Monday, March 4, 2013
SOCIAL LIFE ON THE CORMORAN
When the German ship, the SMS Cormoran, was confined in Apra Harbor in 1914, it was not considered an enemy. The U.S. was not at war with Germany yet. But the U.S. also wanted to be free of accusations of taking sides in the war. The Germans were happy to be sequestered in the safe harbor of a neutral country, rather than risk being sunk by the enemy Japanese in the open waters.
On a small island, with a small American community, the addition of European sailors and officers from Germany was at first welcomed on Guam with great glee.
Their presence added color and entertainment to the social happenings on island.
Dinner parties were a regular thing on board, hosted by German Captain Zuckschwerdt. German officers would entertain by playing the piano and by singing solo pieces. Christmas time was the most special, with the Germans going the extra yard with their German yuletide customs.
German sailors roamed freely around Guam at this time. I wonder if any German-Chamorro babies were produced in 1915 and in the next few years. All that came to an end in 1917 when the U.S. finally entered the war and the Cormoran sunk itself rather than fall into American hands.