German Argentines

German Argentines (German: Deutschargentinier, Spanish: germano-argentinos) are Argentines of German ancestry as well as German citizens living in Argentina. They are descendants of Germans who immigrated to Argentina from Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Some German Argentines originally settled in Brazil, then later immigrated to Argentina. Although Germany as a political entity was founded in 1871, the German language and culture have traditionally been more important than the country of origin, as the basis of the ethnic and national consciousness of Germans. Today, German Argentines make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in Argentina, with over two million citizens of Volga German descent alone.[1]

German Argentines
  • Deutschargentinier
  • germano-argentinos
XXXIV Fiesta Nacional del Inmigrante - desfile - colectividad alemana.JPG
German Argentines during the Immigrant's Festival in Oberá, Misiones.
Total population
More than
2 million

(descendants of German citizens: 1 million)

(descendants of Volga Germans: more than 2 million)
Regions with significant populations
Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province, Entre Ríos, La Pampa Province, Río Negro Province, Misiones, Chaco, Santa Fe, Neuquén.
Languages
Rioplatense Spanish · German and German dialects (notably Hunsrik and Paraná-Wolga-Deutsch)
Religion
Roman Catholicism (majority) · Protestantism (minority) (Lutheranism · Evangelicalism)  ·

German Argentines have founded German schools such as the Hölters Schule and German-language newspapers such as the Argentinisches Tageblatt ("Argentine Daily").[2] German descendants even make up the majority of the population in several localities in the interior of the country.

German immigration to ArgentinaEdit

 
Queen of the German Collectivity in the Fiesta Nacional del Inmigrante in Oberá, Misiones.

Between 1885 and World War I the population of Argentina doubled due to an influx of millions of European immigrants during the Great European immigration wave to the country. German communities developed in some specific provinces, such as in the center and South of Buenos Aires Province (around towns such as Coronel Suárez, Olavarría, Tornquist, etc.), in Entre Ríos Province, in the East of La Pampa Province, in Misiones Province, in Córdoba Province, in some localities of the Chaco Province, etc. Meanwhile, the urban German population settled in the city of Buenos Aires also developed their own German schools, hospitals, shops, theaters, sports clubs, and banks. Many of those who immigrated directly from Germany and settled in cities were assimilated into the upper-middle class of Buenos Aires, but maintained strong ties to German culture, providing their children with a German education so they would not be at a disadvantage if they returned to Germany.

 
Percentage of immigrants from the German Empire within Argentina's divisions, according to the 1914 Argentine census. Most of the Germans who arrived in Argentina did so from lands that were outside the German borders, and therefore are not represented on this map.

German immigration to Argentina occurred during five main time periods: pre–1870, 1870–1914, 1918–1933, 1933–1940 and post–1945.[citation needed] In the first period numbers were generally low; of note are the colonias alemanas, first founded in the province of Buenos Aires in 1827. During the second period, Argentina experienced a boom in immigration due to massive economic expansion in the port of Buenos Aires and the wheat and beef producing Pampas. German immigrants began establishing themselves and developing newspapers, schools, and social clubs. A new, Germanic-Argentine identity gradually developed among the population.

 
The former Münich Beer Hall, now the Municipal Museums Administration, Buenos Aires.

During the third period, after a pause due to World War I, immigration to Argentina resumed and Germans came in their largest numbers. This can be attributed to increased immigration restrictions in the United States and Brazil as well as the deteriorating conditions in post-World War I Europe. The two largest years of German immigration to Argentina were 1923 and 1924, with approximately 10,000 each year. This period is of particular interest because the older groups of German speakers began to feel a sense of cultural crisis due to the assimilation policies of the Argentine state, while the newcomers gave renewed life to German cultural institutions and created new ones. Between 1905 and 1933, the number of German schools rose from 59 to 176. Though found throughout Argentina, over 80% of these were located in Buenos Aires Province, Misiones, or Entre Ríos in 1933. Further, attendance at German schools rose from 3,300 in 1905 to 12,900 in 1933.

