Nueva Germania was founded by German immigrants looking to start an Aryan colony in the late 1800s. It failed, but remnants of German culture remain.
Perhaps, 15th June will be best remembered in Paraguayan contemporary history as the date of the beginning of the end of Fernando Lugo’s presidency earlier this year. On that date, the massacre of Campos de Morombí, in Canindeyú, left 11 landless peasants and six police officers dead, and started a series of angry debates and accusations that finally led to the impeachment of the president.
Wikipedia: History Nueva Germania
Nueva Germania was founded in 1886 on the banks of the Aguaray-Guazú River, about 250 kilometers from Asunción by five – later fourteen, largely impoverished families fromSaxony.Led byBernhard Försterand his wife,Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, the colonists emigrated to the Paraguayan rainforest to put to practice ideas about the superiority of the Aryan race. It was the declared dream of Förster to create an area of Germanic development, far from the influence of Jews, whom he reviled.
Förster, who had negotiated the town’s titles of property with GeneralBernardino Caballero, committed suicide in 1889 in the city of San Bernardino, a local center of German population. His wife returned to Germany in 1893.
The colony’s development was hampered by the harshness of the environment and those colonists that stayed soon abandoned the supremacist idea of its founders, and integrated into the Paraguayan culture.Josef Mengele, a major German war criminal, spent some time in Nueva Germania while a fugitive afterWorld War II.
Nueva Germania is a now quiet community of San Pedro dedicated to agriculture, specializing in the cultivation ofyerba mate.
|In his 37th year in Paraguay’s remote Chaco, Texas-born George Lohman was slowing up a bit. His doctors had warned him about his heart and blood pressure, and had told him to stop riding. Last week, 59-year-old Ranchero Lohman was bossing his 960,000-acre cattle empire, Red Wells, from a veranda rocker.|
Only recently did I learn about the New Australia Colony of Paraguay. One of the great benefits of the Internet is long, lost stories of years ago are being made available to people around the world.
In September 1893, a group left Australia to form a socialist paradise at the New Australia Colony in Paraguay. Like most of these utopia ventures, this one failed, but the story lives on.
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On the fringe of nowhere in the heart of South America, the Paraguayan town of Pedro Juan Caballero and the Brazilian town of Ponta Porã doze in the green, rolling forests of the Amambay plateau. A broad, straight strip of grass between the red-roofed towns marks the international border. But they really form a single frontier community of bearded, mud-stained Gauchos, Syrian merchants, Redemptorist priests, barefoot women, and soldiers in faded green uniforms.
In Jan 65, while doing my Peace Corps Brazil in-country training in Ponta Porã, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bob Crites and I visited Mr. Johnson’s farm, which was about 30 km inside Paraguay. He and his wife were very friendly and welcoming. I didn’t realize until I found the Time article that he had been on this farm since 1955.
There was a odd mix of expats living in Ponta Porã at the time, but as I recall Mr. Johnson stayed on his coffee farm (he was big into strawberries when we visited him). Although the Time article implies that he was doing well financially, that didn’t seem to be the case during our visit. Poor he wasn’t, but he and the family were living in a modest home. If he was making a lot of money, it wasn’t being spent in fancy homes or cars.
I have tried to find out what happen to Mr. Johnson, but no luck so far.