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GERMAN MAN’S WANDERSCHEIN

SKU: 10-832 XES

$45.00

This booklet is an internal German passport that was required for itinerant workers leaving their home districts to search for employment. Homelessness and vagrancy have been issues for civil authorities from medieval times to the present. An article about European solutions for vagrancy and itinerant workers in the 1908 Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor detailed Imperial Germany’s highly-developed, state-controlled answer for the issue, which was primarily directed toward the unskilled labor class. First, if an unskilled laborer wished to leave his home district in search of employment, he had to apply for a Wanderschein, a combination internal passport and work/temporary lodging booklet. Special bureaus in each district issued these documents. The Wanderschein was used to access lodging and meals in either Herbergen (hostels) or Verpflegungsstationen (small inns). Herbergen were larger home shelters where unemployed/needy workers could secure temporary lodging and food by paying a small sum, or doing odd jobs in exchange for the services. Herbergen were found in almost all Imperial German cities and towns, with around 500 existing shortly after the 20th Century’s turn. [In 1904, Herbergen provided 4,089,506 night lodgings to more than 2,000,000 persons]. For the most part, Herbergen were charitable institutions maintained largely by religious organizations. [Trade unions also maintained their own Herbergen in all of Germany’s larger cities]. Verpflegungsstationen were smaller shelters, sometimes only a room or rooms in connection with an inn or hostel. They were funded by the government, providing itinerant workers traveling in search of work shelter for a single night only before being sent to the next Verpflegungsstationen on the following day. Here, as in the Herbergen, the workers either paid a very small fee for the accommodations or did odd jobs in lieu of payment. [The 1908 Labor Bureau Bulletin reported that more than 1,000 of these stations existed in the German Empire and were increasing at the time]. The Wanderschein provided sections where its owner documented each stay at these institutions, as well as recording any other employment during his travels. Since vagrancy was considered a felony in much of Europe as well as the USA, these documents protected their owners, in addition to providing the German government with accurate employment statistics and controls.
This Wanderschein, which measures approximately 4″ x 7,” was issued to Joseph Baldauf, a woodworker. In addition to his home district information, it lists his employer, a master carpenter in Niedersessmar b. Gummersbach from February 1894 to November 1895, and his stays in several Herbergen and Verpflegungsstationen. He exited from this program in January of 1896 in Karlstadt. It is a fascinating document.

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This booklet is an internal German passport that was required for itinerant workers leaving their home districts to search for employment. Homelessness and vagrancy have been issues for civil authorities from medieval times to the present. An article about European solutions for vagrancy and itinerant workers in the 1908 Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor detailed Imperial Germany’s highly-developed, state-controlled answer for the issue, which was primarily directed toward the unskilled labor class. First, if an unskilled laborer wished to leave his home district in search of employment, he had to apply for a Wanderschein, a combination internal passport and work/temporary lodging booklet. Special bureaus in each district issued these documents. The Wanderschein was used to access lodging and meals in either Herbergen (hostels) or Verpflegungsstationen (small inns). Herbergen were larger home shelters where unemployed/needy workers could secure temporary lodging and food by paying a small sum, or doing odd jobs in exchange for the services. Herbergen were found in almost all Imperial German cities and towns, with around 500 existing shortly after the 20th Century’s turn. [In 1904, Herbergen provided 4,089,506 night lodgings to more than 2,000,000 persons]. For the most part, Herbergen were charitable institutions maintained largely by religious organizations. [Trade unions also maintained their own Herbergen in all of Germany’s larger cities]. Verpflegungsstationen were smaller shelters, sometimes only a room or rooms in connection with an inn or hostel. They were funded by the government, providing itinerant workers traveling in search of work shelter for a single night only before being sent to the next Verpflegungsstationen on the following day. Here, as in the Herbergen, the workers either paid a very small fee for the accommodations or did odd jobs in lieu of payment. [The 1908 Labor Bureau Bulletin reported that more than 1,000 of these stations existed in the German Empire and were increasing at the time]. The Wanderschein provided sections where its owner documented each stay at these institutions, as well as recording any other employment during his travels. Since vagrancy was considered a felony in much of Europe as well as the USA, these documents protected their owners, in addition to providing the German government with accurate employment statistics and controls.
This Wanderschein, which measures approximately 4″ x 7,” was issued to Joseph Baldauf, a woodworker. In addition to his home district information, it lists his employer, a master carpenter in Niedersessmar b. Gummersbach from February 1894 to November 1895, and his stays in several Herbergen and Verpflegungsstationen. He exited from this program in January of 1896 in Karlstadt. It is a fascinating document.

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This booklet is an internal German passport that was required for itinerant workers leaving their home districts to search for employment. Homelessness and vagrancy have been issues for civil authorities from medieval times to the present. An article about European solutions for vagrancy and itinerant workers in the 1908 Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor detailed Imperial Germany’s highly-developed, state-controlled answer for the issue, which was primarily directed toward the unskilled labor class. First, if an unskilled laborer wished to leave his home district in search of employment, he had to apply for a Wanderschein, a combination internal passport and work/temporary lodging booklet. Special bureaus in each district issued these documents. The Wanderschein was used to access lodging and meals in either Herbergen (hostels) or Verpflegungsstationen (small inns). Herbergen were larger home shelters where unemployed/needy workers could secure temporary lodging and food by paying a small sum, or doing odd jobs in exchange for the services. Herbergen were found in almost all Imperial German cities and towns, with around 500 existing shortly after the 20th Century’s turn. [In 1904, Herbergen provided 4,089,506 night lodgings to more than 2,000,000 persons]. For the most part, Herbergen were charitable institutions maintained largely by religious organizations. [Trade unions also maintained their own Herbergen in all of Germany’s larger cities]. Verpflegungsstationen were smaller shelters, sometimes only a room or rooms in connection with an inn or hostel. They were funded by the government, providing itinerant workers traveling in search of work shelter for a single night only before being sent to the next Verpflegungsstationen on the following day. Here, as in the Herbergen, the workers either paid a very small fee for the accommodations or did odd jobs in lieu of payment. [The 1908 Labor Bureau Bulletin reported that more than 1,000 of these stations existed in the German Empire and were increasing at the time]. The Wanderschein provided sections where its owner documented each stay at these institutions, as well as recording any other employment during his travels. Since vagrancy was considered a felony in much of Europe as well as the USA, these documents protected their owners, in addition to providing the German government with accurate employment statistics and controls.
This Wanderschein, which measures approximately 4″ x 7,” was issued to Joseph Baldauf, a woodworker. In addition to his home district information, it lists his employer, a master carpenter in Niedersessmar b. Gummersbach from February 1894 to November 1895, and his stays in several Herbergen and Verpflegungsstationen. He exited from this program in January of 1896 in Karlstadt. It is a fascinating document.