Panel Discussion on German Migration to Suriname

“Nachrichten von Surinam: Germans in a Dutch Colony” will focus on German settlers in Suriname. In a panel discussion, Noraly Beyer, Alex van Stipriaan, and Carl Haarnack will speak about German influences in Suriname. The lecture and panel discussion will be held on Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 4:30pm, at the Tropenmuseum Library. The museum is located at Linnaeusstraat 2, in Amsterdam (Netherlands).

The discussion will be in Dutch. Refreshments will follow. Admission is free, but to ensure a space, interested parties should register before February 14 at (or by telephone at 020 6191832).

Introduction: Suriname joined the Treaty of Breda in 1667. Until then, it was the French, the British and the Dutch who alternately called the shots. Besides bringing enough workers (mainly African slaves), a great challenge was to attract sufficient European settlers. At the end of the 18th century, the colony had a population of about 50,000 inhabitants, of which only 3000 were white Europeans. A significant part of this small population was of German origin. It is logical that these Germans left their mark in Suriname throughout the centuries. Among them were missionaries, doctors, merchants, plantation managers, and many soldiers. There are estates in Suriname with names like Berlin, Halle in Saxony, Altona, Brunswick, Hamburg, Hildesheim Burg, and Clemens, to name a few. Many Surinamese surnames are of German origin; Baumgartner, Bender, Heilbronn, Hering, Karg, Kuhn, Krieger, Menke, Neuss, Petzoldt, Stuger, Telting, and Vogt are just random examples. But under what circumstances did the Germans go to Suriname? Who were these people? What motivated them to embark on this voyage?

Join Noraly Beyer, Carl Haarnack, and Alex van Stipriaan to find out more about German migration to this Caribbean/South American country.

Noraly Beyer is an editor and presenter of Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. Until 2008, she was the host of NOS for 23 years.

Carl Haarnack studied political science at the University of Amsterdam. His doctoral research focused on the history of Germans in Suriname between 1650 and 1900. He is also founder of Buku-Surinamica Bibliotheca, a collection of 18th-and 19th-century books and prints that center on Suriname. He also publishes regularly on the history of Suriname. He is editor of the monthly journal Parbode. Haarnack is also one of the authors of Black is Beautiful, Rubens to Dumas (2008).

Alex van Stipriaan is a curator and cultural historian of Latin America and the Caribbean at the Tropenmuseum.  He is also professor of Caribbean history at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

For more information (in Dutch), see

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