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Germans in Queensland

150 Years


Edited By Andrew Bonnell and Rebecca Vonhoff

This collection of essays considers the contribution made by German settlers in Queensland over the last century and a half of the state’s history. The volume also analyses the role of other German travellers and visitors who have had an impact on the state. Over this period, Germans have been the most important non-British European settler population in Queensland. The work includes chapters on Germans in politics, science, music and the other arts, as well as German migrants, missionaries, and attitudes to the Australian tropics.


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Queensland and the Pan-German League:Implications for German-Australian Identity. Rebecca Vonhoff


Queensland and the Pan-German League: Implications for German-Australian Identity Rebecca Vonhoff This chapter sets out to examine the extent to which Wilhelmine imperialist identity found expression in Queensland and how concepts of Deutschtum and a broader overseas identity were cultivated through or informed by the strength of nationalistic affiliations and ties to the Vaterland.1 It will be argued that between 1871 and 1914 an imagined community within Australia whose characteristics found resonance with a global ‘Germanness’ was fostered. Initially this chapter was to focus on the German-language press in Queen- sland and how notions of identity were affected by this medium. However, as is often the case when working in archives, sources led in another direction. Re- search into the Brisbane Newspaper Company led to the discovery of corres- pondence between a man associated with the news group and the Pan-German League in Germany. In viewing firstly the German-language press and secondly, correspondence with imperialist pressure groups as a yardstick with which Deut- schtum in Australia can be measured, claims of identity are supported by re- minders of German industrial growth and international competitiveness, the ex- change of ideas and information, and subtle but concrete references which de- fine people of German heritage in terms of an imagined global German commu- nity that resonated regardless of disparate geographies. 2 While researching Pan-German League documents in the Bundesarchiv in Berlin references to a prominent Queenslander Heinrich Ludwig Eduard Rüthning, a man known to historians who have researched Germans in Queen-...

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