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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Retrospective on the Development of the Protectorate Deutsch-Südwestafrika in 1907
Retrospective on the Development of the Protectorate Deutsch-Südwestafrika in 1907

(p. 13) On April 1st 1907, by official proclamation, the war against rebellious natives, which has ravaged the country for three years, and which has caused severe damage, has been declared terminated. Small raids and atrocities have been committed by the natives, even in 1908, because small bands are still on the warpath, and some of them did not surrender yet. These unimportant cattle thefts disregarded, the country is at peace and looks at a healthy future.
The white civilian population, at the beginning of 1907, amounted to 7110 persons, about double the number of 1903, before the rebellion broke out. The number of women has risen extraordinarily, while the number of men, compared to 1906, hardly increased. This is explained by a large number of transport drivers and Schutztruppe employees, which found profitable employment during the rebellion, and who have left the country, while settlers came in with their families.
Data concerning the number for natives naturally can not be given, but they can possibly be established, if the decrees on the natives have been executed which have been signed by governor von Lindequist just prior to his resignation. They are intended to cause the natives to take on regular work, and to place them under strict control.
These decrees on the natives determine, that every native is obliged to always carry with him a passport, every native has to take employment with a white man, and he is subjected to permanent control. These decrees have been compiled, based on experience gained in the South African native question and leaning on legislation of southern African neighbouring states, especially those of British Rhodesia, and have been unanimously approved by the Gouvernementsrat, both by non-official members and by the representatives of both confessions, before they took force. These decrees shall stabilize the security of the white (p.14) population and prevent any repetition of the unfortunate events and sacrifices, which have occurred in the years 1904 to 1906. Further it has been planned to preserve the natives, which correctly have been called the most important asset of the colony. Their interests have been protected by the appointment of a commissionary for native affairs. It is also in their interest that the import of licquors for the purpose of being sold to natives has been prohibited; purchase and consumption of alcohol is forbidden to coloureds in Deutsch-Südwestafrika.
We need the natives as workers, on the great farms, which, during the report year, have again been taken under cultivation with the exception of a few districts, as well as in the sales shops at larger places. The large farmers have imported several thousand heads of cattle in 1907, mainly for the purpose of breeding; the government has participated in this and supported them in every possible way. Special attention has been spent since the previous year on the so-called small settlements. Horticulture and agriculture shall be supported, so that a part of the food demand will be produced in the country. In the protectorate several areas, which are especially suited for that purpose, have been declared as unsuited for the sale as large farms; they have been parcelled into homesteads of a size of 12 to 15 ha. Such homesteads have been created near Osona, Omaruru, Otjisasu, near Otjiwarongo, Waterberg, Katjapja. For each of these settlements a larger pasture area is reserved, where the small farmers may have their herds feed freely. The small farmers mainly focus on the cultivation of potatoes, wine, maize, vegetables and tobacco. Chicken are also bred.
Agriculture has especially flourished in the area near Swakopmund. The settlers living along the Swakop River in Goanikontes and Heigamkhab have concluded an agreement with a settler from Nonidas, according to which he offers their products for sale in his market hall, an arrangement welcomed by the housewives, and which brought good profit for salesman and producers, despite the high prices. Unfortunately the locusts, which invaded from the northeast in gigantic swarms, have annihilated plants and gardens, and thus paralyzed the aforementioned enterprise in Swakopmund for some time to come. 
Because of locust harvest shortfall, the concerned small farmers have suffered a damage of 10,000 to 12,000 Mark in total.
With the suppression of the rebellion and the reduction of the size of the Schutztruppe, the Southwest African economy naturally has changed. While merchants have dominated in the previous years, now the farmer claims the first place. In the past it has been feared, the alteration of the economy would lead to a crisis. The fact that this crisis did not materialize may be taken as an indication, that relations have already become solid and stabilized. On the other hand, it should not be concealed that things are not yet normal and will not normalize as long as an unproportionally large number of Schutztruppe men will be kept in the country. Changes in the protectorate's economy have been less visible in the interior, than in the port cities of Swakopmund and Lüderitzbucht.
The Southwest African mining sector demands special attention. An enthusiastic and overly optimistic description should not be expected, which often is given, much to the damage of our good colonial cause. It is noted from official side, that good intention often outweighed prospecting experience. Insignificant finds of ores often caused excessive hopes. In reality, in the report year, despite active prospecting, no deposit of importance has been found.
