Cape Colony: German Settlers in Kaffraria 50th Anniversary

Cape Colony: German Settlers in Kaffraria 50th AnniversaryCape Colony: German Settlers in Kaffraria 50th Anniversary
Form: Circular
By: Unknown
Date: 1908
Ref:  AM2: 106; Laidlaw: 0004;
30.3 mmBronze11.5 gm$65

Edge: Plain

Obverse: Text across in German: “KAFFRARIA (in an arc) / 1858 -1908 / (dash-dot-dash)/ ARBEIT / UUBERWINDET / ALLES (in an arc) (work conquers all)”.

Reverse: Text across in German :”ZUR / ERINNERUNG / AN DIE / 50 JAEHRIGH /

Notes: Kaffraria was briefly, between the years 1860 and 1865, a British Crown Colony in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. As a consequence of Kaffir (or Frontier) Wars, which ended in 1852, the British Government wanted to increase the white settler population in the region as a buffer to protect the Cape Colony. Mercenary soldiers of the German Crimean League were offered land, and 2,500 settled there in 1857. More German settlers, this time peasant farmers from Pomerania, arrived in 1858. A third group of Germans from Lower Saxony arrived in 1877. Because of the lack of cohesion between the three diverse settler groups, and the difficult and dangerous nature of farming conditions, many of the original settlers left their farms to seek work in urban areas or from their more prosperous British counterparts.

The larger centres in this area are East London and King Williams Town, and the German influence in the area can be seen in place names, such as Berlin, Potsdam, Frankfurt, Stutterheim and Braunschweig.

The community was legislated out of existence in 1965 by the Apartheid Government. Under the Group Areas Act the region was declared to be the black homeland of the Ciskei. All white people were forcibly removed to designated “white areas”. The ruins of abandoned farm buildings remain a common sight today.