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Karl Hanssen’s Memoirs of his Wartime Experiences in Samoa and New Zealand 1915–1916

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Edited By James Bade

Karl Hanssen’s memoirs provide an invaluable outsider’s view of life in New Zealand prisons and a unique perspective on German Samoa under New Zealand occupation. In October 1915, Hanssen, manager of the DHPG, a large German copra production company, was sent from Samoa to New Zealand to serve a six-month sentence imposed by a New Zealand military court for bypassing war censorship regulations. He served his sentence in a number of prisons in New Zealand, including two months in the high-security prison, Mt Eden.
Hanssen’s memoirs – in English translation and in the original German – are made available for the first time in this edition, which also features photos from his Samoan album and a comprehensive introduction by Bronwyn Chapman on the historical and political background.
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Karl Hanssen’s Photographs of his Time in Samoa

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1: Karl Hannsen’s daughters, Lotte and Ida-Songi, in Samoa, 1915. (Marianne Klemm Collection)

2: Commercial buildings in Apia. On the right is the headquarters of the German Samoa Association, an association of German plantation owners. (Marianne Klemm Collection)

3: Karl Hanssen’s residence in Apia (Marianne Klemm Collection)

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