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Posted on Mar 15, 2007 in Front Page Features, War College

Fliegen und Siegen

By A Burke

After 1942, no further editions of Fliegen und Siegen were made.  The Luftwaffe’s glory days had ended.

Richard Kohler came into possession of one of the few surviving books while he was a US Army Corporal stationed in Giessen, Germany from 1951-53.  It had belonged to the father of his German girlfriend, Alfeda Langnor.  Rick learned that Alfie’s father had been an officer killed in the war.  Before his death however he apparently earned favored status because he had been given a 1942 edition of Fliegen und Siegen.  Alfie explained that only people of prestige and accomplishment received such an honor.  She gave the book to Rick.  When the Army transferred him stateside, he had to leave Germany without a chance to say goodbye and was never able to reconnect with Alfie.

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Vater_small.jpg
This tattered photo shows Alfreda Langnor’s father,
name unknown, who was a German officer killed during
the war.  According to Alife, he had been given the rare
edition of
Fliegen und Siegen in recognition of his military
accomplishments.  On the back of the photo is the partial
handwritten inscription:
For my treasure, August 10, 194…. 
Unfortunately the last number of the date has been
torn away.

No-one knows how many rare 1942 editions of Fliegen und Siegen survive intact.  A few appear on eBay, with asking prices of over $1,000.00.  A handful of others are listed in collections of German university libraries.

But Richard Kohler, now seventy-five and living in Wesley Chapel, Florida, has no intention of selling his copy of Fliegen und Siegen. To him, the book not only represents the memento of a lost love, but also a little known glimpse of history.

I would like to thank Angela Lennon who translated the photo captions from German to English.  During World War Two, Angela was a small child in Germany.  During an Allied air raid, she and mother hid in the basement of their home which sustained a direct bomb hit.  Neighbors dug down through the rubble and eventually rescued them.  More than six decades later, she still vividly remembers the experience. 

Angela married an American professor and they live in Florida. I very much appreciate the hours she spent translating the captions, especially since seeing the photos brought back terrible memories of the war. So you can understand why I’d like to acknowledge her invaluable assistance.  I’m grateful to both her and to Richard Kohler, who shared his Fliegen und Siegen book with me.

001.jpg
Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering with Generaloberst
Udet in front of the train that served as Goering’s mobile
command HQ.

002.jpg
The Reichsmarshall studies the map table during
a briefing by Generals at his HQ.

003.jpg
Couriers meet beside the train that served as
Goering’s mobile HQ.

[continued on next page]

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