L'Affaire Luders on December 6, 1897 between Haiti and Germany

Less than a century before the shameful injustice the Nazis would inflict upon a people, Germany busied itself humiliated Haiti for showing allegiance to the wrong side in the French-Prussian war. After successfully strong-arming the smaller country into making payment on their debts to German merchants with high indemnities, the German's ended the seizure of the Haitian warships, used as leverage, by returning the ships with their Haitian flags trampled and smeared with feces.


This was, however, not to be enough. Emile Lüders, child of a Haitian mother and German father, was arrested and sentenced to jail for thirty days after beating a Haitian soldier. After an appeal he was fined to a year's jail-time on the 14th of October 1897. After forcing the Haitian Government and the then President, Simon Sam, into pardoning Lüders, Germany demanded to have all the police and judges involved in the case fired in accordance to the initial request which the Haitian government had ignored.

Yet again warships were sent to seize a sort of prostration from Haiti, and further demands for an apology to Germany, a $20,000 ransom to be paid for Lüders as well as the welcoming of the German flag by 21 gun salute and a ceremony of honor for Count Schwerin, Germany's Chargé d'Affaires were made with the threat of bombings by the two German warships, Stein and Charlotte if the demands were not met. With only four hours to make a decision and no aid in sight from outside governments, a white flag, at half-mast, was indication of Haiti's acquiescence.

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Read more: Debt, Germany, Tiresias Simon Sam, Affaire Luders, Injustice, Humiliation, indemnity, Apology, 21 gun salute, Luders, Luders Affair, Government

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