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The syndicalist strike on the ocean liner ‘Vaterland’ in 1914

Folkert Mohrhof


ontheocean-Steam boat


Arrival "Fatherland" in New York - Hoboken on May 26th 1914


Archive Karl Roche - Regional Archive for Documenting Anarcho-Syndicalism - Hamburg

Series # 1 - May 2008 - 1st edition - 200 copies

© CopyLeft by Folkert Mohrhof, Grünebergstr. 81, 22763 Hamburg-Ottensen

Thanks for the friendly help and the provision of FVdG / FAUD material

through my comrade in Bremen, Helge Döhring.

Further research results on German and international anarchism, syndicalism and

Anarcho-syndicalism can be found at

TheSteam boat 'Germany' is in need.

Will the flood destroy him?

Will his rotten cauldron blow him up dead?

Does the anger of the people in the boat storm him? -

The newspaper will report it.

Erich Mühsam - distress at sea



With this brochure about the syndicalistn strikeon the 'fatherland' of 1914 I put the

interested public the first part of extensive research on the history of the

Anarchosyndicalism and anarchism in Hamburg - Altona and the surrounding area, the Territory of that time

Greater Hamburg and today's Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

This is the first coherent documentation of the processes onthe back then

largest passenger steamer in the world and describes the events primarily from the point of view of

affected workers onthe HAPAG-oceanGiants. Documentation of the rulers' point of view

and capitalists occurs only to illustrate the fervor with which the imperial ruling class

Class was ready to smash every worker resistance. That she later - after the I. World War -

was ready to take far more drastic and tougher measures against the working class

proceeding, whether organized and with class consciousness or only living in a proletarian way, is perfect

no matter. The National Socialism as a German variant of fascism is already evident here.

With this little pamphlet I want to make clear the power of the organized working class - the

Force that is contained in weapons such as "passive resistance", "direct action", "sabotage", the

»Go slow« and the practice of proxy-free general assembly practice. Nowhere will it

clearer than on a ship (the captain has godlike rights), like the class war organized by

can and must go down if it is to be successful. The World War I ended the

Dispute over the organization of the ship's crews like all other trade unionists

Class clashes.

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to find out where all the striking, rebelling teams are at

Wars stayed where they were used. But one thing is certain: the heaters and trimmers

were drafted directly into the Navy, the sailors anyway. Here they have their experiences from

the first syndicalistn seafarersstrike applied as it was against the imperialist war the

Hunger and the privations and humiliations of the officers on the warships in the

War ports in Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and elsewhere went.

Like it after this strikeon the 'fatherland' continues with the various comrades - it becomes

then the next brochure from the time of the "betrayed revolution" in the early years of the Weimar

Republic report.

Who captain onthe Tanker Germany was decided in those dramatic days. The

Kaiser fell, but the captain, the old man - "Master next to God" - capitalism did not fall, it stayed

continues to be decisive on board and on land. He still has full responsibility for the team and

Charge. And that still needs to be changed.

Folkert Mohrhof

p.s .: Should the If further material - especially newspaper clippings - is available to the inclined audience, I would be grateful if it were available the archive

Karl Roche - Hamburg could be made available in copy (also against reimbursement of costs).


Brief overview of the ships of the "Imperator" class


The Became emperor on built by the Hamburg-based Vulcan shipyard. He was with his stackon on May 23, 1912 with 52,117

Gross register tons the largest ship in the world at the time and flagship of the ship class named after him. The ship was from

led by a commodore and four staff captains. TonThe emperor's godfather was Kaiser Wilhelm II Steam boat delivered.

To the In the First World War the Emperor was handed over to the British Cunard shipping company, which took him under until February 1938 the

Name RMS Berengaria operated.


On April 3, 1913, the Vaterland was the second ship of the Imperator class on the Hamburg-America Line at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg

launched and was launched on April 29th 1914 finally finished. He had a length z.d.L. from 276.59 m, Lüa. 289.56 m, one width

with a side height of 30.48 m and 19.51 m. He replaced the Imperator as the largest ship in the world. The Fatherland had 54,282

Gross register tons and was able to transport 3,677 passengers and 1,234 crew members.

The ship was and was in New York since the outbreak of war ondue to the entry of the USA into the war, the ship was taken over by the USA

confiscated and renamed SS Leviathan on September 6, 1917. From 1922 to 1934 she sailed the North Atlantic for United

States Line and was scrapped in Scotland in February 1938.


