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Travel Routes for Germans leaving Russia to North America

Electronic mail message from Arthur E. Flegel, Menlo Park, California


In response to your query regarding travel routes taken by Germans leaving Russia, I am pleased to share what my research and interviews have uncovered. I am also submitting copies of this message to others for whatever benefit it may provide.

Although in rare occurences there could have been other routes of travel the following method was almost universally pursued in the Black Sea Area. The services of a Jewish travel agent named Mischler, copies of whose advertisements I have, were normally engaged for travel arrrangements. He had a well established route beginning with Odessa via train through Warsaw, Poland to Berlin, Germany and from there to the seaports at Hamburg or Bremerhaven in Germany. His agents along the way were well trained to assist and take care of his clients' needs. I have no report that anyone working through him was ever stranded. However, on occasion the travellers did have problems with border authorities or having reached their seaport destination in Germany, chose for one reason or another to remain there for a period of time before continuing on to the USA. Usually, it was because they had run low on funds and decided to earn some money before continuing to their final destination.

For those who were unable to acquire passports, Mischler also had a well organized underground. This was the means my parents had to take in 1899 since the Czarist Government would not issue my father a passport because he had been in the military and the Russo-Japanese War was imminent.

I believe your Ganske people were among those of several groups who emigrated about 1906-1908 from Kronental (Nemetzko Chaginskoe) in the Caucasus. Normally people from there would go to the nearest RR Station, Woronzovka, present day Salsk from where they rode the train to Odessa.to proceed as described above.

There was a second agent named Stickler or Stickley whose services were seemingly less dependable and therefore less prominent.

Travelling by ship from Odessa across the Black Sea and then the Mediterranean and around the coast of Europe back to Bremen would have been a long detour and quite costly, so it appears most likely the information that the family travelled from Odessa by water is in error.

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