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For a 30-year period, from the 1880s to World War I, 2.5 million Jews, fleeing discrimination and violence in their homelands of Eastern Europe, arrived in the United States. Many sailed on steamships from Hamburg.
This mass exodus was facilitated by three businessmen whose involvement in the Jewish-American narrative has been largely forgotten: Jacob Schiff, the managing partner of the investment bank Kuhn, Loeb & Company, who used his immense wealth to help Jews to leave Europe; Albert Ballin, managing director of the Hamburg-American Line, who created a transportation network of trains and steamships to carry them across continents and an ocean; and J. P. Morgan, mastermind of the International Mercantile Marine (I.M.M.) trust, who tried to monopolize the lucrative steamship business. Though their goals were often contradictory, together they made possible a migration that spared millions from persecution.Today’s guest is Steven Ujifusa, author of “The Last Ships From Hamburg: Business, Rivalry, and The Race to Save Russia’s Jews on the Eve of World War I.” His great-grandparents were part of this immigrant group, and he describes how they moved from the shtetls of Russia and the ports of Hamburg to the mansions of New York’s Upper East Side. We explore how debates on immigration have changed from the 1880s to today, and what it takes for the interests of billionaires and the interests of society’s poorest members to align.

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"The Last Ship From Hamburg: How Russian Jews Escaped Death on the Eve of World War I" History on the Net
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July 14, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/the-last-ship-from-hamburg-how-russian-jews-escaped-death-on-the-eve-of-world-war-i>
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