The third ship of the Imperator class was the Bismarck, it was built in 1913 on Keel laid and ran on June 20th 1914 at Blohm & Voss

from the stack. The At the beginning of the First World War the further construction was suspended, the ship was in Hamburg onplaced. The ship was

then awarded Great Britain as reparation in 1918. It was completed at Blohm & Voss as "Bismarck" (incl.

Shipyard test drive) and then handed over to the White Star Line and delivered in Southampton on April 1, 1922. He was in

RMS Majestic convertedont. Like the two sister ships, it was the largest ship in the world at the time, at 56,551 GRT.

Vulcan shipyard

- Hamburg

The shipyard and machine factory was founded in Stettin-Bredow in 1851 by the Hamburg engineers Fruchtchtenicht and Brock

founded. In 1857, other companies from Stettin and Berlin joined forces to form the Stettiner Maschinenbau AG Vulcan

and built locomotives as well as ships. By 1870 Vulcan already had a workforce of 1,800.

In June 1909 the Vulcan shipyard opened a branch in Hamburg, which Kaiser Wilhelm II inaugurated. At that point were

about 8,000 workers the Company busy. Shortly thereafter, in 1911, the company's headquarters were also moved to

Hamburg relocated. The company was now called Vulcan-Werke Hamburg and Stettin, Actiengesellschaft. The number of employees increased

so that at the end of the First World War 20,000 people were working at Vulcan. During the First World War they were

Vulcan shipyards largely sell armamentsonlazily employed for the Imperial Navy.

Blohm & Voss - Hamburg

Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss founded the shipyard and machine factory Blohm + Voss. They leased from the rather suspicious one

Senate of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg an area of ​​15,000 m² on the Elbe island Kuhwerder.

The established shipping companies set on their ancestral shipyards in England. By 1887 the shipyard was already employing 1,200

Employee. In 1891 Carl Laeisz and Adolph Woermann became chairmen of the supervisory board; they had been directors since 1854

of HAPAG. With the SMS Kaiser Karl der Große, the first large warship was delivered to the Imperial Navy in 1899. The

Naval shipbuilding continued to grow - and at times made high profits - as the Imperial Navy prepared for war soon. Around

1914 worked several tens of thousands of workers at Blohm & Voss.

Today Blohm + Voss GmbH has only employed a thousand shipyard workers since the January 5, 2005 is also the headquarters of the

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AG is based.

Source: (abbreviated)


Stackon the 'Vaterland', Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, April 3rd 1914

From the giant steamer "Vaterland".

"Fatherland"! A little more than a year has passed since that early spring afternoon, fresh from the wind, since Crown Prince

Rupprecht of Bavaria on behalf of King Ludwig dir, 55,000-tonSteam boat, on the Blohm & Voss shipyard

gave this proud name. It was then that your slender hull left the cradle of its steely ones for the first time

Helgen, in which your keel was stretched in September 1911. Then have thousands of uninterrupted

Workers diligently promoted their growth and vigilance day after day. Artists have created for your toilet

Engineers minded for your invincibility, craftsmen finally have the millions of parts to a whole without rest

joined. Now the noise within you has become silent. Now the drilling, filing, riveting is silent

Screeching, creaking and hissing between your flanks, which are already the water of the Lower Elbe oncharmingly plays around.

And you, "Fatherland", future ruler of the oceans, the blue-white-gold Hapag flag 65 meters above

the The water level wafts from the main mast as a headdress, you are now happy on the first happy journey, you suspect

Already confident of victory the power of the turbines inside you and feel, like a strange one, something that was previously alien to you

Live the veins of your giant body filled with wanderlust. The best of your hometown and your homeland

Wishes guide you, calm sea and a happy voyage be yours!

Altonaer Nachrichten, morning edition from Sunday, May 10th 1914

Introduction to a four-part description of the superlatives of the 'fatherland'


The Stackon of the giant steamer "Bismarck"

Shining sun lay over Hamburg. All streets were adorned with festive decorations. At the Blohm & Voss shipyard

it was alive early on. You put your last hands on the decoration, which now gleamed and shone in

shimmering sun gold. An airy forest of Hamburg and German flags and banners,

black, white and red lined grandstands, on which the festively dressed crowd crowded at 1 o'clock,

a tent-like entrance room, lavender lined and covered with a purple carpet, above it at a lofty height

TonPulpit with its matt yellow-brown fabric cladding: - a real fixed image at this place of restless work.

