To celebrate this upswing in business Bruno Jansen, Managing Director of the Hamburg Shipbrokers’ Association since 1945, invited the Managing Directors of all the member companies to a dinner on 5 November 1948 – quite expensive at the time, but it was a good meal. And the venue had an unsurpassable maritime touch – it was the M.S. “St. Louis”, moored at the Altona landing stage. The ship had been given a makeshift repair after serious bomb damage, and was now serving as a hotel and restaurant. The evening was a complete success. It brought together 110 ship brokers, tucking into the tasty North German starter (cream of poultry soup), followed by grilled pollack steaks, and Schnitzel with local Vierländer vegetables and chocklate ice cream.
After that successful evening, they all agreed that the meal should become a regular event. In fact, it was a little earlier the next year, with the Managing Director Bruno Jansen issuing the invitations for October 29, 1949; This time the event was held in the Ratsweinkeller, and for the first time Eisbein (or alternatively Kassler) was served, with Sauerkraut, pease pudding, potatoes and bacon. This tasty traditional North German dish was chosen because by now the short ages were over and Nouvelle Cuisine was as yet unknown.
Since then this function takes place every year on the first Friday in November, at the Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH), and has become an international meeting platform for ship brokers, ship agents, ship owners, bankers, forwarding agents, terminal operators, and all who are directly or indirectly associated with the Association. The gathering is attended by more than 5.000 people from some 50 different countries.
Since the 40th Eisbeinessen, the First Mayor of Hamburg or his deputy has regularly attended this important maritime event. High ranking ministerial officials from Berlin and Members of the Bundestag (federal parliament) are also welcomed guests.