View Full Version : Cooking on the Hindenburg.

09-10-2012, 01:20 AM
Xaver Maier was the head chef on the Hindenburg during that faithful day, here is his and one of the cook's story along with some photos of the of the kitchen's of both the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin.



As the Hindenburg came in to land at Lakehurst at the end of the flight on the evening of May 6th, Maier was in the kitchen down on B-deck, just below the portside dining room. Maier heard the landing signal sound at approximately 7:00 PM, and a short while later he saw radio officer Franz Eichelmann take a call on the ship's phone nearby, relaying an order from the control car for six of the off-duty men in the crew's mess to take positions forward. Three of Maier's cooks, Grözinger and the two young trainees, Flackus and Müller, were among those who responded to the order and left the kitchen area to make their way to the bow.


09-10-2012, 01:24 AM
Maier was putting away a stack of clean dishes. He had just set a plate in the scullery when he heard a detonation, closely followed by a sharp jolt which knocked him on his back. As he grabbed a girder next to the scullery and pulled himself up, Maier noticed that the ship was taking a steep inclination aft, sending dishes falling to the floor. He wasn't sure what had gone wrong, but he knew he'd better get out of the ship. He then looked out of the kitchen entrance and saw cabin boy Werner Franz dropping out through a service hatch out in the keel corridor near the door to the purser's office and the smoking room. Maier followed, jumping from a height of approximately 10-15 feet.



As he scrambled out from underneath the falling hull, he noticed for the first time that the ship was on fire. With the ship collapsing to earth just behind him, Maier escaped the wreck virtually unharmed. His kitchen whites were not even scorched, and he was filmed by the Movietone newsreel crew at the scene as sailors led him away to the infirmary, smoking a cigarette as he walked

09-10-2012, 01:27 AM

Grözinger was in the kitchen down on B-deck. It had become apparent to the command crew that the ship was tail-heavy, despite several ballast drops from the stern. A few minutes before the fire, the captain ordered six men from the crew's mess to take positions in the bow of the ship, in an attempt to bring the ship into trim for the final approach to the mast. Three off-watch crewmen and three cooks answered the order.




09-10-2012, 01:32 AM
Hell of a day in the kitchen at Lakehurst ,NJ May 6th 1937.
some more pics of the kitchens and menu.


09-10-2012, 10:02 PM
amazing, on all levels.

09-11-2012, 12:54 AM
this is sooo amazing... i guess it's like being a chef at a nasa spaceship today...

09-11-2012, 04:01 AM
Amazing story.

Amazing menu also. Would love to eat that today.

09-11-2012, 10:10 AM
Really cool story, I didn't even know there was a kitchen on the Hindenburg. Thanks for sharing!

09-11-2012, 10:16 AM
Thank you steeley for taking the time to put this together! Very interesting! :coolphotos:

09-11-2012, 11:39 AM
With the ship collapsing to earth just behind him, Maier escaped the wreck virtually unharmed. His kitchen whites were not even scorched, and he was filmed by the Movietone newsreel crew at the scene as sailors led him away to the infirmary, smoking a cigarette as he walked

German bad azz...

Wonderful history Steeley, thank you !

09-11-2012, 11:42 AM
Did anybody see the MythBusters episode where they (more or less) demonstrated that the problem with the Hindenburg was not the Hydrogen used for flotation, but the materials used to make the skin?

09-11-2012, 11:45 AM
Part 1

PArt 2

Part 3

09-11-2012, 03:38 PM
That is way too cool!

Thanks for posting it!.


ps. - Anybody know where I can get the recipe for Rhine Salmon a la Graf Zeppelin?

Mucho Bocho
09-11-2012, 04:01 PM
Thanks for Sharing Steely. Sometime we all need a perspective check

09-11-2012, 06:54 PM
You never fail to get my eyes glued to your words and pictures! Thanks again!

09-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Thank you all !

I am glad you enjoy it.
Now on to what happen to head chef and cook after the disaster.

The head chef Xaver Maier.

Maier stayed in the States long enough to testify before the US Commerce Department's Board of Inquiry on May 13th, exactly a week after the disaster. He sailed for Germany two days later on May 15th with the surviving members of his kitchen staff, as well as the surviving steward crew, onboard the steamship Europa. Maier survived the war, and thereafter continued to ply his trade at fine German hotels such as the Parc Hotel in Frankfurt.

Xaver Maier passed away in the late 1990s

Dining room

09-11-2012, 08:43 PM
Alfred Grozinger cook

After Lakehurst, with Zeppelin operations quickly waning, Grözinger took on a job as ship's cook for a yacht owned by a Frankfurt cosmetics manufacturer, and after WW II (during which he served in the German military and was captured and placed in a POW camp) he toughed out some lean post-war years before opening his own restaurants. He later retired to suburban Friedrichshafen. In his later years he was a founding member of the Freundeskreis zur Förderung des Zeppelin-Museums (Friends of the Zeppelin Museum) in Friedrichshafen, and was interviewed a number of times for various Zeppelin documentaries, as he was one of the last remaining Zeppelin old-timers by the beginning of the 21st century.


Just to get a idea of the size .

The cooks story would make a good book.


09-11-2012, 08:54 PM
One more piece of info , not cheap.

09-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Not cheap indeed! damn.