Germany and Mexico between the First World war and the big depression, 1918-1933

During the Porfiriato, for the German empire Mexico had become a zone fundamental of investment in the assembly of its Latin-American interests, in supplier of raw materials and in market of industrial consumption. Its loans contributed to finance the New Mexican railroads, their ships transported diverse products to Mexico and the German banks established in that country offered credits to the Mexican economy.1 Between 1900 and 1910, the trades Mexican-German developed positively, and Mexico had the fourth place in the scale of Latin-American countries economically more important for Germany in this epoch.2

Although there was no emigration rate in Mexico comparable to that of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, some of the relatively few Germans exerted a lasting influence on the commercial and cultural fields: The German School was founded in Mexico in 18943 and this institution received grants from the German government.4 In addition, already in 1898 the Deutsche Zeitung von Mexiko, a newspaper of great importance for the Germans in Latin America was created.5 Commercial houses as Benecke and company developed a good part of the Mexican foreign trade, while others invested in the increasing industry: for example, in the mighty brewing industry (Toluca) from aims of century XIX, and in the plantations of coffee in the southeast of the Country, especially in Chiapas.6 In the new century, large companies in the construction (Holzmann), the electricity (Siemens) or chemistry (Bayer) sectors founded direct representations in Mexico,7 a preferred country for German imperialism in Latin America.

For the Mexico of the Porfiriato, the German Empire was growing importance not only as a source of capital, but also and above all as one of its main markets for export products – particularly coffee – but also raw materials for pharmaceutical industry, sisal and timber. More important than exports was Germany’s role as a provider of technology, mainly machinery.8 Since the late nineteenth century, the German Empire acquired a growing role as a powerful counterweight in economics and politics of the porfiriato front wing British and American influence. In addition, the regime of President Diaz hired several academics for college education, and projected further the hiring of one of the famous military missions in Germany, although this project was not carried out.9

With the start of the Revolution of 1910, German diplomacy developed an intense activity in Mexico, to the degree to be considered a “secret war” that culminated in the notorious “Zimmerman telegram” to Carranza. The strategy of the Kaiser and his ministers sought to develop in secret the existing tensions between Mexico and the United States, but without causing problems for Germany and maintaining the impression of being a friend of all, neutral and unrelated to existing conflicts.10 At the same time, until 1917 have steadily increased clandestine activities of espionage and sabotage against the United States by German agents in Mexico. Earlier that year the Germans returned to their aggressive attitude in the war with submarines, and ignoring the dire consequences of their actions, the Berlin government sent the fatal telegram in which they offered a military alliance against the United States.

As we know, this telegram – together with other events- propitiated the American entry in the First World War. Later Germany intensified in Mexico his clandestine actions against the government of the United States, but without a lot of success. Although the administration of the president Carranza did not accept the offer of Zimmermann, it used the contacts with Germany in order to feign political independence.

The war came to put final point to an epoch in which the German – Mexican economic relations were consolidated: if from the beginning of conflagration both the commerce and the linkage for communications were obstructed by the marine blockade of the Allied Forces, the finally above-mentioned commercial flows they remained interrupted in a definitive way. On the other hand, with the putting in practice of the black lists the economic German interests were submitted to strong pressures, since Mexico was the Latin-American country with more German companies in the black list.

The Mexican-German relations would change radically after 1918, with the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles and the revolutionary events in the internal politics of both countries, not discounted the crisis in the postwar period and changes in international markets. For both Mexico and Germany for the World War I had a radical but, yes, lasting effect on the political front exterior and interior. Both companies had to spend an era of profound social and political crisis, accompanied by riots that affected heavily on many aspects of public life and were confronted with a pénétration pacifique of the United States.

How were configured the relations between Germany and Mexico in the period running from the end of the war in 1918 to the global economic crisis that lasted until 1933, a period in which became evident for the first time several changes of a lasting nature? What role did the commercial exchange play for both countries? Was able the Reich, weakened in the sector of capitals, to resume the investments of the prewar period? Given the changes in power and affiliation common to the League of Nations: were the political relations put on a new base? What function was exercised by the Mexicans of German origin and the resident Germans of the Reich in Mexico, respectively, as for the bilateral relations? To what extent were effective initiatives in cultural policy and of press for German-Mexican relations?

People searching for answers to these questions in the field of historiography will be disappointed. Of course, there are valuable studies on the history of German-Mexican relations, including those of Bridget von Mentz Jürgen Müller and Leon Bieber.11 However, these studies have selected a specific period as an object of research, usually the years before 1914 or after 1933. Only in exceptional cases took into special account the critical transitional phase between 1918 and 1933,12 as well as issues critical to the German-Mexican relations as the economy, diplomacy, trade, culture and politics of the press have not been addressed systematically, and therefore in this article are investigated for the first time the German-Mexican relations between 1918 and 1933.

To analyze the fields mentioned above in an appropriate manner within the overall framework of bilateral relations, is crucial to get rid of “close” official point of view offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and introduce into the analysis unofficial contacts generated below the government level and intensified rapidly thanks to technological innovations in transportation and communications. It will thus be possible to perceive players who had already emerged before the war and influenced on a permanent basis in the relations between the two nations.

This there join the German interests created in the economy, which associations had like members to banks, shipping companies, companies of construction, insurance companies, industries of exportation and numerous commercial houses of importance. Along with the strictly commercial purposes, they also had interference in activities of public nature, in the cultivation of informal relations and, principally, the political lobbying in Berlin and Mexico City.13 The associations of German residents in Mexico and Mexicans of German descent (whom from now on we will call Auslandsdeutsche) came to exert important functions as an intermediary, especially in the field of culture and social life. These corporations have more or less close contacts with various organizations in Germany, including the Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland (VDA) [Club for GERMAN abroad] and the Secretariat of the German Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (Gelateino). The Protestant church exerted also a big influence, often financing German-speaking schools and providing religious that worked as teachers.

At the end of the war contacts of these non-official actors were taken into great consideration in Germany, since the diplomatic offensive state turned out to be in fact paralyzed by the obligations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, which did impossible to resume diplomatic activity levels achieved during the period before 1914. In Mexico these groups also played an important role in regard to their good contacts with the elites of the country. Nevertheless, to analyze the complex relations and influences in this field it is suitable to apply the theorem political-scientist of the transnational politics. Although the transnational relations take place below the governmental level, have an impact on this and constitute a substantial part of the foreign relations in general.14 The starting point is the thesis that German-Mexican relations between 1918 and 1933 were dominated mainly by groups of the civil society: the transnational actors.

