Confessions of the Old Wizard by Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, Diana Pyke

By Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, Diana Pyke

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I had made my first contact with a wider world. To understand the after-effects on Hamburg of the solemn -35occasion one need only to follow the history of a single shipping firm. The Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt AG. (HAPAG for short), founded in 1847, had had to reduce their capital of 22,500,000 marks by 15,000,000 in 1877, having overcommitted themselves competing with the Adler Line. In 1886, two years before the Free Port celebrations, Albert Ballin took over the passenger traffic. He was a most gifted man, son of a Jewish shipping agent engaged in the booking of passages for emigrants.

In that same year ( 1929) the Panama Canal averaged thirty million tons, the Suez Canal twenty-eight million. The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Canal was therefore not far behind... Of course we spent the whole week wandering about the harbor, admiring the strange sailors from other countries, endeavoring to identify the various naval ensigns and studying with the greatest interest the extraordinary signals transmitted by the visitors, in daytime with semaphore flags, at night in Morse with flashlamps. These -56were the happy years of peace.

This time, however, I felt that he would welcome the opportunity of saying something about the province and the people to whom it gave birth. In the course of those six weeks I came by almost all the knowledge I possess about my family. Betweentimes, too, he was interested in my progress at school and asked whether I knew what I wanted to do. I said frankly that I hadn't yet made up my mind. Perhaps I might go in for medicine like Eddy - perhaps something else. He did not worry. "We Schachts always mature late and live all the longer in consequence," he said.

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