Long before the emperor's arrival, around 12:30 pm, things began to happen in front of the St. Pauli jetties

to fill the place. Each elevated train brought a large crowd, from the railway station

Landungsbrücken flooded down the high stairs. At 1 o'clock, however, the influx stopped from there onas the trains

the elevated railway did not stop here until 2½ o'clock. But now the crowd came from the Sylter and

Helgoländer Allee and down from St. Pauli Mountain. She pulled up to the St. Pauli market, from where she mostly went

by ferry to the Blohm & Voss shipyard. Another stream of people poured into it

the Elbtunnel to the Wedtgelände through it on To reach Steinwärder. Further down the Elbe at St.-Pauli-

But the fish market was jammed with a crowd onthat are partly after the Roßdeich went over from where a

good overview of the Helgen was, onthe the giant ship was still at rest. Who does not have an admission ticket to the shipyard

but mostly stayed onthe this side of the bank back where many thousands the heights of the water's edge

kept busy. Fährdampfer behind Fährdampfer drove over to the shipyard, through which one seldom seen there

large crowd came to the mighty grandstands. They were in all along the starboard side

in close proximity to the giant ship. From them there was an excellent overview of the

colossal hull, the superstructure of which seemed to touch the mighty Helgen framework.


Here the emperor was welcomed by the head of the shipyard, Dr.-Ing. Hermann Blohm, the former head of the shipyard and

current supervisory board member Mr. Voss and their directors of the shipyard, Rosenstiel and Dr.-Ing. Frahm, as well

received by Mr. Rudolf Blohm. The Kaiser greeted the gentlemen and went immediately on the shipyard terrain,

which he entered through a gate of honor, to the cheering of the crowd of children occupying the first platform

welcomed. Loud cheers rang out from all the stands the Emperor against, who and his entourage himself

immediately went to the tent of honor, where he was also greeted. He came forwardonfollowed by the mayor

Dr. Predöhl, General Director Ballin and Mr. Herm. Blohm, to the Tonpulpit. On the Paths to the Tonpulpit was

the emperor of the on of the shipyard, ladies of the Red Cross Day, who line up under the grandstands

had taken, greeted. Then he stepped to the Konpulpit, where he comes from the Tongodmother and her companion

was received. After a brief greeting, the President of the Senate Mayor Dr. Prdöhl

the ramp and stopped following Tonspeech:

“Your Imperial Majesty!

Infront of us onthe Helgen stretches the huge loaf of the ship that is the third of the class of the "Imperator"

heralds the best progress in German merchant shipping and shipbuilding. With him there is probably one

Climax and perhaps resting point reached, on that the development of the last decades has pushed with her

steady improvement of the safety and comfort of the ship's facilities, with the utmost tension of all

industrial and konmasculine strength. Germany's reputation

Abroad was greatly enhanced by these three ships and their probation. So their construction and success means

a national act, decided and carried out with ingenious foresight and energy. Have your majesty

showed particular care to these ships, as to all seaward endeavors. Personally, yours have

majesty the given the proud name "Imperator" to the first ships in the port of Hamburg the Tonsaying

Burchards, the, badly missed the words of your majesty on the Lower Elbe in the previous year was so delicious

Monument added, and Your Majesty will bestow again today the third ship on first move out of his

enormous fetters, his shipowners and Hamburg, the favor of the imperial presence.

The increases in services up to the height of these giant ships, where everyone still has building experience

the The following was only possible onthe strong foundation of the power of emperor and empire, united


Fatherland, whose prestige is symbolized by the name of the second ship, the Bavaria's all-revered king die

Honor of sponsorship paid. This is how they justify their wonderful names “Imperator” and “Fatherland”, which the

The hearts of the patriotic friends move at the sight of these ships as the embodiment of German strength.

