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Old 9 March 2011, 09:34 PM   #1
misshistory619
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Von Richthofen's Belongings.......

I'm wondering if anyone knows what became of Manfred von Richthofen's original belongings?? After he passed away, someone like his mother must have taken and kept them. However, if this is so, then where is it all now? Are there any museums displaying these things, or are they available to the public at all?? And what became of his dog Moritz after he died??

Thanks!
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Old 10 March 2011, 01:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by misshistory619 View Post
I'm wondering if anyone knows what became of Manfred von Richthofen's original belongings?? After he passed away, someone like his mother must have taken and kept them. However, if this is so, then where is it all now? Are there any museums displaying these things, or are they available to the public at all?? And what became of his dog Moritz after he died??

Thanks!
Mate,
Here is the response to what became of MvR's great Dane Moritz. • After Manfred von Richthofen’s death on 21 Apr 1918, Ltn. Alfred Gerstenberg took care of his Great Dane dog Moritz. Moritz died of old age on Gerstenberg’s farm following the war - ‘Cross and Cockade Journal’ Vol 18 Number 4 Winter 1977 by Marvin L. Skelton – pg 324.

ttfn

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Old 10 March 2011, 02:12 AM   #3
Al Forbes
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His last bark..

Any controversy about Moritz's dying bark?
What IS canine for "Kaputt"?
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Old 10 March 2011, 02:20 AM   #4
vonGiersu
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As for the belongings - Kunegunda von Richthoffen actually did collect as much as she could of her demised son's posessions and placed them in his old room. Apparently the public was allowed to visit and marvel, although I didn't find anything about it being formalized as a museum - more like a private place of remembrance.
Then the WWII came and Schweidniz was "liberated" by Soviet troops at the end of it. These nice folks' way of liberating places always included liberating it of it's posessions as well, so all the precious things disappeared forever, probably ending their awesome history in some decrepit huts over Ural...


(btw, it's my first post on this fine forum so I bid everyone a very hearty hello :o)

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Old 10 March 2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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As for the belongings - Kunegunda von Richthoffen actually did collect as much as she could of her demised son's posessions and placed them in his old room. Apparently the public was allowed to visit and marvel, although I didn't find anything about it being formalized as a museum - more like a private place of remembrance.
Then the WWII came and Schweidniz was "liberated" by Soviet troops at the end of it. These nice folks' way of liberating places always included liberating it of it's posessions as well, so all the precious things disappeared forever, probably ending their awesome history in some decrepit huts over Ural...


(btw, it's my first post on this fine forum so I bid everyone a very hearty hello )
Mate,
Welcome to the flagship of the Aerodrome - where the greatest minds on the planet get together and talk about their favorite subject - WW1.

I believe that I remember reading somewhere that Herman G. helped get a lot of MvR's stuff out of the house, before the Russians came in. I also believe that I read that it is stored in a vault somewhere and that it takes two of the Richthofen family members to open it up. Where that is, I have no idea.

ttfn

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tom

P.S. Werner Voss fan here.
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Old 10 March 2011, 03:31 AM   #6
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I think I read the same thing. There was a reply to it though, published some time later and somewhere else - it was clearly stated there that the vault was actually in the Nazi top secret base on the dark side of the Moon.

Seriously though, people still do live in Swidnica and some of them are interested. Here's what one of them says:

In 1901, Major Baron Albrecht von Richthofen together with his wife Kunigunde von Schickfuss (maiden name) moved into a villa located in today’s Wladyslaw Sikorski Street no. 19. Their oldest son Manfred born in 1892 was nine at that time and his brother Lothar was seven. Before his death on 21 April 1918, Manfred won over 80 air battles during the First World War, which makes him the best German fighter pilot ever. His name became a symbol. He was decorated with the Pour le Mérite (The Blue Max), the same as his brother Lothar. Despite serious injuries, Lothar did survive the war. However, he died on 4 July 1922 in a plane crash near Hamburg. His funeral took place on 11 July on Swidnica garrison cemetery. He was buried next to his father, who died in 1920. At present, the cemetery is a part of the park and there are no graves (the garrison cemetery was located between the streets of Armii Krajowej and Kolejowa near the bus station and bus bays – author’s note). In lasting memory of Manfred, the so-called Richthofen’s oak was planted and a erratic block with a curved inscription was placed in Sikorski Park. In 1928, the Richthofen mausoleum was built but only its remains survived to this day.

