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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1910, Retrospective on the Development of the Protectorate of Deutsch-Südwestafrika in 1909
Retrospective on the Development of the Protectorate of Deutsch-Südwestafrika in 1909.

Our settlement colony has continued to increase the number of her white inhabitants even further, from 8213 in 1908 to 9410 in 1909. Only the civilian population is counted; military personnel numbered 2381 on January 1st 1909; their number has in the meantime been reduced. The increase in the number of women and children is satisfactory, all the more as a great deal of it falls on the districts of Keetmanshoop and Warmbad, where the German population element so far was unfavourable. Overall we have to note, that because of the immigration of Britons, colonial Britons and Boers, the German nation within the protectorate did not progress.
Peace has not been disturbed anywhere in the colony in 1909. Only the Stuermann men lodged near Keetmanshoop, because of repeated cases of obstruction and disobedience, had to be relocated to Grootfontein Nord, in the interest of the colony. Here they since have been calm.
In order to extend our sovereignty into the hitherto almost untouched northern districts, Major Franke was dispatched into Ovamboland, where he signed protection treaties with various chiefs. In these treaties the Ovambos recodnized the sovereignty of our Kaiser and placed themselves and their people under the protection of the German government; they also agreed to the recruitment of workers in their territory. Equally, Hauptmann Streitwolf was betrothed with a mission into the so-called Caprivi strip; he founded a German station opposite the British station Sesheke, which today is administrated by Lieutenant Kaufmann.
The Masubias residing there are rather peaceful and welcomed the emergence of German rule, of the "Gesetz", as they called it, happily and faithfully. The character of Deutsch-Südwestafrika as a colony of cattle breeders and farmers had been perturbed in 1909 by an overwhelming interest in diamonds. In the colony as well as in the motherland people spoke more of the jewels of Lüderitzbucht than of cattle breeding in Damara- and Namaland.
Unfortunately farming had to suffer greatly under the drought, and when the rainy season set in, it poured that heavily, that the abundant moisture also brought disadvantages. The drought had, in part, caused farmers to move their herds to more distant pastures. Abundant supplies of fodder after the rich rainy season had caused some to expand their herds. The livestock census on April 1st 1909 counted 96,000 cattle (73,000), meat sheep 281,000 (193,000), wool sheep 20,000 (12,000), ordinary goats 238,000 (156,000), Angora goats 4500 (4000), horses 8300 (6500), mules and donkeys 9800 (8100), camels 240 (300), ostriches 230 (130), pigs 2900 (2300).
Unfortunately the breeding of wool sheep has been severely damaged by diseases. Some farmers and corporations lost almost their entire stock. Especially sensitive were the losses among the Karakul sheep imported from central Asia, which died with the exception of a small remainder.
Judgments over the small settlements are still mixed. It can not be stated that they did not stand the test, as again a number of real estate lots in small settlements have been sold. Adding to the old cultures cultivated by small settlers, such as vegetables, fruit and wine, the tabacco has been added. Tobacco farmers have also erected simple drying barns. However, so far no product suitable for export has been produced. But there was a demand in the country, as coloured workers in part are paid in tobacco. Now the next task will be to create suited drying installations, in order to raise the quality of the product.
The results of the South West African mining industry are excellent, the exports of copper ores have reached 6.3 million Mark as compared to 1.3 million in the previous year. In 1909 the export figures, for which we do not have exact numbers yet, has to be estimated as even higher. The Otavi mines' copper production - pessimists had already predicted the closure of the enterprise - is expected to deliver material for shipment for many years 
to come. Even more impressive are the results of diamond mining. The most precious stones have been found, to the south of Luderitzbucht, as well as up to Swakopmund. The valuable finds partially have blinded the colony's inhabitants and the "auri sacra fames" unfortunately also has lead to unpleasant observations in Luederitzbucht and Windhuk (p.21). The board of our Reichs-Kolonialamt has managed to make this treasure found by occasion accessible for the general public. The railways which have been granted to the protectorate by approval of the Reichstag in 1910, the protectorate would have never been given if the profit from the diamonds would not have made them possible. About a hundred corporations are busy with the search for diamonds. Their stocks not only have reached record highs on the recently founded Windhuk stock exchange, but also caused speculation in the motherland. 
Again the question has been raised, if the character of peaceful development of our protectorate is not disturbed by distracting the inhabitants from farming and ordinary earning of their living. Against this it can be stated that the tumultuous early days are overcome, and in case the sand of the Namib contains further millions of diamonds, these will bring numerous advantages to the colony thanks to the excellent organisation of the colonial administration.

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 1910, p.20f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
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Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache