German influence on Boer-Afrikaner people



After in the first post of these series we had explain the influence of French Huguenot people in the Boer-Afrikaner culture in this post we will explain the influence of another people that influenced a lot the Boer-Afrikaner people, the German people. Germany was not a colonial power in the XVII or in the XVIII centuries. In fact the country that is now the most powerful of Europe was divided is kingdoms, duchies under the powerful of several kings, principes and religious orders. Several wars destroyed parts of the country and the society was still a feudal society far of the advanced society existing in the Netherlands dominated by rich businessmen and with a Colonial Empire that in 1651 founded the Cape Colony by Jan Van Riebeeck. The Cape Colony was developed but the Netherlands was not a very populous country and many of the employees of the Dutch Company of East Indies were foreigners specially Germans. Some of those German workers settle in the Cape Colony in hope to get a better live since most of them were poor. Some settle in the Cape and others go for the northeast region of the Cape Colony close to the Orange River.

In the XVIII century German immigration to Cape was the largest even bigger than the Dutch. The German immigrants were the only allowed to build a church not Dutch Reformed, in the Cape Colony, a Lutheran Church in Cape Town. In the XVIII century Germans as other people like the French Huguenot admix with Dutch and that created the Afrikaner culture and the Afrikaner Volk. With the Cape Colony under British control some of the people that lived in the eastern part of the colony crossed the Great Karoo to the Oranje Vry  Staat and after the Transvaal regions. Many of those Boers had German ancestry and they influenced the accent of the Afrikaans that is speaking in the regions of the Transvaal and Vry Staat. Still for a people that makes around 25% to 30% or even more of the Boer-Afrikaners genetics the Germans had a smaller influence in the culture that what was expected for such a number immigrants. A possible explanation for that is the fact that the majority of the German immigrants to South Africa were of the North-West region of the country were the language and accent is more close to Dutch, the old Low German language. Some of the most common Afrikaner surnames are of German origin such as Pretorius, Botha, Kruger (Krüger), Muller (Müller), Meyer, Potgieter, Schoeman (Schuman) or Liebenberg. Because of the similarity of the language some of these names might also be of people with origin because some of these surnames are common to the two countries. Some of the most famous Boer-Afrikaners have German ancestry as Paul Kruger, Andries Pretorius, Gerd Maritz, Francis William Reitz, Louis Botha, Breyten Breytenbach, Jim Coetzee and Roland Schoeman. In South Africa we could see a big amount of German names, probably 500 or more but just a few of them are really common names being most of them relatively rare names. The reason because that happen is that many German immigrants cannot leave many descendents because they were in the majority poor with little recourses which could explain the fact of existing much more German surnames than French but with the French surnames being more common.

In 1915 with the annexation of the Deutsch Süd West Afrika by the South African troops the territory, which is now Namibia, became under South African administration and some German Namibians go to South Africa and by marriage with Afrikaners became also part of the Boer-Afrikaner people increasing even more the German influence in the Boer-Afrikaner people.

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