The SS Berlin Disaster at Hoek van Holland
On 21 February 1907, the ferry SS Berlin – part of the train route between London and Berlin – foundered off the Dutch coast near Hoek van Holland during a terrible storm. The boat split in two after striking a pier. The extreme weather made rescue attempts very difficult, and only 15 of the approximately 150 passengers were saved.
Both Alberts Frères and the English firm The Warwick Trading Company filmed these events. The latter worked together with Dutch producer and showman F.A. Nöggerath, sen. to make Hoek van Holland nach der Katastrophe. Der Schiffbruch des Dampfers Berlin, which was well attended by audiences in Germany.
Besides the films of Queen Wilhelmina’s inauguration and her wedding with Prince Hendrik, this is the only Dutch film of a current event that garnered international attention in the early years of cinema.