Filled with the conviction that the energetic launch of this great national mission must not be postponed any longer, we venture to turn to the German people with the request that they actively support the efforts of our society! The German nation has proven repeatedly that it is prepared to make sacrifices for general patriotic endeavors – may it also participate resourcefully in the solution of this great historical question.
Every German whose heart beats for the greatness and honor of our nation is asked to join our society. It is necessary to make up for centuries of oversight and to prove to the world that the German people have inherited not only ancient imperial glory from our forefathers but also their old German-national spirit!
Source: Society for German Colonization, founding manifesto by Carl Peters (March 28, 1885), in E.A. Jacob, Deutsche Kolonialpolitik in Dokumenten, Gedanken, und Gestalten der letzten fünfzig Jahre [German Colonial Politics in Documents, Reflections, and Figures From the Last Fifty Years]. Leipzig, 1938, pp. 85-87.
Original German text reprinted in Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Imperialismus. Seine geistigen, politischen und wirtschaftlichen Grundlagen. Ein Quellen- und Arbeitsbuch [Imperialism: Its Intellectual, Political, and Economic Foundations. A Source- and Workbook]. Hamburg: Hoffman and Campte, 1977, pp. 124-25.
Translation: Erwin Fink