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Letter to Oskar Speck from John Hagenback

Date: 10 March 1936
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0537[008]

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    Letter to Oskar Speck from John Hagenback handwritten in German on John Hagenback / Shipchandler & Stevedore's letterhead paper. Dated 10 march 1936, in the letter, Hagenback is saddened by the impoliteness Oskar has encountered by Germans in India, glad the British have been friendlier, hoping the government will buy the zoo after all.
    • John Hagenbeck, Colombo, 10 March 1936 My dear Oscar Speck, I received your kind letter dated 20th of last month and noted with great regret thewhat negative reception you had received from the Germans in India. It makes me sad, but what can be done in the face of impoliteness? It gives a badn impression of German expatriates. they way they shouldn’t be. They are more or less insignificant individuals who would not account for much at all at home, yet out here they think they are greatbigger that God Almighty. If they do return back home they will be no more than a face inonly one of the crowd [sic] and of nowithout any significance! You are quite right;, it’s sad when German expatriates behave like this. I was glad to hear that the English were good to you. They have more of a sense of sportmanship. I do regret that I gave you the advisced you to go and seek out the Germans wherever you are. In future, please disregard this advice! You are right, this is a rather shameful episode. There are some good Germans out here, but they are quite rare! The governor came to visit the zoo and was fascinated. Perhaps the government will take it over after all. My dear Speck, keep your chincourage up! Best wishes for the continuation of your ongoing journey and for your success. Best regards From Becher, Horneman and his wife, Uhren and his wife, Wild, Behring, Kolling, and all the Germans. They’ve all read your letter and are very sad! Yours truly, John and Hedda Hagenbeck

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