Why did you come to Canada? Did you come directly to Canada?

I began to think about emigrating to Canada when my internship was finished in 1955, and I received a salary of only 300 Marks, which was not enough to keep an apartment in Hamburg and return the support given to me by my uncle and older brother. Then I thought that I needed to go to another country to find my luck. The German Economic Miracle was just getting started and wages were still low. There was a lot of Germans leaving in 1954, 55, and 56. Many Germans could not make ends meet in Germany. I had a contact in Montreal at this time. I was lucky enough to find the Hamburg-Chicago Line which sailed from Hamburg through the Great Lakes, and finally to Chicago. I boarded a steam ship (small freighter) in Hamburg in April 1955. My father said at the time, "You’re not taking that boat, it’s not taking you over the Atlantic." But it was a free ride as long as I helped in the kitchen and unload wine. We sailed from Hamburg to Bordeaux, then to Newfoundland. The whole thing looked like Homer’s Odessey.

We stayed in Newfoundland for one week because of icebergs, after the 5-week journey across the Atlantic, then two days in St. Pierre and Miquelon, and finally we arrived in Montreal on May 5, 1955. On May 7, 1955, I registered my name under Rolf. C. Hagen Registered Company for $2.50, I only had $7 out of the $50 I had left from Germany. My family thought I had been lost at sea because you could not contact them while on the ship.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and Deutsche Telekom, Ananas Productions, Schule ans netz, Alexander Von Humboldt Schule, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Carl-Friedrich Gauß Schule, Confederation High School, Deutsachherren-Gymnasium, German Historical Museum, Gymnasium Isernhagen, Horton High School/Acadia University, Integrierte Gesamtschule Bonne-Beuel,

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