German Bolivians

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German Bolivians
Deutsche Bolivianer
Total population
Different estimates:
  • 57,000 mennonites
    (Kopp, 2015).[1]
  • 60,000 plautdietsch speakers
    (Salminen, 2007; in Ethnologue, 2019).[2]
Bolivian Spanish, German, and Plautdietsch. Yiddish is spoken by German-Jewish communities.
Christianity (Protestantism, Lutheranism, Reformed, Mennonite, Amish, Roman Catholicism) and Judaism.
Related ethnic groups
Austrian Americans
German Mexican
German Brazilians
German Argentines
German diaspora

German Bolivians are Bolivians of full, partial, or predominantly German descent, or German-born people residing in Bolivia.

Waves of immigration[edit]

German immigrants began to arrive in Bolivia in the 18th century, and many more arrived in the 19th century.[3] During World War II, Bolivia ceased diplomatic relations with Germany and expelled many Germans.[3] Many German Jews immigrated to Bolivia during the war.[4] Inti SA, Bolivia's largest pharmaceutical company, was founded by German immigrant Ernesto W. N. Schilling Huhn.[5]

A substantial and growing part of the Germanic population in Bolivia are Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites from Russia, who are of Dutch and Prussian descent. These Mennonites started to immigrate in the 1950s, with large waves of immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly from Mexico and Paraguay. In 2012 there were 23,818 church members in congregations of these Mennonites, indicating a total population of about 70,000.[6] The total population of German Mennonites in Bolivia was estimated at 60,000 by Lisa Wiltse in 2010.[7] See also: Mennonites in Bolivia.


German schools:

Historic German schools:[8]

Notable German Bolivians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adalberto Kopp (2015). Las colonias menonitas en Bolivia. Fundación Tierra. p. 57. ISBN 978-99974-821-6-7.
  2. ^ Eberhard, David M., Gary F. Simons, & Charles D. Fennig (2019). "Plautdietsch". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Archived from the original on 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b "Los alemanes hicieron industria de la grande". La Razón. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  4. ^ "El Refugio en Latinoamerica". Holocaust Encyclopedia. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  5. ^ Oblitas, Mónica (February 2, 2007). "Stege: 100 años, un buen comienzo". Los Tiempos. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Bender, Harold S., Martin W. Friesen, Menno Ediger, Isbrand Hiebert and Gerald Mumaw. "Bolivia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2013. Web. 11 Feb 2014.
  7. ^ "Lisa wiltse – the mennonites of manitoba, bolivia". 26 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" ( Archived 2016-03-12 at the Wayback Machine). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 18-19/51.