Other publications used directly onboard the ship include Bord Zeitung, the KDF's onboard newsletters, and Neueste Meldungen, or latest information from the outside world.
     There were also the typical books, magazines, and special publications for the Gustloff. This page focuses on the items published during the Wilhelm Gustloff's lifetime - 1937 - 1945. 
Wilhelm Gustloff Publications
Primary Sources: 1937 - 1945
Neueste Meldungen:
     August 4th, 1938, Handed out to passengers aboard the 10th Cruise of the Wilhelm Gustloff to the Fjords of Norway. Translates roughly as "Latest Information" and provided some very basic (and strictly controlled) news from the world. Interestingly contains a note at the bottom informing passengers that they can 'telephone home' at a cost of 5 RM for 3 minutes. Considering a standard weekend cruise cost about 50 RM, this was quite expensive.
Information Source: Wilhelmgustloff.com
Energie Magazine - May, 1937
Inside cover article on building the Gustloff.

Energie Magazine - June, 1937
Back page photograph on the Gustloff construction after 1 month.
LIFE Magazine
May 2nd, 1938

     In a week of events, an article on the Wilhelm Gustloff being used as a polling station for Austria's annexation into Germany.
     Also in our collection are three menus and a table card for this voyage - which is available under the Speisekarten page. 
     The magazine article is posted here and all other information on her Polling Station Cruise is posted under the London Polling Station page.
Buch: Unter Dem Sonnenrad or "Under the Sun"
     Unter dem Sonnenrad was a propaganda book intended to glorify the history and benefits of the Nazi organization repsonsible for creating the Wilhelm Gustloff - "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through Joy). "Sonnenrad" - a synonym for "Swastika" has its roots in the Norse meaning for sun. The intention was clearly to draw attention to the KdF logo. The book is structured to cover each of the fundamental areas of the KdF (and make comparison's to supposed "dismal" life before the Nazi's came to power). Numerous photos of the Gustloff appear throughout the book.
     The photo of the funnel on the dustjacket cover (missing) is that of Gustloff "sister" ship, the Robert Ley. Since this book was published in 1938, it must have been taken before the Ley was delivered, but just after the funnel was installed (late 1938). The photo on the cover is inside the book on a full page. Attached to the inside of the back cover is a fold-out map that is intended to impress with the reach of the KdF and all those who have participated in KdF travels. This map claims 540,073 cruise participants (on ALL KdF ships) between 1934 and October 1938. Source: www.wilhelmgustloff.com




Click to enlarge. Notice how in the first photo the image of the Gustloff is cut and pasted into the photo.
Dralowid Nachrichten Publication - 6/1938.
Featuring the Wilhelm Gustloff's radio room and inner technologies.

World War II - U.S. Army Air Force German Ship Identification Slides
     Less of a publication and more of an interesting collection are 12 slides to help the U.S. Air Force identify ships during World War II. Slides include the Wilhelm Gustloff (below), Patria, Deutschland, Belgrano, Berlin, Rio Grande, Cap Arcona, Cariba, Prestoria, Mowe, Potsdam, and Hamburg.
Lazarettschiff D
Technical Book for the year 1937with launching of the Wilhelm Gustloff on the cover.
VDI - Verlag GmbH, Berlin
Zeitschrift Des Vereines Deutscher Ingenieure
"Journal of the Association of German Engineers"


Responsible Director: W. Parey
Volume 82
Complete listing of all 53 journals for 1938.
With over 3,000 images and four panels
1520 pages in the format 29.5 x 22 cm

(Below): VDI - Zeitscheift, Bd 82. Nr. 49 - December 3rd, 1938.
Article on the Flagship of the KdF Fleet - The Wilhelm Gustloff
Includes deck plans and detailed layouts for her cabins.
Interesting article in VDI - Zeitschrift, Bd 82.
Nr. 13  March 26th, 1938


- Article on the Express Ship of the Future. Several features point to a futuristic version of the Wilhelm Gustloff to be built if the Third Reich had not fallen. An interesting image to say the least. Note how there are no funnels on the ship. In a strange way, this ship vaguely reminds me of the current Queen Mary 2.


