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‘They Handle Negroes Just Like Us’: German Colonialism in Cameroon in the Eyes of Poles (1885–1914)

  • Jawad Daheur (a1)

Abstract

This paper explores the Polish opinion about German colonialism in Africa in connection with the perception of Prussian rule ‘at home’. In late Imperial Germany, Prussian Poles tended to look at the German ventures in Africa with a very critical eye. Their interest in Cameroonian issues was due to the fact that both Poles and Cameroonians were facing the same difficulties at the same time, namely German attempts to eliminate local languages in schools and to take control of the lands. By establishing a link between Polish and Cameroonian suffering, Polish patriots wanted to make Poles aware of their political, economic and cultural subjection within a global context. In a certain way, this counter-hegemonic narration was supposed to deprovincialise the ‘Polish issue’ and make it part of the broader struggle against German imperial power. The Poles, however, did not support independence for Cameroon. They used the Cameroonian issues mainly polemically in order to advance their own cause in imperial Germany.

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