German tragedy of destiny

Thielbek

 

<-- HOME | <-- REFUGEE SHIPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holds of the freighter 'Thielbek' were normally used for bulk commodities as coal, grain or ore. Shortly before the end of the war the ship accomodated round 2,500 inmates of the Neuengamme concentration camp with about 500 gaurds.

 

On 3 May 1945 the totally overloaded freighter was attacked in the Bay of Neustadt, together with the passenger ship 'Cap Arcona', by British fighter-bombers.

 

Beside bombs, rockets were employed here for the first time.

 

The 'Thielbek' went down within a quarter of an hour and with it died nearly 3,000 people.

 

The victims died either by drowning or by burning as a result of the high temperatures of the new missiles and guns.

 

The British aircraft fired on everything that was still moving on the water surface.

 

Beside the 'Thielbek' also the unloaded 'Deutschland' was capsized in the attack.

 

3,000 dead