Germans in Cobán
The city was developed by German coffee growers towards the end of the 19th century and was operated as a largely independent dominion until WWII. In 1888 a German club was founded and in 1935 a German school opened its doors in Cobán. Until 1930, about 2000 Germans populated the city . In 1941, all Germans were expelled by the Guatemalan government, led at the time by Jorge Ubico. Some say the reason was pressure from the United States. It has been suggested Ubico's motivation was to seize control of the vast amounts of land Germans owned in the area. Whatever the case may be, it is a fact that many of the Alta Verapaz Germans sympathized with the German Nazi movement. Many ended up in internment camps in Texas and were later traded for American POW's held in Germany. A sizable resident German population persists though most having been completely assimilated into the Guatemalan culture through intermarriage. Multiple German architectonic elements can still be appreciated throughout Cobán.
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Famous quotes containing the word germans:
“I think that both here and in England there are two schools of thoughtthose who would be altruistic in regard to the Germans, hoping that by loving kindness to make them Christian againand those who would adopt a much tougher attitude. Most decidedly I belong to the latter school, for though I am not blood-thirsty, I want the Germans to know that this time at least they have definitely lost the war.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)