Walter Weintz, in memoriam

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Walter Weintz, in memoriam

Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:39 pm

Ward Carr and Malte Gaack have informed me that Bismarck survivor Walter Weintz has passed away.

http://www.diebismarck.de/

Walter Weintz
Bismarck Survivor
Schreibergefreiter Walter Weintz
Born 21 February 1922 in Hassloch
Died 8 Janauary 2009 in Hassloch


Walter Weintz, survivor of the German Battleship Bismarck, died 8 January 2009 in his hometown of Hassloch near Mannheim, Germany, at the age of 86.
Born on 21 February 1922, Weintz joined the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) in 1940. After basic training he did staff duty in Warnemünde and Copenhagen, Denmark, where he volunteered several times for sea duty. In April 1941 he was transferred to the battleship Bismarck, reporting for duty on 22 April 1941 in Gotenhafen (Gdynia). An encoder/decoder he was assigned battle stations in radio room A (Anton). He was at his battle station during Bismarck’s final battle on 27 May 1941. One of the 85 sailors rescued by the HMS Dorsetshire, he became a POW and stayed in England for six months and almost five years in Canada, returning home on 13 March 1947.
After the war Walter worked first in his father’s company in Hassloch, then for the BASF chemical company in Ludwigsburg, near Mannheim, where he remained until his retirement. From his earliest days he was an athlete, winning numerous awards in track and field, gymnastics and table tennis both in school and the military. After the war, he was the moving force the local track and field club, TSG, and founded a Judo & Jujitsu club. He was also on the board of the local Naval Association (Marinekameradschaft) and the German Shepherd Breeders’ Club.
He kept close contact with his Bismarck comrades and organized two crew reunions in Hassloch. However, he always repeated his slogan of three words: “Never again war!” In May 2002 he and fellow Bismarck veteran Karl Kuhn went on the James
Cameron filming expedition to the wreck of the Bismarck. En route
the ship paused at the site of the HMS Hood’s final resting place,
and Walter honoured the memory of the fallen crew with a
short speech.
Walter Weintz was predeceased by his wife of 61 years and
his younger brother. He is survived by a son and a daughter and
several grandchildren.
Wednesday 21 January is the tentative date for the funeral
Ulrich

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RF
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Re: Walter Weintz, in memoriam

Postby RF » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:21 am

This is an interesting biography.

I was not aware that any of the radio personnel of Bismarck survived, most of the earlier accounts of survivors indicated that none of these personnel did survive.
After capture I presume that his true function was concealed from his captors? To avoid any interrogation on this subject?
The British report on the interrogation of survivors (as filed on this website) indicated that crew members had little communication with other ratings outside their division or compartment, and only possessed information on the ship on a need to know basis. As a result the interrogations were not as productive as the British had hoped.
Not all of the prisoners were interrogated. Is there any record of this man's experiences as a POW? As a radio man he would in the normal process have been questioned as by definition his job would mean that his knowledge of what was going on would be more than just parochial.

If he was not interrogated that would have been a slip up by British intelligence.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.


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