The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on January 31, 2015 · 2
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 2

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 31, 2015
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WESTCOAST t 8 V I : . i A I V. Hi s , it. -Jv; j i SATURDAY, JANUARY 31 2015 CITY EDITOR SCO'lT NEliFKLD 604.605.2636 SUNNEWSTIPSVANCOWERSUN.COM A2 The greatest loss of life in maritime history occurred when an estimated 9,300 Germans , died in the torpedoing of the Wilhelm Gustloff : JOHN MACKIE '. VANCOUVER SUN y. v V : -f (EES LITTLE LUXURIES Infinite Love Tiffany Infinity bracelets fromS200 TlFFANY&CO. NKW YORK SINGE 1837 800K4) )2(9 "1111 ANY.COM OYSTER PERPETUAL EXPLORER II FVlLiDIO TERMINAL CITY CLUB 855 WEST HASTINGS ST PHONE 6Q4-BB5-3BB5 f ROLEX Gerhard Eichel was supposed to be among 10,500 German soldiers and refugees that boarded the MV Wilhelm Gustloff on Jan. 30, 1 945. But the 1 8-year-old was too ill, so he was left behind. It probably saved his life. Just after 9 p.m., a Russian submarine hit the former luxury liner with three torpedoes. The Wilhelm Gustloff sank in under an hour, killing an estimated 9,300 people. It was the largest loss of life in maritime history, but is virtually unknown in North America. "It is very interesting, but it is entirely a German thing," said Eichel, 88, who lives in Pitt Meadows. "It is commemorated in Germany every year, but there is nothing written in the English press." In fact, there was no mention of the ship in Vancouver newspapers at the time. The Second World War was still raging in Europe the big headline in the Jan. 30 Sun was "Reds 80 Miles From Berlin in Terrific New Offensive." The Soviet offensive was the reason so many refugees were trying to leave eastern Prussia for northern Germany. On Jan. 21, the head of the German navy, Admiral Karl Doenitz, ordered German ships to evacuate as many people as they could. The German magazine Der Spiegel said an estimated two million Germans were evacuated ift "Operation . Hannibal,"the largest naval evacuation of all time. The Wilhelm Gustloff was one of the ships earmarked to transport refugees. The 208-metre-ldng (680-foot) ship had been launched as a cruise liner in 1 937. It was named after a Nazi leader who was assassinated in ' Switzerland in 1936.' " ' - When war broke out on Sept. 1 , 1 939, it was requisitioned by the German navy and turned into a hospital ship. In late 1 940, it was converted to a floating barracks, and docked at Gotenhafen, a port on the Baltic Sea. (Gotenhafen is now Gdynia, Poland, near Gdansk.) Hospital ships were painted with an identifying stripe so 4 ft PC ah j0 Hlir.,,, mm at"-" i I ..ttlllil . WH -V Svv i gvA i II . . ... ' V : The MV Wilhelm Gustloff, launched in 1937 as a passenger liner in Germany, sank after being torpedoed by a Russian submarine on Jan. 30, 1945, killing an estimated 9,300 people. they were easily recognizable and safe from attack. But as a floating barracks, the Wilhelm Gustloff was painted grey, which is why the Russian submarine thought it was a troop carrier. Estimates of how many people were on the Wilhelm Gustloff when it sank vary. A 2005 story in Der Spiegel said so many people crammed onto the ship that authorities counting the passengers ran out of paper. Seven thousand, nine hundred and fifty-six passengers were counted before the paper ran out, but another 2,500 were probably on board. About 9,000 refugees were probably on the ship, 5,000 of them children. The Wilhelm Gustloff was supposed to sail for Kiel, Germany with another passenger liner, the Hansa, and two torpedo boats. But the Hansa and one ; of the torpedo boats had -- -engine trouble, so it set off with only one torpedo boat as an escort. There were four captains on board, and they disagreed about which route to take. A U-boat commander thought the ship should sail in shallow water, where there would be no submarines. ' But the Wilhelm Gustloff 's captain, Friedrich Petersen, was worried about mines, and chose to go out in deeper water that had been cleared of mines. Petersen was also worried that the ship's engines might fail if he ran them flat out, so he slowed down. The ship might still have made it if not for a mysterious radio message that said a German minesweeper convoy was approaching. Petersen turned on the navigation lights, so the convoy could spot the Gustloff and avoid a collision. There was no convoy, but there was a Russian submarine, which spotted the ship, tracked it, then launched ... 