Otto Dahl’s journey to Amerika, Part 1
The actual motive for this journey was a severe dispute with my father, who told me shortly and succinctly that I should go to America and to earn my bread from foreign people, just like my younger brother Rudolf. It was agreed upon, that the Dahls were pigheads. Without answering, I decided to obey to the request to leave the father’s house at the soonest possible.
With an agent from the North German Lloyd, I agreed upon the steamship “Donau” leaving Bremerhaven on the 5th of December 1880 for my crossing. About 14 days before, my father left for a business trip to southern Germany, but before we had a serious conversation, during which he promised me the entrance to the business as a partner. Meanwhile, I held on to my decision, during which I hoped to increase my technical knowledge of the leather preparation. My father wanted to be back before my departure scheduled on December 4th. However, his return was delayed – I should not see him again.
On December 4th, I boarded the train leaving at 10:07 to Bremen after a happy goodbye from realtives and friends, who had accompanied me to the station. When I passed the company’s grounds in “the Höfen”, my older brother Adolf waved goodbye while his big boarhound Cäsar ran by the train barking loudly. I arrived in Bremen o the afternoon at six and checked in at the Hotel Schaper. In the evening I went to the “Bremer Ratskeller” to enjoy a parting drink in the cozy rooms which I knew from previous travels and to say goodbye to beloved friends on some postcards.