JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen [Belgium] Red Star Line Museum Opening In Antwerp in September #general
Jan Meisels Allen
Many of us had ancestors that emigrated >from Eastern Europe via Antwerp to the
United States via the Red Star Line. The Red Star Line carried more than 2 million
people to the United States >from 1873 to 1934, one million of them Jews . The
Museum opens September 28, 2013. The Line was a joint operation between the United
States and Belgium and had ports in Philadelphia, New York City, Antwerp, and in
Liverpool and Southampton in the United Kingdom. The city of Antwerp purchased
three decaying buildings on the Antwerp harbor that originally served the ship
line. In the museum, a timeline of human migration is illustrated with 20 personal
stories of passengers who traveled on the Red Star Line.
The main exhibit in the museum simulates the immigration experience including a
fake Warsaw travel agency, then proceeding to the interior of a train carriage
which takes them to the simulated city of Antwerp. The museum also pays homage to
the Jews who stayed in Antwerp rather than continue on to the United States, either
because they were deemed unfit to travel or because they saw business opportunities
in the city.
To read the Forward article go to: http://tinyurl.com/mpketd5
The Museum is looking for photographs of passengers who traveled to the United
States on the Red Line Ships. If you want to share your family photograph(s) there
is information on how to do that at their website.
The website of the Red Star Museum is: http://tinyurl.com/kj6uswp
At the IAJGS Conference this summer in Boston, Erwin Joos will be presenting on
August 8 The Red Star Line the Gateway to the New World. The artist Eugeen Van
Mieghem (1875-1930) made impressive drawings and pastels of the Jewish emigrants
that are the missing images between the photographs of Roman Vishniac (life in the
shtetls) and Jacob Riis (life in the Lower East side. Having visited the Van
Mieghem museum and Antwerp last year following the 2012 IAJGS conference the
paintings and history behind them depict an interesting part of our ancestors'
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President