In the Growing industrial performance that require the venture of putting such ships into service

Your Majesty participated personally from a young age. The fact lives here in vivid memory

the details of which I took from yellowing leaves in these days, and from those in the face of this

Your Majesty may be pleased to be reminded of the shape of a ship that the youthful Prince Wilhelm will bring you one

Step stimulated and achieved, which was groundbreaking for the lifting of the tasks of the German shipbuilding

a time when those next to it didn't want to risk it. In the autumn of 1887, the package trip ended

high flight to build two high-speed ships with twin screws. Your Majesty wanted at least one of these

high-quality ships, the construction of which was planned at a proven location in England, the German shipbuilding (to)

transferred and made the Chancellor the mediator of this suggestion with the shipowners and also with the

Senate.Despite the serious reservations of those responsible, since a failure, even if only in details,

could be disastrous, the step was dared, daring with success for shipowners and shipyards. The

Records teach that it was at the suggestion of Your Majesty and her representation by the Chancellor alone that

decided to take the risk. What change sincethe in German shipping and in the appearance of our ports

and shipyards in the twenty-five years of Your Majesty's reign, having achieved what Your Majesty was for

Set Germany's lake development as a task! And the power of the empire swelled again the Hanseatic,

proud sails true to tradition.


His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II - may his government and his life remain long and blessed - he may live high! "

During the cheers, excited about the festive assembly ontaken, hold over the site, intoned

the regimental band of the 76ers the national anthem. Then Comtesse Bismarck, a granddaughter of the old

Chancellor, the Tonpulpit and tonte the ship with the words: “On the orders of His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm

II. Tone i you on the name Bismarck. ”Since the champagne bottle didn't smash on the bow, he grabbed it

the emperor took the bottle and smashed it with a violent throw on the bow of the ship. There was great jubilation

all around. And ons new roaring cheers rose as a few moments later - it was five minutes

after three - the colossus of the ship slid smoothly and safely into the water. To the Stackon drove the emperor

onthe State steamer "Hamburg" accompanied by the aforementioned gentlemen to the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken

back and went on board the "Hohenzollern".

Altonaer Nachrichten, morning edition of Thursday, June 21st 1914


“The largest ship in the world on his maiden voyage. "

is the following article from the New York People's Newspaper of the 'Socialist Party' (socialtheocratic party of

United States, sister party of the SPD) on May 15 1914:

“Hamburg, May 14th. “Vaterland”, the new steamer on the Hamburg-America Line and the largest of all

oceangiant, went to sea from Cuxhaven today for his first voyage to New York, booming

Cheering storms of the crowd onthe That was accompanied by moorings in Cuxhaven

magnificent ship on the exit.

A newspaper correspondent on board sent a wireless dispatch with the that evening

Announcement that the ship is making 22 knots per hour. What is more remarkable is that onthe

The giant steamer makes no noticeable vibrations at such a fast journey. In the evening, in the

held a ball in the great hall. The representatives of Steam boat-Society that is onthe "Fatherland" are located,

said the ship far exceeded their expectations.

The new HapagSteam boat, the second ship of the "Imperator" -class, surpasses the "Imperator", which so far in

the series of oceangiant occupying the first place, in all its height dimensions, is around fifty feet

longer (950 versus 900 feet), with a cubic content of 58,000 tons versus 50,000 tons of the "Imperator".

The following figures give an idea of ​​the enormous size of this oversize ship: Height from the keel to the

Masthead 297 feet, 37 feet from keel to water level, and 137 feet from keel to top deck.

The remarkable speed of 26.3 knots per hour, which the new giant steamer on his

Has developed test drives, gives the certainty that he is not only the greatest, but also one of the

and what will be the fastest passenger steamers that will ply between the old and the new world


As far as safety devices are concerned, it can justifiably be said that they are the "non plus."

ultra “in passenger traffic at sea. TheSteam boat “Fatherland” will undoubtedly be the greatest and

most luxurious floating hotel.

The splendor of the interior surpasses everything that has been seen before; the new Steam boat deserves rightly

to be called a floating museum of decorative arts. The large dining room, with capacity

for 800 people and with its ceiling supported by Ionic columns, is executed in white and gold and

makes a great impression. The cladding of the smoking room is Flemish oak in matt tones and

the large social room, which is transformed into a mirror-smooth ball room by adding the carpets

has been decorated in a cozy warm red. The paintings on board represent a

respectable wealth. In the main stairsontwo landscapes hang from the corridor the Venetian Giovanno

Battista Pittoni (1690-1767). Four large paintings by Lairesse adorn the main drawing room. In the smoking room

there are two naval studies by Professor Schnar-Alquist and a large panoramic study by Kolmsperger

decorates the dome of the dining room.

The catering on board can certainly compete with that of first-class hotels. Tremendous quantities

Meat, poultry and fish, vegetables, fruits and eggs are carried in the cold stores, namely are

for one crossing, i.e. for half the round trip Hamburg-New York-Hamburg, including 50,000 pounds of fresh meat,

It takes 48,000 eggs, 27,000 pounds of vegetables, 120,000 pounds of potatoes, and 7,000 quarts of milk. General

Prohibition seems to be on board the new for the time being oceangiant not to be introduced yet, because his

Provisioning list requires 32,000 liters of wine for the tour and people who are used to something stronger,

serves the contents of 7000 large bottles. "

And the following Friday the May 22 1914, this short message appeared:

"Fatherland" in the port. After a goodonOn the journey, the 'pride of the sea' arrives. Adverse circumstances at

Invest. Boats lay down theoceanGiant in the way when he wants to enter the pier and strong ebb current

drives him back. "

There is no evidence on any problems on board during the voyage, the "passengers spoke in

enthusiastic way about the trip and that Steam boat out". (New York People's Daily May 22nd 1914)

On Tuesday, May 26th, this article appeared in the Volkszeitung:

"Situation on Fatherland. Stokers complain about rude superiors. Stewards demand a wage increase.

Although senior officers are said to seek to avoid shortcomings, engineers mistreat them


About the conditions on board the newest giant steamer, 'Vaterland', which is traveling home this morning

occurs, and the attention widespread on steered, the 'People's newspaper' was able to thoroughly yesterday

Information gains new light on the situation throws. Comrade Kulka, seafarers' steward

Section of the Transport Workers' Union, together with several comrades, acted as stokers onthe Ships

are busy, a reporter of the 'People's newspaper' the assurance that everyone has been in the

German capitalist newspapers did not publish reports on Based on truth and none

Have facts as a base.

As early as May 1st, when the ship was still in the hands of the Blohm & Voss shipyard, they had for

the Steam boat hired seafarers cause for complaint. At that time they asked for a wage of 2.50 marks and

10 marks for the test drive, and refused to work to enforce the claim. But at that time

they were not only granted the demand, but also 15 marks for the test drive in addition to the 2.50 Mk. In front

After the departure from Cuxhaven on May 14th, the machine staff was sent to the ship's command


Demand for a wage increase and improvement in employment relationships. Initially, the management of the

Rejecting the demand. Tothe but the entire crew went out of work on May 12, found

the line is ready to meet the requested wage increase of 98 on 110 Marks to be approved, so that's fine on the

Under the same every difference between the line and the machine crew was eliminated.

It should be noted that people turned to the Transport Workers' Union for assistance, as did them

said yesterday, but did not receive it, so that it was possible for another association to take the lead in this one

To take exercise. After all, there is onthe Ships currently among the members of both associations

full harmony and will on an early reunification hoped.

While the stokers' complaints were mainly directed against, the extremely brutal one

Treatment of direct superiors, not even by the senior officers and even less by the

Hamburg-America Line is approved. It was the conduct of these superiors that caused a storm of the

Aroused indignation among the crews. Not only did the 3rd engineer Lü, for example, enjoy himselftheann in use

the most rigorous driving methods, but he was not ashamed to hit Dobsky from behind.

Daronthe other stokers soon stood by their abused colleague and joined them the Senior engineer

Wolff asked whether this was the promised humane treatment. Lütheann was also at

requests an apology from his superior, on which Dobsky, of course, renounced with the

The prerequisite is that nothing has improved as a result. The Captain turned to the engineers with the urgent

Requests to keep peace with their subordinates.

Coming soonon 3rd Officer Fuchs found it good to use expressions such as' the rabble who made out the Swamps

it emerges ’and to express similar kindnesses to the workers.

All of these cases combined created an extremely agitated mood. Three meetings were held in

Hoboken, of which one in 1000 workers in the engine rooms was visited. They also had

Stewards a good gathering. The complaints currently pending, however, are mainly against

directed the mistreatment. Exceptthe they demand that the stoker deck promised to them, where they the

Recreation in free time should be brought into such a state that it is also the alleged

Purposes. This, it was pointed out by the people yesterday, is not currently the case, because that

The deck concerned is dirty, loaded with oil barrels and leaves much to be desired. About their lodgings, the

according to their information the Granting coal dust free entry, they complained bitterly.

