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1939 European Championship


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#201 David J Jones

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 10:27

Hans

I eat some of my words and bow in admiration for the contents of your library for the 29 August Automobile-Revue. Were they reportring a German source? If so was it ONS?

I assume it would be too much to expect them mentioining the European Champion ship at this point.

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#202 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 10:52

Just found Grande Vitesse's review of the 1939 season, which I forgot I'd copied and had misfiled as well!

His two-page review, published in December, makes absolutely no mention of the championship at all, not even to recap on his earlier "speculations". However, the sparsity of this should perhaps be treated with caution, since he was already in the forces and would have lost contact with many of his continental sources, not to mention probably not having all his references and notes with him.

And thanks David M - you have concisely put over exactly what I was thinking! German is a complicated language, but it's amazing how English words can be used to convey so many different meanings! It just shows how things can be lost in translation - nuances and idioms especially!

#203 fines

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 14:00

Just to clear some of the confusion here, let me state that the German text clearly states that the Italian GP was already cancelled when the text was written. Definitely.;)

#204 Marcel Schot

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 14:27

As Vitesse2 kindly asked me in another thread, here's the standings according to the O Voltaire calculations (10,6,5,4,3,1 for all). Might add the other big races to the table tonight.


				BE	  FR	  DE	  CH	  

Lang			10	  1	   1	   10	  22

Muller		  1	   10	  6	   4	   21

Caracciola	  1	   1	   10	  6	   18

Brauchitsch	 5	   1	   1	   5	   12

Hasse		   6			   1	   1	   8

Sommer		  4	   3	   1			   8

Meier		   1	   6	   1			   8

Nuvolari		1	   1	   1	   3	   6

Dreyfus		 1	   4	   1	   6

Pietsch						 5	   1	   6

Le Begue				5					   5

Mazaud		  3			   1			   4

Entancelin			  4					   4

Raph					1	   3			   4

Stuck				   1	   1	   1	   3

Farina		  1					   1	   2

Mandirola	   1			   1			   2

Gerard		  1							   1

Seaman		  1							   1

Chinetti				1					   1

Matra				   1					   1

Mays					1					   1

Joa							 1			   1

L Villoresi					 1			   1

Brendel						 1			   1

H Hartmann							  1	   1

Biondetti							   1	   1

Evans								   1	   1

Wakefield							   1	   1

Ansell								  1	   1

de Graffenried						  1	   1

Rocco								   1	   1


#205 fines

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 14:41

Originally posted by Marcel Schot
As Vitesse2 kindly asked me in another thread, here's the standings according to the O Voltaire calculations (10,6,5,4,3,1 for all). Might add the other big races to the table tonight.

:lol: Richard, you're confusing us all with your signature! :lol:

#206 Marcel Schot

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 16:50

:rotfl: I thought it had something not so Portuguese to it :rotfl:

#207 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 21:28

Originally posted by fines

:lol: Richard, you're confusing us all with your signature! :lol:


Yes, well, with the return of Ron Ball :clap: , I'll have to think of another one .... :D

Ah - didn't see the pun there for a minute :blush: :lol: I'll assume it was a deliberate mistake Marcel!! :lol:

#208 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 December 2001 - 03:29

Originally posted by David J Jones
.....Were they reportring a German source?.....

David,
Don't know.



MOTOR und SPORT, No. 36, pg.18; September 3, 1939
Caracciola became Great-German Champion
The Viennese Circuit Race, fixed for September 17, has been cancelled, by which the third run to the Great-German Championship faded away. Therefore Rudolf Caracciola becomes the first Great-German Champion for racing cars with one point advantage ahead of his most important rival, Hermann Lang. Caracciola won on Mercedes-Benz in the Grand Prix of Germany, which contributed to his main points for the championship. He also became third in the Eifelrennen, which Lang won on Mercedes-Benz. After Carraciola and Lang follows in third place of the Great-German Championship Hermann Müller on Auto Union, the next is Paul Pietsch on Maserati. The year before, Hans Stuck on Auto Union won the Champion title.

MOTOR und SPORT, No. 43, pg.24; October 22, 1939
Outcome of the German racing sport
Great-German Road Champion for Racing Cars: Rudolf Caracciola on Mercedes-Benz with 6 points.
Great-German Mountain Champion for Racing Cars: Hermann Lang on Mercedes-Benz with 10 points.

