The American Friends of the Red Star Line is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the role the Red Star Line played in the immigration of more than two million people to the United States from Europe.
This immigration occurred between the years 1873 and 1934 as people sailed from Antwerp for Boston, New York and, especially, Philadelphia, the United States headquarters of the Red Star Line. This period of immigration included a large number of Jewish passengers. They represented approximately up to half of all the travelers. In fact, 30% to 40% of Jewish Americans have ancestors who sailed on the Red Star Line. Many of these people were escaping persecution and poverty.
Capturing the suffering of many of these passengers was the Flemish artist Eugeen Van Mieghem. He lived in his parents' tavern just in front of the warehoiuse of the Red Star Line on Montevideo Street. Some of his paintings and drawings can be seen in the Van Mieghem gallery. Much more information about this remarkable artist is available at www.vanmieghemmuseum.com.
Three of the Red Star Line's buildings survive and are still standing on the Antwerp waterfront. The city of Antwerp has bought these buildings and is in the process of restoring them. In 2012, these buildings will open as a museum called "Red Star Line/People on the Move. More information is available at www.redstarline.be.
Red Star Line poster (1899), design Henri Cassiers, City of Antwerp, Collection Museum Vleeshuis/Sound of the City, (c) foto Collectiebeleid Musea Stad Antwerpen.
The official registration and financial information of the American Friends of the Red Star Line may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department Of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.