“On the Road With Ballin.” Hamburg 1904

Source Description

On December 10, 1904, the police inspector in charge of HAPAG’s emigration halls at the port of Hamburg, Wenzel Kilian Kiliszewski, noticed a man calling himself “Jossl Kalischer.” Claiming to be a Jewish migrant from the Russian empire, he turned out to be Julius Kaliski, editor of the Social Democrat’s daily newspaper Vorwärts. Although his disguise aroused suspicion, Kiliszewski was unable to prove Kaliski had broken any laws, and he left the emigration halls a free man. Two days later, on December 12, 1904, Kiliszewski informed HAPAG’s management about the incident. A reply issued the same day read: “Our general director was of the opinion that it would be best not to pay too much attention to the matter...”  HAPAG, Abt. Personenverkehr an Kiliszewski, 12. Dezember 1904, in: „Der Redakteur des Vorwärts, Julius Kaliski“, Polizeibehörde Hamburg, Abt. IV, Politische Polizei, II E III P 45, Auswanderungsamt, 373-I, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Vorwärts announced the publication of Kaliski’s articles on the morning of the same day. Between December 20, 1904 and January 10, 1905, six articles titled “On the Road with Ballin” describing Kaliski’s journey from the Prussian border near Tilsit in East Prussia to Hamburg were printed. In order to experience the treatment of eastern European migrants during their passage through Germany on their way to the USA, Kaliski disguised himself as a Jewish migrant of modest means. His articles document the various stations of his journey from the Prussian-Russian border to HAPAG’s emigration halls at the port of Hamburg.
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Recommended Citation

“On the Road With Ballin.” Hamburg 1904 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-81.en.v1> [June 21, 2024].