Gang (dock workers)

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A gang of black people returning from coal handling, 1892

A gang ( der Gang, also the Gang, Geng or Gäng), (plural: Gänge, also: Gängs, Gangs, Gengs) is a group of dock workers , especially in the Port of Hamburg and in the Bremen ports (Bremen and Bremerhaven) who consists of five to ten men, as well as a foreman called Vice , Viez or Stauerviez . The term is derived from the English gang [ 'gæŋ ] for gang . Aisles / gangs were formed mainly by the showers for loading and unloading ships. When there was more work than the regular gangs could do, unskilled workers were put together for short-term strolling gangs . In the course of containerization and the associated rationalization in handling, manual work in aisles has largely decreased, but a collaborative group of skilled port workers, e.g. B. at a container bridge, called aisle.


A group of port workers, whose duties as dirty work were as rumen Klopper or Kedelklopper were Schietgäng called. In the shanty of 'Hamborger Veermaster' there is a variant of the text: "Dat deck weer vun Isen vull Schiet un vull Smeer, purely Schipp weer de Schietgang seer largest Pläseer ...".

Black gear

Here the usage has not been clearly handed down: on the one hand, the coal- bearers , known as black showers , are said to have been members of Swatten Gangs , on the other hand, these are said to have been exclusively the dark-clad officials of the water customs , who are still called that today. This is said to be due, on the one hand, to the characteristic dark blue uniform and to the fact that the officers get dirty during the extensive checks on board.


Seafarers who appear in groups on shore leave are also referred to as gangways .

Based on this term, a shanty group called itself Hamborger Schietgang .


  • Arnold Kludas , Dieter Maass, Susanne Sabisch: Port of Hamburg. The history of the Hamburg free port from its beginnings to the present , Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-8225-0089-5 , pp. 90–98

Individual evidence

  1. Reichsarbeitsdienst, 1936, Part 6, examples on pages 840, 842, 847
  2. ^ Smugglers, forgers, illegal workers; Hamburg customs investigators on the hunt. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on February 22, 2017 ; Retrieved February 21, 2017 (example of the use of the feminine form in a report by the public service broadcaster). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Reinhard Golz: The language of the Finkenwerder fishermen . Ed .: Altonaer Museum in Hamburg. Koehler, Herford 1984, ISBN 3-7822-0342-9 , pp. 234 .
  4. The Bremen-knacks book , Daniel Tilgner, 2010, published by Edition Temmen , page 73
  5. ^ J. Wiegandt: Hamburger Liederbuch and Lexikon . Dölling and Galitz 2001. page 57
  6. ^ Labor and industrial action in the port , page 80, Rolf Geffken
  7. Explanation of the origin of the term "black gang" in a report by ZDF - "On the way in the Hamburg harbor - the black gang", from minute 3:45
  8. Deutsche Schiffahrts-Zeitung of March 6, 2012
  9. Peter Schmachthagen: Do you speak Hamburgisch? All sorts of terms from the time when grandmother 'n lütt Deern weer. 3. Edition. Verlag Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-939716-26-6 , p. 106.
  10. Home Hamborger Schietgäng , accessed 20 April 2011