Africans in the Imperial German Navy and Army.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 26 Jan 2006 14:27

Photo of Vize-Wachtmeister Elo Sambo,from Ebay via this discussion here: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=5135
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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 26 Jan 2006 23:45

Peter H.--Great Picture of the "Black German" surrendering!!! I don't know how you found it but it certainly catches my imagination! Darn, one learns something new every day.

But it makes sense that, given Germany's colonial connections, there would have been some Blacks of military age in Germany at the start of the war in 1914. I doubt if anyone said to them, "Oh no, we don't need you in the Army, you're Black!"


Best,
David

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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 27 Jan 2006 15:34

Great photo, Peter. Thanks for posting it.
Cheers
Chris

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Reichskolonialamt
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Re: Africans in the Imperial German Navy and Army.

Post by Reichskolonialamt » 29 Aug 2006 08:51

Chris Dale wrote:As far as I know only one African served in the regular Imperial Army (although many served in Colonial forces). His name was Elo Sambo from the Cameroons who according to DH Hagger in "Hussars and Mounted Rifles- Uniforms of the Imperial German Army 1900-14", was kettle drummer for the Life Guard Hussar Regt 1907-18. I wonder if he saw action 1914-18? Does anyone know any more about him?


I just found details of Elo Sambos (Josef Mambo) biography. It seems, that Mr Hagger was wrong in some aspects.

Source:
Bundesarchiv R 1001/6383, Blatt 319 Schreiben der "Deutschen Gesellschaft für Eingeborenenkunde" an das Auswärtige Amt, Pol X, 16.05.1939.
Zitiert in Susann Lewerenz "Die Deutsche Afrika-Schau (1935-1940)" Peter Lang Verlag 2006
"Mambo, sie hieß der schwarze Mann, mit dem wir sprachen, erzählte uns von seiner Heimat, die er als Kind verließ. Er wurde im Jahre 1897 vom Freiherrn von Elsaß mit nach Dresden genommen und dort als Pfegekind erzogen. Seine Heimat Ostafrika hat er nicht wiedergesehen. Dafür hat Mambo eine gewisse Berühmtheit in Deutschland erlangt, denn er war von 1904 bis 1913 der Kesselpauker der Grenadierregiments zu Pferde in Bromberg, dem er zum 200.Jubiläum des Regimentes vom Kaiser zugeteilt wurde. Als der Weltkrieg ausbrach, ging Mambo mit seinem alten Regiment zunächst nach Rußland und dann nach Frankreich. Das Eiserne Kreuz zweiter Klasse und das Verwundetenabzeichen zeugen davon, daß er während der Jahre des Krieges seinen Mann gestanden hat."

"Mambo, Josef geb. 31.10.1885 in Tanga, Deutsch-Ostafrika. Sergeant im Grenadierregiment Freiherr von Derfflinger Nr.3, Kriegsteilnehmer 1915-1918, zweimal verwundet in Ostpreußen und Verdun."


We got a lot of new informations:

1) He is not from Cameroon, but from German East Africa
2) Never served in the colonial Schutztruppe
3) He fought in France too, so he could(!) be the "surrending black german" on the french picture.
4) After WW1 he lived in Germany and joined as showman the "Deutsche Afrika-Schau"

The attached picture is an advertising poster.
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Last edited by Reichskolonialamt on 29 Aug 2006 09:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Reichskolonialamt
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Post by Reichskolonialamt » 29 Aug 2006 09:12

Additional:

And we got this postcard from 1903. So it seems, that before he joined 1904 the "Grenadierregiment zu Pferde" (Bromberg), he served in Potsdam at the "Trompetercorps des Leibgarde Husarenregiment". This sounds pretty likely...near by the Kaiser, who sent him 1904 to Bromberg...

Source: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopi ... st&p=52118
Djedj supposed it shows a man called Arara....I doubt this..
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Reichskolonialamt
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Jansen, Heipold

Post by Reichskolonialamt » 29 Aug 2006 10:00

And the book mention another black Soldier and member of the "Deutsche Afrika-Schau", who served in Germany.

