Monday, 15 May 2017

Michael Rösser gives a working paper on 'The Colonial Mindset of the Building Companies'

East African construction sites (particularly railway lines) and construction sites in the occupied territories during WWI in Europe were regulated by the so-called ‘colonial contract’ (“Kolonialvertrag”). As the contract’s terms and conditions granted the companies of Philipp Holzmann and MAN almost all-encompassing rights and duties to fulfill their task in East Africa and in Europe, this paper investigates the colonial mindset of both enterprises involved. While consciously disregarding the question of actual forced labour practices on the spot, this paper illustrates the companies’ self-understanding as agents of colonial policies particularly in Eastern Europe and East Africa. Employed in all the territories concerned, they actively established a mental link from overseas colonial policies to colonizing strategies in (Eastern) Europe.

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