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German Women in Cameroon

Travelogues from Colonial Times


Karin Schestokat

This book analyzes the travelogues of four German women who journeyed through Cameroon when it was a German colony (1884-1918). Three of the women – Haase, Rein-Wuhrmann, and Ziemann – present their experiences as exciting adventures in a world that will profit from European progress and the teachings of Christianity. The fourth, Thorbecke, is eventually able to accept the Africans and their customs on their own terms. These travelogues were used as recruiting tools to entice other German women to come to Cameroon, and they are a reflection of the German society’s mindset at the cusp of the twentieth century. As documentation of the identity formation and learning processes of their authors, they give testimony to these women’s openness, tolerance, and adaptability to the social and cultural environments of various African tribes in Cameroon.