The museum is in a reconstruction of BallinStadt, an emigration facility—amenities included living quarters, churches, a synagogue and a kosher dining hall—that served 2 million emigrants. (The original building was destroyed during World War II.) Most of those outbound passengers were Eastern Europeans.
Exhibits relate the journeys of specific emigrants. Walk up to life-size models of the passengers, and they’ll “speak” about their migration experiences.
Similar to the Ellis Island museum we enjoy stateside, BallinStadt’s main entrance hall boasts a family history center. Visitors can search genealogical databases including Hamburg emigrants. Unlike Ellis Island, though, the Hamburg emigration lists aren’t free on BallinStadt’s Web site. Instead, the site directs you to Ancestry.com, where the records are part of the $155.40-per-year US Deluxe records collection.
Read more about Hamburg and other ports’ emigration records in the February 2006 Family Tree Magazine.
Read these articles for more information on the BallinStadt museum: