New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal
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|• Total||9.13 km2 (3.53 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2001)|
|• Black African||37.9%|
|First languages (2001)|
|Postal code (street)||3610|
New Germany is a town situated just inland from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It has been incorporated firstly into Pinetown and now into eThekwini. It was established in 1848 by a party of 183 German immigrants who settled on a cotton growing estate named Westville after the lieutenant-governor of Natal Martin West. The cotton was not successful and the settlers turned to growing vegetables and flowers.
It was established in 1848 and became a municipality in 1960. Originally Neu-Deutschland and subsequently translated, the name refers to settlement of the area by German immigrants in 1848.
Natal's first German community owed its existence to the opposition of the British government to the immigration scheme of a Bavarian Jew, Jonas Bergtheil. He arrived in Natal in 1843 and established the Natal Cotton Company three years later. Bergtheil saw the potential of European settlement along the coast and approached the British colonial office for immigrants. When first the British and then the Bavarian governments rejected his plans, he turned to the Kingdom of Hanover for support. Thirty-five peasant families (about 188 people) from the Osnabrück-Bremen district accepted his offer and arrived in Natal on 23 March 1848. They were settled near Port Natal and called their new home Neu-Deutschland (New Germany).
Bergtheil's cotton scheme failed after the first two crops were ravaged by bollworm. Furthermore, the ginning machinery he had ordered from England never arrived. The settlers soon abandoned cotton in favour of market gardening, and when their five-year contracts with Bergtheil ended many did not renew them. The fledgling community may well have foundered within a generation since the immigrants did not maintain contact with Germany and had no vision of a distinctly German community. The arrival of a Berlin missionary ensured that the language and religion would continue for the time being.
Pastor Carl Wilhelm Posselt (1815–85) agreed to care for the congregation in New Germany, where he consecrated the first chapel of the Berlin Missionary Society in South Africa on 19 November 1848. He conducted mission work among the Zulu farm labourers and in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, and in 1854 established a second station, Christianenberg, for this purpose. He also taught Scripture in the little German school which the settlers had established. In 1852 the congregation was briefly moved to Emmaus because of famine on the coast and declining numbers of settlers. Bergtheil succeeded in stemming the flow of Germans into the interior, and in 1854 Posselt returned to New Germany where he continued as missionary and pastor until his death in 1885.
New Germany Today
The town today consists of an industrial area bounded on two sides by Otto Volek Road and Shepstone Road; as well as a large, hilly, residential area whose main arterial roads are Sander Road and Glamis Avenue (eastern boundary), and Bohmer Road and Bosse Street (western boundary). Neighbouring suburbs are Padfield Park, Manors, Wyebank, and Clermont.
- "Main Place New Germany". Census 2001.
- "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 333.
- Hans-Juergen Oschadleus,: "Lutherans, Germans, Hermannsburgers." Natalia No.22, Dec.1992, pp.30-31, (www.natalia.org.za)