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This article was published in the FALL2011 issue of the ZEPPELIN POST JOURNAL

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Dieter Leder reports
Wanted - Hindenburg Crash Mail


The search goes on - This was the subtitle of Arthur Falk’s compendium on LZ-129 Hindenburg crash mail from the 6 May 1937 airship crash at Lakehurst, NJ. And indeed, the search still goes on and while various articles on this subject have been published since, the Arthur Falk book is still the only philatelic book on Hindenburg crash mail.

But this will change next year: On occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Hindenburg crash at Lakehurst, NJ, a new philatelic book on this crash is due. At this point, I do not want to reveal too many details, but all I can say is that this book will be a quite heavy handbook with a couple hundred pages focussing on the postal history of the crash and of course on crash mail.

Salvaged cover from the LZ-129 Hindenburg crash with heavy burning traces.


Certainly the biggest improvement is to have not only a list of the salvaged mail, but it is planned to illustrate each and every salvaged crash cover. I know that this is impossible since I will not be able to get images of all crash covers salvaged in 1937. But the real goal is to get as many images of crash covers as possible. At the moment, I have images of about 60% of the salvaged covers.

And this is where your help is needed: You might contribute valuable information to this research project. Do you have information on LZ-129 Hindenburg crash mail or do you have images of such covers? Or even better, do you own such covers? In case that you can answer one of these questions with «Yes!», then please get in touch with me and tell me what you have.

I do not want to buy this material, I only need any information and copies or images of the salvaged covers to illustrate them in the new crash mail book: These might be salvaged and burnt crash covers like the first one illustrated as well as salvaged covers with Paquebot markings in pristine condition like the second illustrated cover. And I am also interested in mail which was intended for the return flight and which was returned to the sender or forwarded by surface transportation.

Salvaged paquebot cover from the Hindenburg crash without any burning traces.


I am of course very happy if you can send me a high resolution image of your own crash cover. But I am also very happy with images of any Hindenburg crash mail, even if it is not your own cover or even if it is an old and black-and-white copy ripped off an old auction catalogue. Your old and rusty copy might be the only available image or it might be a better image then the one I have on file. Therefore please ignore any quality issues of your copies - please get in touch with me and tell me what you have.

And, I am also interested in any documents related to the LZ-129 Hindenburg crash from 6 May 1937. These can be postal documents, a private correspondence, photos, an eye-whitness report - just anything!

Your cooperation and help is appreciated - you can contact me by email at or by mail Dieter Leder, Seepromenade 6, 88709 Meersburg, Germany, or by phone +49 7532 808029.



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