Page 6 - GC-Sept-Oct-23
P. 6

Germans in Brazil

         by Martin Ederer
         ometimes  Americans  rather
      Scarelessly assume that the Unit-
      ed  States  is  one  of  the  very  few
      countries to which large numbers of
      Europeans  (or  others)  emigrated.
      That stated, Brazil is home to some-
      where between 5 and 7 million peo-
      ple  who  claim  some  amount  of
      German descent – and very little has
      to do with U-Boat stories.
         German  dialects  make  up  the
      second most spoken first language
      (admittedly a very distant second) in
      Brazil,  second  only  to  Portuguese
      itself.  The  Germans  represent  the
      fifth  largest  major  group  to  immi-
      grate after Portuguese (no surprise
      there),  Italians,  Spanish  and  Japa-  German descendants in São Paulo perform at the Festa do Imigrante.  1923 Germany’s
      nese.                                                        1945  when  the  Brazilian  govern-
         Even if the numbers of Germans                            ment  embarked  on  a  policy  of
      to immigrate seem relatively small,                          forced  assimilation,  undoubtedly  Klosettpapier economy
      their  influence  owes  in  part  to  a                      conditioned by international devel-
      much longer period of immigration                            opments of the time. Brazilian poli-   from page 5            duced during the end of this hyper-
      than  the  others  (starting  in  1818)                      cies      included     official                               inflation period, and it took two of
      and also a very high birth rate. In the                      marginalization and banning of the  in inflation during this time period  them to mail a domestic letter. In the
      19th  century,  German  Brazilian                            German language.               of post-WWI up to 1924.        selvage  of  this  block,  above  and
      women,  had,  on  average,  eight  to                           The  ideal  of  assimilation  be-  To  understand  the  German  /  next  to  these  stamps  it  shows  the
      ten  children.  German  populations                          came an important condition of citi-  English denomination equivalent of  total value for multiple stamps when
      tended to settle in the south.                               zenship  and  Brazilianness.  The  the  postage  stamp  denominations  multiple  stamps  were  purchased
         German  immigration  began  in                            rather predictable result was a vig-  shown  in  the  photo  collage  is  as  from a sheet of 100 stamps.
      earnest in 1824 when the Brazilian                           orous interest among Brazil’s Ger-  follows: Tausend(e) is Thousand(s);  Pretty  much,  only  businesses
      government  sent  Georg  Anton                               mans  in  Nazism.  Nazi  Germany  Million(en)   is   Million(s);  needed  or  could  afford  to  use  the
      Schaeffer,  an  adventurer  who  had                         also  took  a  keen  interest  in  how  Millarde(n)  is  Billion(s);  and  postal system during the latter part
      earlier  attempted  to  secure  Hawaii                       Brazil’s  Germans  were  faring.  Billion(en)  is  Trillion(s).  Yes,  bil-  of  1923  when  the  cost  of  postage
      as Russian territory (long story), to                        While there was Brazilian-German  lion  and  trillion  are  interesting  was  accelerating  almost  weekly.
      bring  German  settlers  to  develop                         interest  in  Nazism,  it  was  not  as  words,  sometimes  referred  to  as  The photo of the business cover (en-
      remote regions of southern Brazil.  Nova  Petrópolis  was  settled  by  serious  as  the  Brazilian  govern-  Fauxamis  words,  but  who  really  velope) was franked (stamped) with
         The big promises of big tracts of  Germans in 1858        ment’s panic over it would seem to  needs to deal with them? Germans  10-2,000-mark  postage  stamps  to-
      land  did  not  materialize  as  prom-  made their way to the cities, estab-  have indicated. Still, Brazil’s align-  did during this time period! Some  taling  20,000  Papiermarken.  This
      ised, and the first settlers faced hard  lishing settlements there. It became  ment with the Allies made for un-  people  even  joked  that  they  were  was the cost of a domestic letter for
      lives as they attempted to clear their  equally clear to many of the German  comfortable   relations   between  now millionaires but couldn’t even  city-to-city (this cover was Köln to
      heavily forested environment amid  settlers  by  the  second  generation  Brazil and its Germans. Even acts of  afford to buy a cup of coffee.  Berlin)  basic  postal  rate  between
      difficult climate, disease, and often  that, while they were German, they  violence  occurred  against  Brazil’s  This  photo  shows  a  collage  of  Aug.  24,  and  Sept.  1,  1923,  when
      enough,  conflict  with  the  indige-  were also Brazilian.  Germans.                       only just a few of the hundreds of  the  rate  then  increased  to  75,000
      nous populations.                 Still,  the  concentration  of  Ger-  Opinions  on  Brazil  remain  di-  German  inflation  postage  stamps  Papiermarken.