#209 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 January 2002 - 13:24

I've been musing on this for a while now ... what were Auto Union and Muller thinking during the race?

Firstly, with the minus scoring system:

At the beginning of the final, Muller spun through 360 degrees on the grid, after his engine failed to fire properly and he seems to have gunned it in order to get going. After that he might have had a minor engine problem ... or maybe flat-spotted his tyres. He'd cruised through his heat - he was actually lapped in that! So, he was taking it easy, just doing enough to win under the minus rules and knowing that he just had to complete eight laps to be uncatchable.

Secondly with the plus system:

The heat result was immaterial, all that mattered was the final: the points standings meant that his two main rivals were Lang and Caracciola on 12 each, while he led with 17. But the Auto Unions seem to have been out of sorts at Bern: the front row of the heat grid was all-Mercedes, with Muller and Nuvolari three seconds off Lang's pace. Muller cruised round to finish 7th, but the fastest A-U driver was Nuvolari and even he was forty seconds behind Lang (2 seconds a lap slower!). A result like that must surely have convinced AU that they had very little chance in the final ...

After his start-line problems, Muller made up ground and moved up from 11th to 6th by lap 5, but was already too far behind the leaders to win the championship unless Lang retired and he managed to get past von Brauchitsch:

1 - Lang retires, Caracciola wins, von Brauchitsch 2nd, Muller 3rd: Caracciola 22pts, Muller 21
2 - Lang retires, Caracciola wins, Muller 2nd: Muller 23 points, Caracciola 22

Or, if Lang did not retire, then Muller's only chance of the championship was if he beat Caracciola and von Brauchitsch.

There are obviously several other scenarios, but for Muller to win the championship after his spin, there were two important pre-requisites:
1 Lang had to retire or Muller had to pass him.
2 If Lang won, Muller had to finish second.
As we've already seen, the Mercedes had the legs on the AUs that day and in the final, Muller and Nuvolari were again two seconds a lap slower than Lang.

So, looking at the two together - Muller was doing all he could in both cases. Under the minus system, he knew he couldn't be caught providing he completed eight laps (the spin at the start must have almost upset his plan!) but he also knew that unless at least Lang or BOTH von Brauchitsch and Caracciola retired he could not possibly win under the plus system. Despite his bad start, he eventually finished fourth (did Nuvolari let him through?), so he got as close as he could to fulfilling the criteria above. What undid him was the reliability of the Mercedes and the uncompetitiveness of the Auto Unions on the day.

#210 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 05 January 2002 - 08:38

Originally posted by Vitesse2
.....for Muller to win the championship after his spin.....
.....he eventually finished fourth (did Nuvolari let him through?).....

The final race of the 1939 Swiss GP went over 30 laps. It was raining at places. The track was wet and slippery at the start. The three Mercedes formed the first row on the grid. Nuvolari in the Auto Union held fourth place on the second row. The two Alfa voiturettes in row three sandwiched the second Auto Union of Hans Stuck. In the fourth row were the other two Auto Unions of Rudi Hasse and H.P. Müller. After H.P. spun his car at the start, he was the last to leave the grid, chasing after the sixteen cars ahead.

At the end of the first lap, with a wet track, Nuvolari kept fourth place. Müller had recovered and had worked himself up the field already to eleventh place. In each following lap, Müller overhauled one car. Consequently by lap six, he was in sixth place behind Nuvolari who in turn had fallen behind when Brauchitsch in the faster Mercedes had passed him on lap three.

On lap seven, Müller was on Nuvolari’s tail and when they sped by the pits on the following pass, the German was in fifth place. As the circuit became drier – it had stopped raining on lap two – the grand prix cars could demonstrate their higher speed and Müller passed Farina’s little fast Alfa on lap 16. So, just at about half time, the German had reached his final position, fourth place.

Did Nuvolari let him through? My vote is: of course. There was no reason for the Italian to give his team mate a hard time and he might even have been instructed to that effect by Karl Otto Feuereisen, the Auto Union team manager. After Müller went past the Italian champion, the gap between them never exceeded 16 seconds and by the end Nuvolari was just over seven seconds behind Müller.