Bord Zeitung or Onboard Paper. Nr. 4 - 1937. On-board "mini" standardized newspaper / magazine for vacationers on KdF cruises during 1937. An insert with 'latest news' indicates that this particular issue was distributed on August 8, 1937 for passengers on board the Monte Olivia. The cover displays the Gustloff under construction at Blohm & Voss Shipyard #511 in Hamburg. Inside an article references the new look of the coming KdF ships. Source: wilhelmgustloff.com.
Der Sonne Entgegen or "Contrary to the Sun". Subtitle: Deutsche Arbeiter fahren nach Madeira, Italien, Afrika, und Griechenland or "German workers go to Madeira, Italy, Africa, and Greece". Published 1940. 120 pages, the first 72 are the book itself - the last are images from the voyages. The first image is Hitler on an unnamed ship watching the Robert Ley leave port.
Schönheit Der Arbeit or "The Beauty of Working"
Berlin, July 1938, Volume 3, Issue 3
Main Article: "Wilhelm Gustloff" - The Image of a Ship.

Featuring 36 images of her public rooms and of passengers
and crew onboard the ship. Includes obscure photos of her
Writing Room, Gymnasium, and Library.







Two additional Neueste Nachrichtens - August 9th & 10th, 1038.The title was changed and translates to Latest News rather than information.









1939 Edition: Die Kunst Im Deutschen Reich or "Art in the German Reich".
3. Jahrgang / Folge 12 - Ausgabe B - Dezember 1939
Third Year - Episode 12 - Issue B - December 1939

Article: The Art and Archetecture of the KdF ships Wilhelm Gustloff and Robert Ley.



Der Hamburger Hafen or "The Port of Hamburg" - Summer of 1939

     Great photography book on the port of Hamburg and the various ships which called it home. The first image in the book shows Hitler at the launch of the Wilhelm Gustloff in 1937. Other images include the Robert Ley, Wilhelm Gustloff in drydock getting her propellers added, and the Cap Arcona. The 7th image shows the WilhelmGustloff in outfitting - getting her anchors, lifeboat davits (not yet painted white), and name painted on her bow.




Die Weite Welt or "The Fare World" Magazine - May 7th, 1939
Shows the Wilhelm Gustloff in the process of being finished with the name and lifeboat additions.

Dien Urlaub 1939 or Your Holiday 1939
Vacation Guide from the KdF on various towns and itineraries - 48 pages.
Energie Magazine - April, 1938
The Gustloff being outfitted on the cover, onboard the Gustloff inside.

Kraft Durch Freude  - Monatsheft der Deutschen Arbeitsfront - NSG.
Folge 8, August 1939, 6 Jahrgang.

Kraft durch Freude - Monthly Bulletin of the German Labor Front - NSG.
Episode 8, August 1939, Volume 6.

First page is missing with the cover article. On the cover, passengers stroll along the desk of either the Wilhelm Gustloff or Robert Ley.


Neueste Nachrichten - Onboard Newspapers.
Below group of three dated June 4th, 5th, and 6th, 1939
Thumbnails dated July 27th, and 18th, 1938.
Additional onboard papers can be seen under the Maiden Voyage page.

Die Deutsche Arbeitsfront
NS - Gemeinschaft "Kraft Durch Freude"
5 Jahrgang - April 1938 - Nummer 4.



Wehrarbeit - DAF 86
Fachl. Schulungsblatt der DAF
Abteilung Wehrmacht
Berlin - Mai 1938
3. Jahrgang. Folge 5



Wehrarbeit - DAF 86
Fachl. Schulungsblatt der DAF
Abteilung Wehrmacht
Berlin - April 1938
3. Jahrgang. Folge 4


Book: Volk zu Schiff by Jakob Schaffner
Published in 1936, features several photos onboard various KdF ships.
Norwegenfahrt der Betriebsgemeinschaft - Die Rune
Deutsche Sachversicherung - Hamburg
Vom 29. April - 4. Mai 1939

Norway Trip of Joint Business - The Rune
German property insurance - Hamburg
Of 29 April - 4 May 1939

Menus for this voyage can be found under the Speisekarten - Menus 2 page.