The next period to investigate will be divided into three distinct phases: a “resumption” of 1918/19 to 1924/25, a period of contacts intensification between 1925 and 1929/30, and a phase from 1930, overshadowed by the global economic crisis. Within this fragmentation the analysis will be oriented towards the following key points: economy, diplomatic relations, role of the Auslandsdeutsche, political press and cultural order. The study relies first on German source records, primarily the Political Files of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PAAA) and the Federal Files (BA); were also consulted numerous publications, books, newspapers and magazines that allow to obtain conclusions on the mutual perception.

Stagnation and gradual rebuilding of relations, 1918/19-1924

The neutrality of Mexico did not remain invulnerable to the effects of war lived in faraway Europe. Of particular concern, since the Mexican point of view, was the political and economic boom reached by the United States in Latin America, due to lack of competition in Europe. For Germany, World War I also marked a profound economic stagnation, which continued determining their development years after they signed peace. Despite that henceforth Germany remained as part of the center of the industrialized world-wide economy, the hyperinflation, but mainly the economic dispositions and indemnifications of the Treaty of Versailles –that implied the loss of the merchant fleet and large amounts of foreign capital, as well as paying large sums for repairs- they created the basic conditions for the limited German outer economy, and especially in its commitment outside Europe.15

Despite these losses and limitations, the perspective of the German economy in Latin America after 1918 was not too bad in comparison. Many commercial houses of the Auslandsdeutsche, direct representations and banks had managed to surpass the effects of the war in spite of the economic offensive of the allies, recovery that finally had to be attributed to the good relations with the country’s economic elite. Despite the effects of blacklists, at the end of the war the state of German investment remained healthy. Due to the fall of the investments in Brazil, Mexico occupied the third place as destiny of German’s capital in Latin America, and this capital expenditure remained as a key factor in the German-Mexican relations.16

It should be noted, however, that during the war and after it, there was modified the set of German investments. This change was motivated mainly by the seizure and sale of foreign funds made by the German government, which should provide resources to finance the purchase of nourishing products and raw materials.17 The request of new loans on the part of the Mexican government was impossible because of the scarcity of capital in Germany in the twenties; consequently, the United States became the most important supplier of capitals for that country.18

But, what happened with the old loans that were under the Mexican moratorium of 1914, decreed because of the revolutionary conflict? The total sum of these investments was 70 million pesos. In this case the German government was forced to align itself with the United States, whose government promoted in 1918 the creation of the International Committee of Bankers in Mexico under the leadership of Thomas Lamont, manager of JP Morgan Bank. At the beginning of the 1920’s a German representative was tolerated in the above mentioned committee, and with it the German creditors became a part of the agreement “De la Huerta-Lamont” of 1922.

Next to the loss, or at least the insecurity of the indirect investments, was also counted on losses in the sector of direct investments. In some cases these were of superficial character, but only in certain circumstances, and whenever the German companies became Mexican by the legal route and changed their name. The reasons would be different based on each case, although the main reason was the fear to the loss of the capital by the seizure of the allies, and frequently to avoid the payment of debts and repairs on the part of the German government. Other reasons for the change of nationality were the limitation of the diplomatic protection by the German government from 1918, the hope to obtain advantages at the time of obtaining capital in the international markets, eluding the German tax law, and the need to react the increasing expropriation measures in Mexico.

Compared with other economic sectors, the German bank branches in Mexico had fewer problems facing the transition from war economy to the one of peace. The survival of these banks was a decisive factor for the resumption of close relations between Germany and Mexico, because thanks to the firm bows with the economic elites and official circles in both nations, as well as their participation in most German investment projects, banks were able to exert great influence as transnational actors. Nevertheless, in these first years of postwar period, by not having acquisitions of governmental loans, the type of more important financial transaction that until now the foreign banks had made, was lost. Next to the German hyperinflation the oscillations in the price of the international currencies and raw materials became extremely concrete; this would determine the results that were going to occur in the businesses.19 It should not be surprising then that due to the shortage of capital the Germans could not incorporate themselves in the increasing Mexican oil industry, dominated by the interests of the United States and Great Britain.

Therefore, the most important focal points for the resumption of economic relations between Germany and Mexico were, along with banks, numerous German-Mexican trade companies. Despite the harmful effects of the blockade of the Allies and the aftermath of the revolutionary wars, a considerable number of such businesses were able to overcome the crisis of war, even when it was virtually impossible to make new investments in this period. In this regard Mexico was an exceptional case, as other Latin American countries, like Argentina, were very attractive to the German capital who sought escape from hyperinflation in those years. The main reason was the great political instability, and basically due to that factor the total German investments in Mexico stagnated after the war.

A target of the foreign policy of the young Weimar Republic (1918-1919) was to secure supplies of raw materials and food. However the loss of the German merchant fleet, which according to article 244 of the Treaty of Versailles was handed over as payment of war reparations, the shipping line Hapag restarted its service to Mexico since 1920. However, this country did not play an important role as supplier of Germany -the opposite of Argentina, for example- and only 0.2 percent of German imports came from this country. Products such as coffee, sisal, rice plants, etc., continued arriving in Germany, but its value was much lower than before the war; Mexican rubber was replaced by imports from Asia, and only oil imports grew sharply this period.20

In the composition of German exports to Mexico there were no major changes, and machinery and paper remained as the most important products, while increasing the value of exports of chemical products. In fact, German exports were recovered quite quickly because of 7 million pesos in 1920 grew to 42 million in 1922, when -according to Mexican statistics- value was higher than in 1913. While the so-called monetary dumping allowed the German businessmen to invest with a Low German Mark, it led to complaints about low-honored methods of investment, but because of unstoppable hyperinflation sales of such goods decreased to 19 million pesos in 1923. Overall trade balance with Mexico was very positive for Germany-i.e. the value of German exports to Mexico was much higher than that of Mexican exports to Germany. These commercial indices allowed that this European country occupied in 1923 the third place in the Mexican imports, surpassing even to the French.

In the field of the later diplomatic relations to 1918, both countries defended the right of international equality and the beginning of an economic system with such characteristic. From the newly created Society of the Nations, the role of Mexico – although in 1919 still he was not a member due to the opposition of England and the United States – was revalued inside the international system, and achieved to the possible extent, a new type of cooperation that took as an axis a policy of solidarity with Germany. In fact, the diplomatic German – Mexican relations in these years have been characterized by the observers as complicated, while they had been under the influence of the relations of both countries with The United States.

