The German community and all the benefits it brought to Mazatlán

Thursday 25 May, 2023
2 mins read


Mazatlán. – The German community is and will be one of the social groups that contributed the most improvements to the port of Mazatlán, and we are not only talking about beautification, but about true maritime commercial growth that was important for the city.

German immigration in México occurred between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. A good part of this was individual migration, that is to say, that little by little they began to touch Buenos Aires lands and not as group migratory movements such as the immigration of the German settlers from Villa Carlota, sponsored by the Emperor Maximilian (1864-1867) and the Mennonite migration. A community that currently speaks Plautdietsch, a German dialect called Niederdeutsch or Plattdeutsch in German terminology.

But hey, we are going to focus on our port and everything that we can enjoy today thanks to the investments of the Germans.

According to Leopoldo Hernández, director of the Mazatlán Historical Archive, around us there are buildings that show the German influences of the 19th century, this, despite all the significant transformation that the city has undergone to date. Proof of this is the Gothic-style kiosk located in Plazuela República, which was donated by Melchers Sucesores and whose plaque says: Gift to the people of Mazatlán, February 1909.

And just like that building, there are many more carried out by “Melchers Sucesores”, which was a German commercial house that had a boom thanks to the maritime commercial activity of those years, because in the mid-nineteenth century, there were 13 houses in Mazatlán major commercial companies, six of which were German: Hass Denghauysen y Cia, Runherdt y Enwal, Jr Moller y Cia, Unde y Pini, Rocker, Riñes y Cia, and Copman y Lomer. Three were French, Redanet and Echeguren, a Swiss-Spanish, De la Torre y Jecker y Cia, an American, Matt y Talbat, and a Filipino-English, Machado Yeawaid y Cia.

The exchange of Sinaloa from 1811 to 1877 it was characterized by being fundamentally maritime due to the non-existence of land transport and because it was mostly concentrated with Europe, for this reason it was a monopoly of foreign merchants based in Mazatlán that strengthened this situation by being the only port enabled for high-altitude trade and since they are the only ones with the necessary contacts and credit abroad.

Another of the families that bet on the development of Mazatlán was the “Claussen”. ring a bell? The Paseo del Centenario has existed since 1910 thanks to Jorge G. Claussen, who during the centenary of the Independence of México was president of the Mazatlán Improvement Council and thanks to his management several works were designed, laid out and built that still survive, as They are said promenade and the one known as Paseo Claussen.

This community not only left its mark commercially, but also culturally, bringing their music with them, introducing wind instruments and percussion into their bands, the same ones that were the ancestors of the current Sinaloan music bands, as well as the creation from the well-known Cervecería Pacifico.

But what happened to the Germans in Mazatlán and in México?

You can also read: The best of local theater in one place – Punto MX

German emigration to México has its dark side. Starting in 1933, the Adolf Hitler regime sought to have a greater presence in México. There were political and commercial interests at stake.

The authorities of the Third Reich were able to find allies in a part of the German community based in México, causing the Mexicans to feel a certain repudiation that forced them to return to their place of origin, since they were considered Hitler’s spies.

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Source: Rosina Grave from Punto MX on 2023-05-24 12:25:34

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