perjantai 26. marraskuuta 2021

Matkalainen Torniossa 1851

Preussilainen Harris Newmark oli 17-vuotiaana aloittelevana mustetta myyvänä liikemiehenä Haaparannassa kesällä 1851. Paljon myöhemmin hän muisteli kirjassaan Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913 Haaparannasta Tornioon tekemäänsä hyvin lyhyttä vierailua.
...while at Haparanda, I was seized with a desire to visit Torneå, in Finland. 
I was well aware that if I attempted to do so by the regular routes on land, it would be necessary to pass the Russian customhouse, where officers would be sure to examine my passport; and knowing, as the whole liberal world now more than ever knows, that a person of Jewish faith finds the merest sally beyond the Russian border beset with unreasonable obstacles, I decided to walk across the wide marsh in the northern part of the Gulf, and thus circumvent these exponents of intolerance. Besides, I was curious to learn whether, in such a benighted country, blacking and ink were used at all. 
I set out, therefore, through the great moist waste, making my way without much difficulty, and in due time arrived at Torneå, when I proceeded immediately to the first store in the neighborhood; but there I was destined to experience a rude, unexpected setback. An old man, evidently the proprietor, met me and straightway asked, "Are you a Jew?" and seeing, or imagining that I saw, a delay (perhaps not altogether temporary!) in a Russian jail, I withdrew from the store without ceremony, and returned to the place whence I had come. 

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