Admiral Graf Spee
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51.
July 12, 2019

I would like to know the fate or any information of the German Officer Lieutenant  Engineer Hartmuth Graff, who was a crewman from Admiral Graf Spee. He was interned in Argentina after the Graf Spee was scuttled in La Plata River (River Plate battle) on Dec. 1939. Thank you very much.

Aldo C.
Sacramento, California, USA.

Reply 1
Oct. 29, 2019

I can provide  the following: He was a ranking Engineering Officer from Hannover. Internment Number 29. He was a fugitive from internment in Buenos Aires, leaving Darsena Norte in the port in the morning of August 1940 with several other officers to return to Germany. I can provide his photograph and information about his parents and birthplace if requested. I like to add that he returned to Germany and was sunk on U-119 in 1943.

Cheers,
Carlos Benemann
Ferndale, California


50.
June 4, 2019

I am the granddaughter of the founder and mayor of La Granja, Argentina. My mother had very fond memories as a young girl of a group of sailors from the Graf Spee marching up the hill to the castle where my grandfather, a German and a Nationalist, lived. I don't know how long the sailors stayed at the castle, but I do know a friendship developed. Two of the sailors whose names I remember were Willi Schmidt and Willi Scharf. My spelling may be slightly off, but I believe these are the two young men who corresponded with my mother for a bit after they left the castle. I have their letters in my possession.

In gratitude for my grandfather's help, it is said that the gold ring (showing below) I also have in my possession which bears the worn out crest of the Graf Spee was Captain Langsdorff's, and given to my grandfather by an officer who stayed at the castle. My father wore it for years, so it is very worn thin, but it is made of 18k gold and still bears some of the red enamel where the diamonds are present on the crest. I have seen pictures of Captain Langsdorff wearing a ring that looks very much like this, but I do not know for certain it is the same ring. It would be nice to know if there is any information available as to whether such a ring would be worn only by the captain of a ship, or if it was common for officers to wear them as well. Any help and information regarding the ring, the "Willi's" and anyone who may know something about the sailors who stayed at the castle in La Granja, Cordoba, would be appreciated.

Regards,
Lorraine

Reply 1
Oct. 29, 2019

There is indeed a Willi Scharf sailor of the Graf Spee. Internment Number 802 aka Guillermo = Wilhelm = Willi Scharf interned in Cordoba. He was born in  Bochum, Westfahlen  April 29 1916. I will be happy to provide name of parents and a photograph on request.

Cheers,
Carlos Benemann
Ferndale, California



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