German Irredentism in Africa

  • Andrew J. Crozier
Part of the Studies in Military and Strategic History book series (SMSH)


That Vansittart and the Foreign Office should have thought it probable by the early months of 1935 that Hitler was positively inclined towards raising the colonial question at an early date is understandable enough in the light of the evidence reaching them from Germany. This impression, however, was reinforced by evidence supplied by the Colonial and Dominions Offices. Just as Hitler’s assumption of power in Germany was accompanied by ‘mass desertion to the Nazi camp’ and expressions of a ‘spontaneous desire to give up old prejudices, ideologies and social restrictions’, so the mood of nationalist exultation found its counterpart in German communities overseas, particularly in the Tanganyika mandate and South-West Africa.1


Advisory Council Union Section Union Government Defence Minister German Resident 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    J. C. Fest, Hitler (London, 1977), pp. 543–4.Google Scholar
  2. 47.
    Ibid., 17704/C5957/27/18, Memorandum, by J. V. Perowne, German Settlers in Tanganyika, 8.8.1934.Google Scholar
  3. 56.
    A. J. Toynbee, Survey of International Affairs 1920–1923 (London, 1925), p. 398,Google Scholar
  4. and I. Goldblatt, History of South-West Africa (Cape Town, 1971), pp. 219–21.Google Scholar
  5. 60.
    Ibid., and cf. A. J. Toynbee, Survey of International Affairs 1929 (London, 1930), pp. 243–4.Google Scholar
  6. 73.
    B. Bunting, The Rise of the South African Reich (London, 1964), pp. 44 and 54 ff.; Rand Daily Mail, 26.8.1933, 28.8.1933, 4.11.1933 and 7.11.1933; The Star 1.11.1933; and PRO — FO 371/16731/C10257/411/18, P. Liesching to J. H. Thomas, 30.10.1933, and C10667/411/18, P. Liesching to J. H. Thomas, 8.11.1933.Google Scholar
  7. 77.
    B. Bennett, Hitler Over Africa (London, 1939), p. 179.Google Scholar
  8. 120.
    Ibid., C1273/21/18, Berlin Chancery to the Central Department, 12.2.1935. In March 1935 the British High Commissioner in South Africa, Sir W. H. Clark, established that the Union government, despite the statements of ministers, had made no formal pronouncement of its view of Germany and the colonial question. It soon, however, became clear that Pirow was not a solitary voice in the belief that Germany should receive colonial satisfaction. See ibid., 18820/ C3123/21/18, Sir W. H. Clark to Sir H. Batterbee, 14.3.1935; ibid., C4054/21/18, British Library of Information, New York, to the Foreign Office, n.d.; ibid., 19929/C7785/97/18, Sir W. H. Clark to, M. Mac-Donald, 18.9.1936; ibid., 19926/C3400/97/18, M. E. Antrobus to Sir H. Batterbee, 3.4.1936; ibid., 19925/C1447/97/18, A. Eden to Sir E. Phipps, 5.3.1936; Hofmeyr, art. cit.; O. Pirow, James Barry Munnick Hertzog, (London, 1958), p. 223; PRO — FO 371/18819/C2166/21/18, Sir W. H. Clark to J. H. Thomas, 4.2.1935; and ibid., 19926/C3018/97/18, Sir W. H. Clark to M. MacDonald,. 10.3.1936.Google Scholar
  9. 122.
    Ibid., C1738/21/18, Memorandum by J. V. Perowne, Germany’s Colonial Aspirations, 4.3.1935.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew J. Crozier 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Crozier
    • 1
  1. 1.University College of North WalesBangorUK

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