Due to the delicate international situation in which Germany was kept after the war, the relations with The United States among 1918 and 1919 played a vital role, since on the one hand the American capitals were needed to reconstruct the economy, and for other one was to the expectation of the U.S. aid in the arduous negotiations realized in Paris with a view to the future peace. As a precondition for the bilateral negotiations, the Government of Woodrow Wilson demanded to withdraw at once Heinrich von Eckhardt, the German minister in Mexico and central coordinator of the sabotage and espionage during the war. Even if Germany fulfilled without delay this demand,21 his hopes concerning the American help were uselessly and the Treaty of Versailles turned out to be a nightmare for the national interests.22 Nonetheless for the German government the relations with The United States were of major relevancy that the supported ones with Mexico, as demonstrates a memorandum from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of October, 1919, which instructs the German representatives in Mexico “… to prevent anything that might arouse mistrust of The United States towards the integrity … of Germany”.23

A proof of this new policy of caution in the relations with Mexico was the recognition of the government of Álvaro Obregón. Immediately after Carranza’s fall, in May, 1920, some German diplomats in Mexico remained disconcerted due to the narrow personal relation, and even of friendship, which remained with the political chief from Coahuila. However, the interim president Adolfo de la Huerta tried to win international recognition by sending a minister to Berlin and the German government did not want to officially receive the appointment so as not to provoke the United States, whose government had refused to recognize Huerta´s regime. In the end the government of Berlin was folded to the attitude of Washington in this so sensible subject and restored the official relations with Mexico only after the Treaties of Bucareli in 1923.24

With cautious diplomatic relations the Auslandsdeutsche were seen by the German public opinion as active props of the exterior politics from the political – economic, cultural point of view and of prestige; even, in the opinion of some enthusiasts, they should have been the informal substitute of the lost colonies. Although it is perceived with some concern nationalist currents among their ranks, here seemed to be the best budgets for a kind of informal influence,25 and thus became the Auslandsdeutsche potential carriers of international relations. According to the interpretation of the time, it was necessary to maintain this empathy with the German language and culture, the so-called nationality of those Auslandsdeustche, and was at the same time and became a group that would serve as an objective to carry out a policy of dissemination of German culture (Deutschtum), involving various German associations in Mexico, principally non-governmental organizations like the aforementioned VDA and representatives of the church, mainly Protestant pastors.26

The number of resident Germans in Latin America, after the First World War, remained subordinated to big changes facing the migratory wave of the Reich, which exceeded with much the quantitative dimension of the 19th century,27 even if towards Mexico – according to German statistics – they were emigrating only near two thousand persons among 1920 and 1923. Though these figures are not exact, they serve to show the trend; nevertheless, when Argentina and Brazil is compared with the enormous emigration with destination, it can turn that in the first case it was a question of a migratory very weak movement.28 This migratory particularity towards Mexico was contradicting the optimistic forecasts of the immediate postwar period,29 for his small numbers owed probably to very diverse motives, among them the news on the continuous political unsteadiness in Mexico.

Even if the emigration did not drive to an essential increase in the numbers of Germans of the Reich and descendants of Germans in Mexico, their numbers and influence was important enough to reverberate in the relations between both nations. The so-called association of citizens of the Reich in Mexico (Verband Deutscher Reichsangehöriger in Mexiko, VDRM), founded in 1915 to unify various organizations of German root in the country, as well as to protect citizens from the effects of the Mexican Revolution and the First World War, remained the most important: in 1920 it had 400 members, equivalent to a ninth part of German citizens that at the time was living in Mexico, and as an association has maintained close relations with the German diplomats and the government in Berlin.

Another important institution in this regard was the German School founded in Mexico-especially that of Mexico City and of Puebla-because between 1913 and 1930 the number of students rose from 381 to 890.30 The school opened in the capital was the largest German School in the whole Latin America, and in 1918 received the privilege of certifying examinations of German high school for the first time.31 Even if there was no a formal commitment with official organisms of the Reich, as it was a private school, there existed an informal and semiofficial route for a possible influence that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior got to support as part of the goals of the German education policy, along with the church and the association of German teachers abroad.

Despite cooperation in education policy between German organizations abroad and representatives of the Reich, did not go unnoticed the radical change that suffered the position of many Germans and Auslandsdeutsche following the outcome of the war and subsequent German revolution. The idealized image of the homeland was inevitably compared with the supposedly brilliant imperial past, for what some claimed its restoration. This monarchic and anti-republican position found in Mexico great diffusion, since the radical groups were dominating inside the VDRM and they influenced the opinion expressed in the newspaper “Deutsche Zeitung von Mexiko”. But to another side of the political spectrum some liberal Germans founded in 1919 the association New Germany (Neue-Deutschland), which worked in favor of the Republic of Weimar. Although this resulted in many confrontations between both groups of Germans, for the exterior policy of the Reich this was an important factor, since the Auslandsdeutsche should exercise, as noted above, the important function of bridge for the promotion of the relations with Mexico.

The great value of cultural measures and policy press, as a complement to traditional instruments in the field of economy and foreign affairs, expressed during the armed conflict in 1914 in the propaganda war to win public opinion in the neutral states. It was offered as well to the German Empire, conquered and limited in its scope by the Treaty of Versailles, a relative freedom in the field of foreign policy. In other words, based on the expansion of cultural propaganda and influence of the local press, was intended to improve the image of Germany in order to pave the way for economic regeneration. Such a strategy was directed to a sector of the high Mexican class, from which impulses arose partly orientated to achieving a solid cultural relation with the Republic of Weimar. With this a modern element of reciprocity was promising to be, more on the other hand it had to come near to the Auslandsdeutsche that were playing a decisive role as intermediaries.

In 1919 this new policy still was impregnated by the war propaganda. At first the principal activity was consisting of the search of influence of the press and the dissemination of German propaganda in Spanish, but gradually it became evident the importance of developing a cultural own policy, which was leaving of side the propaganda methods proper of the times of war. An important base for the new cultural relations was the activity developed by German scientists in Mexico; for example in August, 1918 there was founded in Munich a German – Mexican Society (Deutsch-Mexikanische Gesellschaft)32, and with base on Eduard Georg Seler’s tradition academicians as Walter Lehmann, Konrad Theodor Preuss and Leonhard Schultze-Jena developed an intense work concerning the researches on ancient Mexico.33

