To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


The Germans in Samoa 53





Let’s back up and have a look at the Spemanns who married into the Gebauer family in 1933. Adolf Spemann (in photo), hailed from Karlsruhe and was born in 1878. He appears to have arrived in Samoa in the early 1900’s. Mr Spemann married Lucy Warns (pronounced ‘Vance’ in German), also pictured, who was from Aleipata.

Credit: Spemann Family Collection.

Categorised as: Uncategorized


  1. Karen Stephenson says:

    Congratulations to the organizer of this exhibition, Mr. Brunt, and all the people who contributed their private family photos to this detailed and compelling slice of history. This photo particularly moved me because it was the first time I had ever seen my great grandmother and grandfather, and such a special photo too. I would like to get in touch with the family members who provided this and many other Spemann family photos. My grandmother Clara was the second of their children, who moved to Australia, married Godfrey Stephenson, and had my father Henry as her first child. I would like to trace what happened to the other children especially Wilhelm and my ‘Aunty Elizabeth’. You may pass my email address to the Morley family and Wilhelm Spemann’s family whom I believe are in New Zealand. I notice that the exhibition organizer is related to Frieda Schwenke, whom I guess might have been my great- grandmother’s sister so I would like to make contact with Mr. Brunt too. Once again, my congratulations on a great exhibition. Please keep it in the public domain for a bit longer.
    Warm regards, Karen Stephenson

    • Grant Henderson says:

      Hello Karen, I too am particularly grateful to the organiser for the substantial personal effort put into this impressive compilation of German history in Samoa.

      My great-grandmother, Matilde, was the sister of Lucy Warns, so this photo also presents a great deal of personal interest to me. Our family still retains ownership of a piece of the original Warns plantation at Satitoa, Aleipata.

      • Luise Ritzer says:

        Hi, Luise Spemann ,the eldest daughter of Adolf,is my grandmother.I would be interested in some photos of the rest of the Family and the plantation or the house,they lived in.We still have lots of letters/correspondation of that time.
        Luise Shamo

    • Luise Ritzer says:

      Hi,I am Luise, a grand-grand- daughter of the Spemanns, living now in Germany. I would love to find more Information and pictures of the Samoan period.

  2. Helena Field says:

    Hello – I am Karen’s cousin. My mother Phyllis sent me the link to the exhibition and I am very grateful to the organisers as it has given me some insight into the history of Germans in Samoa and our grandmother Klara’s early years. I have a photo of Klara that was taken in Samoa with her cousin Matilda Hack before they moved to Australia after WW1, where Klara married and had Karen’s father Henry, my mother Phyllis and four other children. I would be happy to share this if there is an email address I could send it to.

    • Paula Wright says:

      Hi Helena
      I would love a copy of the photo of Klara and Matilda as I am doing my family tree by great grand mother was Caroline Auguste Ernestine Hack Birth 10 sept 1901 in Apia, Upolu,German Samoa.
      The Warns and Hack families are quite a mystery to me other than what my grandfather can tell me.
      My email is
      Thank you for the help

  3. SH says:

    It’s nice to see a picture of my German family in Samoa. Lucy Warns is my great-great aunt and the aunt of my grandmother Cecilia, who was her brother Julius’ daughter. I believe he died young of influenza. I would love to get a hold of a picture of his as well as that of my great-great grandfather also named Julius, and my great grandmother Lucy Bell-Schwenke, and other family photos. Thank you for this eye opening, and touching exhibition.

  4. Kurt Tillett says:


    I already know Paula and Grant as we have been in contact over the past week and i thank all who put this exhibit together.
    My Grandmother who passed on the 1st of jan 2016 was the only daughter of Julius August Karl Hack Also known as Charly Hack (Died in 1978). I am still trying to build onto my german heritage branches in the family tree database i have built now numbering 1100 people. If anyone has any trees of the Warns/Hack side i would love to trade information to verify what i have.
    Kurt Tillett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *