Gustav von Oertzen (colonial official)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gustav Carl Heinrich Lucas von Oertzen (born January 23, 1836 in Kittendorf , † October 22, 1911 in Dresden ) was a German colonial official and imperial commissioner in German New Guinea .

Life path

Gustav von Oertzen came from the noble family Oertzen , which is attributed to the Mecklenburg nobility . He was a son of the landowner on Marihn and monastery captain von Malchow Karl (Nikolaus Dietrich) von Oertzen (1799–1865) and his first wife Louise, nee. d'Orguerre (1811–1836), who died as a result of his birth.

Oertzen initially received private lessons at his father's Marihn estate . 1849-1851 he attended high schools in Wittenberg and Gütersloh . He passed his Abitur in 1856 at the Putbus pedagogy . He then studied law at the universities of Heidelberg , Göttingen and Rostock . He became a member of the Corps Saxo-Borussia Heidelberg (1857) and the Corps Saxonia Göttingen (1858). From 1862 to 1874 he lived as a landowner on Marihn and in Malchow.

In 1875 he entered the service of the Foreign Office at the Consulate General in New York . In 1879 he became interim consulate secretary in Apia ( Samoa ), where he remained until 1884 - from 1883 as vice consul.

From June 16, 1884 Gustav von Oertzen was imperial commissioner for New Guinea. He took up his residence in Matupi ( New Pomerania ), where he stayed until January 1887. There the flag was raised and the area was officially taken over on November 3rd.

In May 1885 von Oertzen issued regulations that forbade locals to sell weapons, made land acquisition subject to authorization and restricted the export of labor outside German plantations. Soon there were disputes over previously existing land ownership rights of European colonists, especially the 5000 ha Queen Emmas (Oertzen: "stealth trader"), Richard Parkinson and the Belgian JB Octave Mouton.

On June 10, 1886, Georg Freiherr von Schleinitz took up his post as the first governor of the New Guinea Company in Finschhafen , in the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land . There were sometimes considerable disputes between these two. Gustav von Oertzen was recalled as imperial commissioner when the governor of the New Guinea company arrived, but in the six months that von Oertzen was still in the Bismarck archipelago and von Schleinitz was already in office, they had constant differences of opinion.

From 1887 Gustav von Oertzen was employed as a colonial department in the Reich Colonial Office. In 1888 he went to Sarajevo as consul . From 1895 he was consul in Le Havre and consul general there from 1903. He was retired on September 7, 1907.

Gustav von Oertzen was married to Harriet, widowed von Gundlach (born June 5, 1838 in Quassel) since November 15, 1887, daughter of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin domain councilor Heinrich Edler von Paepke auf Quassel (today a part of Lübenheen ).

In New Guinea, the Oertzen Mountains (Tajomanna) were named after him.


  • Heinrich Schnee (Ed.): German Colonial Lexicon. Volume 2: HO. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1920, p. 670 (reprint. Suppes, Wiesbaden 1996, ISBN 3-9804954-0-X ).
  • Hermann Joseph Hiery (ed.): Die Deutsche Südsee 1884–1914. A manual. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2001, ISBN 3-506-73912-3 .
  • Karl Baumann, Dieter Klein, Wolfgang Apitzsch: Biographical Handbook German New Guinea. 1882-1922. Brief résumés of colonists, explorers, missionaries and travelers. 2nd improved edition. Baumann, Fassberg 2002, p. 341f.
  • Wilhelm-Thedwig von Oertzen : News about the work of the Consul General Gustav v. Oertzen ad H. Kittendorf in New Guinea. In: Oertzen-Blätter. News for members of the von Oertzen family. Vol. 48, 71, 2005, ZDB -ID 12071-6 , pp. 10-11.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See the entry by Gustav von Oertzen in the Rostock matriculation portal
  2. Kösener Corps lists 1910, 120 , 513; 85 , 183
  3. a b Biographical Handbook German New Guinea . 2nd Edition. Fassberg, 2002, p. 341