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Photo album of a young Nazi

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#1 Ancient Fire Resurgent

Ancient Fire Resurgent


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Posted 08 March 2005 - 05:28 AM

here is a link to an astonish amount of photos dating from '29-'43. This next part is taken directly from the seller's ebay listing:

Album #1

Album #2

I'm going to introduce you to a young German man who led an incredible life as a traveling cruise line chef (1929-39) and later as a Nazi soldier up in Norway and Finland, fighting in the attack on Narvik, Norway (1940-41). These are extremely rare photos of this attack as only a handful exist. Even on the major websites hosting details of this plan, there are no photos only diagrams of the attack. I give more details on the purpose for this attack below.

The only way I determined who the man is who owned these pictures was because he was the common denominator that showed up throughout the entire book smile.gif I have put his picture first. I am not certain of his name and we have only one clue. A postcard he wrote in German back home to Germany from the Lloyd Bremen Liner. I have scanned this as well as what he wrote on the back. Perhaps if you read German you can find some useful information. I have scanned the back of other photos that had writing on the back.

Since I don't know his name, I'm going to call him "OYG" (Our Young German) and he is a very handsome man at that. He got a hold of a nice camera and took off to see the world. He visited many ports of call around the world and led a life most young single men only dream of. He got a good job onboard the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen as a chef in 1929. This liner crossed the Atlantic to New York and "OYG" was there taking pictures of everything. The back of the photos are stamped "Bordphotograph" so he was able to get his pictures produced on the ship where he worked.

The 16th July of 1929: Start of maiden voyage Bremerhaven - New York, the passage which captured the Blue Ribbon with an average speed of 27.83 knots. On her homebound voyage she achieved a new record with an average speed of 27.91 kn. "OYG" was on this maiden voyage of the Bremen 4 to New York. You can see in the pictures that it is a brand new liner and was built to make a huge impression. We were not at war with Germany YET although trouble was brewing, and the Germans were making lots of money ferrying Americans and Europeans back and forth over the Atlantic up until this point.

Famous personalities such as Marlene Dietrich, Henry Ford, Max Schmeling, Fedor Schaljapin, an Indian Maharadja, and the American Ambassador patronize the 'Bremen' for their passages. Her jovial captain, Commodore Leopold Ziegenbein, was esteemed by both crew and passengers alike. Of the above people listed, "OYG" got pictures of Max Schmeling (with Comm. Ziegenbein) and his autograph, and Marlene Dietrich and they are included in this album. This autographed picture alone is very valuable as Mr. Schmeling just died last month at 99 years of age! Do a google search for this guy and you will be amazed at how many books and info has been written on him.

The very first pictures in the album are a big picture of the Statue of Liberty which was most likely the first picture he took of the USA and one of the Brooklyn Bridge with a great view of the Manhattan skyline. He first worked aboard the Norddeutsche Lloyd Bremen then the Europa and later the Scharnhorst to Asia. More pictures of the first two liners and great information can be seen at this webpage:


Next we have my favorite pictures which are of the Heinkel He12D-1717 sea plane that was catapulted off the Bremen to the thrill of many onlookers; I believe this was on the maiden voyage. There are four incredible pictures of this plane. One right after being catapulted, one flying over the ocean, one hanging on its teather and the other is of the plane being inspected.

Compare the only photo found of the Heinkel He12D-1717 to the one "OYG" took at the link at the bottom of this paragraph. It was taken the same day. His was dead on center and perfect with no blurriness - amazing. This photo in my opinion, is of the greatest historical interest. Only a few people witnessed this historic event and fewer yet had pictures, especially of this quality. He might have been an amateur, but he was focused. Working on the ship gave "OYG" the opportunity to find better places to snap pictures. I guarantee these photos have never been seen before. They have been in the possession of this man for over half a century before he died. Below is a link to an article translated loosely from German about the catapult and how and why this Heinkel built plane was on this maiden voyage of the Bremen. There is also a photo of a nice model built later.


Next "OYG" managed to get out on deck to take pictures of a hurricane and the gigantic waves out in the ocean; I get sea-sick just looking at the size of these waves. Winter on the Atlantic is captured when the deck froze over and everything is covered with ice. The year was still 1929. "OYG" was very organized and liked to take pictures of each place the Bremen docked. We have two of Southampton, one of Dresden, and Munich. There are pictures of what looks like an evacuation drill of the crew in the lifeboats. Pictures were taken from the Bremen of other passing ships like the SS Majestic, SS Columbus and the incredible Clipper Ship the Sorlandet. What an incredible vessel!! Again, perfectly centered and focused.

Next is an incredible find. The French U-Boat is captured just breaking the surface with all hands on deck. This photo must have been taken right of the coast of France at the beginning of one of the Bremen's transatlantic voyages. There is only one picture of this vessel and it is really stunning. I zoomed in for a close-up so wherever you see the word close-up at the end of the picture, it is not a separate picture, but the same one magnified.

Reaching the other side of the pond, "OYG" finds American battleships and starts taking pictures. He lists one as "Kruezer Nelson" and a whole page of simply "Kriegsschiffe" or warships. There is a close-up of one huge gunnery and looking at the close-up, you can also see airplanes hanging near the mid-section of the ship. They are not sea-planes like the Heinkel, but some of the earliest war planes to be stored on battleships.

