Foto de Alberto Langenbacher

The group of German people who started working in Jandía in 1939

The group of German people who started working in Jandía in 1939, comprised the following:

  • Brothers Mr Alberto and Mr Juan Langenbacher. During GW’s visit to the islands in the summer of 1938, in Gran Canaria, he contacted Mr Alberto Langenbacher, who he had met after having worked in CICER. He owned an electrical installation and distribution company along with his brother Juan, La Instaladora Alemana, in Plaza de San Bernardo, in the centre of Las Palmas. The following year, they moved to Jandía and Mr Alberto became his right hand, person in charge and legal representative until the summer of 1946.
Foto de Alberto Langenbacher
Alberto Langenbacher (1941)
  • Engineer Mr Ricardo Haebich, in charge of measuring, tracing paths and supervise constructions: houses, warehouses, piers, etc.
Foto de D. Ricardo Haebich
Ricardo Haebich. Culantrillo. Almond tree plantation
  • Mr Ramón Zadow, was an expert in tinned fish matters, and he had come over in the Richard O´hlrogge expedition,
  • Mr Guillermo Schrauth, whom we shall talk about below,
  • Theodor Günther, in charge of reforestation,
Foto de Schrauth, Zadow y Gunther
Günther, Zadow y Schrauth
  • D. Rudolf Kalab, specialised in manufacturing bricks using clay from the Matorral area, also in charge of the saltworks in that same spot.
  • When Mr Salvador Falero ceased in 1943, he was replaced by “Mr Otto”, an expert in agricultural matters, whom we have no more references about, but who seems not to have stayed there long. Between 1947 and 1962, Mr Salvador Falero made a seasonal comeback to Jandía in order to monitor the different activities being carried out. He lived in Gran Canaria his last few years, where he died in 1969.

There are photos attached of pretty much all of them, and of some of the activities taking place there. It is likely that the impression upon seeing the pictures shall not match the preconceived idea based on fabricated stories, perhaps imagining German people with swastikas and military uniforms.

Due to the start of the 2nd World War on 1/9/1939, the vessels, machinery and facilities purchased in Germany, that were to be sent to Fuerteventura, were left behind and kept by Germany: a large part of them got lost as a consequence of the bombing of the Hamburg port. If the aforementioned industrial project didn’t work out, What other type of works were being carried out in Jandía between 1939 and 1945? Several infrastructures were built, such as a pier,* storage rooms for grain, houses, roads, the natural water streams were improved, ponds, lighting of wells, improvements for agricultural exploitation, ditches were built, reforestation and exploitation of saltworks.

The letter dated 19/07/1946, “Background” section, that has two quotations enclosed as requested by GW, is one of the last letters signed by Mr Alberto Langenbacher. Some weeks later, after visiting Gran Canaria, he was arrested and deported to Germany. He had been 20 years in the Canary Islands, despite having had no partaking what so ever in the War. However, since the money invested in Jandía in the early 40s came from the A.I.G., suspected of being used by the German State, Mr Alberto, as legal representative of Jandía, was put under investigation. Clearly so, he was later released free of charge, he returned to Fuerteventura and lived in Chilegua and Gran Tarajal until he died.

Since August 1946, the only “German” who stayed in Jandía was Mr Guillermo Schrauth. There, he married a local woman, Mrs Carmen Trujillo, and they had three daughters together. In 1954, he left Jandía and went back to Gran Canaria, where he resumed his old job, printing.