German community, and how they got here

2015-09-24 06:00
PHOTO: candyce krishna

Liselotte Dammann with her scrapbooks and historical information on the German Settlers.

PHOTO: candyce krishna Liselotte Dammann with her scrapbooks and historical information on the German Settlers.

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THE German community have been on the South Coast for 148 years. Their ties to the area date back to 1867 when Reverend Peter Stoppel arrived to do missionary work.

Highly knowledgeable and proud of her German history, Liselotte Dammann from Uvongo chatted to the Fever this week about the history of the German settlers.

She said Stoppel was sent with Ludwig Flygare from the Hermannsburg Mission to start a mission station. The mission was offered a site where Stoppel and Flygare built this mission station.

“He named this site Marburg after his home town in Germany,” she said.

“Education was also priority for the settlers. After a mission station was established, a school had to be initiated.”

The Germans were farmers, artisans and businessmen who lived in mud huts and had to barter in order to survive. Cash was not readily available.

The well-known Bethanien Lutheran Church in Izotsha was established in 1903.

The congregation however, was formed in 1888, after 10 heads of families came to discuss the formation of the congregation.

“The purpose of the church was to preserve German culture which many still try to do, but the language seems to be declining. Today the church is opened to other cultures and language groups too,” said Dammann.

The church hosts the popular annual German Bazaar where treats, meats and desserts are sold to the public

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