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Tsingtau 1898-1903, 1898-1903

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Biographical/Historical Note

Friedrich Behme was a German lawyer appointed to the civil court in Qingdao. He was the author of numerous books including the guidebook Führer durch Tsingtau und Umgebung (1897-1900).

Located on the south coast of the Shantung Peninsula at the eastern entrance to Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, once a small fishing village, occupied a strategic naval position in the Yellow Sea by the late-nineteenth century. Following the murder of two German missionaries, the Germans occupied Qingdao in 1897, and by 1898 had forced the Chinese government to concede them a 99-year lease on Jiaozhou Bay and the surrounding territory. Qingdao was declared a free port in 1899, and a branch of the Imperial Maritime Customs was established there to increase control over the region's extensive coastal trade. Germany controlled the region until 1914 when Japan declared war on Germany and captured the port.

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