Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Learn about passengers of the Red Star Line

 

"Joodse emigranten van de Red Star"-Jewish immigrants on the Red Star line train from Belgium.

Join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) on Tuesday, April 1, for a program featuring widely acclaimed lecturer from Antwerp, Erwin Joos, who will speak about the "Red Star Line, Gateway to the New World from Antwerp (Belgium) to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, & Baltimore 1873-1934."

The program will held at Maitland Public Library, 501 S. Maitland Ave., Maitland, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for networking and mavens). It is open and free to the public.

Nearly 3 million passengers emigrated from Eastern Europe on the Red Star Line. Erwin Joos's lecture is part history of the Red Star Line and the Eastern European emigrants that departed from Antwerp to North America and part story of the artist, Eugeen Van Mieghem, who captured the emigrants in his beautiful paintings. Many were Jews escaping the poverty and pogroms of Eastern Europe. Exhausted from the ordeals of illegal border crossings, endless train rides and travel by foot, those who had to travel in steerage-which meant most-were subjected to dockside inspections and the disinfection of their luggage. Those who couldn't be given a clean bill of health were turned back. Those sent on were examined more exhaustively on arrival. Engrossed by the scene, Van Mieghem caught it all: mothers with babies, children, bent old women, bearded men, as well as the people of the port: stevedores, sailors, ship captains, prostitutes, women who stitched bags for grain. Most of us with Eastern European roots will find the story of the Red Line and the Van Mieghem paintings and what they depict are related to our personal family histories. You also will have the opportunity to purchase Erwin's beautiful artbook, The Missing Images.

Prior to the program, starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be time for newcomers to network and to receive free consulting assistance or mentoring from a Jewish genealogy maven.

Erwin Joos has been curator of the Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum (www.vanmieghemmuseum.com) since 1993 and director since 1986 of the Eugeen Van Mieghem Foundation, a non-profit organization with approximately 1,000 members. He has given more than 100 lectures in Dutch, English and French in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., London, Geneva, Bordeaux, Philadelphia, and aboard the Queen Mary II sailing between Southampton and New York.

Joos is the author of seven art books and 12 albums and organized 15 major exhibitions in Belgium (The Municipal Printroom and the Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp, In Flanders Fields in Ypres), the United States (New York: Ellis Island Immigration Museum and South Street Seaport Museum, Philadelphia: Gersman Y Center, JCC's Memphis and Norfolk), France (Paris, Institut Néerlandais), England (Londen), Switserland (Fondation Neumann, Genève), Holland (Amsterdam: Rembrandthouse and the Jewish Historical Museum; Markiezenhof in Bergen Op Zoom; Schielandtshuis in Rotterdam) and Germany (Barlach Haus in Hamburg, Castle of Wernigerode and the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin). Erwin studied applied economics at the University of Louvain and post-graduate Financial Theory.

 

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