Primary Sources
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Retrospect on the Development of the Pacific in 1908

Retrospect on the Development of the Pacific in 1908.

(p.31) The entire old protectorate of Neu-Guinea has, in those areas reached by our colonization and culture, experienced further development. Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land still is neglected to a certain degree. It seemed gold should put it on its feet, as Australian diggers had been attracted by the yellow metal, washing for it in the Waria. According to most recent reports they are said to have left the colony because if unsatisfactory results. It would be interesting for our prospects if our views of the interior districts of the island of Neu-Guinea would undergo a change, as in case of the discovery by the not long expedition Damköhler-Fröhlich, which, in contrast to the previously dominating opinion that the interior would be uninhabitable, found a fertile and densely populated plain in the interior, between the Finisterre and Bismarck Mountains. Unfortunately it seemed that the individual tribes were engaged in permanent feud with each other and ruining each other.

refinery of copra by Melanesians on the Vaitele plantation

It is understandable that our relative ignorance again and again attracts researchers who penetrate into unknown stretches. Governor Dr. Hahl deserves recognition for being always on location in the large area placed under him, if political or economic reasons require his presence. So he arrived with the government steamer, when in fall of the year a conflict arose among the natives in Ponape.
In the white population of Old Neu-Guinea large shifts have not occurred, neither in the population of the smaller island groups (Carolinas, Palau Islands, Marianas). As it was a good year for the cocos palm, the economic conditions were satisfactory, as copra exports have increased over the previous year.
The Carolinas, Palau and the Marianas still suffer from the effects of the hurricanes, so that decreases were registered both in imports as in exports. For example, on the West Carolinas business was so unfavourable that of the 107 Japanese residents 30 left the protectorate.
Economically under a guiding star are the Marshall Islands. This, however, has mainly to be contributed to the export of phosphates from Nauru island. Already in 1907 phosphates at a value of a quarter of a million Mark were shipped; numbers for 1908 are not yet available, but without doubt they increased considerably, because the government in her budget for 1909 has listed a considerably higher sum of revenues from it, based on experience.
The number of whites on Nauru with 81 exceeds that of those in Jaluit (50). In addition several hundred Chinese have been imported, which form the core of the phosphate workers.
(p.32) On Samoa, 1907 was not a good year for copra, for one because of bad weather, and because cocos palms, after good harvests, have to recover, growing smaller harvests for some time; they require a year of rest. All the more favorable were conditions in the case of cocoa, the export of which rose from 92 in 1906 to 109 in 1907, while not even all expectations had been fulfilled.
Later fructification was somewhat better and the spring harvest of 1908 brought a full harvest. In the export statistics, those two positions are the largest; closely followed by the Cawa, much in demand on Tonga and Fidji. So its export from German Samoa rose from 25,000 Mark to 84,000 Mark. In general, export product figures did not decrease by much more than half, mainly because of the decrease in copra harvests.
A slight decrease in the white population is explained by the emigration of a number of settlers and missionary families with many children.
From a race-ethnic perspective, the decrease of Chinese workers from 1104 to 1050 has to be welcomed.
Governor Dr. Solf, who heads the colony of Samoa since May 1899, has succeeded in convincing the indigenous population of the benefits and necessity of German rule. He does everything in his power to interest the Samoans, lethargic by nature, economically, to spend more effort in the refinement of copra, to give up the habit of thoughtlessly taking up loans etc.

cocoa beans are washed after fermentation

Colonial Literature and Maps 1908/09: The German Protectorates in the Pacific.

Rechinger, Lily u. Dr. K. Streifzüge in Deutsch-Neu-Guinea und auf den Salomons-Inseln. Eine botanische Forschungsreise. (Expeditions in Deutsch-Neuguinea and on the Solomon Islands. A botanical expedition) 8 Mark.


Karte von Badeldaob nach provisorischen Aufnahmen von A. Kramer 1 : 225.000. (map of Badeldaob according to provisorical surveys by A. Kraemer) Mitt. a. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. 1908, Map 10.

Der nördliche Teil der Gazelle-Halbinsel. Unter Zugrundelegung der Aufnahme von Wilhelm Wernicke und S.M.S. Möwe, gezeichnet von F. Bischoff unter Leitung von M. Moisel. (The northern part of the Gazelle Peninsula. Based on the survey by Wilhelm Wernicke and S.M.S. Moewe, drawn by F. Bischoff under guidance of M. Moisel) 1 : 100.000 Mitt. a. Deut[s]ch. Schutzgeb. 1908.

Waria-Expedition vom 5.- 15. März 1908. Aufgenommen und gezeichnet von W. Wernicke. (Waria Expedition from March 5th to 15th 1908, surveyed and drawn by W. Wernicke) 1 : 100.000. Deutsches Kolonialblatt 1908, No. 19.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Yearbook and Remarks by Hubert Henoch. Berlin 1909, p.31f

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