“Rather contra than pro”
The first chapter of Ross’s guidebook for German emigrants to South America reflects his intentions to establish his image as a “detached and objective solicitor”, one whose advice to would-be Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad), or “settlers”, or “colonists”, would “eliminate all ethnic, national economic or political aspects”.
In his guidebook Ross focuses on the individual immigrant, either on his own or accompanied by a family. This is in accordance with the primary mission of the book series (Schriften zur Auswanderung–i.e. Writings about Emigration–issued by a publisher who would later establish close connections with the propagandist Deutsches Auslands-Institut in Stuttgart). As the guide’s subtitle Practical hints and advice for emigrants to South America announces, Ross devotes himself to the pragmatic side of immigration. This includes everyday living conditions, administrative and intellectual requirements, working environment, climatic and infrastructural factors, etc.
Ross, in this early publication, is cautious in presenting the activity of Germans abroad as a new type of colonization, let alone of ideological propaganda (which would become an idée fixe in his speaking engagements after 1933). This is clearly stated in the introductory paragraphs, where he discusses the irrelevance of the question if the “German cause” is served by the activities of the immigrants. This topic would figure more prominently in his book Südamerika, die aufsteigende Welt, albeit in a nostalgic, historical retrospective (see Disappointing new Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad).
Colin Ross. Von den Vorbedingungen der Auswanderung. In: Südamerikanisches Auswanderer-ABC. Praktische Winke und Ratschläge für Auswanderer nach Südamerika auf Grund von Reisen und Studien in Argentinien, Brasilien, Chile, Uruguay und Bolivien in den Jahren 1919-1921. Stuttgart: Verlag Ausland und Heimat Aktiengesellschaft; 1921; 3-10 (http://digital.iai.spk-berlin.de/viewer/image/PPN756711967/1/LOG_0000/#LOG_000)
Case: Speaking engagements