoboth, Gobabis, Keetmanshoop, Bethanien, Warmbad, Swakopmund, Omaruru, Outjo, Zesfontein, Grootfontein, Maltahohe and Nauchas.

European Schutztruppe : since the trebellion broke out, 14,537 men have been dispatched to Südwestafrika; dead 1280 men.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1906, p.12f

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