The New Zealand armed forces landed in Apia to annex Samoa on 29 August, 1914. Two weeks later Ernst Reye formally handed over the keys to the German Government cashboxes and safes as well as passing on the remaining cash. The receipt from A.Loibl, shown in the image, bears Reye’s signature as consignor. Reflecting the strict hierarchy of the German civil service, Mr Reye signs himself as “Reye. Assistent I Klasse” – “Assistant 1st Class”.
Unbeknown to the New Zealanders, Governor Erich Schultz appears to have shipped out significant administration funds to the DH & PG office, in Pago Pago, on board the yacht, “Staatssekretar Solf” (“State Secretary Solf”) on 5 August. The remains of this cache were found buried in the rear of the DH & PG building by the Sheriff of American Samoa, Commander L.W.Strum, in April 1919. (Ref. “The Samoan Historical Calendar 1606-2007,” p. 87).
Credit: Reye Family Collection.
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