In the sector of cultural policy there was a strong competition between France and Germany in relation with Latin America, which naturally included Mexico. In this period Germany lacked the necessary resources to emulate the French, who established in Mexico City a branch of the University of Paris, nevertheless, it was left the resource to send well-known prestige German intellectuals to Mexico, besides establishing contacts between the CROM and the most important labor unions of Germany. On the other hand, the President Obregón demonstrated a will to extend the scientific relations between both countries that were revealed in September, 1923, during the demurrage of a group of German astronomers interested in studying the solar eclipse observed in Mexico. Also, Jose Vasconcelos, Minister of Education, appointed a Marxist economist Alfons Goldschmidt to impart a professorship at the National University34. For all these reasons, in principle did not seem necessary to institutionalize or carrying out a planned expansion of political and cultural relations. But just after the war, the political-cultural relations happened to second term according to the attempts of Germany to influence in the public opinion of Mexico, mainly through the Auslandsdeutsche and by means of a policy of organized press. In it, took an active part the Deutsche Zeitung von Mexiko, spokesman for the Auslandsdeutsche and a defender of a decidedly anti-Republican stance on issues of German domestic politics. The politics of press played a determinant role in the attempt for improving the image of Germany in Mexico and the efforts centered specially in establishing a German News service, since the Mexican press was depending on the international agencies like Havas, United Press and Associated Press. The department of press of the Reich in Berlin strained in the creation of an official service of news, which had to go first of all to the local press, but to give this step it was forced to depend on the initiative of the Auslandsdeutsche. The mechanism consisted of collaborating with the Association of German Citizens and their “Propaganda service”, which proceeded to insert prefabricated articles in the Mexican press. From then took place between 1919 and 1923, a true German news agency-The Agency Düms, so named for its founder Carl-Düms, which received grants from Berlin and was established with a news service called Atlas Service. Though very small in comparison with the big American consortia, the informative service offered news in Spanish on Germany, trying to improve this way the image of the country in Mexico35.

The reconstruction phase of German-Mexican relations after the disruption caused by war, was marked by the effects of this armed conflict and the Treaty of Versailles. The interest in rebuilding diplomatic, and especially in economic exchange, had not been interrupted by the maintenance of large capital investments in Mexico and the importance of the German market for Mexican products. Nevertheless, the big impediments did not pass unnoticed: on one hand Germany had lost investments, whereas for other one the commercial exchange had not evolved as it had foreseen and the hopes put in the Auslandsdeutsche were not fulfilled either. The figures of emigrants to Mexico supported its range, already the anti-republican attitude of many Auslandsdeutsche was representing a real load; in consequence, in spite of all the efforts a phase of stagnation was lived.

The intensification of relations, 1924-1929/30

Among 1924 and 1925 there was in Germany a series of deep changes that meant advances, so much in the areas economically and socially as in the areas of domestic and foreign politics. This improvement was related directly to the overcoming of the inflation across the so called Plan Dawes and the American credits. On the other hand, Mexico remained unstably due to the emergence of the “Cristera war” (1926-1929) that Plutarco Elías Calles’s presidency darkened; nevertheless, down his mandate there was also a policy of social and economic reform that influenced the relations between both countries. We have already pointed out that during this period the German investments in Mexico suffered a sharp decline compared with that seen in other countries in Latin America. According to German statistics, in 1929 there were only 75 million U.S. dollars invested in this country, much less than before the war. Therefore existing investments gained increasing importance in this period and particularly the increased level of investment of Germans living in Mexico, who invested in the food industry to participate in the creation of new breweries. In addition, in this phase of economic recovery some great multinational companies competed successful in the state calls, as in the case of the construction of new power plants or harbor industry. Others, such as SIEMENS or AEG, founded new direct representations in Mexico at the end of the decade of the twenties.

The trade between both countries acquired a new base with the stabilization of the German mark and the suspension of the controls applied to the foreign German trade. It is a fact that for several years Germany ranked second after the United States as largest trading partner, which could be seen especially in the field of Mexican exports; in that sense, it should be noted that it was not oil, but coffee, the main promoter of this positive development, to the degree that the trade balance was continuously positive for Mexico in those years. Moreover, the Mexican oil -of paramount importance until 1924 – lost its dominance in the exchange with Germany because of two central factors: the Mexican government’s fight against American oil companies, and the Venezuelan competition. In this context, the height of the commerce of the coffee still showed to a concrete economic recovery in Germany, since at about the middle of the Twenties an increasing demand by the grain was lived in that country, considered a luxury during the crisis of the postwar period; likewise, also there grew the importance of the lead, the zinc and the henequen.

In imports from Germany dominated products such as machinery, hardware items, chemicals and electronics. Mexico was a particularly important market for German chemical industry, while the electricity sector was not as successful as it had been before the war. The main reason to explain this little success, compared with the previous period, was international competition. The comparison at international level shows that the position of United States -as the first trade partner of Mexico- started consolidated since the end of the twenties. This trend was intensified through the increased demand of Mexican industrial items such as automobile, heading in which U.S. producers enjoyed broad competitive advantages. How were developed bilateral relations? For Reich economic stabilization resulted in an easing in foreign policy, and therefore in Berlin turned to look again toward Latin America to develop new concepts. Through a policy of prestige sought to promote especially the economic relationship, which was due to U.S. dominance in the Western Hemisphere and burdens of trade policy. The review of documents regarding the friendly relations between Mexico and the Reich allows confirming that the objective of President Calles was to obtain a counterbalance against the American influence. From the German perspective, Mexico was an important partner in the international relations, in which Berlin played a smaller role now. Paradoxically, however, between 1923 and 1924 were deployed early tensions between the two countries due to a bilateral issue. The rebellion starring De la Huerta in 1923, the rebels had contacts with Hamburg and organized their war-making materials in that city, and the Mexican official Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, of German descent, was the key person in this illegal business. In the early months of 1924 was even formed a “Mexican government in exile” in Germany, under the direction of an ominous Kart Stetzer. The Minister for Foreign Affairs in Berlin tried to give hunting conspirators, but was not an easy task, but finally Krumm-Heller was arrested in Spain36.

However, this problem did not darken the relations between both countries for a long time; on the contrary, when President Plutarco Elías Calles visited Germany in the summer of 1924, it was the culminating point for the consolidation of the diplomatic relations. From the standpoint of a prestige policy, travel courtesy of German warships and prominent personalities became an important factor during the second half of the twenties. Though the rebels tried to create a negative image of President Calles accusing him of “Bolshevik”, to German public opinion -strongly influenced by the government- the Mexican president was a political indicted of Germanic sympathies and appreciated, therefore the almost enthusiastic reception37. In response -a couple of months later, the first German warship crossing Latin American waters, after the war, anchored in several ports in Mexico as part of this policy of prestige.

