Some special conversations with Georg von der Hase’s grandson
Georg von Hase was the Gunnery officer on SMS Derfflinger. She was the second ship in Hipper’s line of battle when fire was opened _at 15:48 from the Lützow. Von Hase wrote about his experience at Jutland in « From Kiel to Jutland » and it has become one of the classics to which naval historians turn for a glimpse of what it was like on German ships.
I met with Dieter Ammer, von Hase’s grandson, at his office recently when I was in Hamburg. We could have talked for hours but one of the things that I came away with were some images of what his grandfather looked like. I’d never seen any images before despite him having been a prolific writer.
Sadly, his grandfather in 1968 had given him the ship’s official logs to carry out of East Germany and keep with him in safety in the west. They never made it. The young, eighteen year old was arrested at the border between East and West Germany. The book was confiscated and then stolen by the border guards. He himself was locked up with no idea what his fate would be for days, without being able to inform anybody. Eventually he got out but was never able to retrieve the records that his grandfather had passed on. Maybe one day we’ll see them.