n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Zur Frage der Zugehörigkeit - 150 Jahre deutsche Sprache und Kultur am Kap

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



In the middle of the 19th century the first German groups of settlers came to South Africa, and, since 1858, German has been recognised as a school examination subject in the country. For approximately 150 years, German has existed as a subject at schools and later also at universities primarily for its cultural relevance. During the same time, German immigrants founded cultural and educational institutions which also focussed on maintaining a specific form of "Germanness." Using the term "Zuge-hörigkeit" (belonging) as a point of departure, this paper examines how German as a subject (German studies and German as a foreign language) as well as perceptions of German culture have changed within the context of socio-political developments in the country. Not only universities, but also German schools and Lutheran congregation faced new challenges after the end of the apartheid. This paper shows how, in the course of the time, different affiliations ("Zugehörigkeiten") influenced the development of German language and culture in South Africa.

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