What the country lacks is the serious professional prospector, i.e. the man who, equipped with the ability to observe, with a certain amount of experience in geology and prospecting, crosses the land year for year. Independent, frugal, in his kind a fanatic of hope and consistent work. These kind of men have always been pioneers of mining, in all kinds of countries. The technician and the geologist, the special expeditions equipped according to the latest state of knowledge, rarely have come up with the first discovery of valuable deposits. The chance offered by the great discoverer called chance to the prospector moving around all his life is considerably greater.
The indigenous, namely the bushman, has an excellent observation, and he does not fail to note the slightest hint of, for instance, copper ores. Indeed, all deposits presently known have been pointed out by natives, or have been long known to them. Our hope has to be directed, in first place, on ore deposits of such a kind which are not recognizable to the eye of a layman. Mostly tin and tungsten, zinc ores, gold ores and coal. To discover these, only the expert and the experienced prospector is qualified. (p.15)
As long as varios mining centers did not emerge in the country, which make profit and naturally form the starting points of a serious mining industry, progress in regard to the opening of the country for the mining industry will depend, besides on chance, on the question if serious prospectors in considerable numbers can be attracted by the country.
In regard to Southwest African mining enterprises, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce reports the following : "In Tsumeb, besides preparatory and installatory work, working of the important copper deposit has been begun. Until the end of 1907, 15,000 t copper ore have been produced, of which, until mid November 1907, 7,181 t have been shipped. Smelting of copper ore of lower copper content has begun in the smelting works at Tsumeb; in December 1907 the first shipment of 80 t of copper matte, produced at the smelting works (over 40 % copper) have been shipped. In the protectorate's central region, copper deposits have again been examined in regard to profitable mining at Otjosangati and Gorob."
The entire geological structure of the various sections of the protectorate will be critical for the development of sources of water, of this important question in the steppe country of Southwest Africa. In the South, where a landscape of table mountains dominates, water sources in considerable amounts will only be opened up by drilling deep into the rock. Such drilling works can be executed rather cheap and quick, because of the composition of 
the rock (limestone, dolomite, schist, sandstone). Things are different in the protectorate's central region, in Damaraland, where rocks of high firmness (gneiss, original schist) form obstacles; to make matters worse, they are frequently folded and broken. Here, the question mainly can be to try and locate water filling clefts.
The memorandum contains an interesting report on the opening of water sources, here through drilling columns, there through Venetian fountains; in general, it contains a long chapter on public works of the protectorate.
In South West Africa, railroads are most important. The line Swakopmund-Windhuk had been operated by the military until April 1st 1907 and had dealt satisfactorily with traffic, despite the fact that it had to suffer a lot from material damage and similar problems. Rather difficult was also the acquisition of water for the locomotives, and only during the report year have water sources been opened by drilling along the line at Otjihawera, Okasise, Waldau and Jakalswater. In Swakopmund the line also functions as a city line, where a certain number of connecting rails have been installed for the military and for larger businesses.
The Otavi Line, concluded in September 1906, has a length of 580 km. Its waggons have transported the larger part of the copper ore produced at Tsumeb to the port. As a consequence of the opening of the line, a number of locations along the line flourished. Here are mentioned Usakos and further to the north Osona, where a number of small settlements came into being.
Railway construction from Lüderitzbucht to Keetmanshoop or, better, the continuation from Aus to Keetmanshoop has not been completed in 1907, as it also had not been expected. Here, difficulties were much greater than with the northern line of the protectorate. Not only the dunes segment between km 19 and 26, where cuts had to be made into the rock and dams had to be constructed. It was especially troubling, that for a considerable time all water for the workers had to be brought in by waggon from Lüderitzbucht, so that a liter of potable water costed 22 Pfg. It is expected that the line will reach its terminal point, for the time being, in August 1908, i.e. ahead of the time the constructing firm has obliged itself to.
If we would have disposed over these railways two or three years ago, we could have saved millions in costs in the rebellion, and the blood of some brave German soldiers. Colonial railroads shall mainly serve economic purposes, and this can be proven in case of the South West African lines. Along their lines incoming German immigration can settle down and serve the country's economy, breed cattle; the railway will provide good opportunities to market their produce. It will reduce the long distances between the individual farms, will extend a tight network of German settlements over a land heavily damaged by the three-year-long rebellion, so that it will turn into a new Germany located overseas.


