Post WWII Publications on the
Wilhelm Gustloff
Presented below are several publications post-WWII to the present which feature the Gustloff.  
Schicksale Deutscher Schiffe - Nr. 23
Katastrophe bei Nacht
Das III Reich Nachkrieg - Nr. 53
Article: Untergang der Wilhelm Gustloff
Der Landser - No Date or Number (left)
1945 - Schiffstragodien in der Ostsee - Untergang der 'Wilhelm Gustloff', 'Steuben', 'Goya', und anderer Schiffe.

Der Landser Sammelband Nr. 11 (right)
Der Untergang des Passagierschiffes Wilhelm Gustloff. Also features several photos of the ship including the hospital ship photo shown under Lazaratteschiff D and a photo of the Gustloff's bridge. (far right)



Battle Cry - July 1958, 6000 Victims

- What makes the above article "6000 Victims, Hitler's Most Incredible Act of Treachery" interesting is that it claims the Wilhelm Gustloff was intentionally sunk to avoid mass evacuations and show the sea evacuation route was too dangerous. By keeping people in Gotenhafen, the Nazi's could use them to fight the advancing Russians. It is a wild story that is more fiction than fact, but interesting regardless.

"These Men Decided The Ship's Fate"
Karl Doenitz: He wanted the ship sunk to keep refugees from leaving Germany's eastern naval bases.
Hermann Goering: Doenitz's partner in crime. He personally ordered (the Luftwaffe to lay) mines sown in the path of the ship. (Also states in the article that the original lifeboats were ordered taken off, the running lights of the ship were ordered on, she should sail in a direct path, and all area ships were ordered to avoid any SOS signals to have maximum death onboard.)
Adolf Hitler: His insistence on resistance to the last man was the real cause of the great disaster.
Wilhelm Keitel: He saw the handwriting on the wall and wanted the troops pulled back to Germany.
Alfred Jodl: He ordered the sailing of the "Wilhelm Gustloff", without knowing the plot against her.



SMS (Schiffe Menschen Schicksale) - January 1995
"Wilhelm Gustloff"


     A great modern publication in German that features several photos of the Gustloff and a lot of information on her. 46 pages.

Sea Classics - September 2007
"Liner Wilhelm Gustloff, Major new movie highlights awesome wartime tragedy."

- Tentatively titled "Harbor of Hope", this feature length German film recounts the last tragic journey of the liner Wilhelm Gustloff, which took the lives of more than 6000 (we now know 9,500) soldiers and civilians when sunk in the Baltic Sea by a Russian submarine in the later stages of Germany's retreat from Russia in 1945.

Shipwreck: A History of Disasters at Sea. By: Sam Willis   2008
- 6 pages of this book are dedicated to the Wilhelm Gustloff. Pegaway Rescue painting is on the front of the article.
The Cruelest Night (1977)  & The Damned Don't Drown (1973)
- The two best books on the Wilhelm Gustloff that are published in English. Both are out of print.
30. Januar 1945, Untergang der Wilhelm Gustloff
Nr. 7 - 2005

- A great mini book part of a larger series featuring the ship and including several photos including some shown.


Der Untergang der 'Wilhelm Gustloff'
- A collection of newspaper articles, 5 of 5 in a series discussing the Wilhelm Gustloff.

Date unknown.


A different newspaper article on the disaster.

Die Versenkung Der Wilhelm Gustloff - Dobson, Miller/Payne - 1979
English: "The Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff"



Images from the book
Deck Plans & Blueprints
Der Spiegel - March 1994. Pg 51.
Der Stern Magazine
"Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff" article in two issues:
- March 14th, 1959
- March 21st, 1959

Interesting photos of the liners as Lazarettschiff 'D'.

Der Spiegel: The German Titanic
February 4th, 2002

With undated newspaper article tucked between the pages.
     The Titanic was a testimony of the hubris of a civilization that worshipped technology and thought it could conquer nature. The Gustloff, on the other hand, was the symbol of the German hubris, the dream of a greater German empire that ended in a nightmare. It was Adolf Hitler's Titanic.

Der Spiegel February 4, 2002



Gunter Grass - Crabwalk: 2002

     Inside Cover: "Born to an unwed mother on a lifeboat the night of the attack, Paul Pokriefke is a middle-ages journalist trying to piece together the tragic events. While his mother sees her whole existence in terms of that calamitous moment, Paul wishes their life could have been less touched by the past. For his teenage son, who dabbles in the dark, far-right corners of the internet, the Gustloff embodies the denial of Germany's wartime suffering.

Below: A lanyard given to the employees who worked on the movie "Die Gustloff" in 2008.​​
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Playbill: Nacht fiel uber Gotehnafen.

Sailor's Memorial: A wall, decorated with German ships sunk in both World Wars, is part of a new Memorial Hall for German sailors killed in action. The hall, at Laboe, Germany, was designed by Annemarie Ewertsen, Laboe sculptor. At rear, left, are the words for the figure 120,000, meaning 120,000 German sailors lost their lives in action from 1939 to 1945.

     The silhouettes of the Wilhelm Gustloff and Robert Ley are visible towards the bottom center of the wall.​​ This photo was taken in 1963.

Le herisson - February 27th, 1969.
​The End of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Die Wracks von Hamburg: Siegfried Lenz. In German, 1978.