Between the Old World and the New

Peru: The Early Years

Hudtwalcker Shield

Johannes Christian was born in Hamburg in 1825. He was baptized in the church of Saint Michaelis as a Lutheran (Protestant). As a member of a merchant and Hanseatic family, he travelled to Peru to seek business opportunities, motivated by his friend Johann Gildemeister (b. Bremen 1823 – d. Lima 1898) After staying eight months in Lima, he went back to Hamburg. When he again returned to Lima, he finally settled down in Amargura Street. However, although the voyage was long and tiresome, in the following years he undertook several business trips to Hamburg.

In Lima, Johannes Christian married Clotilde Jouanny y Errea, a lady who was born in Lima, the daughter of French parents and a member of a respected family in scholarly and religious circles. Her father was one of the promoters for the arrival of the sisters from the French congregation of the Sacred Hearts and the establishment of their school in 1849. One of her brothers was the author of one of the first Peruvian cartographic atlases, and another of her brothers was the author of one of the few maps of Lima city at the time. 

In order to be able to marry her, he had to make a hard decision that would change the religious future of his descendants: He quit the Lutheran religion and adopted the Catholic one, which at that time was by far the most common religious direction in Peru. By doing so, Johannes Christian also became the first Hudtwalcker family member to join the Catholic church.

The recently married couple established a home on Veracruz Street, very close to the main square of Lima and Government Palace. After a few months of marriage, the couple travelled together to Hamburg. Here they lived for some years, and during this period they visited Europe. During those years, their first child named Johannes Ludwig Alfred was born (1859 – 1864)but unfortunately, he died early, at the age of five, attacked by the plague on the return voyage back to Lima.

When Johannes Christian was back in Lima he and other German citizens resident in the city at that time founded the German freemason lodge: zur Eintracht, of which he was appointed Grand Master.

Johannes Christian was owner and partner of a commercial firm in Hamburg (Hudtwalcker & Hartwig), and in Lima, he was able to invest and expand his business. Later on, he would expand his business further by collecting rent from the Santa Clara Mills.

The couple had three more children, all born in Lima: Victor Manuel (1861 – 1935), Isabel (1863 – 1947)and Roberto (1865 – 1931). The whole family travelled to Hamburg when Victor Manuel was about 4 years old. This time the couple and their children stayed in Hamburg for a longer period of time; about 12 years. In Hamburg they lived on St. Catherine Street, close to the Alster lake. They returned to Lima when Victor Manuel (1861 – 1935) was 18 years old, having completed 2 years of his agronomical studies. Victor Manuel, who was born in 1861, was to become the father of the largest branch of the Hudtwalcker Family in South America, a branch which today reaches as far as the United States.

A few years after he and his family returned to Lima, and after the end of the Pacific War, Victor Manuel who during the war had fought as lieutenant at the Reducto #2 de Miraflores, married Margarita Cáceres Rivero. One year after they had married, Margarita gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy. Only the boy survived: Victor Miguel Hudtwalcker (1883 – 1951). The joy of birth, and the surviving son, was unfortunately overshadow by another death as Margarita died giving birth.

Shattered by the death of his wife and daughter, Victor Manuel left his son in the care of his father, Johannes Christian Hudtwalcker, and embarked on the same journey his father had done so many times before him travelling to Hamburg. Here, and thanks to the good relations he had in the city of his father, Victor Manuel was appointed chancellor of the Peruvian Consulate in Hamburg.

Upon arriving back in Lima many years later, he went to the house of his father to see his son. A beautiful woman opened the door. She was Ines Cáceres Rivero (1897), the sister of his deceased wife. It was love at first sight and two years later they got married.

Their first son, Alfredo Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1899 – 1974), was born in 1899. Two years later Ines gave birth to Guillermo Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1901 – 1971), and in 1903 their third son, Juan Christian Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1903 – 1982) was born.

In the same year as their third son was born, Victor Manuel’s father died. One may assume that this influenced him when he chose to give his third son the same name as his father (Johannes Christian).

In the following years, the couple had three more children: Inés Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1912-2000), Ernesto Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1914 – 1994) and Germán (Herman) Hudtwalcker Cáceres (1916 – 1918), who died when he was 2 years old.

During the last years of the 19th Century and in the first two decades of the 20th Century, Victor Manuel held different high-level positions in both public and private sectors, besides being actively engaged on an independent basis as a well-known banking and insurance consultant. He worked in the South American Insurance Company, and during President Leguia’s government, he was appointed General Banking Inspector. He was also General Manager of the Peruvian Gas Company, and a member of the Tribunal Mayor de Cuentas during the same government. At this time, the communication companies El Comercio or the All American Cables, looked for his serviced as a translator.

Victor Manuel and Inés had a long and happy marriage for almost 40 years. After suffering from a stroke from which he could not fully recover, Victor Manuel died in 1935, 78 years old, leaving an offspring that continues to grow.

Compiled by: Rodrigo Hudtwalcker Zegarra, 2017 2019