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Governor in New Guinea

CollectionsANU Pacific Institute
ANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Governor in New Guinea
Other Titles: Gouverneursjahre
Author(s): Hahl, Albert
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
Dr Albert Hahl first sailed to German New Guinea in 1896 and took up residence in Herbertshohe, a primitive little settlement on Blanche Bay dominated by autocratic planters and merchants. Later he served as Governor in various posts in the Protectorate, including eighteen months as Vice- Governor on the turbulent island of Ponape. After eleven years as Governor of the whole Protectorate, he finally sailed from Rabaul for good in 1914, a few months before World War I ended German rule in the Western Pacific. Hahl's career spanned almost the whole of the period of effective administration by the Reich of German New Guinea, and the 'system' undoubtedly bore his stamp. There was the organisation of the natives under luluai or official chiefs, each with a special cap and staff as insignia of Imperial office. There was too the quaint shipping service round the Gazelle Peninsula provided by the tugboat Roland and its attendant barges. Hahl claimed these and other institutions as his brain-children. He is still recalled as 'Dotal', a fatherly figure, by the old people of the Gazelle Peninsula, and like Sir Hubert Murray he has been seen as the personification of the colony over which he presided. New light is shed on his role by these mellow reminiscences, first published in Germany in 1937, but remarkably free of either bitterness or the ideological claptrap usual in works of that vintage. The introduction by Peter Sack to this edition in English suggests a number of new points of approach to Hahl's career, and includes a biographical sketch. The translation by Dymphna Clark of the original text is supplemented by maps, contemporary photographs and a list of Hahl's publications.


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