Jansen, Heipold geb. 10.02.1893 in Duala, Kamerun. Vizefeldwebel der preussischen Armee. Kriegsteilnehmer 1914-18. Dann in einem Freikorps, das unter anderem an der Niederwerfung des Spartakus-Aufstandes März 1919 in Berlin eingesetzt wurde."


Freikorps? 1919?
Could it be this guy from the mysterious photo? But the script say this man was a former east africa soldier. A mistake? As far as I know Lettows Freikorps never had been in Munich, they fought in the north of Germany, Hamburg....?
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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 29 Aug 2006 16:49

I can see you've been doing some good research there, Reichskolonialamt! Thanks for all that information.
Cheers
Chris

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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 29 Aug 2006 17:42

There was another African serving in the Imperial Army: Gustav Sabac el Cher.
He served with Füsilier Regiments Nr. 35 Prinz Heinrich von Preußen.
After studies at the Königliche Hochschule für Musik (Royal Conservatoire) in Charlottenburg
he became Stabsoboist (bandmaster) with. Grenadier-Regt. Kronprinz (1. Ostpreuß.) Nr.1 in Königsberg.
He later married Gertrud Perlig.
Further information )in German) http://www.dhm.de/ausstellungen/namibia ... ng/dhm.htm
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Scarlett
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Re: Africans in the Imperial German Navy and Army.

Post by Scarlett » 29 Aug 2006 20:12

Reichskolonialamt wrote:
Chris Dale wrote:As far as I know only one African served in the regular Imperial Army (although many served in Colonial forces). His name was Elo Sambo from the Cameroons who according to DH Hagger in "Hussars and Mounted Rifles- Uniforms of the Imperial German Army 1900-14", was kettle drummer for the Life Guard Hussar Regt 1907-18. I wonder if he saw action 1914-18? Does anyone know any more about him?


I just found details of Elo Sambos (Josef Mambo) biography. It seems, that Mr Hagger was wrong in some aspects.

Source:
Bundesarchiv R 1001/6383, Blatt 319 Schreiben der "Deutschen Gesellschaft für Eingeborenenkunde" an das Auswärtige Amt, Pol X, 16.05.1939.
Zitiert in Susann Lewerenz "Die Deutsche Afrika-Schau (1935-1940)" Peter Lang Verlag 2006
"Mambo, sie hieß der schwarze Mann, mit dem wir sprachen, erzählte uns von seiner Heimat, die er als Kind verließ. Er wurde im Jahre 1897 vom Freiherrn von Elsaß mit nach Dresden genommen und dort als Pfegekind erzogen. Seine Heimat Ostafrika hat er nicht wiedergesehen. Dafür hat Mambo eine gewisse Berühmtheit in Deutschland erlangt, denn er war von 1904 bis 1913 der Kesselpauker der Grenadierregiments zu Pferde in Bromberg, dem er zum 200.Jubiläum des Regimentes vom Kaiser zugeteilt wurde. Als der Weltkrieg ausbrach, ging Mambo mit seinem alten Regiment zunächst nach Rußland und dann nach Frankreich. Das Eiserne Kreuz zweiter Klasse und das Verwundetenabzeichen zeugen davon, daß er während der Jahre des Krieges seinen Mann gestanden hat."

"Mambo, Josef geb. 31.10.1885 in Tanga, Deutsch-Ostafrika. Sergeant im Grenadierregiment Freiherr von Derfflinger Nr.3, Kriegsteilnehmer 1915-1918, zweimal verwundet in Ostpreußen und Verdun."


We got a lot of new informations:

1) He is not from Cameroon, but from German East Africa
2) Never served in the colonial Schutztruppe
3) He fought in France too, so he could(!) be the "surrending black german" on the french picture.
4) After WW1 he lived in Germany and joined as showman the "Deutsche Afrika-Schau"

The attached picture is an advertising poster.


There are two different persons:

Elo Wilhelm Sambo. born April 1, 1885, Jaounde, Cameroon.
He was a godson of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
He joined the Imperial Army October 1, 1905 (Eisenbahnregiment Nr. 1)
September 28, 1907 he was transferred to Leibgardehusarenregiment and trained as kettle drummer.
He served with this regiment until 1918 and after WWI with Reiterregiment Nr. 4 until 1923.
He later lived in Cologne, where he joined the carnival-society "Rote Funken" and later "Blaue Funken" and
was an attraction as a kettle-drummer for the Carnival Monday Processions.
He died 1933 and was buried on the Southern Cemetery (Südfriedhof) in Cologne. Kaiser Wilhelm sent a wreath for the funeral.

