To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums


The Germans in Samoa 79


War embroiled the whole Stunzner family from the conflict’s outbreak at the start of September 1939. Kurt and Fritz Jnr, both married with children, were bundled into captivity by the NZ Administration and sent to Somes Island, in Wellington, where they were admitted on 27 November 1939. More than five years of internment would follow.

This photo shows Fritz and other internees, several from Samoa, passing round an ava cup, the traditional hollowed out coconut shell, after they had somehow managed to obtain an ava root and make a drink. Mr Rudy Kruse on the left also holds a bucket with ava in his left hand. The people in this photo are (left-to-right): Mr Kruse (ex-Samoa); Mr Ludwig Shreiber; Mr Karl Schmidt above obscured; Fritz Stunzner Jnr; Mr Rudolf Berking; unknown; unknown; Mr Max Grapengiesser Snr (Samoa/Auckland) Mr Cristoph Alberts; Mr Robert Wetzell (Samoa); Mr Fritz Jahnke (Samoa) holding an ava root.

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

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