Richter on the Bismarck

Anything about the crew, families, origins, etc.
Leatherneck
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Richter on the Bismarck

Postby Leatherneck » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:55 am

I'm looking for a great-uncle, last name of Richter, who served on the Bismarck

My Grandfather, Kurt Walter Richter, had five brothers.

My father says one of these served on the Bismarck - There are several Richters listed on the manifest.
My father says he (my grandfather's brother survived the sinking) - This conflicts with the survivors list.

Additional information. Although my father does not know the first name of this Richter, he tells me that he was a veterinarian by profession serving as a medical officer on the ship. My father tells me that after the sinking he was held prisoner in Canada for the rest of the war, later repatriated, and then died a few years later. My grandfather was the only surviving member of his family and he would never talk about the war before he passed.

It is possible that this Richter on the Bismarck was confused with another brother in the Kriegsmarine, who served on a merchant raider - also sunk. So, he may nto be one of the survivors.

Two of the brothers were in the Luftwaffe and were killed in Russia and I don't know about the fifth. My grandfather survived because he emigrated to the US in the 1920s with his then Swiss fiancé (my grandmother).

Otto Richter - Great-grandfather and Prussian military officer WWI
Sons
Richter - oldest, did not survive war, Nazi party member, no further info
Richter - Luftwaffe, JU pilot, killed in Russia
Richter - Luftwaffe, JU pilot, killed in Russia
Richter - Kriegsmarine, killed when ship was sunk?
Richter - Bismarck, survived?
Richter - youngest, Kurt W. Sr., emigrated to US in 1920s

Richter - Kurt W. Jr., my father, served in US 1st Inf Div in WWII, interrogator for German POWs.

Richter - myself, US Marine artillery officer

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RF
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby RF » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:53 pm

Leatherneck wrote:
It is possible that this Richter on the Bismarck was confused with another brother in the Kriegsmarine, who served on a merchant raider - also sunk. So, he may nto be one of the survivors.


This is an interesting account, and as a piece of detective work perhaps I could suggest the following as a line of enquiry.

Firstly, this reference to a hilfskreuzer and it being sunk - do you know the name?

The hilfskreuzer Pinguin might well be the answer to this. Pinguin was sunk in action in the Indian Ocean with HMS Cornwall on 8th May 1941, less than three weeks before Bismarck was sunk. It may be that as the Pinguin was not very well known that the Bismarck, being famous, could be confused for Pinguin. As a name it would be far easier to remember.

The survivors from Pinguin were picked up by Cornwall, and after interrogation the German POW's did indeed end up in Canada.

Secondly, in the book ''Ghost Cruiser HK33'' there is reference to a seaman who served on Pinguin who was responsible for keeping the ships pigs prior to their intended slaughter for food. The reference states this seaman was qualified as a vet, but I cannot recall the name, which was mentioned. It may (or may not) have been Richter.
This book is sadly out of print in the UK and now virtually unobtainable.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby Herr Nilsson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:54 pm

There was a Marinestabsarzt Dr. Otto Richter. He was transfered before Rheinuebung.
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Marc

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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby Herr Nilsson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:37 pm

Dr. Otto Richter was on board Bismarck from August 22th 1940 to March 10th 1941 as "2. Arzt" (second physician) and was replaced by Dr. Hans-Joachim Krueger, who joined the crew on March 3rd 1941. Dr. Richter survived the war.
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Marc

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RF
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby RF » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:09 am

This Dr Krueger does not seem to be on the crew roster prepared by Malte Gaack, I presume he in turn was transfereed before Rheinubung.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:01 am

Krueger (Krüger) is usually listed as Joachim Krüger. I usually dissolve the Germanic umlaut "ü" into "ue" because it's readable on every computer system.
Regards

Marc

timbobutcher
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Seeking help concerning crew member Dr Joachim Kruger

Postby timbobutcher » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:49 am

I wonder if Herr Nilsson could help me with an inquiry concerning a naval surgeon who, I belileve, was serving on the Bismarck when she was lost.

I am a British author who has written a book on Liberia which is about to be translated into German. The book tells the story of a journey I made through the West African nation along a route used in 1935 by the British author, Graham Greene. Back in 1935 Greene met a young German doctor working upcountry in Liberia at a place called Bolahun. Greene does not name the medic but from other sources I have established the doctor's surname was Kruger/Krueger. Another source mentioned that the young doctor from Bolahun perished on the Bismarck and I wanted to check a couple of things.

