Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1907, The German Protectorates in the Pacific
The German Protectorates in the Pacific

I. Deutsch - Neuguinea.

a) The Bismarck-Archipelago

Size : about 61,000 square km (roughly two thirds of Bavaria). The main islands of the archipelago are Neu-Pommern with the Gazelle Peninsula and Neu-Mecklenburg, separated by the St. Georgs-Kanal. In the northwest the Admiralty Islands, the largest Manus. In the St. Georg-Kanal (p.21) the island of Neu-Lauenburg. At the northwestern end of Neu-Mecklenburg the island Neu-Hannover. Of the Solomon Islands the northernmost, Buka and Bougainville, which play a role as recruiting areas for workers.

Population : is estimated at roughly 200,000 (Melanesians or Papua). The European population amounted, on January 1st 1904 : 318 whites, of them 203 Germans. 1905 : 335 Europeans, of them 233 Germans. 1906: 383 whites, of them 267 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).

Climate : The Archipelago has a tropical climate, mildened by the maritime surrounding. Average annual temperature 26 degrees. Lowest rainfall mostly July to October.

Flora : Very lush vegetation. Dense forest with slim trees, lianas winding around them. In higher altitudes treeless grass steppes. Cultivated plants : coco palm; the plantation of rubber, cocoa, cotton in testing phase.

Fauna : No predators, no monkeys, i.e. an Australian fauna, for instance marsupials. Birds of paradise, the most beautiful representative of a rich avifauna.

Minerals : On Neu-Mecklenburg coal has been found on several locations, but not yet worked.

Trade and Transportation : Copra, capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, coffee. Value of exports 1903 953,066 M., of imports 2,114,957, in 1904 : exports 1,210,071 M., imports 1,759,156 M., 1905 : exports 1,178,644 M., imports 2,271,300. Coffee export for the first time. 
Trade is organized namely by the Deutsche Handels- und Plantagengesellschaft der Südseeinseln and by the German merchant house Hernsheim & Co., as well as by the house Forsayth (Ralum). Transit fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd : Genova or Naples-Herbertshöhe 1st class 1,560 Mark, 2nd class 1.065 Mark, 3rd class via Hongkong 740 Mark, via Sydney 420 Mark.

Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1907 : 7 offices, 2 of which with telegraph service and local telephone service, yet without connection to the world telegraph net; 31 km land telegraph line. 1904 (figures for 1905 not yet available) : 120,000 letters, 1,739 postal money orders over 274,400 Mark, 976 parcels, 30,595 newspaper issues. Postal connection every 14 days. Period of delivery Berlin-Herbertshöhe 40 to 43 days. Telegrams telegraphically to Hongkong or Sydney, from there further by mail. Address according to the following sample : "Poste, NN, Herbertshoehe, Hongkong." 
Telegram fee per word to Hongkong 4.55 M., to Sydney 3.10 M. The last two paragraphs also apply for Kaiser Wilhelmsland.

Administration : Seat of the Imperial Governor and district office : Simpsonhafen (earlier Herbertshöhe). Other main places : Kaewieng, Namatanai, Kieta.
Coloured police troop for all of Neuguinea 282 men.


b) Kaiser-Wilhelmsland.

Size : About 179,000 square km (half of Prussia). Located on the large, partially British (Australian) and Dutch island of New Guinea.

Population : is estimated at 100,000, of them (at the beginning of 1904) 113 Europeans, 98 Germans. Melanesians or Papua, with many different, but related dialects. 1904 : 113 Europeans, of them 98 Germans, 1905 : 128 
Europeans, of them 115 Germans, 1906 : 149 whites, of them 130 Germans.

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. In the protectorate's north the Kaiserin-Augusta-River, navigable for larger vessels for 200 sea miles, with favourable estuary not blocked by reefs. The Gogol River feeds into the Astrolabebai, the Markhamfluss into the Huon Gulf.

Morphology : 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 lead by Dr. Lauterbach, Dr. Kersting and E. Tappenbeck, dispatched in 1896, is to be creddited with the discovery of the long, largely navigable Ramu River. A newer expedition has confirmed the identity of that river with the Ottilienfluss; the steamer "Johann Albrecht" steamed 200 km upriver.

Climate : marked dry 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. The main rainy season depends on the fact, if the respective region is more exposed to the passate or monsoon wind (p.22). Thus the rainy season, at different places, sets in at different times.

Flora, Fauna : see under Bismarck-Archipelago.

