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This article was published in the SUMMER2012 issue of the ZEPPELIN POST JOURNAL

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Manfred Küchler reports
The capellmeister in Argentina


The good news at first: transmitted mail from Argentina flown on the 18th South America Flight 1936 of LZ-129 Hindenburg is not documented, neither at Sieger nor at Michel. But here is one cover flown.


Sender of the cover was Raimund Karpinski. He was capellmeister onboard the steamer General Artigas. This ship’s initial name was Westphalia III and she made her maiden voyage in 1923 on a trip from Hamburg to New York. In 1929, she was rebuild to meet the criteria for cruises to South America and renamed General Artigas. Hamburg Süd lines chartered the ship in 1934 and finally bought it in 1936. At that time, General Artigas was stationed at Bremen and made mainly trips from Bremen via Spain to Brasil and to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Our capellmeister Karpinski sent this letter from the turn-around point of the fall 1936 South America trip of General Artigas. He mailed his letter on November 11, 1936. The next morning, Condor flew the cover northwards via Rio de Janeiro to Recife. LZ-129 Hindenburg picked up the mail at Recife on November 13, 1936 to cross the Atlantic. All the zeppelin mail was dropped at Las Palmas on November 15, 1936 and Deutsche Lufthansa flew the mail finally via Seville and Marseille to Frankfurt. Deutsche Lufthansa arrived at Frankfurt on November 16, 1936 at 5.21 a.m., this was more than 13 hours ahead of Hindenburg.




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