Lets face it; at that time (1939) only very few people were interested in the European Championship and then they probably were mostly Germans. The French and British had no grand prix cars capable of winning this contest. Neither did the Italians. None of their countries’ motor magazines reported about the European Championship outcome. And why should they give a hoot? But the Germans did. They simply declared their fastest driver as the champion. But not before they meddled with the rules. Puzzling though, that the Brits – staunch anti-Nazis still today –accept this Nazi decree even to this day as an acceptable verdict.

#211 David J Jones

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Posted 05 January 2002 - 10:51

Hans


'Puzzling though, that the Brits – staunch anti-Nazis still today –accept this Nazi decree even to this day as an acceptable verdict.'

I believe your post sums up the situation perfectly. I also agree entirely with your interpretation of the result. A-U and HPM did all they had to obtain the result they needed - fourth gave the the European Championship.

Your sentiment at the end of the post is accepted - as a Brit I find it unacceptable that this has been allowed to stand. The European Drivers Championship -although contested between two German Drivers - was a European affair affecting all motoring bodies.

I am afraid - as far as the Brits go at least - it confirms my suspicions obtained from readings of the current affairs of the times- that the spirit of appeasement did not go away on 1 / 9/ 39

#212 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 21 January 2002 - 04:08

This may be of interest to those of you who are trying to unravel this mystery.

Eoin Young currently has listed in his catalogue the following item.

Grosser Preis Von Deutschland 1939. Original programme with full entry list, photos of cars and drivers. Lap chart completed in pencil.

Check it out at www.eoinyoung.com

#213 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 21 January 2002 - 07:37

Milan,
Thanks for reminding of Eoin Young's enjoyable site. It brings back memories of the 80's when I bought from him, helping him make his first Million. £250.00 for the programme? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

#214 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 January 2002 - 11:55

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Milan,
Thanks for reminding of Eoin Young's enjoyable site. It brings back memories of the 80's when I bought from him, helping him make his first Million. £250.00 for the programme? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


That makes the £200 he's asking for a copy of Georgano and £45 for a photocopy of Nuvolari's expenses claim look cheap... :rolleyes:

#215 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 06:43

Originally posted by Don Capps
.....But, I don't see anything there that actually lays out why it was Lang and not Müller?.....

Don,
Do you have any connection with John Angola or his associates? He writes about Hühnlein as head of the ONS in his NSKK book. I thought that John Angola might be more inclined to help you with ONS information than he would me, a total stranger. If he does not know, he could possibly help with a good lead to Germany. I thought of Adolf Schlicht who had worked with him on the NSKK book. Do you think it is a good idea if you asked him where ONS files from 1939 can be found?
  • Bundesarchiv, Koblenz
  • Hoover Institution
  • Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • Military Archives, London
  • National Archives, Washington, D.C.


#216 Marcor

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Posted 09 May 2002 - 01:16

OT maybe, but...

According La Meuse, the Belgian newspaper, The "Federation Internationale Motocycliste" had announced the European champions for 1939. 7 events counted for the championships based on a point system: the British TT, Netherlands GP, French GP, Belgian GP, Sweden GP, German GP and Vester (????) GP. Two GP were cancelled: the Italian GP and the GP of the Zurich Exposition.

The point system was simple:
the winners of each races received 6 points,
the seconds ==> 5 points
the 3rds ==> 4 points
the 4ths ==> 3 points
the 5ths==> 2 points
the 6ths ==> 1 points

In the 250 cc class, German pilot Kluge won the title with 23 points.
In the 350 cc class, Mellors (24 points) was champion.
In the 500 cc class, Serafini (23 points) won and Georg Meier was second (18 points).

Source: La Meuse, 23 November 1939.

Dorino Serafini, yes the Ferrari driver in 1949-51.
G. Meier shared his 1939 time between the cars GP (first GP in Belgian, 25 June 1939, second race at Reims, ACF GP, finishing second, third and last GP in the German GP) and the motorcycles GP (he won the TT, Dutch and Belgian GP).

I've also found a short article in Le Matin, 22 August 1939, quite similar to the article of Les Sports from the same period:

At the end of the Swiss GP, the placings of the European Championship is :
1- Lang, 22 points
2- Muller, 21 points
3- Caracciola, 18 points
4- von Brauchitsch, 12 points
5- Hasse, 8 points

#217 Eugen

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Posted 09 May 2002 - 06:27

the British TT, Netherlands GP, French GP, Belgian GP, Sweden GP, German GP and Vester (????) GP



maybe Ulster GP

E.

