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2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

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Old 2 March 2000, 12:38 PM   #1
Posts: n/a

Here's another extract from another book,

The State funeral of General of the Luftwaffe Ernst Udet, the most famous of the Imperial German airmen who had flown with Manfred von Richthofen.

He was an attractive personality, lively & gay, expansive and broad-minded. He was fond of wine, women and the atmosphere of comfortable luxury.

His funeral was the occassion for a demonstration of heart felt public sorrow. The first part of the ceremony took place in the main hall of the Air Ministry, the bier was covered in the war-standard of the Reich, and placed at the foot of the vast mosiac representing the eagle with crooked cross, which had been hung with black crepe. Eight officers chosen from the aces of the current war, led by Lieutenant- Colonel Adolf Galland, formed the guard of honour around the catafalque. At each corner were massive pillars each with a bowl burning crackling flames which diffused a flickering light.

In front of his coffin were eight wreaths being faced by the leading members of the Third Reich government and officers of the Luftwaffe, also the front row were Ministers and Field Marshals. Behind them the Under-Secretaries of State and other principal generals, including General Tedeschini-Lalli of the Italian Air Force accompanied by Italian officers in Berlin, followed by the diplomatic corps, senior officals, and Udet's immediate colleagues wearing black armbands.

Amid the stoney silence the dead man's mother and near relatives entered the hall. Finally Hitler & Goering arrived each laid a wreath and gave the Nazi salute. Goering tearfully paid tribute to a man who'd been his friend, his comrade in arms, and his administrative partner. The funeral march was conducted to the strains of 'The Twilight of the Gods' rising to a majestic crescendo. The remains were taken to the Friedhof der Invaliden where a squad of airmen in line over the grave fired three volleys, as the bier slowly sank into the tomb, which the walls were lined with foliage. Another salvo of seventeen guns resounded in the distance. then one by one the mourners stepped forward, gave an ordinary military salute ,or the boot clicking Nazi hand up, and flung three handfuls of dirt onto the coffin, on which the General's sword and helmet lay.

faster regards

Old 8 March 2000, 02:23 PM   #2
G. Jacobs
Posts: n/a

Dear Wert,

Thank you for providing the description of Udet's funeral. If you are interested in a picture of his grave, contact "Amy" who is a regular participant on the Forum. She took a photo of it while on a trip to Europe and once posted it here.

Of particular interest to me is the fact that upon Udet's death, Josef Jacobs became the highest-scoring surviving German ace of WW1. When he died in 1978, he was also the last surviving Pour-le-Merite recipient of the Imperial Air Service. It would be interesting to know if he attended Udet's funeral, as he was known to detest the Nazis.

Thanks again for an interesting post!

Best Wishes,
Old 15 March 2000, 04:21 PM   #3
Posts: n/a

Dear Gary,

I appreciate the thanks, but I'll pass on the photo of Udet's grave, although "Amy" I believe has e-mailed me before about obtaining a picture of Robert Buie's eternal resting place, which I gave freely, the contact was short & sweet.

Anyway me source is "Dictators Face to Face" by Dino Alfieri - the Italian Ambassadore to Hitler's Germany, published by Elke Books Ltd London WC1, translated by a David Moore, 1954. Probably out of print by now. Some great photos inside too, diplomats - Dunkirk - generals - personalities and Hitler & Mussolini of course, yet certianly a different view of the Second World War.

I regret that Josef Jacobs isn't mentioned by Alfieri but he did write of another funeral which may or may not hold interest;

"enveloped in the folds of the old German Imperial flag, the remains of Wihlelm II had been buried at the grounds of his chateau at Doorn. The Reichskommissar for Holland, on behalf of Hitler whom he represented at the funeral, had laid a wreath on the tomb as the German soldier guard presented arms.

Amongst those that attended the solemn ceremony were the old Field Marshal von Mackensen, wearing the black uniform of the Death's Head Hussars, General Reinhardt head of the Union of ex-Servicemen, many other military officers of the old Imperial German Army, and those of the Third Reich. Also in attendance were all the surviving members of the House of Hohenzollern, they had come to Doorn in a special train placed in their disposal by the German Government.

For many years the ex-Kiaser had languished in exile, and millions of his former subjects could not forgive him for his abdication and flight of November 10th, 1918, as the memories come crowding into one's mind. The German Press rarely mentioned his name, yet now, on this occassion of his death, articles are re-appearing recalling the days when the Emporer had occupied centre stage. These words had a two-fold purpose, to defend Wilhelm II, and hence Germany, against those who accused them of starting the first World War, and, to saddle up the Kaiser with a considerable share of the blame for Germany's conduct and defeat.

In the obituary notices published by the Nazis in the newspapers Wilhelm II was accorded praise for his conuct of foriegn policy, whereas on the other hand his domestic affairs were severly criticized. Two of his nephews were killed on the field of battle, others had put on some sort of uniform, and the Crown Prince had applied for a commission in the Army. This was refused by Hitler and eventually he decreed that members of the House of Hohenzollern should no longer be sent to the battlefront for they had shed enough its blood on behalf of the Third Reich"

Wiedmannsheil !


ernst, udet

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