Trade and Transportation : main export articles : copra, a little capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl. 1903: export 243.654 M., import 798.857 M., 1904: export 54.272 M., import 566.503 M., 1905: export 156.043 M., import 666.316 M.

Navigation, Post & Telegraphy : see Bismarck-Archipelago.

Administration : Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. Main places with European residents : Berlinhafen, Potsdamhafen, Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen, Stephansort, Finschhafen, Salamaua.


c. The Carolines, Pelau-Islands, Marianas and Marshall-Islands

Size : The island groups which previously have been a Spanish possession have been acquired by purchase by the German Empire in June 1899. The Carolinas have an area of about 1,600 square km (of which the Palau islands 450 square km). The Marianas have an area of 626 square km. The number od all these islands is 800. The main islands of the Carolinas are : Kuseie, Ponape, Truk and Jap. The most important island of the Palaus is Baobeltaob. The main Mariana Islands are Seipan and Tinian.

Population : East Carolinas 25,000 natives, 1904 : 89 whites, of them 32 Germans. 1905 : 92 Europeans, of them 37 Germans, 1906 : 77 whites, of them 38 Germans. West Carolinas 1905 : 13,264 natives (of them the Pelau Islands 3,748), 1904 : 36 whites, of them 11 Germans, 1905 : 47 Europeans, of them 16 Germans, 1906 : 73 whites, of them 36 Germans. Marianas 1905 : 2,508 natives, 1904 : 13 whites, of them 7 Germans, 1905 : 22 Europeans, of them 16 Germans, but 21 Japanese (10 less than in the previous year), 1906 : 23 Europeans, of them 18 Germans.

Hydrology and Morphology : the highest point is the Tolokome, 870 m.

Climate : average annual temperature 27 degrees. Rainy season on the eastern islands June to September, on the western islands June to August

Flora : The western islands have a richer flora than the eastern ones. The coco palm is almost the only domesticated plant.

Fauna : Of the mammals originally only bats. Imported were rats. A rich avifauna, also many species of fish, few species of insects. Domesticated animals : almost everywhere dog, cat and pig.

Minerals : On the Palau Islands profitable coal deposits.

Trade and Transportation : Exported from all island groups mentioned : copra, trepang, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl. Imported : textiles, tobacco, food, etc. 1903: export from the Eastern Carolinas 180.740 M., 1904: 200.395 M., 1905: 101.591 MWestern Carolinas 1903: 359.059 M., 1904: 125.818 M., 1905: 136.046 M., Marianas 1903: 230.576 M., 1904: 153.777., 1905: 97.001 M. Import to the Eastern Carolinas 1903: 338.749 M., 1904: 381.000 M., 1905: 314.634 M., Western Carolinas 1903: 442.110 M., 1904: 209.370 M., 1905: 1.392.325 M., Marianas 1903: 71.989 M., 1904: 119.770 M., 1905: 175.772 M.
Transit passage : Norddeutscher Lloyd and Jaluit Gesellschaft, Genoa or Naples - Jap until Hongkong, 1st class 1,250 M, II. class 860 M., III. 495 M., from Hongkong cabin 200 M., deck 80 M., until Sydney I. 1230 M., II. 700 M., III. 265 M., from Sydney cabin 600 M., deck 260 M.

Post & Telegraph Service : By the end of 1906 4 post office, of which one in direct communication with the cable station. 1905 : 12,200 letters, 278 postal money orders over 29,700 M., 203 parcels, 7,880 newspaper issues. 
Postal connections twice every 18 weeks, delivery Berlin-Jaluit 40-72 days. Telegrams : by telegraph direct to Jap, for Ponape or Seipan telegraphically to Jap or Sydney, from there on by mail. Adress as follows : "Poste N.N., Seipan, Jap." Fees for telegrams per word to Sidney 3,10 M, to Jap 5,05 M.

Administration : Seat of district administrations are : Ponape, Jap, and Seipan.


II. The Marshall Islands

Size : about 400 square km (larger than the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe), distributed over about 353 islands.

Population : about 15,000, pure Micronesians of rather light skin, 1904 : 81 whites, 61 Germans, 1905 : 84 whites, 66 Germans, 1906 : 83 Europeans, of them 65 Germans.

Climate : very humid and warm, regular tropical climate (27 degrees Celsius). On average ca. 300 rainy days per year, annual precipitation 4000 to 5000 mm.