The case with the stewards is more serious. However, these have raised wage demands, namely demand

they got a standard wage of 80 marks per month. Serious scenes have already taken place here. How the

The reporter has been informed, steps have already been taken to arrest two stewards, but as a result

The unanimous entry of the entire team were soon released. Allegedly were too

Special guards were posted outside the stewards' quarters last night. The stewards find the reports

determined, on to stand together in full solidarity in any case, and so should the rest of the team

be determined not to allow any discrimination against any of their own. "


From the "fatherland"

“Scenes that happened before departure. Detectives came on board. Trimmers and stokers agreed

solidarity with the stewards and were to strike ready.

A German penny paper that has always made “sensations” reported yesterday that “on board the

"Fatherland" 80 stewards were brought into custody so that the officers of the ship are walking around armed

and the prisoners in Hamburg the Maritime Court would be handed down. ”As Mr. Meyer, the representative of the

Hamburg-America Line, announced yesterday afternoon to a reporter for the "Volkszeitung", is that

History as well as all the "sensations" that it gives its readers ontable.

About what happened on the “fatherland” on the Monday before the ship's departure gives the following letter

Information from a steward that was made available to us by a reader of the "Volkszeitung":

“This morning we have a wage claim of 80 marks per month instead of the previous 50 marks on board

The inspectors and the director are brought in by a commission of six men. Since today

At ½2 o'clock there was a meal for over 600 people, we wanted to have an answer by noon, and if so

refused, already not serving this dinner. But we were told to go at 4 o'clock

Have answer. We served calmly, and after the We didn't eat any more, as they cunningly made our chairman

wanted to hold on to the Oberstewardsoffice. But that's where we all came fromon moved in and they released him;

then we sent a commission to the Commodore Ruser, but he wanted to join on let in nothing. We

sent her a second time and a third timeon. Finally he came over to third in the dining room

Class to speak. There he explained to us that there was nothing he could or would do and that he simply lay the ship

wanted to leave; we would know what would happen to us there. We told him it wasn't mutiny

woron he didn't know what to say. He left us and said we could do what we wanted.

We went to Logies, 178 men, and discussed how to negotiate. Finally the stewards came

and a captain and challenged us on, come into the courier room, one by one, and we should sign whether

we wanted to work or not. We declared together that no one signs anything. It was a very

busy day, and unity among the stewards like never before. When we sat at dinner

came on once a captain, chief stewards and two American detectives and were looking for three stewards who

our spokesmen were to arrest them. They found her too on Deck and explained them on Request of the

Captain for arrested. The a detective accepted the a steward: "You are the first man for Sing Sing";

representon said the steward that so he (the detective) would be the first and he the second. When we got pointed

what was going on, we all stormed on deck and, with loud protests, prevented the people from being led away,

which the local police were not authorized to do as long as they did not have a certificate from the German consul. you

had to let go of the two too. The detectives dogs had their hands tight on the revolver in their pockets.

You would have the theater on Deck should only see. Of course we immediately sent to the stoker's logis and the

Stoker from the operations on Deck notifies woron everything hereoncame. The detectives and captain and

Officers left and we had a meeting. The stokers and trimmers agreed to this

in solidarity with us that if one of the stewards did, they all wanted to stop working immediately

is arrested. I am only writing this to you so that you might find a reply in the “Volkszeitung” on the wretched

Lügenblatt, the "Staatszeitung" can let go of; the cheese leaves wrote today in the morning edition,

the “Vaterland” people did not even think of making demands, the gentlemen would not be aware of anything. It

also said that 50 detectives were on their way to arrest us; but there would have to be more than 600 people

dissipate. They can't harm us because we don't mutiny or get violent. Foreign police

May not arrest anyone on board a German ship unless it is from the German consul

is required. When the Commodore remarked that we earned so much, a steward gave him three

Cents that he presented today at the Got food from a gentleman, we even know the name. That

a detective the Hit the steward in the face and tore his jacket, doesn't do anything, but it does

They shouldn't have drawn revolvers; then they would have been Elias earthworm and we would have them overboard

thrown because we were a few hundred people and the excitement was great; we don't have them in them

given to be understood in a misleading manner. "(New Yorker People's Newspaper, Thursday May 28th 1914)


How could it be this strike come?

