Re: How they traveled #usa #romania #russia

Jorge Sexer

Having or not having a Russian passport made all the difference. With a passport you could board a train or a boat to leave the Empire. Without, your only choice was to get smuggled across the German or Austrian frontier.


A passport was expensive and impossible to obtain if someone in the family was due his military service (in that case you had to pay a huge fine). Crossing the frontier illegally was not free either : you had to hire a "tour guide", who in his turn bribed the frontier guards. Some witnesses say that it was dangerous, other describe it as a routine affair.


Entering Germany the legal way was not necessarily easy either : you had to show a passenger ticket (preferrably by a German shipping company) and a sum of money to make sure that you wouldn’t be denied entry to the U.S. The Germans wanted migrants to pass swiftly through their country and leave as soon as possible. The transport of migrants was a profitable business for the German companies and state.

Jorge Sexer   jas2608@...

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