|THE PEPPER TRADER: True Tales of the German East Asia Squadron and the Man who Cast them in Stone Jun 15, '08
Author: Geoffrey Bennett
Perhaps, not many people know about the story behind of historical sites in Cikopo, an alpine of Mount Pangrango-West Java. There are 10 gravestone of Kriegsmarine [German Navy], who died between November 1944 ? October 1945. Also, The Monument of Deutsch-Ostasiatisches Geschwader [German East Asia Squadron], erected in 1926. They could be nearly forgotten historical site.
When I read this book, my curiosity was blinking, why the Kriegsmarine have lost in Mount Pangrango in Bogor? It is far from the ocean! Who was erected that monument? Why the monument was erected a far before the graveyard? Why this historical site was located in the small village of Arca Domas? So, last but not least, if we refers to the title of this book, what is the relationship between this historical site and the pepper trader?
In this book, Geoffrey Bennert told us in his ?novel-telling-story? style when he visited this site firstly, answer the ?code? above, and will bring you to the past time for searching the history.
The beginning of story background, there were two brothers Emil Helfferich and Theodore Helfferich. Emil was the key-master of this book. Emil was a German entrepreneurs who sailed in Netherlands Indies for spices trading in 1901. This book also tell us about Emil and Dina Uhlenbeck-Ermerling's love-life while they sailed from German to Netherlands Indies, and until they went home again in German.
Whereas, Theodor was Emil's young brother. He worked in German Navy. In 1912 Theodor had a mission in Batavia as a German's spy. He reported to inform about war ships which sailed in to the islands of Netherlands Indies.
A short history about German East Asia Squadron, the relation between German and China have been started since 1871. Finally in 1897, German had own one port in China's coast, Tsingtao. Tsingtao was a capital of Kiaochow, a territory of German's colony in Shendang Peninsula. For the reason of protecting the colony and German business, Kaiser Wilhelm II administrated to build the Kriegsmarine, German Navy, for the mission to reduce the British supremacy in East Ocean.
8th December 1914, four of five German warships has been sunked by British Royal Navy in the battle of Falklands. The British has sunk German's warship Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, dan Lepzig. The squadron commander, Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee together with his two sons, and thousands soldier dead in this battle. Only Dresden and 25 soldiers have been rescued.
Emil and Theodor Helfferich bought a land in Cikopo for about 4.300 hectare and built the tea manufacturing factory. They erected the monument as admiration to Deutsch-Ostasiatisches Geschwader that lead by Admiral Graf Spee who dead in Battle of Falklands, defeated by British Royal Navy.
In that monument was engraved ?DEM TAPFEREN DEUTSCH-OSTASIATISCHEN GESCHWADER 1914?, means ?For the Bravely Soldier of German East Asia 1914?. Another plaque on the base announced simply ?ERRICHTET VON EMIL UND THEODORE HELFFERICH 1926, means ?Erected by Emil and Theodore Helfferich in 1926?.
Whereas the ten Kriegsmarine who burned in the graveyard were the soldiers of U-Boat [German's submarine]. They dead between 1944-45, aged 30-39 years old.
?THE PEPPER TRADER? is published by PT Equinox Publishing Indonesia, First Edition 2006, contents: xvii + 370 pages.