Hermann Schulz

On the stream

Hermann Schulz (Text)
Wolf Erlbruch (Illustrationen)
Hamburg: Carlsen Verlag, 1998
136 S.
ISBN 3-551-58035-9

Herman Schulz's novel takes place in the british colony of Tanzania in the 1930s. Friedrich Ganse, a German missionary, comes back from a journey and is faced with the fragments of his family life: His wife died of a deadly fever and his daughter Gertrud is also seriously ill. People from that village had taken care of the girl. They adviced the apathetic Ganse to take the child as fast as possible to the town, in a european hospital.

Thus he soon sits in a small log Canoe to paddle his daughter down ward the stream to the next bigger town. The journey last 5 days and 5 nights. During the nights Ganse lies on the shore so as to refill his stock and to find a place to sleep. Although he hadn't money anymore and speaks none of the African languages which he met on the way, the white missionary is well received all over, his daughter is cared for with local medicines and herbs. The girl is almost well as both finally arrive the town.

The end of the novel remains open, however father and daughter reflect to stay in Tanzania. Therewith they are not alone - during their nights in the bush they meet the German geologist, Goldschmitt who is married to an african woman and later an african woman who is born in Europe and has returned to her homeland. Her parents were carried to Germany as living exposition for the colonial ethnological exhibition (used for translation and possibly for colonial exhibition). Through these two figures whose historical examples are written in the epilogue the German colonial history proceeds to the focal point of the action.

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