More Than Merchants: A History of the German-speaking Community in Penang 1800s-1940s


Khoo Salma Nasution
2006. Areca Books
Hard cover. 21.6 X 21.6 cm, 128 pages
170+ B/W and colour photographs
ISBN: 9789834283414

Out of stock

Product Description

More Than Merchants: A History of the German-speaking Community in Penang 1800s-1940s by Khoo Salma Nasution

One hundred years ago, the port of Penang attracted German and Swiss traders to make their fortunes here. This mercantile community had their own German club, beautiful suburban residences and prominent trading offices along the harbour front. They made immense contributions to public life, engineering, architecture, photography and postcard publishing in this part of British Malaya, and unduly influenced Anglo-Siamese politics in Southern Thailand. The S.M.S. Emden’s daring raid on the Penang harbour during the First World War is often recounted, but less well known is the fact that Penang served as a secret U-boat base during the Second World War. More Than Merchants relates the social history of the German-speaking community in Penang through the stories of individuals, families and companies. Also featured are famous visitors to Penang such as Karl May, Count Friedrich M. von Hochberg, Hans Sturzenegger and Herman Hesse.

Editorial Reviews

“The book serves more than simply serving tribute to the close-knit German-speaking mercantile community… Khoo has also successfully conveyed their courage and fortitude as merchants in facing the fate that befell them and their enterprises caused by the international repercussions of European politics.” Marina Emmanuel, New Straits Times

About the Author

Khoo Salma Nasution is a writer, publisher and heritage advocate. Her recent publications include Heritage Houses of Penang (2009) and Sun Yat Sen in Penang (2008).

Table of Contents

Author’s Preface
Introduction to Penang

German Writers on Penang

  • Karl May
  • Hermann Hesse

A Long Way from Home

  • Johann Georg Bausum, Independent Missionary
  • Felix Henri Gottlieb, Master Freemason
  • Charles Ernest Tardy, Patriarch of the Penang Eurasian
  • ‘Karl’ Family
  • Penang Burials
  • German Jews in Penang

Photographing Penang

  • ….. August Ernst Kaulfuss, Pioneer of Penang Postcards

The Deutsche Vereinigung

  • ….. The Pickenpacks in Penang

German Trade & Commerce

  • ….. August Huttenbach, Legislative Councillor & Industrialist

The Rise of German Shipping
Anglo-German Commercial Rivalry in the Peninsula

  • ….. Alfred De Witt Neubronner, Siamese Consul-General in Penang
  • ….. Maria Antonetta Neubronner, Penang’s First Lady
  • Henry Alfred Neubronner, Architect & Versatile Citizen

Repercussions of the Emden Raid

Between Two Wars

  • ….. German & Austrian Products in Penang Homes

U-Boat Base, Penang

Click here to see photos from the official book launch of More Than Merchants

Additional Information

Weight 600 g
Dimensions 22.6 x 22.6 x 1.5 cm