|Missionaries from Gerlingen: Gottlieb Zimmermann|
"It wasn't contrary to his nature that he changed several times the place of his activities in the first years of his African detention in order of the Mission Management. Far from it: It accorded totally his spirited disposition.
Thus he got a good insight into country and people of the Gold Coast and in the whole Mission work. This enabled him also to keep awake the interest in Mission in his home town with depict lively representation in his letters and inspiring kick in his speech."
Zimmermann, son of Georg Elias Zimmermann and his wife
Dorothea, née Ortlieb, is born in Gerlingen in 1876 - in
the same year when Johannes
Zimmermann dies. They are not directly related, but they have common
forefathers and a commonality in their biographies: Both are
intended for the Gold Coast and both work at Akropong Mission.
A year after his confirmation Gottlieb Zimmermann starts his apprenticeship at master tailor Maisch, a religious master craftsman who - how also his parents - belonged to the Evangelic Confraternity.
1896 he starts his training in Basel/Switzerland, and 1903 he finishes it. His first station at the Gold Coast is from 1904 to 1905 Akropong: "Had ... to overtake a school with 100 boys, what is not so easy for a newcomer."
From 1905 to 1906 Gottlieb Zimmermann
stays in Kumase. From there he writes: "Mampong, my new
Mission, is two days northern from
Kumase, and so I am totally terminated from the rest of the civilized
world. At home you can't imagine what it means to live alone under
heathen people, where months go by until you see a white face again or
hear again the lovely sound of the own mother-tongue ...
Yes, where I not even have a house and where I - when I come home - first I have to build myself a house."
In January 1908 Gottlieb Zimmermann gets
married in Aburi/Ghana to the Reverend's daughter Mathilde Weigelin
from Lorch/Germany. They get four children.
In the First World War Gottlieb Zimmermann gets interned in Kukaloe from the English and only in September 1918 he gets released. The whole family returns then to the home country and lives in Winnenden, where Zimmermann is engaged in the "Inner Mission" of Württemberg.
Gottlieb Zimmermann dies on the 5th of October 1919 tragically: At the arrival of a train in Winnenden station he falls from the platform of a carriage and gets under the wheels.