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Transport: Von Hindenburg to Rio

1 minute read

Last week when Germany’s von Hindenburg floated up from Friedrichshafen for its first crossing to South America, the German Press was overflowing with news of this hugest of all dirigibles. In the midst of the furor, the Press was abruptly ordered to drop all mention of Dr. Hugo Eckener. Reported reasons: No Nazi, the doughty, pouch-eyed old aeronaut had refused to make an election statement endorsing Adolf Hitler, had unsuccessfully opposed using the von Hindenburg in the election campaign, had successfully opposed naming it Hitler.

Dr. Eckener was aboard the von Hindenburg as “supervisor.” In command was seamy, seasoned Captain Ernst August Lehmann (TIME, April 6). Carefully de touring around France and Belgium, thus losing eight hours, the von Hindenburg passed the white cliffs’ of Dover, swashed along at 58 knots over the waves toward Pernambuco, Brazil. Above the Equator the passengers were baptized not by the Sea’s “Neptune” but by “Aeolus,” god of the winds. One hundred hours out of Friedrichshafen, the von Hindenburg snored over Rio de Janeiro, was warped painfully to the mast at brand new Santa Cruz airdock. Thirty-seven passengers and one German automobile descended.

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