Schätzleins in Namibia

Only recently, I learned that there were Schätzleins in what used to be the German colony of German South-West Africa, nowadays’ Namibia. I did some research and found out that the merchant Karl Friedrich Schätzlein left Germany just before the onset of World War I, as a result of which the colony was taken from the Germans.

At the age of 32, Karl bought passage on the Imperial Post Steamer RPD Gertrud Woermann, leaving Germany on the 24th of August 1913 from Hamburg and arriving in the South West Namibian town of Lüderitz (formerly Lüderitzbucht) on the 20th of September 1913. Not even one year later, on the 21st of June 1914, he married Gretchen Bentz. The Koloniales Hand- und Adreßbuch 1926-1927 (“Colonial Compendium and Adress Book 1926-1927”) notes that there was a shop named “Schätzlein Ltd.”, which was registered to Karl. Indeed, some of his business correspondence from World War II has survived in the state archives of South Africa, a copy of which I was able to obtain thanks to eGSSA – you can take a look at it here. However, one of the two files is empty.

In his lifetime, Karl showed a lot of commitment to the advancement of education. He was one of the co-founders of the German School Association of Lüderitzbucht in 1919, and its chairman and honorary chairman for many years. He committed considerable time and effort to the organisation and the construction and expansion of the school. After his death on the 5th of January 1971 at the age of 89 years, the school held a memorial event in his name. A boarding house of said association was also named after Karl (the name was changed since).

Karl was not the only Schätzlein to live in Namibia – in the capital of Windhoek, four Schätzleins are known to have graduated from the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (“German Higher Private School of Windhoek”, DHPS). One of them, Christian K. F. Schätzlein, seems to have married Rosemarie Anna Sophie Essmann. During World War II, when she was working for The South West Breweries Ltd. in Windhoek on a salary of £25, her property got confiscated by the South African authorities. eGGSA provided me with her correspondence with the Custodian of Enemy Property, which you can read here.

As for Karl Friedrich’s origin, he was born on the 3rd of February 1881 in Ludwigshafen as the son of the master carpenter Karl August Schätzlein, 31 years old, and his wife Louise née Schreiber, 27 years old.

His father Karl August Schätzlein was born on the 15th of December 1849 in Frankfurt am Main as the son of the master carpenter Johann Christian Schätzlein and his wife Susanna Margaretha née Bauer.

His mother Louise Schreiber was born on the 15th of September 1853 in Hainfeld as the daughter of Dagobert Schreiber and his wife Christiana née Anslinger.