Born Sept. 27, 1856, in Neuhaus; died Sept. 10, 1918, in Bad Harzburg. German colonial official.
Peters was a cofounder of the Pan-German League. In 1884 he founded the Society for German Colonization (renamed the German East Africa Company in 1885). That same year he led an expedition to East Africa. Using bribes, deceit, and coercion, he concluded several agreements with local rulers that gave the society possession of a territory of 140,000 sq km. These lands became the core of German East Africa, where Peters was imperial high commissioner of the Kilimanjaro region from 1891 to 1895. Mass protests against Peters’ cruel treatment of the native population forced the German government to remove him from colonial service. Peters is the author of memoirs and of several books that present an apology for the imperialist and colonialist policy.