Wilhelm Gustloff in print and Film

May 3, 2002
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To all you who are interested in this ship

I have just surfed through Google image search and found a range of German language books and two films about this ship. I own one of the books and while my deutsch is limited the photos are numerous and comprehensive.

One film is a documentary and the other is Nacht Fiel Uber Gotenhafen.

check out Amazon.de

good luck and let us know how you get on.

Martin
 
A

Angie Tailby

Guest
Hi Martin,
have just joined and seen your info about the Gustloff.
I try to find out more about the ship sisnce it seems that my ggparents might have been on it.
Are there any names by chance? I have written already to someone in Germany but with no response.
I will also look up google and seen what is there.
If you like some translation I am happy to help.
( I am German and live up the Coromandel)
Best Wishes for the festive season and a happy New Year.
Angie
 
Sep 2, 2009
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As for information on the Wilhelm Gustloff - The History Channel just did a documentary on it but I forgot the name. Any other members catch it?

As for books on the subject:

Sellwood, A.V., "The Damned Don't Drown - The Sinking of the Wilhem Gustloff", Bluejacket Books, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1973 / 1996, ISBN: 1-55750-742-2
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Newsweek magazine featured an article in short..."TABOO TOPIC THE GERMAN TITANIC"
(SEE: 18 March 2002)

Also featured an archival (Heinz Schon) launch photograph of the GUSTLOFF. Mentioned is the release of a book titled "Crab Walk" published
February of 2002 in German (and due out in English next year).

I am not certain to what extent the WILHELM GUSTLOFF is covered.

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 

John Clifford

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Nov 12, 2000
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Also, check your local library, to see if there is an available copy of "The Cruelest Night", about the Gustloff.

I have not studied the Gustloff sinking extensively, so I cannot say, for sure, how accurate "Cruelest Night" is, but I did find some of the stories there to be rather interesting. Not quite "A Night To Remember", but still good reading.

John Clifford
 
May 3, 2002
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Thanks for the ref for "The cruellest Night"
A copy of this work is a prize on my bookshelf. It is an excellent book and I fully recommend it to anyone wanting to study this episode of maritime history.

It is not in the same style as ANTR. AV Sellwood's "The Damned Don't Drown" is a bit more prosaic but has been criticized for some of it's accuracy by some survivors.

Martin
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Discovery Channel just showed a documentary about the Wilhelm Gustloff. I had never heard of this ship before, but knew immediately that there must be a thread about it here on ET. This is an amazing story! Imagine the loss of life on one ship equal to the loss of life on the Titanic, Lusitania and Arizona combined! And there are still survivors living who can speak in spite of the horror they experienced. I want to see this documentary again when I can give it my full attention and not be distracted. I want to learn more about it.

Kyrila
 

Dave Moran

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Apr 23, 2002
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Gunter Grass has just written a novel about the sinking of this ship which might be worth tracking down, I believe - it was reviewed in ' The Observer ' last week
 

Deborah Kogan

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Jan 29, 2003
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There is a review of the Gunter Grass book in this past week's Time Magazine. I had never heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff before; with 7000 people being killed in the sinking, I'm very much surprised that it is not more well known in the West... Could some knowledgeable person give us more information?
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Thanks, Dave and Deborah. I've enjoyed some of Gunter Grass's previous novels (if 'enjoyed' is the appropriate word for my response to 'The Tin Drum', er...) so had to follow up the info you posted.

Crabwalk
Gunter Grass
Faber and Faber, 2003, ISBN 0571216501 (hard cover, 248 pp) (Probably a different publisher for the US market.)

From the handful of online reviews I've just read it seems a 'must read'. Well, at least for me.
happy.gif


There's a bit of discussion of Wilhelm Gustloff on this board: see https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/6937/999.html for one. Here's a couple of off site links too: http://www.greatoceanliners.net/wilhelmgustloff.html (Henrik Ljungström) and http://www.feldgrau.com/wilhelmgustloff.html (Jason Pipes)

I'm not sure what books are available in English, but I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will happen along shortly.

With thanks,
Fiona
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Even less well-known is the tragic sinking of the liner Cap Arcona and the Thielbek, in which up to 7,000 died at a time when the war in Europe was drawing to a close. Ironically, much of the filming of Herbert Selpin's 1943 film 'Titanic' had taken place aboard the Cap Ancona.

Try this link for details which, be warned, are not pleasant:

http://www.rrz.uni-hamburg.de/rz3a035/arcona.html
 
Dec 8, 2000
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I'm currently reading Crabwalk and it's quite interesting. There's a lot more history in the book than I'd anticipated, as the journalist Paul (born immediately after his mother's rescue during the sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff) travels through his family's immediate history in parallel with the story of Wilhelm Gustloff, man and ship.

Titanic is mentioned a couple of times, including a reference to that 'Hollywood tearjerker'.

Bob, I've just looked at that link again and even though I knew the story, the impact wasn't lessened.
 

John Clifford

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi Tony.

If you can find a copy of "The Cruelest Night", there are many pictures of the ship, which can be scanned.

Please note: the book, to my knowledge, is out-of-print, so you may have to check with the many book collectors sites, instead of Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

The other alternative is to see if you can find the book at your local library.
 
May 3, 2002
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Thorsten,

thanks for the Gustloff URL. i spent a good while cruising through Herr Krawczyk's site and found it to be very good. I also checked out your own and was very impressed.

As to pictures of the Willi G, Heinz Shoen's books are a must. I own a copy of "The Gustloff Katastrophe" and from the publication details "SOS Gustloff" is also a good source.

A happy and peaceful new year to you all

Martin
 
May 3, 2002
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BALTIC SEA TRAGEDIES

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, 2 hrs, Airdate: Winter 2005

Description:

As the Third Reich collapsed, the Nazis who had ruled Poland with an iron grip tried to flee the wrath of the advancing Red Army by sea. Nearly 20,000 German men, women and children crammed aboard a trio of converted liners and freighters... and sailed right into the sights of Soviet submarines. Join Bob Ballard as he explores the forgotten and ironic tragedy of the most murderous naval attacks in history.


source; Partisan Pictures


Martin
 
May 3, 2002
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The Above mentioned Bob Ballard Doco has just premiered here on Australia sky National Geographic. Doco 1 hour long and traces the stories of a group of survivors from Gustloff, Steuben and Goya.
Must turn in as it is 23:17 and tomorrow starts at 05:15

cheers

Martin