#218 David J Jones

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 03:14

What I find truly amazing about this topic is the lack of comment by our noted historians and publishers. (Don apart that is)

I do not consider it a sin to have been incorrect but what is plain to me is that there would appear to be no documentation supporting the Lang claim to the title. It would be classed as hearsay in a court of law. From a reply published in Motor Sport Chris Nixon appears to acknowledge this in that he cannot remember his source - just that everyone said Lang was Champion.

If journals of the time referred to a revised scoring system how is it that the AIACR or its post war successors are unable to produce a document to settle the issue?

Oh well I suppose I will have to go on trawling through old Government Files in an attempt to find out what happened to the official German docs following the surrender..............

#219 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 04:44

Originally posted by David J Jones
.....I suppose I will have to go on trawling through old Government Files in an attempt to find out what happened.....

Good idea, David. I hope you find a lead in one of these files.

I did check quite a bit on our subject during March in the Bibliothek im Deutschen Museum in an effort to find anything related to the ONS point scoring system. I finally got hold of the long sought after
Mannschaft und Meisterschaft Eine Bilanz der Grand-Prix-Formel 1934-1937 by Hans Bretz, published by Daimler-Benz in 1938. There should have been at least brief mention of the European Championship and rather surprisingly there was zilch, zero, nothing. Very disappointing, but after I had obtained special permission they copied the entire book for me nevertheless, at 15¢ per page or €17.40 for the entire book, which I consider a steal. Another rather scarce book, which I copied entirely, was
DER KRAFTFAHRSPORT IM NEUEN DEUTSCHLAND published by the ONS in Berlin, 1935. European Championship reference: zip, zero, empty handed again.

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#220 Marcor

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 23:20

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
the British TT, Netherlands GP, French GP, Belgian GP, Sweden GP, German GP and Vester (????) GP
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



maybe Ulster GP


Yes, Ulster GP !

#221 Breadmaster

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Posted 15 May 2002 - 13:40

Thank you all for this wonderful thread, it's taken me two days to read it and it was very much worth it!
I wish I could contribute to it and will if I can....

Good work! :wave:

#222 David J Jones

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Posted 16 June 2002 - 08:53

As we understand from an earlier post in this thread the records of the ONS would appear to have been destroyed in the Allied bombing of Germany. I have therefore started searching in other areas to locate official documentation that would explain why Lang was preferred to Muller by the Germans in 1939/40.

So I began searching Government and other documentation sources in an attempt to locate official Nazi documentation from the NSKK or Korpsfuhrer Huhnlein. It has for some time been a complete puzzle as to why the position of Lang has been accepted as 1939 European Champion and yet no historian can appear to justify the position with official documentary proof.

I was therefore somewhat surprised when I maybe stumbled across the start of an explanation when I visited the Avalon Project on the website of Yale Law School. I started to enquire on the site looking for Kraftfahrkorps in the Nuremburg War Crimes Proceedings and the following reference was found:


‘None of the main defendants present here was ever a member of one of these sport groups. Members of the Cavalry SA feel that they are at a particular disadvantage because the Prosecution has not indicted the NS Kraftfahrkorps (National Socialist Motor Corps) and the NS Fliegerkorps (National Socialist Flier Corps), which is perfectly justified, since it is known that they were by nature sport organizations. The NS Kraftfahrkorps and the NS Fliegerkorps were, however, until the year 1934, exactly like the Reiterkorps, sport divisions of the SA. The NS Kraftfahrkorps succeeded in gaining organizational independence since 1934 or 1935, due to the political influence of its leader Huhnlein. The NS Fliegerkorps also succeeded in doing so. The NS Reiterkorps, however, did not have such influence and merely succeeded in 1936 in being recognized as an independent NS Reiterkorps; but it still remained formally –‘

This is the first reference I have seen to the Kraftfahrkorps having some form of status and indeed acceptance away from the Nazi party.

While not explaining all it does start to determine some form of post war acceptance for the Kraftfahrkorps, the decisions of the NSKK and its leader until his death in 1942.

The search continues…………….

