Current special Exhibition:
„From Harburg to Finland“
The Pionier-Landungs-Kompanie during World War I
A special exhibition of the International Maritime Museum Hamburg.
21st of September – 15th of December 2017.
The Pionier-Landungs-Kompanie from Harburg in Hamburg was the only infantry unit that worked closely with the German Imperial Navy during World War I. All members of this unit were seafarers or worked in seafaring related industries professions related to seafaring in their civil lives. The Port of Hamburg was the starting point for a large number of the units operations during the war. This was the fact for the operation “Albion” and for the several support operations of the unit, whose name was unofficially shortened to “Pilako”, during the Finnish Civil War.
The link ofthe “Pilako” to Hamburg allowed Ulrich Schiers, curator of the exhibition, to have access to extensive material regarding its history. On top of that, a voluntary worker of the International Maritime Museum Hamburg gave him access to private documents, letters and pictures of a vice-sergeant of the “Pilako”.
Many exhibits from the depot of the International Maritime Museum Hamburg, the City Museum of Harburg, the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte and form several museums and private collections in Finland are publicly shown for the first time, giving different perspectives on the history of World War I.
Beside documents telling the official story, the central narrative of the exhibition focusses on the letters written by vice-sergeant Karting to his wife-to-be Käthe Kramer. They describe the activities of the “Pilako” during the war while giving a private, first-hand perspective on the conflict.
On the 31st of August 1917 he wrote:
“There is no end on sight for this war… Three years of life have already been lost… Countless enterprises and businesses have been lost… How will the situation be after a peace treaty?… I fear there will be great misery.“
The entrance fees to our special exhibition are included in the regular entrance fees of the IMMH.