Flora : less than 100 species. Main cultivated plant, here too, the cocos palm.

Fauna : mammals originally lacked completely. Introduced : dog, cat, pig, rat, mouse, many waterfowl.

Minerals : on Nauru rich phosphate deposits, exploitation has been begun.

Trade and Transportation : main export articles : copra, trepang, mother-of-pearl.
1903: 522,210 M., 1904: 583,353 M., 1905: 700,054 M. The value of imports was, in 1903: 497,794, 1904: 444,198 M., 1905: 651,104 M. (p. 23) 
Transit fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd and Jaluit-Gesellschaft Genoa or Naples-Jaluit, until Hongkong I. 1250 M., II. 860 M., III. 495 M. from Hongkong cabin 500 M., Deck 200 M.; until Sydney I. 1230 M. II. 700 M., III. 265 M., from Sydney cabin 300 M., Deck 120 M.

Post and Telegraphy : end of 1906 : 1 post office. 1905 : 12.200 letters, 278 postal money orders over 29.700 M., 203 parcels, 7880 newspaper issues. Postal connections : twice every 18 Wochen, delivery Berlin-Jaluit 49 to 60 days. Telegrams: to Sydney or Jap by telegraph, from there on by mail; adress according to the following example: "Poste NN, Jaluit, Jap." fee per word to Sydney 3,10 M., to Jap 5,05 M.

Administration : Jabor on Jaluit used to be seat of the Imperial Landeshauptmann. Since April 1st 1906 the islands have been placed under the administration of the Protectorate Neu-Guinea. District office on Nauru.

III. The Samoa Islands (Navigator's Islands)

Size : Since Nov. 14th 1899 respectively March 1st 1900, 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.

Morphology And Hydrology : Sawaii and Upolu are mountainous (highest peak the Manga-Loa, 1,646 m) and volcanic. The rivers form many cascades, because of the terrasse-shaped structure of the islands.

Population : 1902 : 32,612 aborigines, 1906 : 33,478. Europeans 1903 : 381, among these Germans 192, 1906 : 454 whites, among them 258 Germans, in addition a population of mixed descent, about 815 heads, 770 Chinese.

Climate : tropical (May to September southeast passate). Average annual temperature 25,70 degrees Celsius. Samoa's climate is healthy.

Flora : lush vegetation; even steep cliffs are overgrown. Species of fern are frequent. Cultivated plants : coco palm, cocoa (of excellent quality) and, according to recent experiments, rubber.

Fauna : of the mammals originally only bats. Imported dogs and cats, pigs, unfortunately also rats. Land and sea rich in lower life forms.

Trade and Transportation :
Export mainly of copra and fruits, and recently of cocoa. Import of consumer goods and textiles, construction material, metal ware.
Exports 1903: 1,384,507 M., imports 2,681,405 M., 1904 exports: 1,674,881 M., imports: 2,316,878 M., 1905 exports 2,028,718 M., imports: 2,881,930 M.

Navigation : on Apia's roadsted in 1903 were counted 111 each of arriving and departing ships with a total of 46,514 resp. 46,324 reg.-tons. 1904 : arriving 94 ships with 44,425 tons, departing 92 ships with 44,287 tons. 
Apia is connected by steamers of the Union Steamship Co. which arrive every four weeks and steam the line Sydney-Auckland. In addition, every 3 weeks steamers of the Oceanic Steamship Co. dock at Tutuila on Pango-Pango, from where a local steamer connects to Apia. Travel via Australia 60 days, via America 30 days.
Passage fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd until Sydney, Oceanic S.S. Co. of San Francisco until Pago Pago : 1st class 1,640 M, 2nd class 966,25 M, 3rd class 418,25 M, from Pago Pago to Apia 1st class 32 M, 2nd class 21,35 M.

Post & Telegraph Service : End 1906 : 6 post offices, among them 1 with local telephone service. 1905 : 171,300 letters, 3,646 postal money orders over a total of 916,300 M., 1,066 parcels, 20,096 newspaper issues. Mail delivery all 4 weeks, time of delivery Berlin-Apia 27 days. Telegrams : by telegraph to Auckland or Levuka, Souva or Honolulu, from there further by mail. Address as follows : Poste N.N., Apia, Auckland. Telegram fee per word to Auckland, Levoka, Souva or Honolulu 3,10 M.

Administration : seat of the governor Apia on Upolu. Gouvernor presently Dr. Solf.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1907, p.20ff.

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