Monday, October 5, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Baltimore, Ellis Island, Wilson, Taft and Serbia

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue transcribing in ten minute segments the tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, and his older brother, Ted Deutsch, recorded in 1977.


Martin: Two weeks crossing the Atlantic. And it was you think it was in January or February.
Ted: We got here it was in February. I don’t recall whether it was in the middle of February. I know it was February.
Martin: It was in the winter.
Ted: There was snow on the ground. The only reason I think it was February is because they were talking about the President taking office the next month. I remember that.
Martin: I see, it was in March then.
Ted: It was March 15th. And we were here already, see, in February.
Martin: March 15, 1913 would have been Wilson?
Ted: That’s right.
Martin: He was elected in 1912, and then took office on March 15, 1913. Roosevelt was going out. Teddy Roosevelt was going out.
Ted: It wasn’t Roosevelt. It was Taft.
Martin: Taft, sure.
Ted: I remember the kids were singing, “Taft, Taft you’re gone. Taft. Roosevelt next month.”
Martin: And it was Wilson, because of course he was in during the war.
Ted: That’s what makes me sure it was in February.
Martin: And you recognized that when you landed? Or…a few days after that.
Ted: When we landed we stayed with some friends for a while. The Newmans (?).
Martin: In Chicago.
Ted: In Chicago. They had a home on Christiana Avenue, just west of Humboldt Park.
Martin: They owned their home there?
Ted: They owned a home there, they lived on the second floor, and we lived on the first floor. At that time.
Martin: For just…
Ted: About six months I think
Martin: Was it that long?
Ted: Yeah.
Martin: It’s something I didn’t remember at all
Ted: We were there with them, I would say it seems six months to me. And then we moved to Claremont Avenue.
Martin: I remember the place on Claremont in the basement room.
Ted: That was still 1913.
Martin: And of course we went to school near Claremont.
Ted: We went to school. High School there, which was just around the block.
Martin: Well, to get back about the vessel and where did we…we took off from Bremen, Germany, I imagine. Where did we land in the United States, I’ve always been puzzled about that. I thought it was Ellis Island.
Ted: We didn’t land at Ellis. We came through Baltimore. That’s what I … Our passport called for Baltimore.
Martin: Well, if we had tickets on any vessel that would be scheduled for Baltimore, that’s where we came. I hadn’t heard of Baltimore being a port of Entry for immigrants, but of course I am satisfied it was. And while most everybody came through Ellis Island, we didn’t. That surprises me, but I can understand it would be true. Is there any kind of papers that would show it. So that we know that’s what happened.
Ted: I never ran across any papers that would show positively that we came through
Martin: I’m not….your memory is satisfactory I’m sure. It just surprises me. I was also wondering the actual dates. I never have seen…saw anything positive to give us the date, and the port.


Ted: I could never prove that we landed in Baltimore because I don’t have anything to show. If we had come through New York, we would have been put into Ellis Island for detention. We would have been detained there for processing. I don’t ever remember going through any processing over there.
Martin: Well, I would think you would be processed even in Baltimore, but it didn’t impress you somehow. I can’t imagine…you didn’t just come off the boat and come to Chicago. You went through customs, I’m satisfied.
Ted: We went through customs, but we weren’t detained there very long.
Martin: Somehow, you know I visited New York not too long ago, and I went to Ellis Island just to look at the place, and it seemed familiar to me, but I may have seen movies of it or pictures and I’m not sure whether its from my own memories when I was five or six years old and coming here that it seemed familiar. It may have been just from movies I had seen or pictures I had seen of Ellis Island. Well,
Ted: I may look into it.
Martin: I know you have the passports. And you showed it to me, and I couldn’t figure out an exact date.
Ted: Didn’t I give you the passport?
Martin: No, you took it back and you said you’d keep it. Then you were going to give it to me, and you forgot to bring it.
Ted: Last time you were here at the wedding.
Martin: No, you showed it to me here one day, and you were taking it back for some reason. You were going to look at some more papers. But that may be the --- the dates is what I’m…and the port of entry which I think should be positive, but I couldn’t figure it out from the passport, anyway. And you kind of read it. But I don’t think it gave the information about the date of embarkation or anything like that. Those would be other papers.
Ted: The passport gives you the date that you left.
Martin: The passport was issued. No, the passport was issued on a certain date. But it doesn’t say when you left.
Ted: It says you’re killeag (sp?). That means “left the county.”
Martin: All right, I looked at the visas in the passport and there was no entry whatever. It didn’t show that you went through any.
Ted: That’s right, I had noticed that.
Martin: When you go from Austria to Germany, which you had to do, or Hungary to Germany, you go through border processing, and they punched or stamped the passport to show you entered. And when you left anyplace they’d show you left. And when you arrived in the United States they ought to show you arrived.
Ted: Might have been on some other document, which I don’t have.
Martin: But it didn’t show it on that passport, and that’s what I’m remarking on.
Ted: That’s only proof when you left the country.
Martin: I think it is only proof you were issued a passport. But it doesn’t show when you left.
Ted: It does show when you left Hungary.
Martin: All right.
Ted: Because it says Killeag --- and it got the date on it. It was 1913 some time.
Martin: Now, this was one year or so before the war, you know. That was quite an achievement.
Ted: That was a coincidence.
Martin: Of course it was because nobody foretold a year before. It certainly
Ted: Nobody knew about the war. The funny part of it is Dad was not of military age, and they let him go on. If he had been of military age.
Martin: You mean he was over age. Now he had served in the military there.
Ted: Yeah!
Martin: He had I think whatever was required. He had put it in.
Ted: But he was fifty years old.
Martin: I remember him always talking about the huzzars. I think he was some kind
Ted: He was an aide.
Martin: Aide, yeah. He probably took care of their horses and boots.
Ted: That’s as far as a Jew could get.
Martin: That’s right. Of course, I don’t know if there were wars. If he had been born in…
Ted: He was in one war.
Martin: …1866 he was in the war of 78 or something like that with France or Germany.
Ted: He was in a war with Austria, Hungary and Serbia.
Martin: Serbia.
Ted: That’s the time they took over a big territory…Bosnia, called Bosnia. And that war Dad was in that war, and that was the reason the First World War started, because the Serbs were angered because Austria took Bosnia from them, and they wanted it back. They have been fighting off and on ever since. So when they had the Sarajevo affair in Serbia they assassinated the [ ] that started the first World War.

Of course it was Archduke Ferdinand who was assassinated, though I am uncertain of the word Ted uses at the end of this section, and I'm also uncertain of the word (probably Hungarian) which appeared on their passport and Ted says meant "left the country." It sounds like Ted says they stayed with the 'Newmans' upon their arrival in Chicago. However, the Newmans would have been cousins instead of friends.

It was the war of 1878 where Austria occupied Bosnia. They annexed Bosnia in 1908...which led to WWI. My great grandfather's service papers indicate he was in the army from 1881-1907.

Their passenger manifest found online indicates they arrived on the Rhein from Bremen in the Port of Baltimore on March 20, 1913...five days after the inauguration.

However, I don't doubt that with the closeness of Baltimore to DC there was a lot of talk on the streets about the inaugural -- and I suspect Ted's understanding of English wasn't great then, or his memory sixty years later of what he heard was faulty.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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