         Some Germans simply left – but  mans did make it possible for many  vided  over  the  desirability  of  en-  issued, and you can see the high and  Rates  continued  to  quickly  in-
      many stayed and made lives. Some  of them to maintain their language  couraging  or  discouraging  ethnic  very  high  value  postage  amounts.  crease  to  100  billion  on  Dec.  1,
                                     and  traditions,  and  significant  set-  traditions  aside  from  the  main-  Just as paper currencies were being  1923!  However,  the  postal  system
                                     tlements attest to their existence in  stream.  In  any  event,  the  onerous  printed as fast as possible to keep up  has  now  created  new  stamps,  and
          Support our                Brazil: Pomerode, Blumenau, Novo  restrictions  are  no  more,  and  Ger-  with the inflation of prices, so did  with the conversion to the Renten-
                                                                                                  the  postal  system  with  postage
                                     Hamburgo, Nova Friburgo.      man  influences  remain  strong  in                           mark this letter could now be mailed
          advertisers!                  Brazil’s  Germans  faced  their  education, science and technology,  stamps.             with one of the new 10 Rentenpfen-
                                     biggest  political  crisis  from  1937-  sports and cuisine.    There came a time in 1923 when
                                                                                                  prices rose so quickly that the only  nig  postage  stamps.    Wow!  It  did
                                                                    Tour to focus on              choice  that  the  postal  system  had  seem to work okay, but people that
                                                                                                                                 lost their life savings, may not have
                                                                                                  was to surcharge existing stocks of
                                                                    northeast German              lower denomination postage stamps  celebrated.
                                                                                                                                    Can  history  repeat  itself,  even
                                                                                                  by  re-evaluation  and  overprinting
                                                                      Pure Germany, a 12-day custom-  them  with  new  higher  denomina-  here in the U.S.? Why not, we went
                                                                    ized tour of northeast Germany, Lu-  tions.  From  August  through  Octo-  off  the  gold  standard  partially  in
                                                                    ther  heritage  sites,  and  north  ber  1923  the  overprinting  ranged  1933, and totally in 1971. Our cur-
                                                                    Bavaria,  is  being  planned  by  Jim  from  5,000  Marks  to  2  million  rency  is  basically  fiat  money,  just
                                                                    Yagow during Sept. 11-22, 2024.  Marks, when shortly thereafter even  based on the good faith of the good
                                                                      He said the special tour is open  that crazy amount was not enough  old USA. Let’s keep an eye on our
                                                                    to  all,  “but  if  you  are  a  German  to mail a domestic letter!  economy, because we don’t want to
                                                                    descendant and Lutheran, you may  The block of blue stamps in the  become  millionaires  like  the  Ger-
                                                                    be  especially  interested  in  coming  photo of the 50 Millarden (billion)  mans did in the 1920s.
                                                                    along. This is not a ‘canned’ or ‘cor-  stamps were the highest value pro-
                                                                    porately organized’ group tour. It’s
                                                                    uniquely personal, private, and one-
                                                                      This journey is referred to as the
                                                                    ultimate way to learn and experience
                                                                    Germany  –  specifically  northeast
                                                                    Germany. Participants will visit Po-
                                                                    merania villages and churches, pro-
                                                                    vincial  city  centers,  experience  a
                                                                    Baltic  Sea  cruise,  tour  folklore
                                                                    museum(s), participate in a memori-
                                                                    al worship service in a small village
                                                                    church, partake in locally hosted and
                                                                    homestyle  prepared  meals,  and
                                                                      Yagow says, “Of course, we will
                                                                    tour  Berlin  and  Dresden  too,  but
                                                                    most importantly, we will visit Ger-
                                                                    many’s   Lutherland,   including
                                                                    Eisenach  (Wartburg  Castle),  Eisle-
                                                                    ben, and Wittenberg – the birthplace
                                                                    of all protestant religions. And final-
                                                                    ly, we will visit Rothenburg (UNES-
                                                                    CO World Heritage Site), a quaint
                                                                    and  well  preserved  medieval  old
                                                                    town in northern Bavaria.”
                                                                      For  details  email  jimyagow
                                                           or call (920) 809-4445.
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