Speisekarten - Menus
On board the Robert Ley, each day brought a new speisekarten. These were combination agendas / menus made aboard with the Ley's printing press. Each one measures 5" x 7.5" and shows the agenda on the left and the menu on the right.
The Robert Ley sailed on 13 official voyages, but there were several other voyages she made that were considered 'special' cruises from the Legion Condor voyage to anniversary cruises for various companies.
Shown in the Wilhelm Gustloff speisekarten section are 14 variations of covers which would have also been used on board the Robert Ley. Photo galleries will offer close-ups of each cover and its contents for the menus in our collection. The current number of menus in the collection is 62. Tickets from the liner are also included in this section with their menu sets.
Speisekarten for April 18th, 1939 to May 7th, 1939
Voyage #1 - Maiden Voyage to Madeira, Tenerife, and Lisbon
Speisekarten for May 17th, 1939 & May 18th, 1939
Special Voyage listed as Voyage #3 - 2-Day Business Voyage for the Ustrawerke Chemical Firm - Includes tickets, table card, photographs, and agenda.
Robert Ley Speisekarten for the Legion Condor Voyage from Spain to Hamburg
Special Voyage - May 22nd, 1939 to May 31st, 1939
Dates below: Tuesday: April 18th, 1939 - Friday: April 21st, 1939 - Saturday: April 22nd, 1939 - Monday: April 24th, 1939 - Tuesday: April 25th, 1939 - Wednesday: April 26th, 1939 - Wednesday: May 3rd, 1939 - Friday: May 5th, 1939.
Speisekarte for August 9th, 1939
Voyage #11: August 9th, 1939 to August 15th, 1939 - Cruise to the Norwegian Fjords
Includes map, luggage tag, ticket voucher, photographs, and photo summary sheet.
Ticket Book for August 2nd to August 8th, 1939
Voyage #10 - Cruise to the Norwegian Fjords.
Norwegian Voyage of German Technology. Bord Zeitung - On board Newspaper.
Issue #1 - May 10th, 1939. Voyage #2: Norwegian Fjords - May 10th, 1939 to May 16th, 1939.
"Wo das Leben am schwersten ist, dorthin muss man den grossten Sonnenschein lenken. " - Dr. Robert Ley.
"Where life is hardest, there must be the biggest direct sunshine." - Dr. Robert Ley.
Page 1: Die Verantwortlichen, or the responsible people. Those incharge for the voyage.
Page 2: Map of the voyage.
Page 3: Den Norwegenfahrern zum Gruss und Geleit. Literally: The Norway voyage for greetings and escort.
Page 4: The voyage stops, dates, and times.
Page 5: In nordisches Land, Seefahrt ins kochgebirge - Tagesprogramm: Translation: In Nordic Country, The voyage into the mountains. Day Program.
Pages 6-14: Individual days with descriptions of the stops, photos, and other information for the passengers.
Page 15: Was jeder Teilnehmer wissen muss. Kleine Winke fur eine schone reise. Translation: What each participant needs to know. Small hints for a beautiful journey.
Page 16: Seefahrer mit Wunschen. Reiseleitung mit Sorgen. Literally: Sailors with wishes. Travel service with worry.
Listed under Legion Condor page.
Robert Ley Speisekarte: August 23rd, 1939
Voyage #13: Cruise to Norway August 23rd to 29th, 1939
Dates Below: Wednesday: August 23rd, 1939 - Friday: August 25th, 1939 - Saturday: August 26th, 1939.
Speisekarten for June 7th, 1939 to June 11th, 1939
Also listed as Voyage #3 - June 7th, 1939 to June 13th, 1939
Passenger Erika Kepler of Kabin 144 saved this lot from the voyage.
Anniversary Voyage for the People of the Eickhoff Firm, Mechanical Engineering and Iron Foundry, Bochum
Also included in this lot is the complete E.S. Robert Ley bracelet purchased on this voyage and two issues of a magazine issued by the Eickhoff Firm, which held this particular voyage. The latter can be seen under Robert Ley Publications. Two typed letters from Eickhoff included with this lot are posted below in German and English:
Speisekarte for April 7th, 1939 to April 10th, 1939
Pre-Maiden Voyage #-1 - Osterfahrt / Easter Trip
Left: Invitation for the German Technical Cruise.
