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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1910, German Colonial Society
Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society)

Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg, Braunschweig und Wiligrad.

Managing Vice-President: Ret. Imperial Ambassador, Councillor Dr. von Holleben, Member of the House of Lords, Berlin

Deputy Presidents: Count von Arnim-Muskau, Muskau and Berlin; Counter-Admiral Strauch, Friedenau; Prof. Dr. Paasche, Charlottenburg, first Vice President of the German Reichstag, member of the Lower House, Schlachtensee bei Berlin, Adalbertstr. 27; President of the High Administrative Court Wirkl; Dr. von Bitter, Charlottenburg., Hardenbergstrasse 31.

Long before the Deutsches Reich (German Empire) had been reestablished, German princes and patriots with foresight had recognized the acquisition of colonies as a goal of national policy. The Frankfurt National Convention of 1848 already had considered to discuss the question of the acquisition of colonial possessions and included it in the constitution it drafted. But Germany developed the energy to realize this goal only after Germany unified 
and achieved it's unification on the battlefields of France. We are indebted to Kaiser Wilhelm I. and to his great chancellor, that Germany in 1884 acquired valuable territories in two continents.
Already before 1884 in several German cities clubs and societies existed which promoted colonial aims, among these especially the Deutscher Kolonialverein, founded on December 6th 1882. These societies not only strove to promote the Germans' understanding of colonial tasks, but also to influence the stream of emigrants in a national direction, and to counteract the other nationalities ever more strengthening at the expense of German capital and German labour.
For the societies dealing with colonial policy, the possession of German colonies was incentive to deal with it's exploration and economic development. On March 28th 1884 the Gesellschaft fur Deutsche Kolonisation (Society for German Colonization) was established in Berlin. The decisions taken by the Deutscher Kolonialverein and the Gesellschaft fur Deutsche Kolonisation on December 19th 1887 on their general meetings merged both societies; the newly created organization was the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). It's first president was his highness Prince Hohenlohe-Langenburg. His successor since January 15th 1895 is his highness Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg.
At present the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft consists of 414 member societies (chapters), of them 389 in Germany, 25 outside of Germany (Alexandria, Antwerp, Bismarck Archipelago, Chicago, Daressalam, Finschhafen, Grootfontein-Otavi, Jabassi, Jaluit, Japan, Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, Karibib-Otjimbingue, London, Milano, Neu-Mecklenburg-Nord, Palermo, Paris, Ponape, Rom, Swakopmund, Togo, Tsingtau, Tsumeb, Windhuk and Central African Department) and 170 local chapters. It has more than 39,000 members.

The Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft strives, in the service of the fatherland to convince people of the necessity of German colonies. It pursues the goal to promote Germany's colonial possessions organisatorically, economically and scientifically as well as to represent the German nation's other colonial interests respectively interests overseas. It declines to take a stand in any domestic partisan matter; it strives to win all political parties for the advancement of Germany's colonies, and to influence them in times of important decisions. The activity of the society, according to its goals, determined by the historical development, is to propagate, to raise interest for and understanding of the colonial tasks of the German nation, and otherwise it is to promote active work. The society is propagating

1. via it's weekly magazine, the "Deutsche Kolonialzeitung" which is sent free of charge to all it's members. The Deutsche Kolonialzeitung, which is addressed to the large number of the educated, publishes short, explaining articles which add to the information provided by daily newspapers; within 14 days the entire area of German colonial activity will be covered, introduces land and people of overseas Germany in illustrations, reports on the activities of the society, in short essays it takes position to all colonial questions and it tries to engage in the leading of the German colonial movement. (p.3)

2. via it's monthly "Koloniale Monatsblatter", a magazine for colonial policy, colonial law and colonial economy, and via it's also monthly "Zeitschrift fur Kolonialrecht" (magazine for colonial law), which is distributed to the members for cost price.

3. by providing articles on colonial topics to daily newspapers via a paper edited for this specific purpose under the title "Mitteilungen der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft" (Bulletin of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft).

