We have all heard the sad story of the sinking of Titanic
in April, 1912 -- a tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 1,500 people. Countless books, TV documentaries and even Hollywood
films have kept the memory of that fateful night alive for more than 100 years.
'A Night to Remember' indeed!
have all heard the sad story of the sinking of Lusitania in May, 1915 -- a World War I tragedy engineered by British Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and his American counterpart,
U.S. Naval Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt. About 1,200 passengers perished in that equally memorable disaster.
The Lusitania has not been forgotten either.
What if we told you that
neither of these two epic events was the greatest maritime tragedy in maritime history -- not even close?! What if
we told you of a more recent sinking (1945) which claimed the lives of (are you sitting down?) 10,000
innocent people? That equates to about the total dead of Titanic, plus the total dead of Lusitania, multiplied by a factor of four! It's true. Why haven't you heard of
this, you ask? Why no documentaries -- no movies -- no annual remembrances? Well, you see, human lives don't count if the
victims were German civilians during World War II. But they do matter to TomatoBubble.com. So, here is their
was Wilhelm Gustloff?
Wilhelm Gustloff (January 30, 1895 - February 4, 1936) was
the founder and leader of the Swiss NSDAP / AO (the National Socialist Party organization for German citizens abroad.)
He lived in Davos, Switzerland and worked for the Swiss government as a
Gustloff had originally joined the NSDAP in
1929, and put much effort into the distribution of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,
a document purporting to reveal the existence of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. On February
4, 1936, a Croatian-Jewish student named David Frankfurter,
heeding the worldwide call for Jewish "Holy War" against the German people,
knocked on the door of Gustloff's home. Frankfurter told Mrs. Hedwig Gustloff that he had come there
to visit Gustloff.
showed the stranger into the study and asked him to wait there while her husband finished his telephone
call. When Gustloff entered the study to greet his unexpected guest, Frankfurter drew his pistol and
shots Gustloff four times in the head and chest. Screaming hysterically, Hedwig ran to the study and
watched her husband die. The cold-blooded killer calmly walked out and turned himself in to local authorities.
Three and 1/2 years before World War II had even started, Frankfurter murdered Gustloff in
front of Mrs. Gustloff.
Germans and Swiss were horrified by the senseless murder
of a good man who had neither harmed nor threatened anyone. Hitler and the some of Germany's top brass attended
the State funeral service. The following year, a
luxury ship was launched, named in Gustloff's honor. Hitler was again present at the ceremony. Helga
Gustloff herself christened the massive liner, the M.S. Wilhelm
The Sinking of the Wilhelm
By January of 1945, Germany's days are numbered. General Patton wants to take
Berlin but Allied Commander Eisenhower won't allow it. Eisenhower's deliberate delaying tactics in the Western front allow Stalin's raping
and murdering Soviet hordes to push eastward into Germany.
As the Red Army and the cruel Jewish NKVD
units advance, millions of terrified German civilians - a majority of which are women, children and elderly - flee
westward by land and sea. On land, the refugees face cruel bombardment and aerial strafing from
American, British and Soviet airplanes. The sea-based refugees face
a different kind of threat.
land and by sea, terrified and homeless Germans fled their Allied executioners.
The luxury liner MV Wilhelm Gustloff is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with an estimated 10,000 -12,000 refugees -
7 times as many as the Titanic! Soon after
leaving its Baltic Sea port, the doomed ship is sighted by Soviet Submarine commander Alexander
Marinesko. After tracking his human prey for several hours, the Soviet killer fires three torpedoes
into the ship’s port side. In the panic that follows, many passengers are trampled to
death as they flee to the decks.
The Wilhelm Gustloff sinks in just 45 minutes -- coincidentally, on the birthday
of its namesake, Wilhelm Gustloff (January 30). German ships arrive quickly and pluck about 1000 survivors from
the frigid waters as the cold claims the lives of all the rest. It is the greatest disaster
at sea in world history, and not 1 in 1,000 people has ever heard about it!
Now that YOU know the story --share it with others.
Genocide on the frozen high seas.
Image 1: Happier days for the fine people of Germany -- a 1938 'Strength Through
Joy' cruise aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff