MARKUS BEHRENDT 1961 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN, HAND ILLUSTRATED SCRAPBOOK AND TRAVEL JOURNAL OF ONE GERMAN MAN'S TRIP HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD
ASEA ABOARD THE HIPPER 1961 Very Good German Language
On offer is the super, original manuscript journal and travel diary of a young German sailor in training aboard school frigate 'Hipper' with an escort being the school frigate Spee [the namesakes of both ships were scuttled during World War II - the Spee in 1939, the Hipper in 1945]. Beginning January 5th until February 8th, they are in "cadet training" in the harbor at Kiel, Germany near the north coast, east of Denmark. They do go to sea on training maneuvers, but only for a few hours at a time. Each of the cadets rotates through various duties and watches. "Clean Ship" is mentioned a lot, night watch on deck, and the usual naval watches. There is mention of provisioning the ship, and there are photos of beer being loaded. On Thursday, February 9, 1961, they get ready to leave the harbor - lots of relatives come to see them off. The writer of the journal's father, brother and sister come - he mentions that his mother is in hospital. When they depart at 10 am, there is a large colorful mass of people on the pier. From this point on he notes latitude and longitude degrees and the time (1200) with every entry. He mentions passing between Dover and Calais (February 11) in the English Channel, and Casablanca (February 17), the Canary Islands on February 18. On February 21st he talks about crossing the equator, and the ceremonies that take place There's a type-written memorandum dated February 23, 1961 from the ship's doctor, with cautions and tips on how to handle being in the tropics. On Thursday, February 23, they are in Porto al Pedro, then Porto Grande, then Cabo Verde - where he writes about asking if Cabo Verde is a part of Portugal, or a Portuguese colony. He makes a comment about the teacher saying something that he didn't understand. The teacher says it doesn't matter, it's better that way. Then in English: "We cannot say and discuss all things we are thinking about because the walls have got ears." On Wednesday, March 1, he makes a comment about the fleas they brought on board in Porto Grande - lots of the crew have bites. He learns that the next day the Admiral's flag is to be raised, - Admiral Triton (?) is to come aboard to see the preparations for the christening. There's a typewritten sheet, with orders for Thursday, March 2nd, 1961 - with times and duties outlined. The ceremonial inspection etc. was to begin at 16:30. There's also an unused $10 stamp from Cabo Verde, it's nested in that page. Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo - an archipelago of cliffs that stretch out into the sea of the coast of Brazil. On Friday, March 3, the "Equator Crossing Christening" by His Majesty, Neptune, is to take place at 9 am. They arrived in Rio de Janeiro on March 10. The following days, until March 15 when they departed, are descriptions of his impressions of Rio, and the girls he met. A typewritten memo about shopping in Buenos Aires, cautioning against shopping without knowing the shops, and recommending that the crew accept the advice and help of resident Germans, who would be able to suggest suitable gifts for loved ones back home. The memo provides names and addresses of shops, restaurants and public transportation methods. There's a declaration signed by Mr. Behrendt on March 21, acknowledging that he owes the government .96 DM for losing 3 teaspoons. They arrive in Buenos Aires on Friday, March 24. He's collected "souvenirs" - a menu with handwritten prices and daily specials, cigar wrappers, a city map, Argentinian stamps, a 10-peso note, a candy or chewing gum wrapper, and a post-card picture of the Admiral Graf Spee (battle ship) burning, presumably in 1939, a price list from a liquor store, a cardboard coaster, some tickets, addresses of women and a newspaper clipping, a receipt and a type-written news report that says "for authorized use only". They depart from Buenos Aires on Sunday, April 2nd (Easter Sunday) in the afternoon. There's a loose leaf inserted, that one one side has the "Serenity" prayer in German, and on the other side (from a resolution of the German Catholic Youth Movement, of June 19, 1960) discussing the political correctness of the various names by which the former East German Republic (which is on their list of no-no's) was referred to, and makes two recommendations for what would be acceptable and appropriate. By the entry of Saturday, April 15, there's pamphlet about the Amazon region, in German. Between pages 72 and 73 there's a type-written sheet, that appears to be a variety-show program by the ship's crew. On Tuesday, April 18 they are Belem do Para (on the Amazon Estuary). There is a receipt from a hotel restaurant. They stop in Trinidad, Port of Spain, Porto Azul. La Guaira, Venezuela. The last entry in the book is Sunday, May 7th. There are later entries on other sheets of paper, and it looks like Markus Behrendt was attempting to write about his experiences and publish (or self-publish) them. There are a number of beginnings of either short stories or memoirs, and of course, the letter he received from the printer which provided a quote for various quantities, various page counts, of a letter-sized (A4) book including a linen-bound and embossed cover. His writing is articulate and insightful, he's not just reporting what he's seen and done, but also includes some commentary - his feelings about things, and his thoughts about them. Superbly informative our writer using hand drawn maps, colored flags, tipped in photographs with explanations of his voyage and service. Littered throughout with letters, postcards, technical details, ship's progress reports all presented with panache make for a first class scrapbook and relic of the Post World War II era. The book is overstuffed 12 x 8 inches with over 100 pages almost completely filled in the trip records the boats course: Kiel to Porto Grande to Rio, Buenos Aires, Belem, Port of Spain, La Guaira, Port Royal, Savannah, Punta Delgadi and final return to Kieln makes for a near epic journey. Historians and collectors of this notorious ship will undoubtedly recognize the uniqueness of this journal. Overall G+.