America’s first ‘Refugee’ Crisis’: the repatriation of stranded Americans from Europe at the outbreak of the First World War

Torsten Feys, Per-Kristian Sebak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the early twentieth century, millions of passengers crossed the
North Atlantic. The vast majority were migrants relocating to
North America or returning to Europe; less known is the growing
number of tourists comprising predominantly of affluent
Americans heading for Europe. Organising this vast passenger
traffic was a sophisticated and self-regulated passenger business
dominated by British and German companies and organised in
‘shipping conferences’ (cartels). The sudden outbreak of war in
1914 caused severe disruption in the transatlantic passenger
business, leaving many American tourists stranded in Europe. This
article explores the little-known story of the shipping companies’
key role in repatriating these tourists to their homeland during
the first months of the war.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-246
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Tourism History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2018

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