"After the commissioning of the KDF - Flagship "Robert Ley" the German engineers do under my guidance from May 10th to 16th, 1939, a Northern Seas cruise. Taken this ride at the same time, the first floating research facility for the construction of the ship = comrades Prof. Dr. Schnadel in operation.
During the ride we want to take opportunity = health, each other to give some suggestions and speak out about things at rest, the move today, technology and economics. Art and technology will unite on board. First-class artists will be our guests. I invite you to participate in this ride one. Heil Hitler.
Robert Ley Speisekarte: August 21st, 1939
Voyage #12: Ostseefahrt der Gaue Wien, Saarpfalz, und Hamburg.
Voyage of the Baltic provinces of Vienna, Saar Palatinate, and Hamburg.
August 16th, 1939 to August 22nd, 1939.
Speisekarte for April 3rd, 1939 - Signed by Adolf Hitler & Dr. Robert Ley
Pre-Maiden Voyage #-2 to Wilhelmshaven for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz.
While this is not a piece in the museum collection, I have been trying to track it down since it went unsold at a New Hampshire auction house in 2011. It is just too interesting of a piece not to post!
Few people realize that the images of Hitler on board the Robert Ley are not from her maiden voyage, but rather her special trip to attend the launch of the battleship Tirpitz in Wilhelmshaven on April 1st, 1939. The liner took Hitler, Dr. Robert Ley, Göring and many other Nazi party members on the voyage which included a stop in Helgoland.
Once the launch and fleet review were completed, the ship returned to Hamburg with all on board on April 3rd, 1939. That is the date of this menu with both signatures that are as follows:
“In happy remembrance, Adolf Hitler,” and signed on the opposite page, also in German, “In devoted friendship, Lierl Gotta, from R. Ley.”
I have not been able to independently verify if these signatures are authentic, even though both parties were on board the day this speisekarte was signed. Photos of Hitler, Ley, Porsche, and Bormann on board can be found under the Robert Ley Photographs page.
& Booklet for July 12th, 13th, 17th, 1939.
Voyage #8 - Norwegian Fjords Cruise.
One speisekarte includes a price list for drinks
on board the ship - shown below; at right.
Excerpt from the list price for drinks.
1/4 Lt. 1/2 Lt. 1/2 Fl.
Light Export Beer on Tap
Of Red Wine -.30
Age grain, Heidmärker
Steinhager original -.15
Black Forest raspberry spirit
Finer stomach liqueurs
German whiskey with soda water -.70
1/4 Fl. 1/2 Fl. Glass
Apple juice -.65
Unfermented fruit juice -.65
Wines Glas 5 ctl.
Cherry and Port Wine -.40
White or red wine by
the glass 0,20 Lt. -.40
Red Wine, 1937 Oberingelheimer Nature
1/1 Fl. 1.70, 1/2 Fl. -.90
Rhine, Moselle, and Saar franc wines
1/1 bottle of RM 1.60 to RM 2.60
Sparkling wines ....... With RM 3.50 to RM 5.00.
Extensive selection of drinks can be found in the price list, which can be viewed at the operator.
The rates are inclusive of service.
Speisekarten for June 14th, 1939 to June 20th, 1939
Voyage #5 - Cruise to the Norwegian Fjords
Includes map with drawn route, table card, Norway booklet, ticket booklet, and menus.
Dates Below: Wednesday: June 14th, 1939 - Thursday: June 15th, 1939 - Friday: June 16th, 1939 - Saturday: June 17th, 1939 - Sunday: June 18th, 1939 - Monday: June 19th, 1939.
Durch die Leistungsschau Kraft durch Freude
Hamburg, 21 Bis 30 Juli
Special Voyage - 5th Empire Conference.
Guide Through the Performance Show
Strength through Joy
Hamburg, 21 to July 30, 1939
Speisekarte for March 31st - April 4th, 1939
Pre-Maiden Voyage #-2 to Wilhelmshaven for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz.
