Red Star Line Museum VIA-ANTWERP

In 1873, the first vessels of the Belgian-American Red Star Line made their way between the ports of Antwerp, New York and Philadelphia. Over the next sixty years, more than two million people would pass through Ellis Island with a Red Star Line ticket in hand. Famous passengers included renowned composer Irving Berlin (who was only six when he made the journey and went on to live the American Dream), visionary scientist Albert Einstein, pioneering dance instructor Arthur Murray and – not making this up; just watch The Godfather: Part II – Vito Corleone.

The Red Star Line Museum will feature numerous stories of high expectations and deep disappointments – making them tangible through personal testimonials, vintage photographs and a striking scenography. From the office of a travel agent in Warsaw to the arrival at Ellis Island, you will be able to walk in the shoes of those millions passengers – farmers and entrepreneurs, carpenters and teachers – who went on to shape American society.

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"How far would you go for love? I went 8000 km."  Abram Spiwak, passenger in 1906   "In 1906 I went on board of an ocean steamer in Antwerp to go to my love in New York. We met each other a few years before in Odessa, via my work in a candy factory. She left for New York with her family. I remained and later on I travelled thousands of kilometers to be with her again. So, if you ask me: how far would you go for the love of your life, I would tell: far, very far."   Inspired by the true story of Abram Spiwak, passenger in 1906. You can discover the whole story in our museum. Yiddish magazine “Der Wanderer” published in Warsaw, 1921, collection Friends of the Red Star Line, Antwerp Belgenland poster Travel ticket, 8 April 1911, collection Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp Hotel Jaffa, Somerstraat in Antwerp, 1927, Felixarchief, het stadsarchief van Antwerpen Awaiting the departure of SS Finland, circa 1900, postcard, collection Friends of the Red Star Line, Antwerp Emigrants on deck, photograph collection Friends of the Red Star Line, Antwerpen Janet Linder (L), a granddaughter of Abram and Sophie, with Patricia for the Red Star Line Museum opening in September 2013. The cobblestone route to the Museum was decorated with stars bearing the name of passengers, with their route, their ship, and the year of their journey.  We were thrilled to discover that one of them commemorates the journey of Abram’s sister Gitel, the last of his family to get to America.