Germany–Uruguay relations

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Germany–Uruguay relations
Map indicating locations of Germany and Uruguay


German embassy in Montevideo

Germany–Uruguay relations are foreign relations between Germany and Uruguay. Germany has an embassy in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Berlin, a general consulate in Hamburg and 6 honorary consulates (in Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Potsdam and Stuttgart). Germany is Uruguay's principal trading partner in the European Union.[1]


Starting in the 1850s German immigrants have made an important contribution to the development of Uruguay.[1] Uruguay offered asylum to German Jews starting in 1935.[1][2] Mennonite communities emigrated from Germany to Uruguay after World War II, starting in 1948.[1][3][4]

During World War I, Uruguay sided against Germany and broke off diplomatic relations.[5][6]

On December 13, 1939, the Battle of the River Plate took place off the coast of Uruguay where British forces sunk the German Graf Spee. There was a Diplomatic Battle with Dr. Alberto Guani as Uruguayan Foreign Minister that ruled a 72-hour timeline for the ship to remain in Montevideo harbour. Most of the Graf Spee’s surviving crew of 1,150 were interned in Uruguay and Argentina and many remained after the war. A German Embassy official in Uruguay said his government has sent an official letter stating its position as to whether Germany claims ownership of the vessel. The German claim would be invalid because early in 1940 the Nazi government sold salvaging rights to the vessel to a Uruguayan businessman who was acting on behalf of the British government. However, any salvaging rights would have expired under Uruguayan law.[7]

By 1940 Germany had threatened to break of diplomatic relations with Uruguay.[8]

Nazi Germany protested that Uruguay gave safe harbor to the Carnarvon Castle after it was attacked by a Nazi raider.[9] The ship was repaired with steel plate reportedly salvaged from the Graf Spee.[10]

On January 25, 1942 Uruguay broke diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany.[11][12]

After World War II, Uruguay established diplomatic relations with both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic.

In October 2011, Uruguayan President José Mujica paid an official visit to Germany.[13]


There is a Goethe Institute in Uruguay. The German School of Montevideo, is a German binational school that opened in 1857. It was the first German School to open in South America.There is a joint Uruguay Germany university-entrance examination which qualifies takers for university in both countries. A German-language school is run by the Mennonites. A cultural cooperation accord was signed on 8 May 1989.[1]


Exports to Germany from Uruguay were worth EUR 205 million and Uruguayan imports from Germany were EUR 133 million in 2009. Germany is the country’s principal trading partner in the European Union. Germany is fifth overall among export countries to Uruguay, after Brazil, the USA, Argentina and Mexico. Germany is seventh on the list of import countries, after Brazil, Argentina, the USA, China, Venezuela and Russia. Uruguay is 84th among suppliers of German imports and 108th among buyers of German exports.[1]

Political foundations[edit]

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation have representation in Montevideo. Other German foundations include the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Uruguay". German Foreign Office. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  2. ^ "Latin Nations Open Doors". Chicago Tribune. 1938. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  3. ^ "Uruguay". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2009-05-23. . 
  4. ^ "Elfrieda Dyck, 87, Mennonite Who Helped Thousands Resettle". New York Times. September 5, 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-26. . 
  5. ^ "German Official Uruguay Breaks Off Relations.". The Evening Independent. 1917. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  6. ^ "Three More Nations Near War on Kaiser". Chicago Tribune. 1918. Retrieved 2009-05-22. Holland, Argentina, and Uruguay on the Verge. 
  7. ^ Rohter, Larry (2006-08-25). "A Swastika, 60 Years Submerged, Still Inflames Debate". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-19. . 
  8. ^ "Minister Ready to Ask for His Passports if Any Local Nazi Leaders Are Deported". New York Times. June 20, 1940. Retrieved 2009-05-22. . 
  9. ^ White, John W. (December 10, 1940). "Nazis Protest Aid to Raider's Victim. Object in Uruguay to Giving Carnarvon Castle 72 Hours to Mend Battle Scars". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-22. The German Government, through its Minister in Montevideo, Otto Langmann, made a formal diplomatic protest this afternoon against... 
  10. ^ "Search For Raider". New York Times. December 9, 1940. Retrieved 2009-05-22. The British auxiliary cruiser Carnarvon Castle, hit twenty-two times in a battle with a German sea raider, was being repaired tonight with steel plates reportedly taken from the scuttled German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. 
  11. ^ Hulen, Bertram D. (January 22, 1942). "Actual Rupture Is Left to Congress of Each Signatory". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-22. Unanimous agreement by the twenty-one American republics on a resolution for severance of relations with the Axis powers was reached late today at a three-hour consultation in the office of Foreign Minister Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil, who is chairman of the Inter-American Conference. 
  12. ^ "Uruguay, Peru Break Relations with Axis". Chicago Tribune. January 25, 1942. Retrieved 2009-05-22. Uruguay and Peru severed diplomatic relations tonight with Germany, Italy, and Japan. putting into swift effect terms of a compromise anti-axis agreement ... 
  13. ^ "President Mujica in Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Germany" (in Spanish). La República. 7 October 2011. 

External links[edit]