More than 9,000 people died when the ship sank Soviet proud to Hitler, the Wilhelm Gustloff, the end of World War II.
Among all naval tragedies that have occurred throughout history, the overwhelming impact of the liner Titanic into an iceberg has always stood above the rest. However, there is more unknown catastrophe but, to this day, is still the world’s greatest maritime disaster: the Wilhelm Gustloff, a Nazi ship in which, after being torpedoed, killing more than 9,000 refugees and military Reich at the end of World War II.
Although less film ma ‘, the history of the Gustloff is, in many respects, similar to the giant that struck an iceberg. In both had insufficient lifeboats to safeguard all passengers, in both had to use firearms to control the desperate passengers trying to get on the boats for rescue and both were a huge number of deaths. However, the Nazi ship disaster six times more people died on the ship of the White Star Line .
The ship of Joy
The construction of this giant of the seas was left by Blohm & Voss shipyard by order of Adolf Hitler, who also ordered that the ship should be under the command of the Kraft durch Freude (KdF), a Nazi organization dedicated to establishing Break the inhabitants of Germany. In 1937, after many months of manufacture, this definitely liner was launched by the Führer himself.
“The first of May 1937 it was announced on the radio and in the press:” The first newly built ship KdF German Labor Front will be launched on May 5, 1937 in the courtyard of the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg . The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, comes to Hamburg for the event. [...] All Hamburg is excited, ‘”recalls Heinz Schön, one of the few men who managed to save their lives in this catastrophe naval, in his book” The tragedy of the Gustloff. Story of a survivor . “
As for his name, and although it was initially shuffled other possibilities, he finally decided to throw this liner as Wilhelm Gustloff in honor of a Nazi politician murdered a few years earlier. So, this May 5, thousands of Nazi party members, soldiers, and civilians, hoisted their flags for this new recreational vessel under cries of “Sieg heil” (victory and glory).
The great transatlantic Hitler
With 208.5 meters in length and 23.5 meters wide at its widest point, this ship did not have the large size of the Titanic (which exceeded in 60 and 5 meters respectively). However, the dimensions of the Nazi boat made him, as recorded by Schön, the 5th largest German ship and the 25th worldwide.