Panikos Panayi

This chapter aims to outline the development of internment policy and its immediate impact for individuals. Internment and the capture of prisoners of war needs contextualization in the brutal and murderous consequences of the First World War, which, unlike many nineteenth-century conflicts, moved away from battles between armies to incorporate all civilians. Civilians faced arrest, or simply gave themselves up, while those conveyed to Britain upon ships essentially experienced transportation. Personal narratives, consisting of letters and subsequently published memoirs, provide an insight into the way in which German soldiers fell into British hands, which involved a combination of capture and surrender. The figures for those held in Britain remained fairly constant until about 1917, when increasing numbers of German soldiers became prisoners in France. The vast majority of military internees who found themselves in Britain originated in the deciding battles of the First World War, those from 1917 onwards.

in Prisoners of Britain
Panikos Panayi

Interethnic relationships in India characterised the history of Europeans from the arrival of the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. The German religious communities which emerged in India during the nineteenth century point to the complex relationships which existed between the migrants from Europe and indigenous people. The perspectives of Christianity, orientalism and racism, which determine European views and actions in India, led to the development of a series of perceptions which the Germans in India, whether short-term visitors or longer term residents, perpetuated. Many travelogues devoted positive attention to the Indian landscape, although descriptions of cityscapes often contained negative language focusing upon poverty and disease. Heathen and heathenism became part of the everyday discourse of nineteenth-century missionaries. The discourse of the German missionaries in their numerous publications about India rejected and even ridiculed Hinduism and Islam.

in The Germans in India
Panikos Panayi

Ahmednagar became the most enduring and emblematic camp in India during the Great War, and also held the largest number of prisoners. Despite the tiny numbers of Germans in India compared with the larger communities in other parts of the Empire, internment camps would emerge there as part of an imperial system of incarceration. The largely integrated German communities of Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa faced official and unofficial Germanophobia which gripped the British Empire. Despite the violent nationalism created by the First World War, Christian brotherhood ultimately survived in India. Most male members of the German community in India in 1914 experienced internment, although its nature remained humane. The Foreigners Ordinances and the Trading with the Enemy laws dealt with German firms in India. Following the legislation against enemy businesses, the Basel Trading Company required its directors of German origin to resign and then face internment.

in The Germans in India
Panikos Panayi

The events of the First World War brought to an end a continuous presence of Germans in India dating back at least as far as Ziegenbalg. Walter Leifer's pioneering volumes on the relationship between Germans and India does not regard the end of the First World War as a caesura. The German activity which had characterised the pre-War years also re-emerged. The German missionaries who moved to India formed part of broader missionary networks which incorporated other parts of the world. The events of the First World War would mean that German globalisation came crashing down, especially with the successes of the British Empire, a process which involved the elimination German diasporas. The Germans employed by the Basel Mission in India do not only live in the British Empire but also form part of Swiss imperialism.

in The Germans in India
Panikos Panayi

The Germans in India need contextualisation against both more general nineteenth-century emigration of Germans and the consequent development of German settlements throughout the world. The experiences of J. Maue point to the two areas of the history of the Germans in India which have left the largest footprints: the experiences of German missionaries; and interment during the First World War. Europeans from several countries played a role in its establishment with help from a variety of European states. While historians have devoted relatively little attention to the German missionaries in India, scholars and scientists have attracted significant consideration. Indra Sengupta has traced the development of the academic fascination of Germans with India back to the eighteenth century. Despite the growth of indology, many German scholars solely relied upon manuscripts in German libraries. Stefan Manz devoted particular attention to businessmen, industrialists and educators in his microstudy of the Germans in Glasgow.

in The Germans in India
Abstract only
Panikos Panayi

The narratives of the spiritual awakening, training and the passage to India provide various parts of the process which brought Germans to their new place of work and residence. Ships of the East India Company played a large role in transporting people and goods to India, although later in the nineteenth century new companies emerged including the British India Steam Navigation Company. Structural factors as well as networks played a central role in the elite migrations which took place from Germany to India in the century before the First World War. Scholars of the German diaspora have adapted the concept of network migration, even though they may not have done so in an overt fashion. The highly educated elites covered here produced their own ego documents which allow us to establish the deeply personal nature of each decision to undertake intercontinental migration.

in The Germans in India
Abstract only
Panikos Panayi

The journey to India and the initial move towards the first place of settlement meant the beginning of an itinerant life for missionaries and scholars. The arrival of railways made travelling within India easier and quicker. The greatest problem facing the Germans who travelled to nineteenth-century India was the environment. Despite the problems encountered upon first arriving in India, especially by the missionaries, the various elite German groups made attempts to reconstruct the type of housing in which they had resided in Europe. The type of work which the missionaries carried out divides into a series of categories, broadly defined as preaching, administrating, teaching, healing, researching and providing industrial work. Some missionaries spent most of their lives in India, where they died, often prematurely, as a result of the contraction of a tropical disease.

in The Germans in India
Abstract only
Panikos Panayi

By the beginning of the twentieth century, something resembling a German community had actually evolved in Bombay, as several commentators noted. Whatever interaction the Germans in India may have had with wider European society, it seems clear that a distinct secular German community had evolved and become politicised by the outbreak of the First World War. Children remained at the centre of the German missionary families, whether or not they followed in the footsteps of their parents, as in the case of British children, whether or not they had missionary parents. While relationships between the Basel missionaries and other Europeans operated upon an equal footing, interaction with Indians partially worked on the basis of a racial hierarchy, with Germans at the top. Within the emerging religious communities of mixed ethnicity, German identity survived.

in The Germans in India