Rudolf Berking took a leadership role in 1919 when approval for repatriation of the POWs back to the islands was bogged down in post-war red tape. He pleaded time and again with the military authorities to allow the married men especially, to return to their families. His submissions were signed, “R.P. Berking for this camp.” Finally, the Treaty of Versailles was signed and the Allies got clarity on what they could do with German POW’s and assets. Berking took passage for Samoa in February 1920. Nearly four years of captivity had come to an end.
In this last photo of Berking from Motuihe he is standing in the middle wearing a white pith helmet. The others (left-to-right) are: Mr A. Ohle (DH & PG, Tonga); Mr Wilhelm Holzeit; Mr Alfred Schultz; Berking; Count Felix von Luckner; young boys Kurt Stunzner and Fritz Stunzner Jnr, who lived for a time on the island with their parents in self-contained accommodation; Mr R.Hofmann.
Credit: Alfred Schultz Album; photographer R.Hofmann; restored by T.Brunt 2013.
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