The Jewish community and the port
|Arrival in the port of London|
Getting to London
Thousands of Eastern European Jews emigrating to Brtain came through Hamburg.
Large numbers also came via Bremen, Rotterdam and other North Sea ports.
Most of these travelled on the regular steamship services between these ports.
Arriving in London
Most of these steamships landed at the St Katharine Wharf or nearby.
In the early days, many immigrants were transferred into small boats and landed at Irongate Stairs, near the Tower of London.
Having travelled in squalid, overcrowded conditions, the emigrants were usually a pitiful sight by the time they reached London.
The mass exodus of Eastern European Jews had created business opportunities for the shipping companies, but it also created rich pickings for unscrupulous middlemen along the way. These included border officials and agents.
The Poor Jews' Shelter
The unlucky ones had to fend for themselves. They often fell prey to conmen promising them work or lodgings.
Many of those who had decided to go to America came via Britain. Most of these 'transmigrants' arrived at east coast ports such as Hull. From there they took trains to Liverpool to catch ships crossing the Atlantic.
Many of the wealthier Jews living in Britain were not keen on the mass immigration of poor Jews from Eastern Europe. Some of those arriving in London were persuaded to move on to countries within the British Empire. Many ended up re-emigrating to South Africa, and left London on a Union-Castle steamer.
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