To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


The Germans in Samoa 23

Conditions on Somes Island were comfortable, but the cold, windy Wellington weather and smaller land area meant that Somes couldn’t compare with the Motuihe Island environment of the First World War. NZ Prime Minister Peter Fraser visited the island in January 1940 to inspect the facilities. He was concerned for prisoner welfare as he had spent some of the First World War in Wellington Jail as an anti-war protestor. In a personal meeting with Berking he worried about German Samoans undermining the war-time situation in Samoa. “There is not one of us here who would do a thing like that,” replied Berking.

This image shows a haul of fish being landed by internees. Identities (left-to-right): Mr Fritz Stunzner (bending down); Mr Berking, Mr Kurt Stunzner (with hat); Mr Gregor Riethmaier; unknown; Mr Albert Wetzell; Mr Herman Retzlaff; Mr Gustav Belin.

Credit: Riethmaier Family Collection; restored by T. Brunt 2013.

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