“Germany means religion, soul, god”
Ross finds the religious devotion of the Old Lutheran settlements in South Australia singular among all Auslandsdeutsche communities he knows.
Ross’s visit to a German-Australian settlement drives home the disconnect between contemporary Germany and the Germany that is the point of reference for many Auslandsdeutsche settlers. Having fled from religious persecution in 1838, the Old Lutheran community’s interest in Germany is still more concerned with religion than with the political developments of the last hundred years. Ross finds this stubbornness both curious and admirable, but notes that the devoutness and proud self-identification as German has waned among the younger generations.
From the settlers’ trauma of 1838 Ross switches to that of the German right in 1918: He brings up the hatred against Germans in World War I, “probably greater here than in any other country” [p. 56]. This makes it all the more remarkable that the descendants of German settlers have regained political offices in the state government and Parliament.
Colin Ross. Die deutsche “Mayflower”. In: Der unvollendete Kontinent. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1930; 52–6.