#223 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 16 June 2002 - 18:53

While in search for some minor French race during July 1939, I stumbled across a preview of the Swiss Grand Prix, one I had not seen before. The article caught my attention when I realized what great meaning the European Championship must have had to some people. From all German language magazines of that time the independent Swiss AUTOMOBIL-REVUE seems to have been the first class act. The Nazi Government at that time subjected all German books, newspapers and magazines to strict censorship and one had to read those with the mental caution flag raised. This was however not the case in neutral Switzerland and therefore articles from the AUTOMOBIL-REVUE usually catch my special attention like this one in No 65, pg. 3 of August 11, 1939.

Swiss Grand Prix for Automobiles in Bern.
Why is this years Grand Prix especially interesting?
.....The “grandes épreuves”, which have taken place until now, have shown that both successful racing teams of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union are presently equally strong and that they will certainly give each other an utmost fierce battle in Bern. Therefore the VI. Grand Prix – the only “grande épreuve” in Switzerland – attains a sportingly very special note, in that it effectively is the last run for the important European Championship. Additionally, two thoroughbred 3-liter Maserati are meddling in the fight, which can bring surprises. The fast Delahayes came off surprisingly well in the difficult Grand Prix of Germany and should also show well in Bern. Since in the Final the best of the 1.5-liter class are simultaneously doing also battle with the large racing cars, this VI. Grand Prix gains remarkably in sporting interest.

Who will win in Bern? This is hard to predict in advance, because the outcome of this motoring battle is more uncertain than ever.....[this is followed with descriptions of the heat races, the various entries of cars and drivers and traffic advisories.]

#224 David J Jones

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 14:15

Hans

Do you have any references to Automobil-Revue for the period around which Huhnlein made the pronouncement regarding Lang?

I am also now seeking any information regarding the ban imposed on Germany's participation post war? Are there any official documentary refernces?

I am still trying to come to terms with the dates quoted at Nuremburg concerning the independant organisation status for the Kraftfahrkorps. Was Huhnleins declaration made in the capacity of that or the NSKK?

Presumably Hitler would have had to approve his appointment!

#225 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 14:28

David: we seem to be digging in the same places!

I have just found a source which may not have been investigated - a dealer has for sale a four-year run of what looks like an NSKK "house magazine" called Deutsche Kraftfahrt:

DEUTSCHE KRAFTFAHRT (NSKK)
1937 - kompletter Jahrgang, 24 Hefte, gebunden inkl. Deckblätter, € 400
1938 - kompletter Jahrgang, 24 Hefte, gebunden inkl. Deckblätter, € 400
1939 - kompletter Jahrgang, 24 Hefte, gebunden inkl. Deckblätter, € 400
1940 - kompletter Jahrgang, 24 Hefte, gebunden inkl. Deckblätter, € 400

Has anyone investigated these, assuming there must be copies in a library or archive somewhere?

#226 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 14:43

Re the foundation of the NSKK:

From - http://www.nizkor.or...7-means-53.html

The original NSKK was founded under the name of NSAK (National Socialist Automobile Corps) on 1 April 1930 by Hitler, who joined as its first member. By the end of 1931 it had a membership of approximately 10,000, as compared to 300 at the beginning of that year (2804-PS). In 1934 the motorized Hitler Jugend and the motorized SA were placed under the NSKK. Hitler, on 23 August of that year, decreed that:
"the NSAK and the motorized SA are from now on welded together into a unit called NSKK. The NSKK is directly subordinate to me". (2804-PS)

2804-PS; Extracts from "Das NSKK" by Hans Helmut Krenzlein, NSKK Gruppenfuehrer, with foreword by Leader of NSKK, Korpsfuehrer A. Huehnlein. Vol. V Pg.446

It seems very odd that the NSKK was not indicted at Nuremberg, but on the other hand, nor were four other major party groups:

http://www1.ca.nizko...06-organization

The controlled party organizations (Gliederungen der NSDAP) actually constituted the party itself, and substantially the entire party membership was contained within these organizations, viz.:
SA -- NS Storm Troops (Sturmabteilungen).
SS -- NS Elite Corps (Schutzstaffeln).
NSKK -- NS Motor Corps (Kraftfahrkorps).
HJ -- Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend).
NS Women's Organization (Frauenschaft).
NS German Students' Bund (Deutscher Studentenbund).
NS University Teachers' Bund (Deutscher Dozentenbund).

There were additional affiliated organizations (Angeschlossene Verbaende der NSDAP).....

#227 David J Jones

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 15:32

Vitesse

They want some price for the docs don' they?

