Move to Jerusalem

Schick and his fellow Ferdinand Palmer was in 1846 sent to Jerusalem to build up a Brother house, [German Brüderhaus], there a group of men would live together and practice different skills. Several groups like this were formed. To travel from Basel to Jerusalem took them 7 weeks, through Italy and Lebanon. As they arrived in Jerusalem they soon moved into an apartment close to the Damascus Gate with a good view over the city.

Schick got sick as he arrived and had to stay in bed for about two months. Their apartment had no stove and the cold weather during the winter made them freeze constantly. Also they soon ran out of money as the price for buying food was very high. At Christmas Schick felt stronger and at the very Christmas eve he walked to Bethlehem.

They decided to start some sort of business to earn their own money. Schick sold clocks. Their first experience was that it was difficult to get into the business. The Arabs only made business with other Arabs, so did the Armenian’s with other Armenian’s and also the Jews and the Greeks. It was not that easy for a European to find a market for his products or skills and the Germans were very few in Jerusalem at this time.

The place of the first Brother house close to Damascus Gate

Their Brother house was placed in-between Christ Church and the Holy Sepulchre. He mentions that the Arabs used to camp their camels outside there window. Schick also noticed that many children seemed to live on the streets without a family. At that period he was asked by the German Consul to take some of these Arab boys in a vocational training. Some of the boys later stayed with Palmer and Schick in the Brother house.

Schick's painting from 1847 of there first

Schick’s painting from 1847 of there first “Brüderhaus” – Brotherhouse.

With help of his Arabic students Schick soon learned speak there language and later also Hebrew. He also learned English good enough that he could write reports to the British Palestine Exploration Found – though they complained about his German sounding English.

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