Shortly after the Mausoleum was built, the mother of the two outstanding pilots decided to found a museum dedicated to her two beloved sons. The Richthofen Museum was opened on 26 April 1933. Since Prussian Prime Minister Hermann Goering and the last commander of the I Fighter Aviation Regiment named after Manfred von Richthofen, could not arrive in Swidnica at that time, his funeral speech, which was recorded on a vinyl and broadcasted by Wroclaw Radio, was directed to the pilots’ mother and the honourable guests, who gathered in large numbers. Among the guests, who made their funeral speeches, there was the head of the Silesian district of NSDAP as well as Hekmut Brueckner, the Senior President of the Silesian provinces and Edmund Heines, the head of Wroclaw Police. Goering’s visit to the Richthofen Museum was not until 13 May 1934, during his inspecting visit around Silesia together with the Minister Walther Daree.
On the opening of the museum in 1933 Strzegomska Street was renamed to Manfred von Richthofen Street (now Sikorski Street). The museum consisted of five rooms on the top floor of the villa. The staircase was converted, so that it led from ground floor straight up to the museum facilities. The stairwell was decorated with over 300 antlers from all over Germany. There were also the hunting trophies of the pilots’ father, Albrecht von Richthofen, who died in 1920. His military uniform was exposed on the highest platform of the staircase.
The first room was dedicated to Manfred’s younger brother, Lothar, who although seriously injured three times won over 40 air battles and got the highest military decoration Pour le Mérite. In the middle of his room, there was a model of the Albatross D III biplane. The exhibition included also different orders, a Swedish honorary sword, reports from German and foreign papers and various special press supplements. In one of the corners, there was a portrait of Lothar’s greatest opponent, the English Captain Ball. The good luck seemed to be on Lothar’s side as the bullets from his machine gun hit Ball’s plane carburettor. The parts of the shot-down plane reminded of the fight between two equal opponents. The second was the room of Manfred’s youth. There was his collection of red, white and blue parts of plane wings and side parts of the shot-down planes’ fuselages with the side numbers on. Glass cases contained Manfred’s badges, which he got during different prewar contests. Museum’s collection included also few of his portraits. As Manfred was a keen hunter and an expert shooter, the third room was reserved to his hunting trophies only. Fourth room was decorated with the portraits of Manfred’s friends and colleagues and a board with Praetorius-von Richthofen family tree. According to this genealogy, Manfred was a descendant, in a direct line, with the “Old Dessauer,” whose granddaughter married Baron von Richthofen.
The fifth room was devoted to Manfred’s tragic death. Among laurels and flowers there was a simple wooden cross, which was put by the English pilots on Manfred’s first grave in Fricourt. Black velevet cushions were covered with Manfred’s orders and decorations. There were also some of the letters of condolence and pictures of Manfred’s original burial place. The museum was open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. Unfortunately, all the exhibit items from the Richthofen Museum went missing without any trace after the town was occupied by the Red Army on 8 May 1945.
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Old 10 March 2011, 04:05 AM   #7
robkamm
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his treasures including the rotory engine lamp is with the amber room im my basement.
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Old 10 March 2011, 04:11 AM   #8
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Traditionally people facing invasion and hoping to someday return will cache valuables. I suppose there is some chance that the silver cups and the like went into the ground in the garden. This would depend on how much notice or forethought the family had concerning the Red Army's arrival.

While I keep hearing how Goering had the memorabilia spirited away, the years of absence and the fact that this question crops up regularly screams loss to me. It seems strange to me that MvR's mother, who was the driving force in maintaining a physical memorial to his memory, would not have redesplayed the items if she possibly could; especially in the post-war recovery era.

I fear what wasn't outright looted was probably destroyed in the subsequent resettlement of the area. I suppose there is some hope that much of the collection resides in a Russian archive somewhere or more likely perhaps a victory cup or two is in an attic somewhere, spared from melting by forgetfulness and death.
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Old 10 March 2011, 04:14 AM   #9
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didnt some of the cups turn up? there was a tread on here talking about a auction with them being sold for a couple of 1000 $$
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Old 10 March 2011, 05:36 AM   #10
Freddy
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Cups

There are some artifacts, I believe, at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center in New Zealand. I think one of his cups is on display there as is his father's uniform. They also have a trophy of Lothar's.
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