I alos now have some more detail on Huhnlein and on the dealing with NSKK and its personnel post war. I am wading through them when time permits!

I wonder if the 39/40 issues give any answers?

#228 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 16:57

A bit more on the magazine: it was edited by this guy -

Oppermann, Theodor, born 18. 11. 1889 in Minden, professor and press publishing house owner in Hannov. Kirchrode, Member of the Reichstag July 1932 - 1945, 1933 SA brigade leader and "stellv. Führer" of the NSKK, main editor of the NSKK magazine 'Deutsche Kraftfahrt', 1943 NSKK Gruppenführer and "stellv. president of the DEAC", died 6. 5. 1945 in Neukirchen/Ziegenhain.

Can any of our German members work out what "stellv." is an abbreviation for? And what was/is the DEAC?

Oppermann's publishing company still exists BTW.

And unfortunately I don't have 800 Euros to spare right now ....

#229 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 17:07

I can't remember if, in all the messages within this thread, somebody ever suggested to contact the very few surviving drivers for this period.
I think not only of Manfred von Brauchitsch, but also of Paul Pietsch (who was at some times an editor, didn't he ?) and Hans Rüesch.

#230 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 17:46

Originally posted by Vitesse2
..... Can any of our German members work out what "stellv." is an abbreviation for? And what was/is the DEAC?.....

Stellv = stellvertretend = Deputy or Vice President in this case ;)
DEAC = maybe DEAC is a mistake for DDAC, which stands for Der Deutsche Automobil Club.

#231 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 June 2002 - 21:32

Jimmy... I'm sure it has been suggested, but how does one access them?

More to the point, what about contacting some of the mechanics? A loyal A-U mechanic would have been fuming over his lager well into the fifties over one of his drivers being deprived of a title had this happened...

#232 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 13:21

Originally posted by Ray Bell
A loyal A-U mechanic would have been fuming over his lager well into the fifties over one of his drivers being deprived of a title had this happened...


Sometimes it's the bleedin' obvious that doesn't strike you immediately! (As BJB would say.) That's a point well made Ray - does the absence of one or more embittered AU mechanics indicate that AU accepted that the plus system would be (had been?) adopted?

And returning to Deutsche Kraftfahr - if, as seems likely, it was the official organ of the NSKK, I wonder if it might be the ultimate source of the Volkischer Beobachter report. If so, who knows what other gems it might conceal in terms of official communiques?

#233 David J Jones

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 14:47

Vitesse / Ray

Although the thought that an AU team member might not agree with the decision and denounce it is a nice one it has to be acknowledged that such a person - even if he felt that - would probably be putting his and his families life on the line, even in the post war years.

Even if the NSKK files do provide Hans with his solution as to how the scoring was made up in Lang's favour, we still do not explain how a Nazi decision was allowed to remain in force by the victorious Allied powers and their official Motor Racing bodies who, remember, banned Germany from subsequent post war events because of the way the Nazis exploited it for propaganda purposes.

#234 Breadmaster

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 15:25

Originally posted by David J Jones
we still do not explain how a Nazi decision was allowed to remain in force by the victorious Allied powers and their official Motor Racing bodies who, remember, banned Germany from subsequent post war events because of the way the Nazis exploited it for propaganda purposes.


It occurs to me that the lack of information after the war would explain this in so much that the Allies would not necessarily know/prove it was a Nazi decision? For that matter since this information is so hard to come by a certain wiping the slate clean seems to have been done...

Was this known to be a "Nazi" decision at the time?

#235 David J Jones

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 16:58

Breadmaster

The decision was not one that emanated from the AIACR which did not meet after the Swiss GP due to to the outbreak of hostilitiies on 1 September 1939

#236 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 21:50

Originally posted by David J Jones
Vitesse / Ray

Although the thought that an AU team member might not agree with the decision and denounce it is a nice one it has to be acknowledged that such a person - even if he felt that - would probably be putting his and his families life on the line, even in the post war years.


If he lived in the West, yes, you might very well be right David - the Cold War hid many Nazi secrets, after all. But what if our embittered AU man lived in the East? Zwickau was firmly in the DDR, we know that many AU engineers worked on such projects as the EMW, the Wartburg, even the Trabbie! And in the climate of the 50s and 60s, surely he would have come forward, especially after the defection of von Brauchitsch to the East - the DDR government seldom missed an opportunity to try to bad-mouth the Federal Republic or its NATO allies.

