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Coconut palm tree plantation in Samoa overlay

German Occupation

Samoa came under German rule at the end of the second civil war in 1889, with the agreement that Samoa would retain its normal customs.

In 1900, Dr Wilhelm Solf appointed himself as governor of Samoa and took measures to adhere to this agreement by incorporating traditional native customs into his administration, while working to develop a modern state with a strong economy that no longer needed money from Berlin.

Samoa saw its first public education system, a hospital sponsored by the governor and an extensive road network. Solf was later replaced by Erich Schultz.

During this time, German companies began importing people from Melanesia and China to work on and grow extensive plantations that had been established by foreign powers in the late 19th century.

Germany’s occupation ended in 1914 with the New Zealand seizure of Samoa.