German Colonialism: A Short History

Richard J. Evans writes:

Dotted around the world, there are still a few reminders of the fact that, between the 1880s and the First World War, Germany, like other major European powers, possessed an overseas colonial empire. If you go to Windhoek in Namibia, you can still pick up a copy of the Allgemeine Zeitung, a newspaper which caters for the remaining German-speaking residents of the town. If you fancy a trip to the Namibian seaside you can go to the coastal town of Lüderitz, passing ruined railway stations with their names still in Gothic letters, and spend time in Walfisch Bay enjoying the surf and keeping an eye out for penguins. In Tanzania, you can stay in the lakeside town of Wiedhafen. If you’re a businessman wanting to bulk buy palm oil in Cameroon, the Woermann plantations are still the place to go. In eastern Ghana, German-style buildings that once belonged to the colony of Togo are now advertised as tourist attractions.

(LRB 9 February 2012)