To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


TGIS 19b






A photo of the Berking children, Lissy and Rudi, (at back) taken with a relative in Germany during the war, in about 1916. Their upkeep at school was paid for out of their father’s government salary which appears to have continued to be paid. Mr Berking’s salary also supported his mother in Hannover.

Sending children to Germany for education and work was popular with German fathers in Samoa. Caroline and Rudolf Berking paid a terrible price for their understandable desire for a better education for their offspring in distant Europe. In September 1918, Elisabeth died of pneumonia in Hannover aged 16. Wartime internment for Rudolf meant that the parents had to cope with their grief apart. In 1926, another tragic blow – son Rudolf fell ill and died while attending veterinary school in Berlin.

Credit: Klaus Berking Collection.

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  1. Brianna Bartram says:


    I cannot leave a comment on the preceding photo as the comments are marked as closed, but this comment refers to the photo 19-2. We think the comments on the side have been matched with the wrong photo. We think these people are Hans Kruse, Luse Kruse (nee Purcell), and Adele Kruse (whom my mother is named after). Luse Kruse was married to Captain Friedrich Kruse–my great great grandparents.

    • Tony Brunt says:

      I agree 100%, Brianna. The woman on the preceding page looks like Mrs Luse Kruse (of whom I have one or two photos from the early 1900’s). Well spotted. However, this may be a case where we have two people who look similar. The photo was obtained from the Kamauoha family, of Hawaii, who are related to the Brunt and Netzler families. As I recall, the inscription on the back stated that the woman was ‘Carrie Netzler’ or some such. Hence our identification of her as Carrie Berking. I have a couple of other distant photos of Caroline Berking and they look like this woman. On the face of it, there would be no clear reason why the Kamauoha family would have a photo from the Kruse family. However, if you have other photos of the Kruse children Hans and Adele which confirm that they are these young people then we would need to review our identification in this photo. You can email me at if you wish. Thank you so much for registering a comment.

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