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Imperialism | Colonial Policy

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Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by P. Sprigade and M. Moisel, 1913, Retrospect on Deutsch-Ostafrika's Development in 1912
Retrospect on Deutsch-Ostafrika's Development in 1912

Last year the colony got a new governor. Freiherr von Rechenberg was replaced on April 15th by Dr. Schnee, hitherto Director of the Reichskolonialamt. As the previous governor of our protectorate did not manage to administrate the colony in accordance with the views of the white inhabitants of the colony, the successor has been welcomed with great expectations. That in Deutsch-Ostafrika the wishes and needs of the white population will be given more consideration than before, was explicitly emphasized by undersecretary of state Dr. Solf on the occasion of his visit to Daressalam : "some of you believe the opening of Africa can only proceed via the indigenous and the trade with them; one would not like to see the white planters in Ostafrika. This is not the government's standpoint. Südwest, for instance, it does not regard as livestock raising country only. What I have said in Morogoro a while agi, I want to repeat here : cultures of indigenous can very well coexist next to plantations. It is very well possible to do the one and not to neglect the other. This land is big and wide enough for both. Let the indigenous take care of their cultures. On the other hand the government will not forget that we have, in Ostafrika, a German colony." 

Over the last year the colony was peaceful; smaller expeditions have hardly been necessary, only because in remote regions a caravan was threatened or bereaved.
Hitherto the number of the coloureds in our protectorate has been overestimated. According to younger observations based on exaxt censi and accurate estimations the total coloured population does not exceed 7,5 million; older figures of about 10 million were exaggerated. To these numbers, 15,000 foreign-born coloureds have to be added, which consist of Arabs, Baluchis, Hadramaut men, Egyptians, muslim Syrians, Somali, Sudanese, Comorans, Indians (Muslims, Hindus, Parsee), Malays, Chinese, Persians, Madagassians and of ethnically mized descendants of these. In many cases it is doubtful if a coloured man, who only has a little blood of a higher race, can be counted among these or among the indigenous. Often the religion and better lifestyle are taken as determining factors. Many dark-skinned indigenous claim to be Arabs even if they can prove only slight descent. 
(p.30) As far as the white population is concerned, it has grown not insignificantly; fortunately the number of Germans rose considerably. Health conditions among them, as among the blacks, were favorable. 
Systematic vaccination against the sleeping disease was not without success. A hospice for infected at Lake Victoria was closed down and the endangered population has been resettled elsewhere. At Lake Tanganyika the situation is somewhat different; but also here the steps taken to fight the disease progress satisfactorily. 
In this colony the missions not only work in the field of helath care, but also in the field of education. In addition, 8 main and 89 dependent government schools teach a total of over 5,000 students. Mentioned are also the larger craftsmen schools in Daressalam, Tanga and Neu-Langenburg and the smaller ones in Tabora, Pangani, Bagamojo and Udjidji. The school carpenter shop in Tanga last year produced 425 pieces of furniture, 290 doors and windows, 1300 boxes, 124 picture frames and more of that kind. The printer's shop printed the "Landesgesetzgebung für die Schutzgebiete" (Laws of the Protectorates), 4 brochures, the periodically issued school questionaires and the Suaheli language newspaper "Kionozi". Further it served about 800 orders for a total of about a million printed matters (pamphlets etc.) - all of them achievements of black compositors and printers under white masters. 

How many of the indigenous are Muslims ? The annual report believes their number is mostly overestimated and estimates it at 300,000, including those who follow the food regulations and other rites only pro forma. It seems that the inhabitants of Ruanda and Urundi, the Wanjamwesi, Wassukuma, Wasiba, all Hamites (Masai, Wataturu, Wafiome etc.), Wagogo, Wasindja, Wadschagga and other tribes totally reject Islam. Stronger influenced by Islam are the coastal areas as well as Usambara, Ussagara and Khutu. 
Regarding the labour question, the old complaints are still voiced, despite the fact that the number of coloured workers has increased considerably. Be it that in the relatively thinly populated Usambara district, where most plantations are located, not enough men willing to work are found; a real situation in which there was a real lack of labour did not exist. Railway construction sites also had as many workers as they needed. 