However, in Washington this enthusiasm provoked serious criticism: the relationship between the U.S. and President Calles became strained and German kindness shown toward the so-called “enemy” of the Yankees was interpreted as an insult to the northern neighbors. Under the circumstances, German diplomacy considered more important not to provoke the United States, than to strengthen relations with Mexico.

As a minor partner of the United States, Germany participated in committees for compensation for damage to their fellow countrymen during the Mexican Revolution, in which 139 Germans demanded approximately seven million pesos. After an arduous negotiation process they only received half a million in 1930, and the payment of this sum was delayed too. A similar situation arose when the Mexican law of December 1925 was published, on land ownership. Although it was thought to contain the American owners, the German government feared negative repercussions for the German coffee plantations in southern Mexico.

The German-Mexican relations entered a severe crisis during the Cristero War because of pressure from the civil society and transnational actors, since the German Catholic church was part of a global movement in favor of cristeros, while the Catholic laity organized solidarity demonstrations in several German cities and contacted the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty in Mexico. There was an exchange of speakers that resulted in the publication of books and brochures offering its version on the situation in Mexico. It should be clarified, by the way, that this was not the opinion of all German sectors: government, for example, was more interested in maintaining good relations with the administration of Calles and instructed the official press for covering the issue from a favorable point of view to the Mexican government. However, when the demonstrations of the German Catholics intensified, the Mexican diplomacy protested in Berlin and the situation remained tense until 1929.38

An important aspect of bilateral relations at the government level was trade policy. In 1925 the Calles government terminated the trade agreement with Germany in force since 1882, action framed within an overall policy reconfiguration of trade relations with foreign countries, because the Mexican government wanted more special rights in its trade with neighboring countries. For Germany, on the other hand, the clauses that more were favoring him were a not negotiable point, and in this process of tart economic controversies and policies of complicated consensus, both parts sought to prevent them from being a motive of a serious conflict for the German – Mexican relations. Perhaps this is the reason why trade relations continued without a formal treaty until the thirties.39

With the stabilization of the situation in Germany and the normalization of the relations in external politics after 1925, one could calm for the present time the discussion concerning the Auslandsdeutsche in Latin America. This must be attributed to the decline in the numbers of migrants between 1924 and 1929, since in this period only about two thousand Germans immigrated to Mexico.

The German School continued to be a central institution for the efforts to conserve the “Deutschtum”, German character, of the migrants and other Germans living in Mexico.

Although it was incorporated into the national education system in 1927 – considering that the ban on religious education was also valid for this institution-, there were no drastic changes in its operating schedule because the school continued to enjoy good reputation among Mexican elites. Indeed such was the large number of Mexicans who send their children to that school, that the natural socialization between Mexican and German students was seen by policymakers as a German cultural risk to the conservation of “German character” of the school40. For the defenders of the active politics of the Deutschtum it was a question of offsetting the trends of adjustment. However, to their frustration, the gradual loss of the German character at the school could not be contained both in the interests of various groups of Auslandsdeutsche as by the nationalist trend in the Mexican education policy.

Equally sterile were the calculated attempts on the part of official civil servants to influence politically between the Auslandsdeutsche and to persuade them of assuming a more positive attitude to the Republic of Weimar. The monarchical right continued to dominate in the public debate and it was clear that the aim of these groups was to reinstate the monarchy. For example, in matters of educational and cultural policy, the official representatives of the Reich continued to depend on the willingness of organizational and financial cooperation in these circles. In turn, Auslandsdeutsche who sympathized with the German republic founded an association called German Republicans in Mexico in 1926, successor to the New Germany Association. Although comprising only a minority, that organization was able to consolidate itself as an important institution for German democracy. Consequently, in subsequent years were arduous struggles between the reactionary Germans and the Republicans. The setback to the right in the Reich after the change of government in January 1925, and the election of Paul von Hindenburg as its chairman in April, influenced to a great extent so that the situation became problematic for the republicans. The existence of this group showed at least that Mexico still had German supporters of the republican system.

The financial consolidation of the Reich, achieved after the currency stabilization, was left to see especially in promoting cultural relations and the political press with Mexico. The atmosphere for an initiative of cultural policy at that time was very favorable, while the president Calles was very interested in this line of cooperation. The most emblematic symbol of such a policy turnout was perhaps the donation of the so-called “Mexican library” to Germany -compiled by the young geographer Hermann Hagen during a stay in Mexico as an official guest of Calles-, a library that today is part of the Latin-American Institute in Berlin.41

In the second half of the twenties emerged, as a new field of academic relations between Germany and Mexico, the first attempts of a student exchange programme. This unprecedented effort of cultural policy resembled a sort of one-way street, because the first attempt was to send Mexican students to study in Germany42. The trial, however, was not entirely successful and the enrollment of Mexican students in Germany continued to show low numbers, given that French institutions remained as the preferred academic destinations in Europe.

Another aspect of cultural policy was related to the push that was given to the distribution of German books in Mexico. That attempt also had to face several obstacles, including the poor dissemination in Mexico that had knowledge of German, and the high price of books after the stabilization of the German mark43. More successful were the activities undertaken by the Mexican headquarters of the so-called International Publishing, founded in 1922 to distribute books translations of German classics, scientists and outreach.

During these years the successful activity of the Düms Agency in Mexico continued, who did not stop receiving subsidies from the German government. The work of the press agency was important because it served to counterbalance the largest newspaper of Germans living in Mexico, whose content was markedly against the republic, and thanks to that agency the German government had at least a spokesman for the new republican Germany. This press service was upgraded by the end of the decade of the twenty, due to the introduction of new transatlantic communication technologies. Thanks to these technological advances in 1929 the presidents Gil Portes -Mexican former minister in Germany- and Hindenburg exchanged greetings through the new wireless service.

There were even projects to include Mexico in a new aviation inter-service, organized by the Colombian-German airline SCADTA44 . However this project, along with others less spectacular, was doomed to failure by the U.S. opposition, who did not tolerate German activities in their area of special interest.

Between 1924 and 1929 the relationship intensified as a result of economic recovery. In Germany this stage was made possible due to the arrival of U.S. credits, which led, incidentally, to a hitherto increase of Yankee influence in political circles and cultural rights. The German foreign policy took advantage of more commercial space that occurred after the détente in Europe and overseas. The bilateral economic relations, whose foundations were the still existing German investments in Mexico and Mexican interest in the German market, were strengthened. Both sides organized special events parallel to the visits of great personalities, visits that strengthened the traditional friendship between the two countries, a trend evident in the expansion of cultural activities and in the press.

