Samoa under German Rule

Around 40 guests joined us at the Auckland University on Thursday, 21st of September, to listen to Matthew Fitzpatrick. The associate professor from Flinders University in Adelaide talked about the German past of Samoa and the ‘liberal version of imperial power’. Fitzpatrick was examining elements of the German colonialism in Samoa, suggesting that to reduce the time between 1871 and 1914 to the pre-history of the Holocaust is a poor one for understanding liberal forms of imperialism, but to rehabilitate it naively as Germany’s ‘good colony’ isn’t the right approach either. Citing newspapers of the time and other sources he painted a lively picture of the time when the Germans lived on the island in the South Pacific, and showed how imperialism, even if it is liberal, could be a history of dispossession and of structural inequality. The question and answer session following the speech showed that there was a vivid interest in the topic.

 Nicole Perry and Matthew Fitzpatrick

Nicole Perry and Matthew Fitzpatrick

 Audience University of Auckland

Audience University of Auckland