Die Neuzeitliche Kommandobrücke or The Modern Bridge
Probably published in 1939 - Copy hand dated August 9th, 1940.

EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about the
bridges of the Wilhelm Gustloff and Robert Ley.
96 pages, 83 diagrams and photos!



Die Woche or The Week - November 23rd, 1938.
Several images from the Gustloff's 20th voyage in Italy, including a never before seen images of the inside of her barber shop! Also includes a great shot of passengers enjoying the pool below decks.





Landratten im Seewind
Landlubbers in the See Breeze
Published 1941
Information on all ships of the German fleet.

Freude und Arbeit (Joy and Work) Magazine
Heft 1 - 4. Jahrgang 1938.

Features a letter written onboard the Willhem Gustloff.
An Bord M/S "Wilhelm Gustloff", den 26.8.38

Lieber kleiner Meinerle!
     Hab' vielen Dank fuer das uns uebersandte Bild. Dieser schoenen Erinnerung an unseren juengsten Gespraechspartner werden wir demnaechst einen guten Platz innerhalb unserer Funkstation einraeumen.
Wir haben Dich ebenfalls gut verstanden, auch das von Dir gesungene Lied haben wir und alle im Annahmeraum der Funkstation anwesenden Urlauber gehoert.
     Wir wuerden uns natuerlich auch sehr freuen, einmal den nach unserer Ansicht juengsten deutschen Filmschauspieler hier an Bord begruessen zu koennen. Noch schoener waere es aber, wenn du gelegentlich mir uns fahren wuerdest, denn dann haetten wir noch mehr Zeit zum Plaudern.
     Hoffentlich gefaellt Dir das Bild vom Wilhelm Gustloff.
     Wir alle erwidern Deine Gruesse und wuenschen Dir alles Gute fuer die Zukunft.

Heil Hitler!

Im Namen meiner Kameraden
Rüef (Rudolf) Günther
1. Funkoffizier
On board M/V "Wilhelm Gustloff", on the 08/26/38

Dear little Meinerle!
     I've got to thank you for the picture sent to us. This is a beautiful memory of our youngest participant! We will soon give it a good spot within our radio station.
     We also understand you sing good, and the adoption of the holiday song that you sung we have all heard here in the radio room.
     We would, of course, be very pleased to be able to once again welcome - the latest in our view - German film actor here on board. But it would be even more beautiful if you occasionally take the time to write me, because then we would have more time to chat.
     I hope you enjoy the image of the Wilhelm Gustloff.
     We all respond to your greetings and wish you all the best for the future.

Heil Hitler!

On behalf of my fellow
Rüef (Rudolf) Günther
First radio officer


Freude und Arbeit
     ​Published regularly by the "International Central Bureau of Joy and Work", this particular issue accompanied the "Joy and Work" World Congress held in Rome during June of 1938. Contains content in numerous languages including German, Italian, English and French.
     The oversized "magazine" appears ahead of its time in terms of style and layout. It is filled with Nazi propaganda (with an emphasis on alignment with Mussolini's fascist Italy) obviously intended to impress the sixty nations attending the conference.
Illustrierter Beobachter (Illustrated Observer) January 26th, 1939
This was an illustrated propaganda magazine which the Nazi Party published.
11 Jahrgang - Folge 4. Featuring Captain Bertram.​
New York Times - Thursday, February 13th, 1936.
Mourned by Hitler - Wilhelm Gustloff​

Newspaper clipping collection from 1939-1945. Hundreds of articles relating to the war with the German Navy, the whereabouts of German and British battleships and submarine warfare. There is also a collection of listings for Allied air raids on German cities, a list of people killed from Württemberg and articles about the Luftwaffe attacks on British cities. A few newspaper articles from the late 40s are also included about the Wilhelm Gustloff, the Bismarck and the whereabouts of German submarines after the surrender. Very interesting and informative primary sources! The leaves are strongly yellowed, in places, somewhat brittle, but all still legible. With marks and registrations of the former owner.

Grundstein: The Journal of the German Labor Front for the entire German construction industry -
DAF 12: ​Issue A: Construction - # 3 - June 1938.

Featuring the construction of the Wilhelm Gustloff and a model of the Robert Ley. ​​