Deutsches Auswanderer Haus
German Emigration Center - Bremerhaven
From 1830 to 1974, more than seven million emigrants departed on ships from Bremerhaven, Germany, on their way to the United States, Canada, and other countries in the New World. Today, Europe's largest emigration museum tells their story through a series of compelling exhibits.
The Deutsches Auswanderer Haus, a.k.a. the German Emigration Center, is located in Bremerhaven's New Harbor, where some 1.2 emigrants left for the Americas and Australia between 1852 and 1890. The museum opened in August, 2005. Over the next five years, the German Emigration Center earned a "European Museum of the Year" award and welcomed more than a million visitors--including many foreign tourists of German, Scandinavian, and Eastern European ancestry.
The three-story museum offers a "tour through history" that draws on the biography of an individual emigrant. When you enter the museum, you receive a "boarding pass" or electronic ticket with the immigrant's name on it. During your visit, you can use the electronic boarding pass to hear audio recordings about the emigrant, his or her family history, and descendants who are alive today.
Other exhibits include information on social and economic conditions that led to emigration, a "Forum Migration" area with computer terminals where you can trace your own roots with the help of five databases, and replicas of a departure pier and ship that lets you see what it was like to be an emigrant headed for the New World by ship in 1888. (There's even a mockup of a receiving station at Ellis Island in New York, where immigrants had to undergo medical examinations and interrogations before being allowed into the United States.)
The Deutsches Auswanderer Haus or German Emigration Center is open every day of the year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March through October and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter months. The last admission is one hour before closing, but we recommend allowing at least 90 minutes for your visit.
The museum offers a variety of ticket prices and packages, such as family tickets and "CombiTickets" that include admission to the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven or the Jewish Museum Berlin. You'll also find a shop, a restaurant, and a "Kindermuseum" with children's activities.
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Photos copyright © Deutsches Auswanderer Haus.
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