It can not be denied that the coloured inhabitants of the colony feed a number of products onto the world market. The export of beeswax (1911 around 1 million Mark), rubber export (this time only slightly more than 1 million Mark), copra production (almost 2 million Mark), the peanut harvest (around 500,000 Mark), rice cultivation, partially also cotton cultivation are the result of their effort, livestock raising not included, on which in the vicinity of Lake Victoria a considerable export of hides and fur is based (1911 more than 3 million Mark). The increase in cotton production is to be emphasized. As in Kamerun, also here the coloureds raised their contribution in the production of agricultural products for the sale on the domestic market, mainly on the quickly developing district markets. Therefore, the importance of the indigenous' livestock stand is given more consideration. Unfortunately the danger of cattle-plague is real; it has broken out last year. Of the veterinary service, which has been organized in Deutsch-Ostafrika last year, we hope that this dangerous disease is overcome. Higher in value than the production of the coloureds is the value of the production of European plantations. 
The rubber produced in our plantations in 1911 amounted to 684 tons, as compared to 414 tons in 1910, brought in only 3,610,000 Mark as compared to 3,300,000 Mark in 1910. From official side it is pointed out that the decreasing price on the world market is to blame, not a decline in the quality of Deutsch-Ostafrikan rubber. The planters pay a lot of attention to improve the quality of their rubber; in this they receive assistance from the biological-agricultural institute in Amani and the Caoutchouk processing instutute in Muhasa, which operates with success. 
Hemp today is grown on over 20,000 ha on plantations in Deutsch-Ostafrika, of which about half is productive. Harvest results have been satisfactory throughout; the (p.31) exported amounts were considerably larger than those of last year. Cotton unfortunately has to suffer from animal and plant enemies. Great plantations of this product cover 14,000 ha, only a slight increase over last year. Regarding this product we still have to learn. Today cotton production has been given up in the northern districts; the annual report notes that it is doubted if this was done with justification at all locations. 
Where the climactic conditions, as in the district referred to, have to be regarded as little or not at all suited for the cultivation of cotton, it is undoubtably justified to continue the experiments regarding it's cultivation with determination. Where such climactic unfavourable conditions do not exist, suited soil has to be selected. It is not to be denied that the desire to save the costs for clearing an area of overgrowth and confidence in the efficacy of modern agricultural tools often induce the planters to select soil for the cultivation of cotton, which has to be described as unsuited, for instance the heavy clay of the high grass steppes and savannahs, which, because of their treelessness respectively the scarcity of acacias on them, invite to be taken under cultivation. The unsuited conditions on such soil result in poor growth of the cotton and prepare the ground for diseases of all kinds, which do not affect the cotton cultivated by the indigenous on nearby fields, growth with their hack technique on light, porous soil, which therefore is better suited. The unfortunately occuring failure has partially to be attributed to the fact, that the planters to not follow the necessary crop rotation, but year after year plant cotton. This has to exhaust the soil which is not naturally rich, and the documented annual decline in harvested amounts is nothing but a logical consequence. 
That on good cotton soil parasites and diseases often get out of control is explained by the fact that cotton cultivation in Deutsch-Ostafrika is still in the experimental phase, and in the short period of time it was not yet possible to find and breed suited, parasite- and disease-resistant species, especially species with a shorter vegetation period. The acquisition of such robust species suited to the local climactic and soil conditions is the most effective means to ensure good cotton harbests. Governmental experiment stations thrive toward this aim. For coloureds a cotton school was established in Mpanganja. The facit : also in Deutsch-Ostafrika our colonial effort makes progress.


Colonial Literature and Maps : Deutsch-Ostafrika 

H. Adolphi, Am Fusse der Bergriesen Ostafrikas. Geschichte der Leipziger Mission am Kilimandscharo und in den Nachbargebieten. (At the foot of East Africa's mountain giants. History of the Leipziger Mission at the Kilimanjaro and in adjacent areas), 1912, 212 pp., price : 2.50 Mark. 

C. Hanisch, Dr. J. Schmidt and G. von Wallenberg Pachaly, Ostafrikanische Landwirtschaft. Reiseschilderungen (East African agriculture. Travelogues), Arbeiten der Deutschen Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft, no.280, 164 pp. qith 108 illustrations and a coloured map, 1912, price : 3.50 Mark. 

Fritz Bronsart von Schellendorf, Novellen aus der Ostafrikanischen Tierwelt (Novels from East Afrika's Fauna), 1912, 118 pp., price " 3 Mark. 

Prof.Dr. Dove, Ostafrika, Landeskunde (East Africa, Country Study), 1912, with 16 tables and a map, 1912, price -.90 Mark 

M. v. Eckenbrecher, Im dichten Pori. Reise- und Jagdbilder aus Deutsch-Ostafrika. (In the thick Pori. Travel and hunting illustrations from Deutsch-Ostafrika)>/i>, 1911, 243 pp., 41 illustrationms and a map, price : 4 Mark. 

Eine Reise durch die deutschen Kolonien. Band I : Deutsch-Ostafrika. (A Journey through Germany's Colonies : Vol.I, Deutsch-Ostafrika), edited by the magazine 'Kolonie und Heimat', with 2 maps and 169 illustrations, 128 pp., 1909, price : 5 Mark. 

Alwine Kayser, Aus den Anfängen unserer Kolonien. Meine Erlebnisse als Begleiterin meines Gatten, des ersten Kolonialdirektors Wirkl. Geh. Legationsrats Dr. Kayser auf seiner Inspektions-Reise nach Deutsch-Ostafrika 1892. (On the beginnings of our colonies. My memoires as company of my husband, the first colonial director Dr. Kayser, on his tour of inspection of Deutsch-Ostafrika in 1892), 1912.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel. Berlin 1913, p.29ff.

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
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Dokument in deutscher Sprache