November 18, 2019

"We were close to a window, and my mother took my brother and threw him out. She grabbed me and fell back and then threw me out. She tried to get my sister..."

"... but she was too heavy, and my mother decided to get out by the time the zeppelin was nearly on the ground. I remember lying on the ground, and my brother told me to get up and to get out of there."

Said Werner Doehner, who survived the Hindenburg disaster, quoted in "Werner Doehner, last survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, dies at 90" (WaPo). He was 8 years old and the last of the 62 people who escaped from the burning wreckage.

26 comments:

Rusty said...

Oh. The humanity!
There. Just to get it out of the way.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Rusty. I was dreading to open the comments to see the inevitable insistence on repeating "Oh, the humanity." You got the work done as painlessly as possible.

rhhardin said...

Hindenburg matchbook cover, "For God's sake, close cover before striking."

not too soon in 1965

Mr. Forward said...

Zeppelin sounds lighter than air, dirigible doesn't.

Danno said...

I loved that old newsreel video. Don't see them much any more.

Kay said...

Was pretty surprised to discover that anyone had survived, and so I did a little Googling. Turns out, most people survived the crash. 62 out of the 97 passengers and crew lived. There were 36 passengers and 23 of them made it out. Incredible!

BUMBLE BEE said...

Lotta people goin down in flames. Quite timely.

AllenS said...

Kay said...
Was pretty surprised to discover that anyone had survived

Me too.

Nichevo said...

Look what a great lot of structure is in it, too. That's a dirigible which means rigid, not a limp blimp. Girders everywhere! I wonder what that sucker weighed empty.

Rick.T. said...

“Oh, the humanity."

This was Herbert Morrison who worked for WLS in Chicago who was there to cover the landing.

“The 16-inch green lacquer disk recordings were rushed back to Chicago by airplane and broadcast in full later that night. Portions were rebroadcast nationally by the NBC Radio network the next day. It was the first time that recordings of a news event were ever broadcast, and also the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast.”

Rick.T. said...

And now you know the rest of the story...

Anonymous said...

Air ships were extremely cool - so fragile, unfortunately. If you're curious about the American experience with them, check the Wik entries on the Akron, Shenandoah, Macon, and Los Angeles. (The last one German-built, and the only one of the four to not come to a bad end.)

I went to look for some photographic verification for one of my mother's girlhood memories - being called outside to watch the Graf Zeppelin cruising over the Capitol. Sure enough, Shorpy comes through.

Fernandinande said...

How many pounds of hydrogen burned?

mockturtle said...

The Germans are usually pretty smart but filling a blimp with hydrogen was definitely a bad idea.

Curious George said...

"Oh. The humanity!"

If not for that we could never have this treasure.


"2 QUARTS OF 87 OCTANE GASOLINE REPORTING FOR DUTY SIR!"

tcrosse said...

The Germans are usually pretty smart but filling a blimp with hydrogen was definitely a bad idea.

They had to get the helium from the USA, and we wouldn't let them have it.

Earnest Prole said...

You’ve got something against the humanity?

wild chicken said...

I thought it was "O the humanity."

Like classical poetry.

Andrew said...

How come no one has mentioned global warming? This is where it all began.

More seriously, I'm also surprised by the number of survivors. Glad to hear it.

Wince said...

What's truly striking about the event is how few "Hitler learns of the Hindenburg disaster" videos that are out there.

tcrosse said...

The passengers were in the very bottom of the airship. The hydrogen burns upward. Some of the crew were up in the hull or leaped far to the ground and perished. Those who survived waited until they were close enough to the ground to jump, and then got out of the way when the thing fell to earth.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

And who could forget that it directly inspired the WKRP Turkey Drop.

BarrySanders20 said...

She proved a puny plaything in the mighty grip of fate!

I'm going to use that line for modern events.

Big Mike said...

Here's an animated description of what happened to the Hindenburg. The Pathe newsreel also notes that they were having difficulty leveling the airship because the rear kept sinking -- in retrospect because of a leak from a cell in the tail.

You can stop at the 8:00 minute mark -- the rest is a commercial for ExpressVPN, the sponsor.

Andrew said...

A lesser known tragedy, when a blimp lifted up unexpectedly. Warning, a little graphic.
https://youtu.be/NHsVcDK42VQ

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