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


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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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Cover image: DHPG group on Motuihe Island c. 1916. From left: George Lober (Samoa), Alfred Schultz (Tonga), Karl Bunge (Samoa), Karl Hanssen (Samoa), Adolf Eberhardt (Samoa), Emil Hellfritz (Tonga), Reinhold Hofmann (Samoa), Ernst Studt (Samoa), Paul Voget (Samoa), H.Cassebaum (Samoa), and Adolf Ohle (Tonga). (Bunge Family Collection, courtesy Tony Brunt).

ISSN 1439-3387 ISBN 978-3-631-66728-6 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-653-06295-3 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-06295-3

© Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt am Main 2016 All rights reserved. Peter Lang Edition is an Imprint of Peter Lang GmbH.

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