Dates Below: Friday: March 31st, 1939 - Saturday: April 1st, 1939 (Standard Speisekarte & Single Sheet) - Sunday: April 2nd, 1939 - Tuesday: April 4th, 1939.
Jubilee journey from June 7th - 13th, 1939.
The trip takes place in 2 trains, as already announced.
First train - departure 9:14 pm.
Second train - departure 10.03 pm.
With the first train, the participants travel with the family initial letters A through K.
With the second train, the participants with the initial letter L up to and including Z.
The participants of the first train arrive at 8:15 am in front of the main station, and the participants of the second train at 9:00 am in front of the main station.
There, the ticket, the travel allowance and other documents are issued by the respective department managers.
The department leaders and masters, as well as the work chapter, which is starting from 8:15 am until the second train leaves the station, will all go without regard to the alphabetical arrangement with the second train.
As already announced, the documents are handed over against the return of the gray card.
The masters, department heads have to mark their stands by white plates with an imprint of the name, so that each member of the company is quickly able to find his office.
The distribution of the travel documents to the guests and authorized signatories takes place on the station forecourt from 8.15 am in the morning by Mr. Schunck I, to the branches through the branch manager by Mr. Schunck II.
On the back of the issued ticket is the car no. printed. Each participant is allowed to sit only in the marked car of the train. On the bags which are to be handed out, which are to be attached to the hand luggage, each participant must give his name and the cab no. Clearly.
The hand luggage is parked on the platform in Hamburg on prepared luggage carts. Each participant finds it in his chamber on board the ship again.
On the envelope in which the ticket, travel allowance, etc. are issued, the cabin no. Of the participant.
If two numbers are given in couples, this means that men and women are accommodated in separate cabins. It is then the first number the man's cabin, the second number the female's cabin.
In the booklet of the ship map, the first page must be filled out clearly with the personal details in block letters during the railway journey and handed over on entering the ship. Only after handing over the personal signature is the table card issued. The following is an example for the completion:
Boarding Tour: Control no. 0479
Cabins no. 492
Bedstead - A
Personal details of the travel participant
Name and surname: Heinrich Neufeld
Place and date of birth: 21.9.1897
Nationality: German Reich
Income: Monthly weekly
Employed by: Gebr. Eickhoff
Full address: Herne i.W., Kohlenstr 2.
It is only after the handing-over of this personal signature, completed in clear block letters, that the table card is issued on board.
Should a discrepancy arise with regard to the cabin distribution when entering the vessel, immediate notification must be given to Mr. Meyer, cabin no. 239.
Bochum, 3 June 1939
Eickhoff - Anniversary - June 1939
For our jubilee sea voyage we have the following to tell the participants:
1. The itinerary goes through Hamburg - Cuxhaven - Helgoland - Koparvik - Odda - Ulvik - Maurang. - Fj. - Dördal - Balholm - Bergen - Koparvik - Helgoland - Cuxhaven - Hamburg.
2. On the ship, dining will be in 2 lots. There are also fixed tables for the afternoon coffee. The times are as follows:
7.00 am Wake-up, 7.30 am and 8.15 am Breakfast, 11.45 am and 12.45 pm Lunch, 15.30 pm and 3.45 pm Coffee drinks, 6.15 pm and 7.15 pm Dinner, 10 pm Music pause and transfer of the evening news by radio. On this occasion sandwiches are served. 23.30 no beverages are given. 24.00 hours quiet in the ship.
The first meals are available immediately after departure from Hamburg. Therefore everyone has to take a breakfast for the outward journey. In the two dining rooms are eaten.
3. The factory will ensure that Schlegel beer is on board.
4. The arrangement of the beds and cabins is carried out by the company. The distribution of the individual tables and the individual times has the shipping company.
5. There will be a costume and a bock beer festival during the trip (costumes are not to be bought or borrowed on the ship, but only pretty colorful paper). Also a film evening is organized, for which we take our factory film. Lectures by the tour guide are always held.