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Boy from Hamburg

Date: 17 July 1935
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper clipping
Object No: ANMS0542[025]

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    Description
    Artlce in German begins: 'Here in Hamburg the joy of hearing about the happy arrival of the yacht “Stötebeker” in Bergen [Norway] has not subsided, and everybody is feeling a sense of pride about the brave deeds and the sporting achievement of these talented sailors from Hamburg in the race across the ocean. And yet we hear again of another superb achievement in water sports, at the centre of which is a man from Hamburg, Oskar Speck, who is travelling to Australia in a collapsible boat. One of the river pilots, Hugo Meyer, passed on the report by the Captain of the English steamer “Ganges” , who met Speck on his journey...'

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    Translation
    • From the Water’s Edge” Wednesday, 17 July 1935 Boy from Hamburg With a Plünn’- Cruiser to Australia Here in Hamburg the joy of hearing about the happy arrival of the yacht “Stötebeker” in Bergen [Norway] has not subsided, and everybody is feeling a sense of pride about the brave deeds and the sporting achievement of these talented sailors from Hamburg in the race across the ocean. And yet we hear again of another superb achievement in water sports, at the centre of which is a man from Hamburg, Oskar Speck, who is travelling to Australia in a collapsible boat. One of the river pilots, Hugo Meyer, passed on the report by the Captain of the English steamer “Ganges” , who met Speck on his journey. 13 May 1935 The English steamer “Ganges” is making its way across the Gulf of Kachchh in India. Okha, the sheltering harbour, is nearby. The steamer is heading towards it, water all around, monotony. Suddenly, there is excitement on the bridge: a boat is floating up ahead. Just a small boat, like the ones Captain Robson is familiar with seeing on the River Elbe from his many arrivals in Hamburg. A man is sitting in the boat, vehemently waving his arms. He obviously wants something. The man is taken on board the “Ganges” and there is more than a little surprise at his being a German water sportsman from Hamburg, named Oskar Speck. Water rats become well acquainted with each other very quickly, and so it didn’t take long for Captain Robson to find out where his young German guest was from and where he was heading. Departure now two years ago Oskar Speck is heading to Australia in his “Plünn”-Cruiser” as we like to call it. It is more than two years ago now that he set out from Hamburg; he has survived all dangers so far, and is optimistic about the rest of the trip. The English captain of course was interested in the precise route, since any Englishman is too much of a sportsman to not have any time for his German guest and not to be curious about his journey. So he asked all sorts of questions and got a whole lot of answers. The route to India Speck set out from Hamburg, made his way along European waterways and arrived at first in Saloniki. That concluded an important part of the journey, but bigger problems were waiting to be solved. But Speck was not reckless. He thought of his journey as a real sportsperson would, not as a showcase to prove his courage, creating lots of publicity. He continued to travel along the coastline, always close to potential help from the shore. Only on the stretch from Saloniki to Cyprus did he momentarily lose sight of land, but he arrived at Cyprus safe and sound. Hugging the Syrian coastline he looked for a suitable spot to land and to transport his boat overland to Aleppo. Speck had always wanted to see this place, and from there he could also reach the upper part of the Euphrates quite easily. Back on the water, Speck steered his boat down the Euphrates past the straight of Hormuz and out into the Gulf of Oman, and on from there to the mouth of the Indus. This was an exhausting journey, it cost him not only strength, but also water and food supplies. This is why he waved when he saw the English steamer. They were happy to give him water and food supplies, of course, and just as happy to listen to the future plans of this courageous person from Hamburg. Escape from Persia Speck had spent 2 ½ years travelling already, hoping to reach Australia in another three years. With a handshake and good wishes for his future journey, they parted in the port of Okha, when the large steamer and the small “Plünn"-cruiser” went their separate ways. The Englishman received news from the German from Ratnagiri, south of Bombay. He wrote that he had spent a terrific time there and was now on his way to the Torres Straits. Captain Robson had warned him of crossing the Torres Straits, because there are huge schools of sharks there during the months of July to September. But Oskar Speck obviously decided to attempt to go this way anyway. He would rely on his abilities, his luck, which so far, thank goodness, had not deserted him. Not even when he was arrested in Persia for a strange reason. He was waiting – longer than he would have wanted - for a new cover for his boat to arrive from Germany. But when they wanted to put him behind bars, and Speck himself has no idea why, he secretly ducked away. [Photograph with the caption:] Oskar Speck in the port of Okha Photo taken by Mr Rhead, 2nd officer on the “Ganges” The English Captain was very pleased to meet the boy from Hamburg, his report expresses it with every word. In the meantime, the “Ganges” left Hamburg again. Much to Captain Robson’s regret it wasn’t possible to find a relative of Oskar Speck’s in Hamburg. But he was pleased to take the opportunity to tell the Hamburg public about his meeting in the Gulf of Persia. In the meantime, the person concerned has put another section of his long journey behind him, continues to strive towards his goal. All we can say about him reaching his goal happily is: “Break a leg!”