During the penultimate period, from 1933 to 1940, Argentina experienced another surge in German immigration. The majority were Jews from Germany although German opponents of Nazism also arrived. Half of the 45,000 German speakers who immigrated at this time settled in the city of Buenos Aires. They comprised 28% of total immigration to the country, as mass migration to Argentina was slowing. Two studies have been done on these arrivals' impact on the newspaper Das Argentinische Tageblatt and how it was used by anti-Nazi immigrants to contribute to the debate about fascism.[citation needed]

The final period of German immigration to Argentina occurred between 1946 and 1950, when President Juan Perón ordered the creation of a ratline for prominent Nazis, collaborators and other fascists from Europe. During this period, Argentine diplomats and intelligence officers, on Perón's instructions, favored the settlement of former German political leaders.

The country received 12,000 immigrants from Germany between 1946 and 1952, a smaller number than in previous periods. This meant that the concepts of acculturation and linguistic and cultural persistence were not dealt with in the same way. The group did not congregate as tightly and participated more in general culture. Further, due to Anti-German sentiment that followed World War II, the pre-existing process of assimilation was not met with resistance by the new arrivals.[3]

Volga German immigration to ArgentinaEdit

 
Percentage of people born in the Russian Empire (1914 Argentine census)
Flags of Argentina, Buenos Aires Province and Germany in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church in San José, Coronel Suárez Partido, Argentina
San Miguel Arcángel, Buenos Aires Province. Both towns are two examples of Volga German colonization in the interior of Buenos Aires Province. Nowadays, both are still almost entirely populated by their remnant descendants who did not migrate to surrounding cities.
 
German Argentines from Crespo, Entre Ríos
 
Entrance to Colonia Hinojo
 
Santa Teresa Elementary and High School

Upon the invitation of Catherine the Great, 30,000 Germans immigrated to the Volga valley of Russia to establish 104 German villages from 1764 to 1767. A century after the first Germans had settled in the Volga region, Russia passed legislation that revoked many of the privileges promised to them by Catherine the Great. The sentiment in Russia became decidedly anti-German. Russia first made changes to the German local government. In 1874, a new military law decreed that all male Russian subjects, when they reached the age of 20, were eligible to serve in the military for 6 years. For the German colonists, this law represented a breach of faith. In the 1880s the Russian government began a subtle attack on the German schools.

Just when Russia was abridging the privileges granted to the Germans in an earlier era, several nations in the Americas were attempting to attract settlers by offering inducements reminiscent of those of Catherine the Great. Soon after the military service bill became law, both Protestant and Catholic Volga Germans gathered and chose delegations to journey across the Atlantic Ocean to examine settlement conditions in countries like the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Canada.

Many Catholic Volga Germans chose South America as their new homeland because the official religion in Brazil and Argentina was Roman Catholic. The ratio of Catholic to Protestant Volga Germans in South America was 7 to 1. The opposite was true in Russia, Protestant Volga Germans outnumbered Catholics by about 2 to 1. So despite the numerous stories told of Volga German immigrants being diverted to South America against their will or being sent there because they were denied entry to the US due to health reasons, Brazil and Argentina were the planned destination of many Catholic Volga German immigrants.

Under the guidance of Andreas Basgall, Volga Germans started to relocate to Argentina from Brazil in December 1877, and in January 1878 they founded the first Volga German Colony Hinojo, in the province of Buenos Aires.

Some large groups of Volga Germans on ships destined for Brazil were diverted to Argentina. These people settled in Colonia General Alvear in the province of Entre Ríos, which was made up of 6 Volga German villages. Additional Volga Germans, some from Brazil and others directly from Russia, arrived in Argentina over the next few years. Many other Volga Germans settled in colonies around the city of Coronel Suárez, in Buenos Aires Province.

The first census of the Volga Germans in Argentina was performed on March 31, 1881, in "Colonia General Alvear", Entre Rios Province. A complete census index of all the villages within the colony villages can be found here [1]. This colony was composed of 6 villages: Asunción (Spatzenkutter), Concepción (Valle María), San José (Brasilera), Agricultores (Protestante), San Francisco (Pfeiffer), and Salto (Koeller). This census provides the date of arrival in the Colony (24 groups between 22 and 01-1878 and 24-04-1880), name, nationality, marital status, age and literacy. Five of six villages were Catholic. The single Lutheran village was Agricultores (Protestante or Protestantendorf).