First, what is the first name of the medical Kruger listed as one of the ship fatalities? Is is Joachim or Hans-Joachim?

Second, do you have any other confirmation that the medical Kruger listed as a ship fatality on the Bismarck was the one referred to by Greene, in other words is there any record to suggest he worked in Liberia in 1935?

With thanks for even considering this rather peculiar request

best

Tim Butcher
author etc

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RF
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby RF » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:57 pm

I am curious at this account of a young German doctor working in Liberia in 1935 should also end up on Bismarck in 1941. A person working in a west African country doesn't seem to be a likely candidate to be in the service of such an odious racist regime as Nazi Germany, even allowing for the KM being rather more enlightened.

How do you know that your source is right?
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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Seeking help concerning crew member Dr Joachim Kruger

Postby Herr Nilsson » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:09 pm

timbobutcher wrote:I wonder if Herr Nilsson could help me with an inquiry concerning a naval surgeon who, I belileve, was serving on the Bismarck when she was lost.

I am a British author who has written a book on Liberia which is about to be translated into German. The book tells the story of a journey I made through the West African nation along a route used in 1935 by the British author, Graham Greene. Back in 1935 Greene met a young German doctor working upcountry in Liberia at a place called Bolahun. Greene does not name the medic but from other sources I have established the doctor's surname was Kruger/Krueger. Another source mentioned that the young doctor from Bolahun perished on the Bismarck and I wanted to check a couple of things.

First, what is the first name of the medical Kruger listed as one of the ship fatalities? Is is Joachim or Hans-Joachim?

Second, do you have any other confirmation that the medical Kruger listed as a ship fatality on the Bismarck was the one referred to by Greene, in other words is there any record to suggest he worked in Liberia in 1935?

With thanks for even considering this rather peculiar request

best

Tim Butcher
author etc


Well, I'm afraid I can't help you. According to Nöldeke & Hartmann: "Der Sanitätsdienst in der deutschen Flotte im zweiten Weltkrieg" his name was Hans-Joachim Krüger. In Bismarck crew rosters he is usually listed as Joachim, but this is no contradiction. Joachim seems just to be the name usually used. There is a picture of Krüger in Nöldeke & Hartmann, but unfortunately no vita.

Maybe Malte Gaack can help you: http://www.diebismarck.de/kontakt.html
Regards

Marc

Malte Gaack
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby Malte Gaack » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:00 am

Dear Mr. Butcher,

I just read your post on the kbismarck.com Forum concerning an german Doctor who worked in Bolahun (Liberia) in 1935 and who Graham Green met during his travel through the country. I just had a talk with the doughter of Dr. Krüger and can confirm, that the Docotor in Bolahun is the same that sank with the Bismarck in May of 1941.
Dr. Krüger was born on 18th of November 1907 in Sagard on the Island of Rügen at the Baltic Sea. After Graduation in 1926 he started to study Medicine in Würzburg and later on in Rostock and Innsbruck. 1932 he finshed his study and received a doctorate the next year. Right after his final degree he went to Liberia (1932) for working as a doctor (surgeon) in Bolahun. There he married a german lab assistant and becam father. Later he wrote an article about his work, which was published in a german madical magazine. It is very impressive to read this report about all the diffrent infections, diseases, etc. and his work to improve things. I am sure he did a lot of good work to the people. Hans-Joachim Krüger left Liberia with his wife and son in 1935. Back home he entered the navy, after a basic military training, he made an education at the Martin-Luther-Hospital in Berlin to became a consultant surgeon. In 1941 he was orderd abord the battleship Bismarck as the ships surgeon. Just a few month later he took part on the first and last mission of the ship and was killed by an granate during the last battle of the Bismarck on 27th of May 1941. Hans-Joachim Krüger was 33 years old at the time of his loss, he left his wife pragnant with his fourth child.

Hope I could be of some help. If you need more Information, please let me know.

Malte Gaack
http://www.dieBismarck.de
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Hans-Joachim_Krueger.jpg
Hans-Joachim Krüger in Bolahun (Liberia)
Hans-Joachim_Krueger.jpg (72.88 KiB) Viewed 3750 times

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RF
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Re: Richter on the Bismarck

Postby RF » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:00 am

This is a very interesting account.

Given what was happening in Germany around 1935 I again wonder as per my post above what his thoughts and atitudes were towards the policies of the regime he served.
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