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The Fleets

Red Star Linie G.m.b.H., Hamburg

When the Red Star Line was dissolved in 1934 the German shipowner Arnold M. Bernstein purchased the company and restyled it as Red Star Linie G.m.b.H, Hamburg and he operated an Antwerp - Southampton - New York service for a few years under the Red Star Line name.
Arnold M. Bernstein was Jewish and when Adolf Hitler came in power it became difficult for Jewish people in Germany to own and manage a company. In January 1937 Arnold M. Bernstein was arrested, as were numerous other Jews at that time, under the Nazi Aryanization of businesses and was accused of infringements of the foreign exchange laws. He was sentenced to 2 ½ years imprisonment and fined $400.000.
Unable to pay this high amount of money the Red Star Linie and another shipping company owned by him were confiscated.
They were placed under the management of a trustee appointed by the German Government who would continue to operate both companies until a buyer could be found.

The PENNLAND and WESTERNLAND were heavily mortgaged and were sold by the mortgagors to the Holland Amerika Lijn of Rotterdam in 1938-39. The other ships of the Red Star Linie were also sold or scrapped.

In August 1939, Mr. Arnold M. Bernstein was released from prison and went to New York. He became an American Citizen and later started the American Banner Line.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

  • Routes:
    • Antwerp – Havre-Southampton - New York
    • Hamburg-Antwerp-New York



Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Eberstein 1904 built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg | ex- California, ex- Thuringia 1906 built for Hamburg Amerikanische Paketfahrt Aktien Gesellschaft, Hamburg (Hapag), ex- Maldonado 1916, 1928 purchased from Uruguay by A.M. Bernstein renamed Eberstein, 1941 sold to E. Komrowski not renamed, 1947 scrapped. 6,152
Gerolstein 1904 built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast | ex- Mamari, 1928 purchased from Shaw, Savill & Albion Co. by A.M. Bernstein renamed Gerolstein, 1939 sold to H.C. Horn renamed Consul Horn, 1939 to Westindische Schiffahrtskontor, Hamburg renamed Consul, 1940 to Kriegsmarine, 1940 reverted to owner renamed Consul Horn, 20th July 1942 sunk by British airplanes off Borkum. 7,772
Gravenstein 1906 built by Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen | ex- Tranquebar built for AS Det Ostasiatiske Kompagni (EAC), Copenhagen, ex- Hansa 1922, 1929 purchased by A.M. Bernstein renamed Gravestein, 1939 sold to H.C. Horn not renamed 1939 to Westindische Schiffahrtskontor, Hamburg, 1940 reverted to owner, 27th March 1945 scuttled as blockship at Gotenhafen, wreck later scrapped. 4,427
Ilsenstein 1904 built by Workman Clark & Co., Belfast | ex- Matatua, 1929 purchased from Shaw, Savill & Albion Co. by A.M. Bernstein renamed Ilsenstein, 1939 sold for scrapping to Blyth, used as a blockship at Scapa Flow, 1951 wreck scrapped. 8,216
Königstein 1907 built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Newcastle | ex- Arawa, 1928 purchased from Shaw, Savill & Albion Co. A.M. Bernstein renamed Königstein, 1939 sold for scrapping to Belgium but resold to Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) renamed Gandia, 22nd January 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.135 with the loss of 65 lives. 9,626
Pennland 1922 built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast | Launched in 1914 but completed in 1922, ex- Pittsburg, 1925-1926 chartered by Red Star Line from American Line, 1926 purchased from American Line and renamed Pennland by Red Star Line, 1935 sold to Bernstein Red Star Linie, Hamburg, 1939 sold to Holland Amerika Lijn not renamed, 25th April 1941 bombed and heavy damaged by German aircraft in Gulf of Athens, later sunk by gunfire from British warship with the loss of 4 lives. 16,322
Traunstein 1906 built by Clyde Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Port Glasgow | ex- Sharistan built for Frank C. Strick, ex- Siptah 1911, 1930 purchased from Moss Steam Ship Co., Liverpool by A.M. Bernstein renamed Traunstein, 1939 sold to Robert Bornhofen renamed Luise Bornhofen, 1939 interned at Fayal, 1943 sold to Companhia de Nav. Carregadores Acoreanos renamed Sete Cidades, 1950 scrapped. 2,811
Westernland 1918 built by Harland & Wolff, Govan | ex- Regina launched for the Dominion Line but completed in 1918 for British Government as a Troop transporter, 1920 completed for White Star Dominion Line, 1930 transferred from White Star Line to Red Star Line and renamed Westernland, 1935 sold to Bernstein Red Star Linie, Hamburg, 1939 sold to Holland Amerika Lijn not renamed, 1943 sold to British Navy, 1947 scrapped at Blyth. 16,314

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