From both starting points of Colonia General Alvear and of Colonia Hinojo they spread in all directions. There are still fifteen villages in Entre Ríos populated by descendants of the original settlers, twelve of them are of Catholic origin, and the remaining three, Protestant. Currently, in Entre Ríos Province, most habitantes of Volga German descent live in towns like Crespo, Ramírez, Urdinarrain, Galarza, and Maciá where they make up the majority of the population. Expansion from Colonia Hinojo went westwards comprising South of Buenos Aires Province and East of La Pampa Province; from there they reached Córdoba Province and Chaco Province. In La Pampa Province, Catholic settlers arrived from the South of Buenos Aires Province and Protestants did it from Entre Ríos Province. The former founded Santa María Colony and Santa Teresa Colony, the latter Guatraché, General San Martín, and Alpachiri (source: "Los Alemanes del Volga" 1977 Victor Popp - Nicolás Dening).

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina was a liberal country with a very high GDP per capita. Despite the fact that, over the decades, the opposing ideology penetrated the country (although it never went that far), the generation born in the Volga region had long passed away peacefully in Argentina. For that reason, upon arriving in the country, the Volga German families were very happy even though they had to begin from scratch, because they were finally living in freedom. In contrast to their Volga German countrymen in Russia, they would never be exiled, they did not experience famines like the Soviet famine of 1930–1933 in the Volga region nor any mass shootings and deportation as under Stalin's regime. Finally, they were never dispossessed, they kept their land and their animals – something they remain proud of to this day. The immigration of Germans from Russia to Argentina kept a steady pace until the beginning of World War I. Crespo in Entre Ríos Province and Coronel Suárez in Buenos Aires Province became the most outstanding centers of colonization, as in both cities people of Volga German descent make up the majority of the population. At present, the descendants of these people live disseminated all over Argentina. The numerous progeny of the founders and the division and distribution of their properties into smaller lots forced many of them to abandon the original colonization sites and find new occupations, frequently in towns or cities near the original colonies.

The fact that Argentina appears among the most important grain producers of the world is, in part, the responsibility of its citizens of Volga German origin.

Today the population of Volga German descent alone is well over 2 million in Argentina.

Historical ties between Argentina and GermanyEdit

Argentina and Germany had close ties to each other since the first wave of German immigration to Argentina. A flourishing relationship developed between Germany and Argentina as early as the German Unification, with Germany eventually coming to hold a privileged position in the Argentine economy. Later on, Argentina maintained a strong economic relationship with both Imperial Germany and the British Empire, supporting both their wartime economies with supply shipments during World War I.[citation needed]

The military connection between Argentina and Prussia has often been emphasized, and sympathy for Germany among the general staff in Buenos Aires contributed to establishing Argentina's policy of neutrality during the First and most of Second World Wars. Great Britain and the United States became aware of the threat that some of Argentina's German-speakers, which were a quarter-million strong, acted as the Reich's agent. Many Argentines voiced open support for Nazi Germany.[citation needed]

After World War II, under Juan Perón's administration, Argentina participated in establishing and facilitating secret escape routes out of Germany to South America for ex-SS officials.[4] Former Nazi officials emigrated to United States, Russia and Argentina, among others, in order to prevent prosecution. Some of them lived in Argentina under their real names, but others clandestinely obtained new identities. Some well-known Nazis who emigrated to Argentina are Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, doctors Josef Mengele and Aribert Heim, Commander Erich Priebke, Commandant Eduard Roschmann and General Lieutenant Ludolf von Alvensleben.

German impact on culture in ArgentinaEdit

FoodEdit

The influence of German culture has also influenced Argentine cuisine; the "Achtzig Schlag" cake, which was translated as Torta Ochenta Golpes in the country, can be found in some bakeries. In addition, dishes like chucrut (sauerkraut) and many different kinds of sausage-like bratwurst and others have also made it into mainstream Argentine cuisine.

LanguageEdit

Today, most German Argentines do not speak German at home because of the decline of the language; however, some estimates suggest that 1.8 million Argentines of non-German descent have some knowledge of German.[5] It is a language that can be heard all over the country, and this is partly maintained by the continued existence of German-speaking Argentines and some business connections. It is currently the fifth most spoken language in Argentina.

German colonies in ArgentinaEdit

This is not an exhaustive list.

