Shattered Dreams At Kilimanjaro
An historical account of German settlers from Palestine who started a new life in German East Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
by Helmut Glenk
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Shattered Dreams at Kilimanjaro covers the period from the establishment of the former colony of German East Africa in the late 19th century until the formation of the independent State of Tanganyika in 1961. The book focuses on a small group of German settlers who ventured into a new world - German East Africa - to establish farms and businesses in the Mt Kilimanjaro region.
This venture was ultimately not successful due, in part, to the tropical diseases contracted by some of the settlers, whilst others were disillusioned with the poor economic returns. The main reason for its failure, however, was the outbreak of World War I and the devastating effects this had on the settlers, culminating in dispossession and deportation. Before the war the settlers had achieved a great deal by clearing virgin land and cultivating it with coffee and an array of vegetables and fruits. Others had started businesses such as building and flour milling.
After World War I the former German colony became the British Mandate Territory of Tanganyika. Some former settlers returned only to lose everything again when World War II broke out and all Germans were interned and their properties confiscated. Many of the settlers were deported to Germany in 1940; others were interned in Africa for the duration of the war before being repatriated to Germany.
It is fitting to record the history of these adventurous and hard working people. They overcame severe personal hardships and disappointments and, in the end, earned little reward for their toils. Nevertheless, they left a lasting legacy because agriculture was brought to a region in tropical East Africa from which crops are still grown and food produced. Similarly, their businesses gave rise to ongoing enterprises in that region.
The book is illustrated with many historical photographs.
- Trafford Publishing, January 2011
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