4 three torpedoes. All three hit,1 ! with devastating results. Some people were trapped inside ... .j the ship by water flooding in, but most drowned in the icy cold waters of the Ba Itic after the Wilhelm Gustloff sank. About 1,200 people were rescued, which means the death toll was probably 9,300. But no one knows for sure, because there were so many undocumented refugees on board. By comparison, 1,503 people were killed in the sinking of the Titanic. i ; sit YM-JA m (2S V YEARS I YEARS , BiiSfJEialJiHi'fifillfl STUART McNISH, special to the sun U iPERDAY J i ; 4-7 DAYS This week's Conversation that Matters features Jim Mclsaac of the B.C. Commercial Fishing Caucus. Mclsaac says that since the restructuring of the commercial fishing industry in the '90s, communities up and down the coast have been disenfranchised from the sector that was their lifeblood. He says it comes at a time when fish stocks are well managed and robust. Mclsaac points out fishing is a fraction of its former size. Veteran broadcaster Stuart McNish has produced an in-depth interview program called Conversations that Matter to explore the most important issues shaping the future of B.C. Each Saturday, McNish will sit down with a thought leader to discover their perspective on issues such as land claims, the state of B.C. s forests, mental health and addiction, tankers, pipelines, LNG and more. SETTING IT STRAIGHT BC Housing did not take over the 1 56 units at Bill Hennessy Place and Jennie Pentland Place. BC Housing provided $4 million to upgrade the buildings, which are still operated by the First United Church Social Housing Society. Incorrect information appeared in a Jan. 30 column on page A4. t HIP)75" n! 'TO- 30 DAYS il wl) Ly PER MONTH I i CONTACT US JVWiCOJVER OCTOBER 2012 Well-lit, fenced-in, and monitored facility Fast and efficient shuttle service Luggage assistance Vehicle ready upon arrival (simply call when you have returned to YVR Terminal) Aeroplan Miles per stay SUBSCRIPTION OR DELIVERY INQUIRIES Customer Service 604-605-7381 Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-663-2662 Fax 604-605-2914 Email circservice Hours: Weekdays 5:30 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. - noon (Automated Customer Service available 24 hours) NEWSROOM 604-605-2445 PARKING CONDITIONS? lu; 21 Parting Tai arc 5S 6 S T DisccKinM! raws art baseH ott the tvguiar matt rates. StSiftdav S ft wee S379 nnry Adtoow cfta'SS rywa Week rate a to HJtfatslre$159S (Jay Chargast begins! at check-ai ti .s based an a nrrirfmjflt 24 Rij per04 One wee equals 7 corsecutm 24-hour periods Itnit one coupon per parking transactor- Not ad inrtr: arty otrter drscoant or promotional otter Fuel surcnarge of 90r tie. transactor RtesandsurcriargesaresytealoallapptKaoleraMS fiates stact n diange Nrrhout twice COUPON CODE 742807 ADVERTISING Classified: 604-605-7355 Display Advertising: 604-605-2478 REPRINTSPERMISSIONS To submit a request for reprints, pages or research: sunprovince.comreprints. For general information, email infolineisunprovince. com CONTACT NUMBERS President: Gordon Fisher 604-605-2474 Editor: Harold Munro 604-605-2985 Associate Editor, PNG Integrated Projects Valerie Casselton 604-605-2125 vcasselton(3vancouversun. com Deputy Editors: Adrienne Tanner (Content) 604-605-2214 Gillian Burnett (Digital) 604-605-2158 gbumettvancouversun. com EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Paul Batchelor VP, Advertising pbatchetorsunprovince. com Bill Morgan VP, Manufacturing Nigel Miller VP, Human Resources & Labour Relations Jason Ludwig VP, Reader Sales and Service LOTTERIES FRIDAY LOTTO MAX 10, 15, 21, 28, 32, 36, 37 BONUS: 09 EXTRA 30,t.1,At,91 These results are not official Contestants should check their numbers with official lottery representatives. Please recycle this newspaper. Copyright: The contents of this newspaper are protected by copyright and are for personal non-commercial use only. All other rights are reserved and commercial use is prohibited. To make any use of this material you must first obtain the permission of the owner of the copyright. For Vancouver Sun permissions, see Reprints at left. PRIVACY STATEMENT: For our privacy commitment to our customers, go to www. postmedia.comprivacy. J04.PAGES FOtMDf.01886 &Lp& VOL.W-Ho.H Eapins: Aaaantt 31. 2015 READ TAIYANGBAO.CA FOR THE LATEST CHINESE LANGUAGE NEWS. POWERED BY THE VANCOUVER SUN. il 1 i

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