Hamburg, Germany harbor (click to expand)
Hamburg, the major seaport of Germany, was the main point of departure for millions of Germans and other Europeans emigrating to the USA and elsewhere.
Germans sold their homes and furniture and everything they had after the war just to pay for the passage to get away to the Land Of Opportunity.
Now 60 years later, with German-Americans in their prime income and or retirement years, Hamburg has decided to reap new benefits.
With American tourism down, Hamburg has decided to build "Ballin-Stadt;" a site commemorating all those who left its shores and emigrated. It is the brainchild of the Hamburg Maritime Foundation.
Hamburg will even index and computerize the lists of all those Germans that left for the USA from the old decaying lists stored in old abandoned warehouses.
Soon German-Americans can relive their departure from Hamburg and Germany as can their children. Many other ports like Bremen have had this service accomplished decades ago, when American tourism was not in such great demand.
Hamburg hopes to attract 200,000 German-Americans yearly back in the old country to visit this area where they last left.
This time German-Americans will be bringing new dollars to an economy ravaged by recession.
Now the German refugees that left Germany and gave it all up to the profiteers after the war will be German-Americans returning with dollars, boosting the economy of an area that they so dearly paid for to leave over a half a century ago.
*Hamburg virtual tour
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
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