Josef Mambo or Mambow, who served as a kettle drummer
with Grenadier Regiment zu Pferde Freiherr von Derfflinger Nr. 3.
During the existence of the Deutsche Afrikaschau (1935-1940) Elo Wilhelm Sambo was on the cemetery in Cologne already
so the person referred to in the quoted letter can only be Joseph Mambo.

I have a problem to believe, that the person on the pic of Peter at the start of the thread really shows Elo Sambo.
All three persons seem to belong to the same regiment, and the one in front has a "20" on the shoulde strap.

Two more pics of Elo Wilhelm Sambo following
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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 29 Aug 2006 21:16

Thank you Scarlett! Your research is very helpful and excellent photos. I wonder how many Africans we will find in total in the Imperial Army?
Cheers
Chris

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Cristiano de S.O Campos
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Post by Cristiano de S.O Campos » 30 Aug 2006 00:30

Hi friends


And Mohamed Husen
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Post by Cristiano de S.O Campos » 30 Aug 2006 00:36

Mohamed Husen history.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayume_Mohamed_Husen


Husen was drawn in at the beginning of the First World War together with its father and served in the colonial force of German East Africa under Paul von Lettow Vorbeck. After the war it served as Boy on German and English steam ships. He came 1929 to Berlin, since from his service in the colonial force pay payments were still pending. Thus it had however no success. In order to escape a classification, it accepted an employment in „the game west bar “„of the house native country “in Berlin and married 1932 a Sudeten German, with whom it got three children. 1933 was replaced after the seizure of power of the national socialists the German passports Husens and its wife by stranger passports, which proved them as stateless. 1934 it played the role of the faithfully resulted in Askari for the first time in a film (the riders of German East Africa). Starting from 1935 it informed seminar for eastern languages “officials in Suaheli, which should be prepared by the German Reich for a later regaining of the German colonies at the citizen of Berlin „. In the year 1941 he was to be seen to the side of Hans Albers in the propaganda film Carl Peter as Askari. But in the August of the same yearly it was arrested by the Gestapo because of a relationship with one „Arierin “and in-supplied in September under the reproach „of the race dishonor “to the KZ Saxonia living. Under pressure it had to let its marriage separate. 1944 it died in the KZ.

Cristiano Campos
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Brazil.

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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 30 Aug 2006 09:51

A figurine of Elo Wilhelm Sambo:

Skin-colour BLACK, horse WHITE, uniform RED - the colours of the Deutsche Kaiserreich
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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 30 Aug 2006 10:42

Cristiano de S.O Campos wrote:Hi friends


And Mohamed Husen


I just found the letter head of Mohammed Husen, which he used in Germany.
Husen was born around , rather 2 years before, 1900, attended for six years the German School in Dar Es Salaam
and then was trained as telegraphist. In 1914 he already had been appointed clerk at the Postamt (postoffice) Dar Es Salaam,
thus being part of the black elite in DOA.
Some sources give 1904 as year of birth, but this must be incorrect, because of his status 1914.
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Scarlett
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Post by Scarlett » 30 Aug 2006 11:12

There was a tradition of black musicians in the Brandenburg-Prussian army,
starting with the Grand Elector, Friedrich Wilhelm.
One of the first, with christian name Ludwig Besemann, was 1685
promoted "Heeres-Pauker Erster Klasse" (Army Drummer First Class).

The first king of Prussia, Friedrich I, had a black "Pfeiferkorps" (piper band) with his
"Leibregiment" (Lifes Guards), consisting of 15 pipers.

Friedrich Wilhelm I gave to his artillery a "Paukenwagen" (drum wagon), very colorful,
which was operated and accompanied by 16 black musicians.

Friedrich II der Große doubled in 1759 the number of black musicians
for the field artillery to 32.

I could not find any information, what happened to them later on.

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