Expelled from a beloved Country, by Sven-Eric Kanzler
Sven-Eric Kanzler wrote the story of the the brothers Alfons and Stephan Schanderl from Germany, founders of the the farm Karios in South West Afrika: Expelled from a beloved Country. German Settlers in Southern Namibia between Colonial War and World War I.
With knuckles white from clinging to the ship's rail, they are looking back towards the shore, trying to hold on to it with their eyes as their hands are holding on to the rail. Still, the country is slowly disappearing, the town's houses are shrinking into tiny dots, the rocky bay melts into the coastline. When it is no more but a narrow strip on the horizon, separating the tossing ocean from the foggy grey skies, they finally tear themselves away from the sight. Alfons and Stephan Schanderl have just lost their homeland, the former colony of German South West Africa, which now, since Germany lost the war, has been placed under the administration of the Union of South Africa. Restlessly Alfons and Stephan wander about the ship. Sleep is evading them. All their thoughts keep turning around one single word: Why? - Why had they been deported? They knew they had not done anything wrong... on the contrary. After arriving from Germany they had quickly adapted to their new surroundings and they were well liked in their neighbourhood, including the Afrikaner and the British farmers. With years of hard work they had transformed Karios, their vast, but bare farm at the Fish River Canyon, into a thriving business. Then came the outbreak of the First World War. They had to leave the farm, which was subsequently plundered by South Africans. There was nothing else for them to do but to start all over again. It took them two years to rebuild the run-down farm, and now, after another two years, it was all over. Out of the blue the policeman had turned up on their doorstep and handed them deportation orders according to which they were to leave the country on the next ship sailing to Germany. All their questions about the Why had remained unanswered. The magistrate in Warmbad, though responsible for their case, would not tell them either. All their pleas for a period of grace, in order to be able to at least sell the livestock and inventory at acceptable prices, were in vain. Everything they had painstakingly built during eleven years crumbled within only twelve days. Now they were on their way back to Germany, back to their homeland. But homeland it no longer was, because South West Africa had long since become their home. This is what may have taken place on 2 June 1919, when Alfons and Stephan Schanderl had to board a steamer in Liideritzbucht, the southern harbour of South West Africa, to return to Germany. In the absence of detailed accounts the course of events can unfortunately not be reconstructed accurately. There are only a few letters, official documents and fragmentary notes in their sister's diary to testify to the sad fate that the Schanderl brothers had to cope with. It is, however, documented that Alfons and Stephan felt like uprooted trees after the deportation. A photo, taken of Alfons in Germany in 1921, has 'Strangers in the Motherland' written on it. And it must have been at about the same time when he noted: "After bleeding, sweating and working for a country for 16 years you feel that you belong to that country, and you are devoted to it with body and soul. Here in Germany you are dangling in the air. What is one supposed to do here - after a long absence it is impossible to fit in." After one-and-a-half decades in South West Africa, Alfons Schanderl has become estranged from Germany, his country of birth. (...)
This is an excerpt from the book: Expelled from a beloved Country, by Sven-Eric Kanzler.
Title: Expelled from a beloved Country
Subtitle: German Settlers in Southern Namibia between Colonial War and World War I.
Author: Sven-Eric Kanzler
Publisher: Nature Investments (Pty) Ltd
Windhoek, Namibia 2012
ISBN 9991668594 / ISBN 99916-68-59-4
Softcover, 15x21 cm, 94 pages, numerous images and photographs, 2 maps
Kanzler, Sven-Eric im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Expelled from a beloved Country is the life story of German Settlers in Southern Namibia between Colonial War and World War I.
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