Books pertaining to Deutsch-Südwestafrika in 1907:

Anton, G. K., Prof. Dr. Die Siedlungsgesellschaft für Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (The settlement corporation for Deutsch-Südwestafrika) lecture held at the Staatswissenschaftl. Gesellschaft at Jena on 21. Nov. 1907. 61 p. with a lithographic map. Karte. 1908. F. Fischer, Jena. 1,20 M.

Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Amtl. Ratgeber für Auswanderer m. K. (Deutsch-Südwestafrika, Official Guide for Emigrants, with map) Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen), Berlin S.W. 48, 1907. 1 M.

Falkenhausen, H. von. Ansiedler-Schicksale. 11 Jahre in Deutsch-Südwestafrika 1893-1904. 1907. (Settler-fates. 11 years in Deutsch-Südwestafrika, 1893-1904) 5th ed. hardcover Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin S.W.48. 3 M. (p. 16)

Fuchs, Dr. jur. V. Ein Siedelungsvorschlag für D.-Südwestafrika. (A proposal concerning the settlement of D.-Südwestafrika) D. Reimer, Berlin 1907. 2 Mk.

Hermann, E. Viehzucht und Bodenkultur in Südwestafrika, zugleich Ratgeber für Auswanderer. (Cattle Breeding and Soil Cultivation in Südwestafrika, simultaneously a Guide for Emigrants) 3rd ed., compiled by H. Haase. D. 
Kol.-Verl., Berlin 1907. 3 M.

German Forces at War in South West Africa. Auf Grund amtl. Materials bearb. v. d. Kriegsgeschichtl. Abt. I des Gr. Generalstabes. Heft V. Der Hottentottenrkieg. Heft VI (Schluss) Der Hottentottenkrieg: Die Unterwerfung des Cornelius und der Bondelzwarts m. Skn. E. S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1907. 0,40 und 0,45 M.
König, Ing. Fr. Die Wasserversorgung in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Ein Beitrag zu ihrer Lösung auf Grund geologischer, klimatischer und hydrologischer Studien. (Water supply in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. A contribution to its solution based on geological, climatic and hydrological studies) O. Wigand, Leipzig 1907.

Macco, A., Bergassessor und Kgl.-Berg.-Insp. Die Aussichten des Bergbaues in Deutsch-Südwestafrika m. K. (The prospects of mining in Deutsch-Südwestafrika, with map) D. Reimer, Berlin 1907. 2 M.

Ortenberg, Kais. Oberarzt a. D. Dr. H. v. Aus dem Tagebuch eines Arztes. Feldzugskizzen aus Südwestafrika. (From the diary of a medical doctor. Campaign sketches from Südwestafrika) C. A. Schwetschke & Sohn, Berlin 
1907. 3 M.

Passarge, Prof. Dr. S. Die Buschmanner der Kalahari m. K. (The Bushmen of the Kalahari, with map) Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen), Berlin S.W. 48, 1907. 3 M., hardcover 4 M.

Rohrbach, Dr. P. Deutsche Kolonialwirtschaft. Bd. I. Deutsch-Südwestafrika, m. K. (German Colonial Economy. Vol.1, Deutsch-Südwestafrika) Buchverl. d. Hilfe, Berlin-Schoneberg. 10 M.

Schlettwein, C. Der Farmer in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Eine Darstellung samtl. f. d. afrikan. Farmer in Betracht kommenden Erwerbszweige und ein Leitfaden für Anfänger. (The Farmer in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. A description of all economic branches of concern to the South West African farmer and hints for the beginner) Hinstorffsche Verl.-Buchh., Wismar 1907. 6 M.

Schultze, Prof. Dr. L. Aus Namaland und Kalahari. Bericht an die Kgl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin über eine Forschungsreise im Westl. u. Zentralen Südafrika, ausgeführt in den Jahren 1903-1905, m. K. (From Namaland and the Kalahari. Report to the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin on a research expedition, undertaken in the years 1903-1905, with map) G. Fischer, Jena 1907. 60 M.

South Africa, Map of German. 1 : 3.000.000. 57x61 cm. 1908. (new British general staff map). Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). Berlin S.W.48. 2,50 M. in pocket size 3,50 M.

Further information on literature and maps on Togo are contained in "Dietrich Reimer's Mitteilungen". - 4 numbers of 30 Pfg. each annually. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin SW. 48.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1908, p.13ff.

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