German Colombians ( Deutschkolumbianer , Colomboalemanes ) are Colombian citizens of German ancestry. The term "German" may refer to ethnic Germans who immigrated to Colombia from Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, former Yugoslavia and elsewhere in Europe. Most German Colombians live in Bogotá, Santander Department, Atlantico Department, Magdalena Department and Antioquia Department. Germans have been immigrating to Colombia since at least 17th century. During World War II, thousands of Germans fled to Colombia.
German immigration to Colombia
The first German immigrants arrived in the 16th century contracted by the Spanish Crown, and included explorers such as Ambrosio Alfinger. There was another wave of German immigrants at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century including Leo Siegfried Kopp, the founder of the famous Bavaria Brewery. SCADTA, a Colombian-German air transport corporation which was established by German expatriates in 1919, was the first commercial airline in the Americas.
In 1941, the United States government estimated that there were around 5,000 German citizens living in Colombia. Several thousand more joined their ranks in Colombia's burgeoning cities. There were some Nazi agitators in Colombia, such as Barranquilla businessman Emil Prufurt, but the majority was apolitical. Colombia asked Germans who were on the U.S. blacklist to leave and allowed Jewish refugees in the country illegally to stay.
In the 1980s, thousands of German Colombians emigrated back to West Germany due to the Colombian armed conflict. However, this trend began to decline in the late 2000s (decade) as living standards rose sharply after the Colombian economic boom.
According to the German embassy, there are 9,668 German citizens living in Colombia in 2011.