|12/30/1910 First page of letter |
from Josef to Lisi on F. Missler stationery
December 30, 1910
I want to tell you that I have arrived in Bremen happy and healthy. Now I want to tell you about my nightmare trip.
At this point Josef describes his misadventures and narrow escapes, which have already been shared in previous posts, so I’ll skip over that part and start with Bremen:
Thank God I am here, and I thank our Lord God again many times for the good thoughts he gave me. But such a trip! I thought it would undo me!
|Missler Emigrant Hall, Bremen, 1907|
Perhaps this is where Josef sat with his new-found friends
Tomorrow, December 31, 1910, we’re going to board the ship, as long as we remain healthy. Every day we are checked by a doctor, and up to now, I am completely healthy. Many people, who got sick on the trip, have already been here in Bremen for eight weeks. One woman, who had eye inflammation [probably trachoma--pink eye] has already been waiting here four weeks. She’s finally received authorization to depart for America.
With heartfelt greetings, I end my letter. Please, dear Lisi, tell me in your first letter what you have heard of my colleagues.
With greetings to all,
Gärtz, Josef, Bremen
We must look to his diary now, to see into the heart and mind of a young man, his written emotions a reflection of what thousands of others must have felt at this point in their journeys, as he travels the final leg that will transport him to an unknown land and future.
|Friedrich der Grosse, ship that brought Josef Gärtz|
to America. Thanks to Norway Heritage for image
Early Saturday morning at 4 am, we saw a doctor who looked us in the eyes and inoculated the left hand with four shots. At 7a.m. we took a two-hour train to the ship. We boarded the ship at 10:30 a.m., and at 11:30, it departed directly for America.
|Throngs at the Port of Bremen. Not the era of Josef's|
departure, but gives a sense of the kind of crowd
(From the collection of Maggie Land Blanck)
Josef truly rang out the old on New Year’s Eve, 1910, departing from everything familiar -- and hoped to ring in 1911 with a new life in America. But first he had to endure the harsh winter crossing over the frigid, stormy Atlantic seas.