In the shadow of the global crisis, 1930-1933

The relative flowering of German-Mexican relations was short-lived, because the global economic crisis meant an abrupt interruption. The effects of the crisis lived between 1930 and 1933 came to such a degree, which there crumbled both the socioeconomic and political internal balance and the structures in the politics and the external economy. The Republic of Weimar was directed to its end from September, 1930, with the dissolution of the parliamentary system and, at the same time, the ascent of the National Socialist Party of Adolfo Hitler (NSDAP).

In a balance for 1934 presented by the magazine “Der Deutsche Ökonomist “, there was calculated the sum of the German investments in Mexico in 315 millions of Reichsmark. If they are based on calculations of the twenties, it means that the amount of German capital barely had undergone any modifications, which could be attributed to the reinvestment of profits.45 Already in its initial phase the global economic crisis led to restrictions on trade between European countries and overseas, restrictions also worked in the German-Mexican trade. By autarchy trends in the external economic policy, that evolution was even further stimulated. According to German statistics, trade between Germany and Mexico between 1929 and 1933 was reduced from 164 million Reichsmark to 47 million, or 71 percent. But compared with the collapse of German trade with other Latin American countries, the trade situation with Mexico could be considered even favorable. The German exports fell not as dramatically as in other Latin American cases, compared to larger commercial competitors the German percentage in Mexican imports increased during the crisis. Despite the growing on Mexican customs surcharges on products such as paper and toys, by not introducing foreign exchange control in the commercial treatment, -matter that complicated the trade with many other countries in the continent- opened the precondition of the relative German success. By contrast, Mexican exports to Germany were drastically reduced, and while coffee and oil maintained its central role in foreign trade, demand for these products in Germany fell due to the crisis.

Influenced by a situation of economic instability, many countries gradually set aside the most-favored nation clause in its foreign policy. To this was added the disadvantage that German politics focused on the area of southeast European nations with which it signed bilateral agreements and contracts preferably guided to build an autarkic economy in Central Europe. However, it can be stated that the global economic crisis did not disrupt the trade relations between Mexico and Germany too much, because in general there was no impact on the political field. This means a big difference in relations with many other Latin American countries, where the problems resulting from currency control, surcharges and tariff import quota allocation caused considerable tension in bilateral relations.

Although after 1928 the German statistics do not record any immigrant to Mexico, the Germans residents created problems because of his political radicalization. After a temporary calm in the period 1924-29, stirring anti-republican acquired a new dimension due to the increasing dissemination of National Socialist ideology. In the literature of the German right-wing this undemocratic nationalist ideology is widely reproduced. The new national-socialist thinking was impregnated by the state anti-liberal thought, the myth of the Führer (Leader), and coupled with this, the hope of a new resurgence of Germany in a “third empire”, as well as the central notion of people (Volk), of particular importance for Auslandsdeutsche. These components were also opportunities for expansion through political activism developed by the Protestant pastors, teachers in German-speaking schools and the conservative newspaper “Deutsche Zeitung von Mexico”.

The anti-democratic forces among the Germans were a heterogeneous movement, but found a factor in consolidating its position of rejecting the republic and its symbols. However, differences soon emerge with the rise of NSDAP in Germany, which experienced a first peak in the Reichstag elections of September 1930. The basic conditions that were conducive to this party, besides the unstable political situation, were the serious social conflicts motivated by the economic crisis, rising unemployment and insecurity; factors which, by extension, also affected many Auslandsdeutsche in Mexico.

Although the tendency to organize themselves into the NSDAP masses rose before 1933, this tactic had not been extended in a way planned to Auslandsdeutsche; however, there is news of the emergence of some groups in Latin America through the National Socialists called (Parteigenossen) party comrades46. In May 1931 it was established a delegation of foreign affairs of the NSDAP based in Hamburg, which drew up later The Auslandsorganisation, organization for abroad. That same year was founded the National-Socialist Party in Mexico, and a year later it already had 68 members.

The global economic crisis caused the collapse of many bilateral processes, even though in the cultural and journalistic sector it gave at least one freezing of the measures initiated in the twenties. The German policy was overshadowed by the radicalization of the Germans in Mexico opposite the rise of National Socialism. However, the promotion of German-speaking schools, despite the few funds, remained a priority topic in German foreign policy. The schools continued being the vital foundation to foment the German character, this is seen very clearly in the role they played in all appeals to save, that have accumulate in Germany with the worsening of the crisis.

Despite the foundation of the Latin American Institute in Berlin in January 1930, which should serve as a German coordination center, the break in cultural relations between Germany and Mexico was more telling than in the education sector, in addition to the global economic crisis darkened the interest in cultural policy by both sides. The cultural fund of the Foreign Ministry diminished continuously since 1930 and was called to a continuous savings increase 47.


The fundamental and reciprocal interests between Mexico and Germany had not changed fundamentally since the end of World War I. In 1918 both countries faced a political and economic crisis that determined the progress of development for the next fifteen years. This period marked by profound social changes, led to the reformulation of national policies required in both countries, on the one hand claims in matters of domestic policy, and secondly the experience of new relations of dependency on foreign policy.

As before the war, economic factors formed the backbone of bilateral relations. Even if the direct representations of industrial German consortia had resumed gradually their commitment in the twenties, the development of the investments during the Republic of Weimar did not reach the dynamic growth achieved under the empire. In special was cancelled participation in state loans, which before the war had assumed an essential part of the German capital export to Mexico.

Under growing U.S. investment capital in Mexico, the German investments acquired secondary importance. Nevertheless, for the impulse of the foreign economy of Germany these performed considerable importance, although because of the war and the Treaty of Versailles it had lost a great part of its capital abroad.

In the area of trade and navigation of German relations with Mexico were so much more favorable than with other Latin American countries. In terms of official relations suffered no serious outbreaks since the Mexican neutrality formed a bilateral relationship based on a traditional friendship. Also they managed to give them informal relations that managed to be very important, whose carriers were the same resident Germans in Mexico, who made their influence palpable as transnational actors in all the areas of the cultural and economic policy. Though their number did not increase after the war, the already existing community managed to be consolidated thanks to the creation of organizations as the Citizens’ Association of the Reich, which was enjoying good relations with the German government, included the transnational institutions.

One of the most important works done by the Germans abroad was an attempt to maintain the call Deutschtum or German character, and thus promoting the German-speaking schools was among his priorities. Nevertheless, the above mentioned activity met prevented and led their promoters to do cuts of qualitative character when the Mexican government established a policy of nationalization of the educational system, adapting the foreign schools to the national plans of study, and with it to assimilation to the Mexican environment. The second factor of risk arose from the anti-republican position of many Germans, expressed in the increasing radicalization and rejection of the Republic of Weimar, which finally culminated in the creation of a National Socialist group. This harmed the image of the Weimar Republic in Mexico and was the cornerstone for serious problems in bilateral relations.

