To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


The Germans in Samoa 54


Fritz Stunzner (pronounced “Shternzner”) was born in Germany in 1873 and studied structural engineering. He arrived in Samoa in 1897 and spent some years on plantation projects. From 1902 he built up a sizable construction company, helped along by valuable contracts obtained from the German Administration. Stunzner reportedly built (and may have designed) the original Apia Courthouse, completed in 1902, which is still standing but has been extensively modified and extended. Albert Schaaffhausen is credited with having designed the extensions which were carried out between 1908-1912.

The photo shows a Stunzner (“Stuenzner”) advertisement in the German Almanac for Samoa, of 1905. It describes Stunzner as an architect and builder.

Credit: Photo by Tony Brunt; Spemann Family Collection (Almanac of the late Hugo Gebauer).

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