Since the 1800s, Haiti and Germany had a long held, often fractious, alliance. Germany became an early, important trading partner with the black republic. Germans moved to Haiti to embrace the agriculturally abundant, resource rich nation. Germany fostered this relationship at a time when other European states were wary of the continuing, tumultuous political environment within the Caribbean island nation.
By 1899, Haiti’s main strategic international partnerships rested with the United States, France, Germany and Great Britain. Loans, trade and assistance were provided, by the much larger nations, in exchange for important diplomatic alliances, which gave Haiti’s long line of successive presidents much needed international legitimacy.
November 1915 – Haitian President Sudré Dartiguenave Installed And Supported By The United States After Murder Of Haitian President Sam
(The Evansville Press, November 18, 1915)
HAITI’S 24th and 25th Presidents
Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave was a mulatto who served as the President of the Senate of Haiti in 1910s. He served as President of Haiti from 12 August 1915 to 15 May 1922.
Dartiguenave was effectively head in a government set up by the United States after its military occupation began on 27 July 1915 following a Haitian uprising which resulted in the death of President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam.
Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam (4 March 1859 – 28 July 1915) was President of Haiti from 4 March to 27 July 1915. Sam was murdered by rebels during the Haitian uprising of 1915.
HAITI, AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE RICH NATION
Haiti, as an economic ally, was important for many reasons. It’s gold reserves and vast natural resources, elevated it to a high place among other nations in the world.
Sitting at the heart of strategically placed trading routes, within an expanding Caribbean region, Haiti’s independent status – an enviable ability to make its owns decisions, without recourse to an overarching colonial authority – made it a target where there was no shortage of rich economic friends willing to lend a hand.
In 1896, Haiti had more in gold reserves than all of Central America collectively. Haiti’s gold reserves, in that year, were conservatively estimated at $3,000,000 United States dollars. While this may seem paltry compared to richness of other nations, accessibility and willingness to share with economic partners made the wealth of Haiti’s gold, exponentially, more valuable.
(The Port Huron Times, Saturday October 24, 1896)
1938 – HOW HAITI’S FINANCES CAME UNDER AMERICAN CONTROL FROM 1915 TO 1934
NAZI BANKER AND ECONOMIC GENIUS HJMALAR SCHACHT MAKES HAITI A LUCRATIVE FINANCIAL DEAL, WHICH, IF IT HAD SUCCEEDED, WOULD HAVE PUT THE NAZIS IN GROWING CONTROL OF HAITI
By March 1938, Hitler and his Nazi regime had taken over Austria. This was world news. The rise of Nazism and Hitler’s goal of first capturing all European states, where Germans held a significant portion of the local population was, slowly, coming to fruition. By the close of 1939, a Second World War had been declared in Europe.
In 1938, a desperate Haitian government was on the verge of concluding an important development loan and exchange agreement with Hitler’s Nazi government.
This would have been nothing out of the ordinary for Haitian-German relations, as it historically stood. However, 1938 was the beginning of an extraordinary period in time. The brutality and power of the Nazis with their own brand of fascism, was growing beyond the comfort levels of its European neighbours.
Hitler had surrounded himself with some of the smartest men in all of Europe. One of them, was a man who would ensure that the Third Reich had enough money to rearm and fund itself as it furthered its goal of European domination.
History would reward Dr. Hjalmar Schacht as being the genius banker who helped to provide the Nazis with the one thing needed most when considering world domination. Schacht became Hitler’s money man. Schacht’s monetary schemes to underwrite the finances of the Third Reich would become economic policy, studied by governments, decades after World War II.
For Haiti, Hjalmar Schacht designed a scheme to put the Nazis in a key position to manipulate the finances of the Island nation. Controlling the money supply of the Haiti meant that one controlled the government.
(Star Tribune, Friday, July 29, 1938)
1938 – AMERICA USES A WASHINGTON BANK FOR THE FIRST TIME TO STOP NAZI ADVANCEMENT IN HAITI
For the moment the United States is concentrating it’s dollar diplomacy efforts on a reciprocal trade agreement with the British Empire and the strengthening of its position in Latin America by trade agreements and otherwise.
￼ Last month our somewhat dormant Export and Import Bank in Washington was used for the first time in a direct effort to undercut German penetration into Latin America.
The American government use this bank to lend $5,000,000 to the Republic of Haiti when the West Indian government was about to conclude a comprehensive commercial agreement with the Nazi state. ￼
The Port-au-Prince authorities needed the money to launch a public works program. An American engineering company had prepared plans for the work and was ready to proceed. It could not, however, assume the financial risk involved in doing the work on credit.
German representatives in Haiti learned of the negotiations and had little trouble in persuading the Berlin authorities to authorise to propose a deal.
Haiti’s raw materials which Germany needs were to be exchanged for the machinery and engineering service which Haiti needs.
As usual in such cases, the Nazi government slipped several clauses into their proposed contract which would have given them large authority over the island’s economy.
￼ The State Department learned what was going on and rendered a service to both Haiti and the United States by blocking the German scheme. ￼
(The Escanaba Daily, Tuesday, 09 August 1938)
1938 – HITLER’S FASCISTS ATTEMPT BUT FAIL TO TAKE HAITI THROUGH GENEROUS DEVELOPMENT LOANS
(The Courier Journal, 31 July, 1938)
AUGUST 1941 – NAZIS OUST HAITIANS OUT OF GERMANY
By 1941, Haiti’s diplomatic relationship with a fascist Nazi Germany became simply untenable. Given Haiti’s relationship with the United States, as well as, its relationship with France which had been invaded by the Nazis in May 1940, there was clearly no amount of diplomacy which would have kept international relations going as a bitter bloody war was now raging.
By June 10, the French government had left Paris. By June 14, 1940, the Germans occupied the city of Paris. Despite this, Haiti maintained diplomatic ties with the Nazi government until August 1941. Both countries expelled each-other’s diplomats.
(Honolulu Bulletin, Monday 25 August, 1941)
(Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, August 26, 1941)