However, there were other areas where the relationship was, and wanted to be, drawing on German contacts, especially in relations between journalistic and cultural policy, where the initiatives of the Germans in Mexico and other transnational groups carriers reached an essential position. The aim of their efforts focused on influencing how it was perceived German or Mexican image in the respective country -therefore the exterior German policy had to strain specially after the deformations caused by the warlike propaganda- and indirectly in promoting exports, but measures were overshadowed by a lack of money.

The relations Germany and Mexico between 1918 and 1933 show factors of continuity and change, across which this phase remains included in a major period, which includes from 1880 to 1945, even if an own character is recognized. Like before 1918 and after 1933, the most important aspects of relations remained economic interests – that both sides shared by different reasons- interest in maintaining the Deutschtum- that German obsessions played an important role- and the role of Germany as a counterweight to the influence of other powers, an important factor in Mexico’s foreign policy.

It is feasible that for the retrograde mentality of some contemporary Germans, Mexico could have assumed the role of an informal substitute colony in power. However, for various reasons could no longer think of an imperialist policy, as the international system, in which both countries were involved, had changed radically after the First World War. On the other hand, the development of the domestic politics of each country affected bilateral relations. An additional factor was the rise of U.S. as undisputed hegemonic power, since in the second half of the twenties its economic and cultural influence grew in size hitherto unknown. In consequence, the intrigues of interests of the big powers stopped being possible because of this hegemony. Finally, the global economic crisis also became a dividing line in foreign policy that strengthened the trend towards autarchy and the dissolution of international links.


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Author: Stefan Rinke, Universidad Libre de Berlín