. Some additional items: p.6. Crime rate in Hamburg keeps decreasing The current state of the crime rate in Hamburg for the first half of 1935: Since National Socialism came to power, there has been a constant change for the better in the crime rate. Even during the first year after the assumption of power a rapid reduction of crime and offences is noticeable. Theft, for example, decreased by more than 30% in comparison with the year before the new government came to power, and we are glad to report that the crime rate continued to decrease in the second year and continues to decline even now during the first half of the third year. This fact is not just a consequence of the rapid and more determined reaction by the criminal courts, but is also due to the police’s purposeful, preventative activities assigned to them by the government in the fight against crime. The Hamburg criminal squad’s activity report shows the decrease in theft in general to be 18.1%, aggravated theft as much as 21.5%, fraud 35.4%, assault 6.8%, vice 9.6%, false witness 42% and wilful damage to property 22.4% in the first half of 1935 compared with the first half of 1934. During the same period suicides decreased by 16.1%. The crime squad would like to use this occasion to ask the population to continue to lend a hand in the fight against crime. Hiking trips organised by ‘Strength through Joy’ The hiking section of the “Department of Travel, Hiking and Vacation” of the National-Socialist Association ‘Strength through Joy’ in the Hamburg area is organising the following hiking trips: From 19 to 26 July to the Sächsische Schweiz under the leadership of an expert guide. – From 9 to 16 August a hiking trip to Rübezahl country, the Riesengebirge. Participants will be led by excellent local guides. – From 16 to 30 August to Eastern Prussia, to the area of the Masurian lakes and forests all the way to the Kurian sand-bar. This trip will also be led by hiking guides expert in geographical and cultural knowledge. – The participants in all three hikes will take their meals and stay overnight in Youth Hostels. To enrol for any of these hikes, please contact any local office of the National-Socialist Association ‘Strength through Joy’. [p.7] Altona Municipal Council News Two Years of National Socialist Municipal Administration With mayor Brix currently on holidays, councillor Grotkop gave an overview of the current state of municipal finances and of measures planned for the future to improve the overall situation in a mayoral meeting of councillors and heads of departments. After recognition of the mayor’s services and thanks expressed to the departing councillor and district leader Piwikt, who took on special tasks as a representative of the National Socialist Party NSDAP, councillor Grotkop referred to the desolate state of affairs encountered at the time of the assumption of power in 1933. Within a very short period of time, wages and salaries could be paid again and the accumulated tradesmen’s bills could be settled. The city’s debts, increasing constantly up until 1933 simply due to interest payments, have remained constant at the level of RM 119.8 million. The budget deficit of 11.7 million in 1932 decreased to 5 to 6 million for last year. Taxes are being collected promptly and regularly, building construction has experienced a strong revival and the influx of financially strong foreigners has been the happy consequence. Employment and housing policy has been at the top of the agenda. The number of unemployed decreased from 31 000 to 14 000 and we can count on another significant easing of the employment market in the near future. The publicly owned Housing Company (Saga) and Public Transport Company (Vaga) also show a healthy upwards trend and will presumably no longer be needing any more subsidies in the foreseeable future. Entrance fee for art gallery In accordance with point 1 of the State President’s Decree to secure the budget of states and communities dated 14 August 1931, the senate commands the following: A fee shall be charged to visit the Art Gallery. On Mondays the entry fee shall be RM1 per person, on all other week days it shall be RM 0.20. On Sundays and Public Holidays, entry shall be free. The Department of National Customs and Traditions, Religion and Art may decide that entry shall be free on one day per week. For groups of 10 or more, entry shall be reduced to RM 0.10 per person. Artists, teachers of drawing and art, students of art school, university students, students in the company of their teachers, persons belonging to the armed forces and community service workers in uniform, persons belonging to the “Hitler Youth” [see note to a previous article] in groups, and journeymen belonging to any recognised German association, and the unemployed will not be charged any entry fee. Any persons exempt from paying an entry fee must identify themselves accordingly. The Department of National Customs and Traditions, Religion and Art may decide on further exemption from entry fees. This decree becomes effective the day after its announcement. At the same time the tariff for visits to the Art Gallery dated 28 September 1931 is revoked.

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