On May 7th there will be a "gathering of part of the crew of the largest ship in the world, Fatherland", reports

the Hamburg port workers on May 16 1914, the “from the Syndicalist leader Schneider opened ”. He stated that

Since the last meeting eight days ago, one hundred crew members have already been in the syndicalistn

Industry association onlet take. The remarks made by Comrade Schneider go on as follows

quotes: "The trade unions of today, no matter what shade they are, are not drawn to it,

to improve the condition of workers. The socialtheocratic would have abandoned their previous radical position and

are therefore no better than the hirschdunckerschen, the Christian ones and the yellow ones. He is standing onthe Position that,

if one wants to fight the capitalist successfully, one must not do it first like the leaders of the above

listed unions. As is well known, they are only just beginning to examine the matter and enter into negotiations.

The latter then often last a whole year and the end is then the rejection of all of the demands. He

pointed here on various wage movements where this was the case. Such a way of fighting is not that

correct, because the entrepreneur must not even notice beforehand that something should be done against him, but he

must be taken by surprise. As a result, he will not then on Can prepare replacement and thereby

forced to approve the workers' demands. ”This view was met with great applause from the

Assembly approved. The Spokesman then said that the occupation of the 'fatherland' also did it that way

must be. The colleagues should only approach the company and their demands on the day before departure

present. If this were rejected, then the work had to be stopped immediately, because only then would the entrepreneur be in the

Dilemma and must approve for better or for worse. Whoever thinks such a way of fighting is right, may themselves the

syndicalistn Join industry association. A lively applause was thanks to the speaker and then they let themselves go

several of the young people onto take. Such short-sighted workers will get their heads off the syndicalists

run in the same way as with the socialtheokraten. "

The national dockworkers warns

"Last but not least, the entrepreneurs:

eyes on!“

In the agreement of May 9th, the acknowledged

Chief Cashier of the Syndicalist

Industry association for Hamburg and the surrounding area,

K. (urt) Marx, the receipt of 345.80 marks the

Stewards of Steam boats S.S. 'Fatherland'.


In the police file we also find a copy of the intercepted letter from Comrade Max, who moved to America

Baginski, who is working on the publication of the "International Workers Chronicle" in New York. As secretary of the press

He signs the commission the Date of May 15th 1914:

“Dear comrade!

Your letter at hand! The message in it is indeed 'not without'. Certainly, I'll go with the mentioned comrades

seek to connect; I would have preferred some more details about the nature of their occupation on

the To find out 'Fatherland' would have made the connection better. Thought that I would go to both of them

should write: by address 'Fatherland'. Surely you will hand out letters like this to the people onthe

Steam boat. Then you could tell me where to find them. The 'Industrial Workers of the World', under

the Abbreviation I.W.W. known, try the 'Marine Workers' - the workers on the ocean ships -

to organize here. Do you have any connection with them? There is, of course, much to be desired about this

Organization, it also puts itself in a certain opposition to syndicalism like him here onoccurs. - It would be

to talk too broadly about it today at length and width; I just want to say that if your involved in organizing the

If you wanted to approach ship workers, it might be advisable to talk to the people from I.W.W. related to

put. The address for New York would be 214 West Street, New York City. - You can contact J. Sandgren personally

address. He also understands German. But the comrades onthe Ship themselves will probably know best

what steps to take. - Send you under cruciate ligament No. 1 and 2 of the 'In. Workers Chronicle ’, a

Leaf that we try to keep afloat and, if possible, to make it appear more often.

Luck for now on!

Max Baginski.

As far as we a few conscious Social Revolutionaries come into question, we are almost only there as "irregulars"; little connection possible

with the trade union movement, which is either completely senseless, or in places by the socialtheokraten a little grassed

becomes -"

The police files contain the following telegrams sent by the comrades on the "fatherland" to the chairman Schneider

having sent:

»On 12/5. all claims approved. Inform Klostermann. Bormann Däbel "

»On 3/6. All fired. Waiting. People come 11 o'clock. W. 178 1. "

»On 5/6. Mainly failed because of stewards immediate information how machine personnel should react.

Däbel Lowis 96. "

»On 6/6. Everything done by Commodore Ruser come personally. Puller

J. Debel. "

Ernst Schneider received the following postcard from New York on May 23rd 1914:

“Just got back from our meeting. Just great. Please have a good restaurant ready in Hohe Bleichen.

