Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Watspoon, Nov 20, 2017.
Hey guys, I was just wondering whether any Scharnhorst survivors are still alive.
Hello Watspoon welcome to the Forums! I am not sure if there are any of the (30 something was it?) survivors left....
If still alive the youngest survivor would be 93. While not impossible, doubtful any left.
Scharnhorst - Crew - Survivors' List
Alright thanks, sad to see that so few WWII veterans are still with us, such as Bernhard Heuer on the Bismarck.
According to this site, only ten were still alive in 2008. It's unlikely that any are still alive. Axis Re-enactment forum
Alright, I believe Matrosen Obergefreiter Wilhelm "Willi" Alsen is still alive
I concluded this after looking for a painting of all things of the Scharnhorst.
They have a small bio about him as he signed a couple paintings. The one I was looking at was also signed by Erich Rudorffer and it showed he died in 2016, meaning it must have been recently updated. This could mean He is still alive, but I am not too certain.
Anyways I hope he is, and if he is best of luck to him
Source Matrosen Obgefreiter Wilhelm Alsen - Naval art with the signature of Matrosen Obgefreiter Wilhelm Alsen
There was also another one where it stated he was the last of the 36 rescued
"Escort To The Scharnhorst", by Simon Atack, 2002 - Aeromobilia
I believe that none of the 36 survivors are still alive.
Horst Zaubitzer, whom became chief of the fire department,
in Leverkusen died in Cologne last year. I have been in
contact with several of the families of the survivors, both
in Germany, and the U.S.A. Of the 36 survivors, 8 were
sent to Canadian P.O.W camps in early 1944. I can however
only account for 7. The 7th. Johann (Johnny)Merkle was
added to the removal list from England to Canada at the
last minute. He would settle in the U.S.A and died in Florida
in 2000. Survivor Gunther Strater was repatriated via the
Red Cross, and used by the German propaganda machine.
27 survivors were sent to the U.S.A as P.O.W.s and returned
to Germany, via Britain at the end of WW2. Johann Kastenholz,
became involved in trucking, and opened a hotel in the Eifel
region of Germany.
I have recently done some research, which was included in a
recently published book. "Castaways of the Kriegsmarine"
written by Derek Nudd. Derek is a naval historian, and his
book contains much information of the interrogation of the
Scharnhorst survivors at Latimer House, before being sent
to Canada, and the U.S.A.
You may find a couple of references to the Scharnhorst
on the web interesting.
Lance Shippey Scharnhorst (Marinequest)
Lance Shippey The winding tale of a German P.O.W.
from Windsor Ontario.
Lance Shippey Duke of York, message board Marinequest.
Information received by bugging cells of Schrnhorst survivors at Latimer house brought some
interesting results. During a conversation between two survivors on 29th January 1944, One
of them said "If we win the war, the politicians will all have to change their jobs. HITLER will be
chancellor, ROOSEVELT minister for foreign affairs, STALIN minister of labour, and CHURCHILL
minister of war." The other survivor in the cell commented "That would be fine, there would never
be another war then". "If those four were to work together , the World would become united".
I recently saw some men from the Scharnhorst who have come back from the Eastern Front, and
are now in the Tirpitz.
The details of these facts are from MI 19a C.S.D.I.C (U.K.) S.R. Report dated 29th Jan.44.
Document S.R.N. 2871. Concerning P.O.W.'s N2138 and N2141 captured 26th Dec 43.
One of the two men [N2141] had served in TIRPITZ till 25th Dec. 1943 and then transferred to
Scharnhorst. Konteradmiral Bey had been on-board TIRPITZ on the 25th Dec. probably because
TIRPITZ had a secure telephone land line to German Naval headquarters which Scharnhorst had
not. konteradmiral Bey took a few chosen men from the TIRPITZ to join him on Scharnhorst.
The boat transferring Bey and the men left later than anticipated, and delayed the sailing of the
Scharnhorst by around an hour.
In a bugged conversation logged 23rd Jan 44. between the same two men, gave British Naval
Intelligence a little more information about TIRPITZ. (Document S.R.N.2836) The TIRPITZ
would be sunk after bombing by R.A.F. Lancaster's on 12 Nov.1944.