The making of a socialist port: The Czechoslovak port in Hamburg in the 1940s and 1950s

  1. Sarah Lemmen 1
  1. 1 Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    Madrid, España

    ROR 02p0gd045

International journal of maritime history

ISSN: 0843-8714

Datum der Publikation: 2021

Ausgabe: 33

Nummer: 1

Seiten: 145-161

Art: Artikel

DOI: 10.1177/0843871421991172 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen Access editor

Andere Publikationen in: International journal of maritime history


Zitate erhalten

  • Zitate in Scopus: 0 (01-12-2023)
  • Zitate in 'Web of Science': 1 (12-10-2023)
  • Zitate in Dimensions: 0 (18-04-2023)

SCImago Journal Rank

  • Jahr 2021
  • Impact SJR der Zeitschrift: 0.116
  • Höchstes Quartil: Q3
  • Bereich: History Quartil: Q3 Position im Bereich: 874/1591
  • Bereich: Transportation Quartil: Q4 Position im Bereich: 114/124


  • Sozialwissenschaften: B
  • Humanwissenschaften: A

Scopus CiteScore

  • Jahr 2021
  • CiteScore der Zeitschrift: 0.3
  • Bereich: History Perzentil: 46
  • Bereich: Transportation Perzentil: 3

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

  • Jahr 2021
  • JCI der Zeitschrift: 0.79
  • Höchstes Quartil: Q2
  • Bereich: HISTORY Quartil: Q2 Position im Bereich: 177/494


(Aktualisierte Daten ab 18-04-2023)
  • Gesamtzitate: 0
  • Letzten Termine: 0
  • Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 0.0


What makes a port socialist? While the question of how to turn states into socialist entities was pressing in all of Eastern Europe in the late 1940s, ports played a specific role in this process as they presented some characteristics that counteracted the new socialist regime, mainly the inherent openness and connectedness to foreign goods, people and information. This was especially so in the Czechoslovak port in Hamburg. A relict from the interwar period, this port zone was now located in the western bloc. This article traces the attempts to integrate the Czechoslovak port in Hamburg into the socialist system. These attempts were based on various aspects. Central was the ideological legitimation of using a Western port despite the option of transferring the transit of goods to Eastern German or Polish ports. Another focus was on the hiring of Communist workers, especially at a port outside the eastern bloc. And finally, due to its specific location, the port zone in Hamburg was treated both as a socialist outpost in the West – prone to foreign espionage, smuggling or defection – and as a socialist showcase to the West, representing socialist superiority over the capitalist system, and therefore needed both heightened security measures and special attention to its appearance. Neither of these aspects were promptly implemented. Rather, as is argued in this article, over the course of about a decade, an approximation to these new rules under very specific circumstances was met by both support and opposition from groups as different as local representatives of the port zone, both German and Czech port workers or the British occupation forces in Hamburg.

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