Rus Articles Journal

Who thought up sea cruises? Albert Balin of

Recently, looking on the TV at crying on the deceased leader of North Korea, I involuntarily remembered how in due time the country of Councils sobbed on other leader and the teacher. Many cried quite sincerely - my mother was to that a witness.

And still - it is thought to me - there was a fair share of pretense here. I will not tell about North Korea, but any case of suicide from - for intolerable the grief which comprehended the Soviet people in 1953, I do not know.

And whether acts which are a match for times of Samurais are possible in the modern world? I thought too that are impossible. Until learned history of Albert Balin (Albert Ballin) (1857 - 1918) . It accepted a lethal dose of sleeping pill on November 9, 1918, in day of renunciation of a throne of the German emperor Wilhelm II. Also died together with the empire to which prosperity and power served all life.

And there was Albret Balin not a general and not the minister, but quite successful businessman from Hamburg. Moreover, the businessman of the Jewish origin, that is according to many Germans of that time, the stranger and the bloodsucker.

Albert was the youngest of thirteen children of Josef Samuel Balin who arrived to Hamburg from near Denmark and traded in cloth here till 1842. This year in Hamburg there was a terrible fire. The city burned out completely, and Balin - the senior was ruined without remainder. Trade had to be given up. It found new work in emigratory agency.

There were many persons interested to leave Germany that now it seems strange. However during 18 - go and 19 - go centuries Germans willingly left the homeland, going not only to other European countries (including to Russia), but also across the ocean. In the middle of 19 - go centuries from Germany only to the USA there left annually about 100 thousand Germans. The reasons of emigration were, generally economic. America gave more opportunities for active and courageous people, than Germany which is still shattered into the certain states - principalities. Among the famous Americans there are many people with the German roots. The aircraft designer William Boing, the producer of grand pianos Henry Steynvey and the inventor of jeans of Livay Strauss are offhand remembered.

Therefore the agency in which Balin - the father worked prospered. It undertook registration of all documents, necessary for emigration, and purchase of tickets for the ship going to America.

When Balin - the senior died, Albert was 17 years old. It came on service to the same emigratory agency where the father worked. In 22 years he already headed firm and transferred activities for “export“ of Germans to America to new level.

Balin ordered to convert two cargo steamships only for transportation of emigrants. It allowed to reduce ticket prices and to improve travel conditions. On June 7, 1881 the first ship onboard which there were 800 emigrants sailed from Hamburg to New - York. And in two years already five ships made transatlantic flights, transporting 16. 5 thousand passengers annually. The small firm of Balin began “war of the prices“ with the largest German steamship company HAPAG (“Hamburg Amerika“). Emigrants benefited from such competition first of all. The cost of transatlantic travel in hold decreased to 6 dollars (naturally, in the prices of those years). In 1886 Albert Balin became the head of department of passenger traffic of HAPAG. In two years joined the board of the company. To it was only 31 years. Boy!

In the same 1888 even more young man, the emperor Wilhelm II (1859 - 1941) began to rule Germany . The Kaiser attached huge significance to development of the German fleet, not only voyenno - sea, but also commercial. It is natural that the Hamburg company of shipping and, of course, its main “engine“, Albert Balin got to his field of vision. The emperor a phylosemite was not, but it did not prevent it to estimate A. Balin`s talents. He repeatedly was in Hamburg where especially for accommodation of the distinguished guest Balin built the palace - a country house.

The Kaiser was not against to make A. Balin the minister of the industry provided that that will host a baptism. For Albert, the person absolutely secular, religious doctrines whether Judaic, Lutheran, did not play any role. But he refused change of belief, having mentioned in personal conversation that vykrest offends memory of the parents. Judgment, quite worthy some high-native aristocrat.

In 1891 Albert Balin thought up a new type of rest - sea cruises . As a matter of fact, this idea arose as the solution of an important logistic problem. Northern Atlantic in the winter - the place uncomfortable: cold, rain, storm. Therefore the number of the passengers wishing to reach America in winter months was sharply reduced. That vessels and crews did not stand idle, they should have found new work.

When A. Balin in 1890 for the first time offered idea of cruise flights, all thought that he drove out of mind. At that time the person climbed aboard the steamship dire necessity to get, say, from Europe to America. Balin the first saw that there is a large number of the rich people ready to pay for new entertainment, and gave them this entertainment. The cruise ships not only were equipped with powerful cars and the best navigation devices. They also struck passengers with luxury of furniture and a set of pleasant trifles without which severe seamen, of course, could do. The first-ever cruise across the Mediterranean Sea took place in January, 1891 and continued 57 days. By steamship “Augustus Victoria“, designed as magnificent floating hotel, was not any empty seat!

In 1899 A. Balin became the CEO of the HAPAG company. In many respects thanks to his efforts, “Hamburg Amerika“ turned into the world`s largest company occupied with shipping. Germany became “the queen of the seas“, having pressed Great Britain on this throne. And all thanks to peace vessels, and at all not to dreadnoughts!

However, production of battleships was also increased in Germany in high gear. First of all, in peak of Great Britain. The cozy and nicely arranged fine era rushed by the end, to World War I.

Balin was one of the few industrialists who considered it necessary to suspend this disastrous race. Being an acquaintance both with the Kaiser, and with the English parliamentarians and members of the government, he tried to prove to both parties absolute uselessness of the future war. But it was not heard and not listened. The same Wilhelm II, having learned about anti-war moods of A. Balin, forever lost to him interest.

The beginning of war became for Albert Balin the beginning of accident. More than a half of vessels of the company were in swimming and were confiscated by British and French in foreign ports. The British ships blocked maritime routes. As a result of long war Germany was ruined and was on the threshold of revolution. Seeing that beyond its powers to continue business of the life, A. Balin made the fatal decision. As the commander who lost the main fight.

However, the Hamburg Amerika company remained afloat and after defeat of Germany. She even benefited from this defeat. Under the terms of the Versailles contract it was forbidden to build warships, but on construction of passenger liners of a ban nobody imposed. In 1922 the first of three such ships was floated. It was called “Albert Balin“. By this ship actually there was no third class. Passengers used the majority of conveniences almost equally. To their services there was a huge restaurant and very broad passenger decks - though play soccer, both movie theater, and a concert hall with a grand piano.

The running screw of the ship was rotated by the mighty steam turbine. Therefore it gathered speed to 18 knots and overcame distance from Europe to America in 10 days. Among other technical innovations of the vessel there was a system of passive calm of rolling. For this reason of passengers of the German ships seasickness exasperated less.

The ship remained at the level of technical progress as nearly annually on it the updating repairs were carried out. Power of turbines increased, the radio communication was improved, comfort increased.

In 1935 among other things to the ship replaced a name. Albert Balin, the patriot of Germany who much made for glory of the homeland and did not wish to endure its defeats did not fit into the nazi ideological doctrine. So the ship began to be called “Hansa“.

In March, 1945 “Hansa“ was undermined on a mine and sank near the coast at a small depth. In 1950 - x years the vessel was lifted, repaired, supplied with new furniture and in 1955 on account of reparations transferred the USSR. Vladivostok became the new port of registry of the ship. The liner once again changed a name and the “Soviet Union“ began to be called.

History of other remarkable person, Slava Kurilov is connected with this liner.