Immediately assembly. Signed Dobsky. "

1 This is the membership book number of the Syndicalist Industry Association Hamburg


In the unity, a report appeared on the very poorly attended general meeting of the association on May 17th. It

reports on the admission of the new members from the “fatherland”, and comrade Schneider announced that “the

On May 12th, shop stewards of the team from the 'Fatherland' submitted the request that Heuer on 110 Mk. To

increase. But the demands should apply to the entire Imperator class and also to the Steam boat 'Cap Trafalgar' validity

to have. All claims were approved on the same day. The congregation took this brilliant victory with joy on.“

(The unity, May 30th 1914)

The Syndicalist industrial association for Hamburg, Altona and the surrounding area then gives the last revolutionarysyndicalist

Newspaper before the War out: The Revolutionär appears once on the 1st Saturday in June 1914 under the responsibility

by Ernst Schneider (local: Zeughausmarkt 14, ground floor).


Under the bold slogan »The workers have no fatherland, and none to lose!«, This article follows:

"We have received the most confidential assurance from our comrades on board the giant steamer 'Vaterland' that

none of the reports previously published in the capitalist and party-political newspapers on Based on truth

and have no facts as a basis. It should be no secret that central trade priests

make every effort to disguise the action of the revolutionary comrades of the Syndicalist Industrial Union. Man

consider: Central trade discipline and the off the revolutionaries that emerged from deep within the workers

Activity: What an unbridgeable gap!

As early as May 1st, when the ship was still in the hands of the Blohm & Voss shipyard, they had for the

Steam boat hired seafarers have every reason to complain.

From facts of their deepest conviction as class warriors, they demanded a wage from Mk.

2.50 and Mk. 10, - for the test drive and refused to work to enforce the claim.

At that time they were not only granted the demand, but also Mk. 15, - for the

Test drive.

Shortly before the ship's departure on May 14th, our comrades presented the revolutionary

Syndicalist industrial association suddenly a renewed demand for wage increases and improvements

in the employment relationships.

An ultimatum was given to the ship's management.

On May 12th, thanks to our revolutionary propaganda, the entire team stopped work.

But the dividend guzzlers on the Hamburg-America Line were ready to accept the wage increases from

98, – on Mk. 110, - to be granted.

Apparently any difference between the entrepreneurs and the team was now gone. who laughs


The seamen of all ranks organized in the German Transport Workers Association also turned around

Support to their 'organization' was, of course, rejected as usual, and on a later time

consoled. The direction of this movement was entirely in the hands of our comrades. But that's exactly why

there was the most unanimous harmony aboard the ship. However, the henchmen of capital did

rest. One of these loyal Fridolines, the IV. 'Engineer' Lütheann dared our comrade J. Dobsky

to hit from behind.

What ’a heroic deed of that cowardly, stupid and arrogant fellow? The latter brutality

seemed itself the Commander of the ship too largely. He asked Lütheann to apologize for what

this Byzantine also immediately did. Of course our comrade renounced it on this unabashed

Belly scrambling with the Noticing that nothing has improved thereby.

Now the commander turned to the engineers the urgent requests to have 'peace' with theirs

To keep 'subordinates'.

But soon thereon found it the III. 'Officer' fox for good, in expressions like 'The Mob ’'from the

Swamps emerges ’and to express similar kindnesses to the workers. It is understandable that

all of these cases had to lead to general outrage.

In three meetings called by our comrades, one of which is attended by over 1,000 workers

was, the behavior of the capitalist thugs was sharply criticized. They were also part of our association

stewards belonging to a well-attended meeting. The latter comrades brought bitter complaints against them

mistreatment that has become part of it, as well as its unworthy reward.

So a wage demand was unanimously made and our comrades demanded it in full

Certainly not too high a standard wage of Mk. 80 per month.

This seemed too risky for the representatives.

All possible means were tried to dissuade the comrades from their demands, but what was done the

healthy sense of all those involved failed. All efforts to suppress this wage demand,

proved useless.


Now the shipowners' lackeys used brutal force. Two of the wage claims

those involved were arrested, but soon as a result of the unanimous appearance of the entire team

had to be released. It is clear that capital must give way to the closed phalanx of workers.

Even if the successes achieved through direct action cannot be called generous, we remember

at least of those words: 'In the beginning there was the deed!' It is quite understandable to us that those idlers who

on Cost the creative to lead a brilliant life, at the first best opportunity over the creative