||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (February 2015)|
A German Nicaraguan is a Nicaraguan having German ancestries or a German naturalized Nicaraguan. This includes Poles due to Partitions of Poland. During the Second World War, after Nicaragua's allies declared war on Germany, German immigrants not naturalized were persecuted and imprisoned. Some were deported to Germany or to concentration camps in other countries. Although Germans have emigrated to Nicaragua since the 19th century, most of the German Nicaraguans still speak both Spanish and German.
Early of the emigration
The first German who settled in Nicaragua was the merchant of Leon in 1810, known simply as "Don Alemán" (Don German), known by Orlando W. Roberts, (although the real name of German was not mentioned). In 1852, a group of German immigrants, primarily single men, began to settle in northern Nicaragua with the purpose of cultivating 200 blocks of land per person, which were granted by the Government. They were required to cultivate the land and have an initial capital equivalent to about $2,500 per person. Over time, these settlers built farms, established towns and increased the wealth of Nicaragua. North Nicaragua became the epicenter of this economic prosperity. The next settlement upstream, Castillo Viejo (Old Castle), likely had a number of German settlers by the year 1852. The Germans continued to arrive on ships at Granada and rode down to areas where they would soon establish settlements. Other immigrants came to Leon and began their journey to Matagalpa. Many of the Germans, who then moved to Costa Rica in 1853 had come to Nicaragua with the emigrant ship "Antoinette".
During the World War-II
At the beginning of World War II in 1939, Nicaragua's allies - France, United States and the United Kingdom - declared war on Germany. The Government of Nicaragua prompted a wave of persecution against the Germans in Nicaragua. During this period, were also attacked in La vaterland fifty descendants of young Germans who had decided to benefit from the planting of coffee offered by the Conservative governments of the Thirty Years (1857-1892) and then by the Liberal government of José Santos Zelaya (1893-1909), who in an effort to promote the cultivation of coffee, gave up 200 acres of land in the wilderness areas of Matagalpa and Jinotega, mainly. They were the ones who started the promotion, production, processing, transportation and marketing of coffee in northern Nicaragua.
The president of Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza Garcia declared the war against Germany in 1941, and the Germans in Nicaragua were victims of this struggle raised abroad. Somoza began "hunting" Germans for reunite him and imprison him. The oldest people were arrested and the youngest people were taken to the Fifth Eitzen, property of Somoza, an that had intervened to German Ulrich Eitzen. Interestingly the Fifth Eitzen is now the building housing the Ministry of Foreign Cooperation in Managua. Once imprisoned not fed them. Their families brought them food and other stuffs personal hygiene, but the guard recorded everything they brought there. Only Germans naturalized Nicaraguan were not imprisoned or were released from the jail. However, there were also Germans deported to Germany. Some German groups from Nicaragua were in refugee camps in other countries but once the war and the German persecution arrived to his end, some of them returned to Nicaragua. Also, there were some groups of German immigrants (and of others origins) deported to concentration camps in the United States from Nicaragua. Those who refused to be deported were confined on Ellis Island, a small island in New York, used as a quarantine site for immigrants.
The descendants of those Germans live today in the mountains, in fincas, like their ancestors did. Most of them can, even to this day, speak both Spanish as German languages. In addition, many German Nicaraguans are able to speak several languages (basically English and French). They maintain the use of certain elements of German culture as is the use of fireplaces in their homes, which are often not used in Hispanic America.
German Festivals in Nicaragua
The German Culture Festival in Nicaragua is celebrated between 4th and 15th June. As part of this festival, there are events of gastronomy, cinema, philosophy and music heritage. All events are free to attend, except for the Grand Concert "Germany in the heart of Nicaragua", held at the córdobas Ruben Dario National Theater.
- (Spanish) Alemanes en Nicaragua "Germans in Nicaragua", posted by por Güetz Von Houwald, retrieved 31 August 2012
- (Spanish) La Prensa, el Diario de Los nicaraguences. Enfoque Alemanes en Nicaragua: Entre el dolor y el olvido, posted 26 July 2000, retrieved 31 August 2012
- (Spanish) Nicaragua actual, retrieved August 31, 2012
- El Nuevo Diario: Primer Festival de la Cultura Alemana en Nicaragua (in Spanish: The New daily: First festival of the German culture in Nicaragua).