1930-1939 Europa: Our young German finds himself on yet another cruiser - the Europa which is also at that link given previously. The Europa was another German transatlantic cruiser and "OYG" worked the same job on the same route, just a different ship. His first pictures of this ship capture a frozen Europa with thick ice covering everything on deck. A picture of a burned out French Liner "Atlantic" was snapped by "OYG" before they sunk it to the bottom of the sea. It was from the Europa that he also took pictures of the U.S. Mississippi with a huge flag on the front of the ship - awesome picture!

About this time, the 1932 Olympics come around and "OYG" is still working on the Europa. He must have run into the German champion soccer team or had a friend on the team as there are four pictures of the team onshore. The pictures he took while on the Europa were of the German Boxing team. There are (2) 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" photos of the entire team on the wood deck of the Europa. One picture is of the whole team posing and the other is of them all decked out in their gloves and face gear throwing fake punches. 6 more pictures of them onboard are on the next pages. This leads us to "OYG" and the 1932 Olympics which he obviously jumped ship to go to.

There are great pictures of him and his buddies in their chef uniforms posing in the Olympic rings over the Berlin sign. He might have found employment as a chef at the Olympics. This guy really knew how to get around and his skill as a chef took him there. There is one more photo of Max Schmeling on these Olympic pages. He was huge in Germany at the time and fought Joe Lewis. Here is a great story about this man:


He was not a Nazi and did not join the Nazi party as some thought. There are books written on this guy and original photos of him are highly sought after, especially those that he signed. “OYG” would have snapped the photo, had it developed onboard and had him sign it before they reached their destination…this guy was good. I have seen some autographed photos on eBay and they look fake to me and nothing like the autographed picture I have which I know is real.

Scharnhorst in 1938: In 1934 all Jewish personnel had been fired from the Bremen and Europa and the U.S. was protesting. The Americans had ripped off the Nazi flag from the stern of the other ship the Bremen and sometimes there were hardly any passengers on these voyages. "OYG" must have seen the writing on the wall and looked for employment in another part of the world - Asia. He boarded the Scharnhorst in 1938 and was on his way to Japan. This must have been some of the best days of his life, far from Germany - he stopped at many exotic locations; and all are pictured in this order; - Yokohama, Kobe, and Mount Fuji-Japan. Next was Shanghai China, Hong Kong, Manila Philippines, Belawan Sumatra, Singapore, Colombo Ceylon, the Suez Canal, Genoa Italy and finally the island of Crete - "The last stop on his Asian voyage". "OYG" must be in his early thirties by now and he's still looking good in his little white chef outfit with his buddies. They are enjoying the Asian warmth and sun and taking off their shirts for the pictures.

WWII and the final leg of this journey comes in 1940. A sad turn of events in this young man's life comes about and he stops working his dream job for the cruise lines and becomes a soldier in Hitler's growing Nazi army and the inevitable war in Europe. Long gone are his days of fun and sun, he is now in the army near the North Pole, the northernmost post in Norway. We don't know if he willingly enlisted or if he had no choice in the matter. His demeanor in the remaining pictures is clearly more serious, no longer the exuberant young man but he still smiles and makes lots of friends. One of which is a German Shepard dog that might have been trained for search and rescue. He is stationed in Norway in 1940 - a far cry from the warm waters on his voyages. There are pictures of desolate snow-covered fjords and men dressed in heavy fur coats. Intermixed between pictures of the Nazi flag and huge Nazi events are pictures of a little white puppy and a little white kitten. "OYG" loved animals and he even made friends with a Nordic crow whom he fed and took a picture of.

There is a picture of "OYG" with a German ski unit which was famous during the war for covering lots of ground quickly and embarking on spy missions. He is in the picture but not on skis so perhaps he was doing what he did best - cooking. He might have been the main cook for this whole unit up in Norway. The remaining pictures are taken in Norway and Finland of the Nazi army. There are several pictures of the unit in front of the Nazi flag, a gunner aiming at the white sky, a high ranking Nazi coming to visit. They even ran into some native Laplanders with their reindeer and one family that built their house out of a mound. These are special pictures of real Laplanders in their native garb.

Some of the rarest photos in this huge album are actually found on these last two pages - the attack on Narvik Norway. There are pictures of ships being attacked, bombs dropping, paratroopers coming down, germans standing on sinking ships, the town of Narvik up in smoke, and the coal cars destroyed. This was a critical move on the part of the Germans. It was the first time they had invaded Norway and they did so because they wanted to have an airbase within easy range of allied shipping going from Britain and the US to Murmansk in Northern Russia. The main ammunition and food supplies were coming from US and Great Britain to Murmansk which was past Narvik was an excellent base that the German's wanted to destroy. These photos are of great historic importance as well and have not been published before.

The last page shows our weary soldier packed up and going home with a strained smile on this face. Always with a sweet smile, he did not fit the typical Nazi soldier and he always had his arm around his comrades. He dedicated this last page to all the friends he lost in the war. We don't know what he did after WWII was over 5 years later, maybe he found work in a restaurant and settled down with a family in Germany, or got itchy feet and found another liner to take him far away.
"That's FUBIJAR."
(Fu--ed Up, But I'm Just a Reservist... )

#2 David Barton (DB) Mathis

David Barton (DB) Mathis


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Posted 09 March 2005 - 04:11 AM

Those first two links have fascinating pictures! Thanks!

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