  1. Thomas Baecker, Die Deutsche Mexikopolitik, 1913/1914, 1971, pp 72-76. []
  2. The base was the treaty of friendship and trade clause with the Most Favoured Nation of 1882. Heinz Horstmann, Handelsverträge und Meistbegüngstigung, 1916, pp 15, 17, 21 – 22. For the development of bilateral trade, see Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1981, pp 59-62. []
  3. For this and many other issues on the role of Germans in Mexico, see Silke Nagel, Ausländer in Mexiko: Die Kolonien der deutschen und US-amerikanischen Einwanderer in der mexikanischen Hauptstadt, 1890-1942, 2005. []
  4. The school was one of the most privileged German schools in Latin America, see Franz Schmidt, “Grundlinien der Geschichtlichen Entwicklung der deutschen Bildungsarbeit im Auslande”, 2005. Also Silke Nagel, Ausländer in Mexiko: Die Kolonien der deutschen und US-amerikanischenEinwanderer in der mexikanischen Hauptstadt, 1890-1942, 2005. And Otto Boelitz, Aus deutscher Bildungsarbeit im Auslande, 1927, vol. 1, pp. 22-30. []
  5. Marianne Oeste de Bopp, “Die deutsche Presse in Mexiko-Entwicklung und gegenwärtiger Stand der deutsch-mexikanischen Zeitungen un Zeitschriften”, in Lateinamerika Studien, Nbr 19, 1985, pp95-106. []
  6. Brígida von Mentz, “Empresas y empresarios alemanes en México, 1821-1945”, Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas 25, 1988 pp 1-18. []
  7. Gerhart Jacob-Wendler, Deutsche Elektroindustrie in Lateinamerika, 1890-1914, 1982, passim. []
  8. Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase, Lateinamerika als Konfliktherd der deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen, 1890-1903: Vom Beginn der Panamerikapolitik bis zur Venezuelakrise von 1902/03, 1986, vol. 1, pp 148-177. []
  9. Warren Schiff, “German Military Penetration into Mexico during the late Díaz Period”, in Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 39, núm. 4, 1959, pp 568-579 []
  10. Friedrich Katz, op.Cit., pp. 62-91; Jobst H. Floto, Die Beziehungen Deutschlands zu Venezuela 1933 bis 1958, pp.10-11; Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase, op.cit., pp 68-80; Brígida von Mentz, op.cit.p 20; Robert F. Smith, The United States and Revolutionary Nationalism in Mexico, 1916-1932, 1972. []
  11. In addition to investigations by Friedrich Katz and Silke Bage, already mentioned, see Brígida von Mentz et al., Los empresarios alemanes, el Tercer Reich y la oposición de derecha a Cárdenas, 1988; Jürgen Müller, Nationalsozialismus in Lateinamerika: die Auslandsorganization der NSDAP in Argentinien, Brasilien Chile un Mexiko, 1931-1945, 1997; Friedriech E. Schuler, Mexico between Hitler and Roosevelt: Mexican Foreign Relations in the Age of Lázaro Cárdenas, 1934-1940, 1988, and León E. Biber (Coord.), Las relaciones germane-mexicanas: desde el aporte de los Hermanos Humboldt hasta el presente, 2001. []
  12. Stefan Rinke, Der letzte freie Kontinent: Deutsche-Lateinamerikapolitik im Zeichen transnazionaler Beziehungen, 1918-1933, 1996. []
  13. On the role of chambers of commerce, see Wahrhold Drascher, “Die deutschen Handelskammern in Südamerika”, in Der Auslanddeustche, Nbr 7, 1924, pp.702-704. []
  14. See, for example, Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr. (eds.), Transnational Relations and World Politics, 1973; Walter L. Bühl, Transnationale Politik: Internationale Beziehungen zwischen Hegemonie und Interdependenz, 1978; Stefan Rinke, “From Informal Imperialism to Transnational relations: Prolegomena to Study of German Policy towards Latin America, 1918-1933”, in Itinerario, vol. 19, nbr. 2, 112-124. []
  15. A good summary on the development of Germany is offered in Dietmar Petzina, Die deutsche Wirtscgaft ine der Zwieschenkriegzeit, 1977, 75-80. []
  16. George F.W. Young, “German Capital Investment in Latin America in World War I”, in Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, nbr. 25, 1988, 239. []
  17. “Gesetz vom 1. März 1919”, in Reichs-Gesetzblatt, 1919, 264. []
  18. Joseph Tulchin, The Aftermath of War: World War I and US Policy Howard Latin America, 1971, 170-180. []
  19. For the most important types of businesses see Fritz Benfey, Die neuere Entwicklung des deutschen Auslandsbankwesen, 1924-1925, 21-26, 206-209. On the importance of London and New York for German banks abroad see Ludwig Lange, Expansion und volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung deutscher Überseebanken, 1926, 25-26 and 32. []
  20. Eduard Lehmann, “Der Aussenhandel Mexikos in der Nachtkriegzeit mit besonderer Berücksichtung del Handelsbeziehungen zu Deutschland”, 1927. []
  21. Regarding Eckardt’s departure see Politische Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts (PAAA) [Political File of the Foreign Affairs Ministery], 16917, German legacy to Auswärtiges Amt (AA) Ministery of Foreign Affairs], Bern 22/XI/1918; ibid, AA to Legacy, Bern, 22/XI/1918. []
  22. Peter Krüger, Die Aussenpolitik der Republik von Weimar, 1985, 51. []
  23. PAAA, 16911, memorandum 13/X/1919. In this case it was a draft export of arms to Mexico. For German policy towards Mexico in 1919/20, see Friedrich Katz, 540-549. []
  24. PAAA, 79598, plenipotentiary minister Adolf Graf von Montgelas a AA, Mexico, 16/X/1920; ibíd, AA to Mexico Legacy, 6/VIII/1921. Regarding United States attitude see Chargè d’Affaires George T. Summerlin a Secretary of State, in Foreign Relations of the United States, vol. 119, 1921, 427-428 and 436. []
  25. See Siegfried Benignus, Deutsche Kraft in Südmaerkia: Historisch-wirtschaftliche Studievon der Konquista bis zur Gegenwart, 1917, 37. Karl E. Thalheim, Das Deutsche Auswanderungs problem in der Nachkriegszeit, 1926, 126-128. Hartmunt Bickelmann, Deutsche überseeauswanderung in der Weimarer Zeit, 1980, 62-68. []
  26. On the theological evidence and disseminating the ideology of Deutschtum through various Protestant organizations, see R. Wick, “Die Gefahr der Entdeutschung unserer Gemeinden in Südamerika”, in Die Evangelische Diaspora, nbr. 9, 1927, 56; Kohlsdorf, “Die deutsch-evangelische Kirche in Chile”, in Die Evangelische Diaspora, nbr. 4, 1922, 70-74. []
  27. Stefan Rinke, 1996, 293-296. []
  28. “Die Bewegung der Bevölkerung in den Jahren 1925 bis 1927”, in Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, vol. 3, 1930, 229.; Hartmut Bickelmann, op.cit., 143 and 149. []
  29. Even an expert in immigration was sent to Mexico immediately after the war, see Stefan Rinke, 1996, 297. []
  30. PAAA, 79972, Reiswitz, memorandum of 12/I/1932, annex 2. []
  31. Fritz Luckau, “Die Deutsche Schule in Mexiko”, in Die Deutsche Schule im Auslande, nbr. 17, 1925, 3-4. []
  32. See, for example, Deutsch-Mexikanische Gesellschaft (Coord.), Deutsch-mexikanische Rundschau: Zeitschrzur Förderung d. Kulturellen u. wirtschaftl. Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland u. Mexiko, 1919, 1923. []
  33. Berthold Riese, “Indianische Kulturen Mexikos und Zentralamerikas”, in Wilhelm Stegmann (coord.), Deutsche Iberoamerikaforschung in den Jahren 1930-1980: Forschungsberichte ausgwältiger Fachgebiete, 1987, 137-140. []
  34. PAAA, 79646, Legacy to AA, Mexico, 15/12/1924 []
  35. Ibid, 122149, Carl Düms a press division of The Ministry of Foreign Relations, Mexico, 11/X/1919. []
  36. Ibid, bundle 79598 and 79599. []
  37. Jürgen Buchenau, “Plutarco Elías Calles y su admiración por Alemania”, in Bulletin / Archive Trust Plutarco Elías Calles and Fernando Torreblanca, nbr. 51, 2006, 1-32. []
  38. The materials for this rarely studied topic in the bundle 79640 of the PAAA. Also see, from the catholic point of view, José Echeverría, Der Kampf gegen die katholische Kirche in Mexiko in den letzten 13 Jahren, 1927. []
  39. AA Memorandum 28/X/1929, in Akten zur Deutschen auswärtigen Politik, 1992, 169-170. []
  40. Hermann Bayer, “Propagandatätigkeit und überfremdung der deutschen Auslandsschule”, 1928 in Die Deutsche SChule im Auslande, nbr. 20, 193. []
  41. PAAA, 79646, Hagen to AA, Berlin, 4/VII/1927; Hermann B. Hagen, “Die Mexiko-Bücherei, in Ibero-amerikaniscvhes Archiv, Nbr. 4, 1930/31, 19-29. []
  42. See Fritz Wertheimer, “Auslanddeutsche Studiernde and deutschen Hochschulen”, in Michael Doeberl (coord.), Das Akademische Deutschland, vol. 3, 1930, 519-521. []
  43. Regarding the opening, see PAAA, 64484, Gast to Terdenge, Aachen, 29/XI/1926; Deustche Zeitung für Chile, 13/X/1926. For the book prices: Carlos Keller, “Das deutsche Buch in Chile”, in Der Auslanddeustche, nbr. 12, 1929, 284-285. For example, the work of Oswald Spengler, “La decadencia de occidente” was between 100 and 120 pesos. That means, 50% more than in Germany. The Spanish version, could be acquired for 60 pesos, being the one that was having a clear increase on their sells; PAAA, 65139, Roh to AA, Valparaíso, 10/IV/1924. []
  44. Stefan Rinke, Amalgamarse al alma de Colombia: SCADTA y los principios de la aviación en Colombia, 1919-1920, in Innovar: Revista de Ciencias Administrativas y Sociales, núm. 10, 1997, 7-30. []
  45. “Deutsche Auslandsguthaben in Lateinamerika”, in Der Deutsche Ökonomist, 1934, 684. []
  46. One of the first Latin-American groups of the NSDAP emerged in 1929 with the propaganda of the party comrade Bruno Frick in the area of Villarica in Paraguay, see Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, “Die Gründung der Auslandsabteilung der NSDAP (1931-1933)” in Ernst Schulin (ed.), Gedenkschrift Martin Göhring: Studien zur europäischer Geschichte, 1968, 353-368. []
  47. Regarding the roll of the Latin-American Institute in Berlin, see Hans-Joachim Bock, “Das Ibero-Amrikanische Institut”, in Jahrbuch der Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 1962, 324-345. In reference to the savings program, see Kurt Düwell, Deutschlands auswärtige Kulturpolitik, 1918-1932, 1976, 99-100; PAAA, 76922, Curtius, note of 2/1/1930. []

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