Friday, February 24, 2012


My grandparents moved from Bessarabia to Brazil on a German ship that left Hamburg in 1931. The name of the ship was Monte Sarmiento. I found some interesting information about it:

The first ship of its class, the 13,625 GRT Monte Sarmiento was commissioned in 1924 and used by Hamburg-Süd for service to South America. At its maiden voyage it was the largest motor vessel of the world. It could carry 1328 second class passengers and 1142 in the third class. It had two dining-halls and a smoking-room as well as a writing-room. As there was less than expected demand to Brazil and Argentina, the Monte Sarmiento and other ships of its class offered "one-class" low-priced cruises to Norway, Cairo and many other places. These popular cruises pioneered seafaring vacations for the masses, and in many ways created a foundation for the cruise program of the Nazi leisure and tourism organization Kraft durch Freude (KdF) after 1935. After the outbreak of war, she was stationed at Kiel and used as an accommodation ship. On February 26, 1942, she was sunk during an Allied bombing raid and was eventually scrapped in Hamburg in 1943.

Ironically they traveled on a ship that would be used a few years later by the Nazi regime.

The Hamburg-Süd company still exists and has renamed one of its ships with the same name. The new Monte Sarmiento is a cargo ship only, but it still travels south to Brazil. I contacted them asking for the ship's itinerary and passenger list for 1931, but according to their corporate communications representative, they lost their complete archives in the Hamburg tidal surge of 1962.


Anonymous said...


I have a paiting for sale of this ship 'Monte Sarmiento', that transported your grandparents, painted in 1929 by Leo Gohl in the harbor of Constantinople.

Are you interested?

Steven from Belgium

Anonymous said...

Hallo Steven,

I just read your offer, and I'm interested. What is the size of the painting ?
best regards,

Anonymous said...

My great grandparent also used Monte Sarmiento to come to Brazil. His entrance in Brazil was in 25th october 1925; he came from Slovenia, and took the ship in Hamburg. I have that trip's restaurant menu.

Cassio Tolpolar said...

That is amazing, I would love to see the restaurant's menu, would you be able to send it to me at ?
I never had much information on this ship, so anything matters, thank you!!
Cassio Tolpolar