Buenos Aires ProvinceEdit

  • Colonia Hinojo (5 January 1878) - originally called Colonia Santa María and called "Kamenka" by the colonists (named after a Volga German village in Russia). It is situated in Olavarría Partido.
  • Colonia Monte La Plata (1906) - mostly settled by Black Sea Germans.
  • Colonia Nievas (1885) - called Hölzel by the colonists.
  • Colonia San Miguel (3 October 1881) - called Dehler by settlers.
  • Colonia Santa Rosa (1899).
  • Colonia San Miguel Arcangel (1903).
  • Coronel Suárez (1883).
  • San José (1887) - called Dehler by the colonists and situated in Coronel Suárez Partido.
  • Santa Trinidad (1887) - called Hildmann by the colonists and situated in Coronel Suárez Partido.
  • Santa María (1887) - called Kamenka by the colonists and situated in Coronel Suárez Partido.
  • Sierra de La Ventana (1908)
  • Stroeder
  • Tornquist (1883)
  • Villa Gesell (1931)
  • Verónica

Entre Ríos ProvinceEdit

Aldea Valle María (Mariental)
Aldea Spatzenkutter
Aldea Salto (Kehler) or Santa Cruz
Aldea San Francisco (Pfeiffer)
Aldea Protestante
  • Aldea Brasilera (1879)
  • Aldea María Luisa (1883)
  • Aldea San Juan (1889)
  • Aldea San Antonio (1889)
  • Aldea Santa Celia (1889)
  • Aldea San Miguel (1899)
  • Aldea Santa Anita (1900)
  • Aldea San Isidro (1921)
  • Villa Paranacito (1906)

Córdoba ProvinceEdit

La Pampa ProvinceEdit

Chaco ProvinceEdit

Santa Fe ProvinceEdit

  • Colonia Esperanza (Swiss German)
  • Colonia San Carlos (Swiss German)
  • Colonia San Jerónimo/San Jerónimo Norte (Swiss German)
  • Gödeken

Formosa ProvinceEdit

Neuquén ProvinceEdit

Río Negro ProvinceEdit

Chubut ProvinceEdit

Misiones ProvinceEdit

Corrientes ProvinceEdit

  • Colonia Liebig's (along with Polish and Ukrainian immigrants)
  • Colonia Progreso

QuilmesEdit

Cervecería y maltería or Quilmes Beer Company is an Argentine Brewery founded in 1888 in Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province, by Otto Bemberg, a German immigrant. His great-granddaughter María Luisa Bemberg took over the company until she died in 1995 and her son, Carlos Miguens Bemberg was the director from 1989 until his resignation on May 17, 2006.

San Carlos de BarilocheEdit

 
Architecture of San Carlos de Bariloche.

Like many cities settled by Germans, its development was greatly influenced by them and today the city has many examples of an architectural style brought by German, Swiss and Austrian immigrants. It was named after Carlos Weiderhold, a German Chilean from the city of Osorno who settled in the region, and the city has become one of Argentina's top tourist destinations.

FiguresEdit

Yearly German immigration to Argentina from 1919 to 1932[6]
Year German immigrants Total immigrants % German immigrants
1919 1,992 41,299 4.8%
1920 4,798 87,032 5.5%
1921 4,113 98,086 4.2%
1922 6,514 129,263 5%
1923 10,138 195,063 5.2%
1924 10,238 159,939 6.4%
1925 4,933 125,366 2.9%
1926 5,112 135,011 3.8%
1927 5,165 161,548 3.4%
1928 4,165 129,047 3.2%
1929 4,581 140,086 3.3%
1930 5,171 135,403 3.8%
1931 3,045 64,922 4.7%
1932 2,089 37,626 5.5%
Total 72,054 1,639,691 4.4%

EducationEdit

German schools:[7]

Historic German schools:[8]

Famous German ArgentinesEdit

This is not an exhaustive list.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Centro Argentino Cultural Wolgadeutsche Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Argentinisches Tageblatt. "Página Oficial" (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  3. ^ Lannes, Xavier (1954). "Les migrations internationales". Population. 9 (2): 325–332. doi:10.2307/1525040. JSTOR 1525040. Le nombre total des émigrants allemands outre-mer peut être évalué ainsi, pour la période 1946-1952, à 300.000 environ. (Argentine : 12.000).
  4. ^ Uki Goñi (2002): The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Perón's Argentina Archived 2008-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. New York; London: Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-581-6 (hardcover); ISBN 1-86207-552-2 (paperback, 2003)
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). www.sippo.ch. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Adam, Thomas; Kaufman, Will (2005). Germany and the Americas: culture, politics, and history. ISBN 9781851096282. page 30.
  7. ^ "Bundesverwaltungsamt - Südamerika - Schulen in". Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  8. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archive). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 16-18/51.

BibliographyEdit

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External linksEdit