4. by organizing lectures on colonial-political themes in the branch societies and at places where the establishment of such branch societies is in progress

5. by mailing advertising material (maps, papers on colonial topics, pamphlets) to the branch societies;

6. by acquiring projectors, establish a collection of photographs, write lectures explaining these; lend them to branch societies and decide over requests by the branch societies for subsidies to the costs of such activities.

7. by mailing application papers with application card postage paid;

8. by editing and supporting books and magazines with colonial contents;

9. by maintaining a large library with at present 12,000 volumes, pamphlets and maps, which is accessible for every member

10. by promoting the establishment of colonial hostels;

11. by supporting libraries with colonial content;

12. by spreading the knowledge on our colonies among our youth;

13. by providing school libraries with colonial reading material;

Practically the Gesellschaft strives to support every healthy national-German enterprise active in the colonial field, no matter if it is active in German protectorates or other non-German areas overseas. Accordingly the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft has

1. taken position in any matters relating to the development of the German protectorates and the interests of Germans abroad and represented at high places the position of the circles favouring colonial policy in Germany (expansion of the fleet, budgets for the protectorates, measures to combat slavery, the Emin-Pascha-Expedition, the questions of the borders of the protectorates, the establishment of professional consulates, military service with the Schutztruppe, the construction of railway lines, steamer lines, the combat of famine in Deutsch-Ostafrika, combat of cattle epidemics, emigration law, Samoa question, preservation of German nationality);

2. equipped and dispatched expeditions to explore the German protectorates and their hinterlands, partially in cooperation with other organizations, partially on it's own;

3. opened the protectorates for economic development, and has over successive years supported attempts undertaken by others with that aim and thereby increased their effectivity;

4. promoted the study of the indigenous languages;

5. promoted research on tropical hygiene and supplied it with material and with financial support;

6. subsidized the German schools in Tanga and on Samoa over the years, with considerable contributions;

7. promoted the settlement of German farmers in Suedwestafrika, subsidized the settlers' foundation of economic enterprises by the means of the 
syndicate established by it, and established a direct steamer connection Hamburg-Südwestafrika for the purpose of settlement;

8. prepared and organized the settlement of whites in suitable areas;

9. promoted self-government in the protectorates and the establishment of government districts;

10. stressed the necessity to develop our colonies by the construction of railway lines;

11. collected donations to justly aid the settlers which were impoverished by the rebellion in Deutsch-Südwestafrika in the first months, when the most basic supplies were missing;

12. has used all it's influence to have the settlers be justly compensated for the damage they suffered by the Reich (German State);

13. has assisted Südwestafrika veterans in finding jobs;

14. over the years provided thousands of emigrants with advice and information free of charge, upon request; has sent women and girls to Deutsch-Südwestafrika, Ostafrika and Kiautschou, at the expense of the Gesellschaft; has supported the employment agency for returning officers and troops of the Schutztruppe etc.

Who wants to participate in the dissemination of the colonial idea among the German people, in the utilization of our colonial possessions and in the promotion of our trade interests overseas is invited to join the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft as a member. Everyone, no matter which political party, women also, are welcome as members. The annual membership fee in Germany itself, in our protectorates and in Austria-Hungary is 6 Mark, for other full members 8 Mark. Voluntary additional contributions are appreciated. The branch societies raise an additional fee of 2-4 Mark for local costs for meetings and lectures; in Berlin it is 3 Mark. The annual membership fee for extraordinary members (i.e. adult members younger than 25 years) is 3 Mark. In addition local branches charge half the ordinary fee. Permanent membership can be acquired by paying 300 Mark once. This entitles to participation in meetings of the board of managers, with consultative vote, and freed of annual fees for the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft and it's local branch societies. All members receive the Deutsche Kolonialzeitung free of charge 52 times per year, the Koloniale Monatsblatter, magazine for colonial policy, colonial law and colonial economy, the Zeitschrift fur Kolonialrecht and the official Deutsches Kolonialblatt at a reduced rate.
Applications are to be directed at the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, Berlin W., Schellingstr. 4.

Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society)

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

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