Originally posted by David J Jones
Even if the NSKK files do provide Hans with his solution as to how the scoring was made up in Lang's favour, we still do not explain how a Nazi decision was allowed to remain in force by the victorious Allied powers and their official Motor Racing bodies who, remember, banned Germany from subsequent post war events because of the way the Nazis exploited it for propaganda purposes.


I hope to get to Beaulieu next week and am aiming to find more on this David. :)

#237 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 18 June 2002 - 22:00

Originally posted by Vitesse2
.....I hope to get to Beaulieu next week and am aiming to find more on this David. :)

:up: Way to go Richard! It takes a 26-hour plane ride every time I want to visit "MY" libry. :lol: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :lol:

#238 lynmeredith

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 02:27

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget
I can't remember if, in all the messages within this thread, somebody ever suggested to contact the very few surviving drivers for this period.
I think not only of Manfred von Brauchitsch, but also of Paul Pietsch (who was at some times an editor, didn't he ?) and Hans Rüesch.

I suppose that you could try Hans Ruesch at Hans Ruesch Foundation/CIVIS - POB 152, via Motta 51, CH-6900 Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland but, if he's still alive (!), he might not be interested in talking about motor racing having moved on to much more important things. Who knows?

Lyn M

#239 bschenker

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 05:54

Found listed in last in the Lugano and Swiss telephone directory.

Civis edizioni
via Motta 51
6900 Massagno

Hans Rüesch
via Motta 51
6900 Massagno

both with phone +41 091 966 39 76

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#240 Breadmaster

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:57

Originally posted by David J Jones
Breadmaster

The decision was not one that emanated from the AIACR which did not meet after the Swiss GP due to to the outbreak of hostilitiies on 1 September 1939


I know....I have read the thread.....(all of it!)....prehaps I lack your eruditeness?

#241 David J Jones

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 16:13

Breadmaster

I agree that the survivors if that era must know the answer but it is strange that none of them have voiced any comment even if via eminent historians.

Vitesse

I acknowledge your comment regarding the East / West split but I don't believe it would have made much difference. As many ex Nazis were employed in the East as there were by the West.
I also find MvB's silence strange. From what I have read if anyone would have jumped at putting Lang down - he would!

Best of luck at Bealieu - I will try to put some details I have on Huhnlein together to illustrate why I feel the post war attitude is most strange.

#242 fines

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 18:50

Rather surprising that this thread is still going strong! I'd have thought we'd have enough evidence by now to proof that H. P. Müller did not win the championship... :confused:

#243 David J Jones

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 06:49

Fines

I have no evidence to suggest anyone won the European Championship in 1939. Rather an appointment was made by an official of the Third Reich with the approval of the Fuhrer - Adolf Hitler.

There appears to have been - for some reason unexplained - a mellowing of opinion as far as the Kraftfahrhorps is concerned which appears to have allowed the appointment to stand.
As Vitesse points out the Kraftfahrkorps was a part of the NSKK which was a part of the Nazi Party Organisation.

Far from being a pleasant old man Korpsfuhurer Huhnlein was a senior person in the esstablishment of the Nazi party and a member of Hitler's 'old brigade' which was probably why he had more freedom than others.

So according to my book we are asking two questions still and have not answered either -

why was the 1939 edict left in place - and without statement or explanation!

how did Hunlein or whoever gave him the points totals score it. Someone (or some organisation somewhere) has the answer.

#244 fines

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 08:27

David, I agree that there was no official Champion (with a capital C) declared by the organisation that was responsible for the Championship, but I can't see why we shouldn't accept Lang as rightful champion (maybe with a lower case c ;)). Someone (Tony?) once voiced his opinion (here or on another thread) that knowing the qualifying rounds, the results and the scoring system is all it takes to create a champion. Whether he was officially awarded the championship is not really important, because then we could get into an argument whether Jochen Rindt, Ted Horn or Paul Warwick were really champions or not!

The same about Ewald Kluge, Ted Mellors and Dorino Serafini! I do not really know if the FIM ever made an official announcement about them winning their championships, and actually I never cared. Same with every other championship: It doesn't take an official announcement to make, for example, Michael Schumacher the Formula One World Champion of 2002. If the FIA would go bust over the weekend, and the remaining rounds of the championship were cancelled with the FIA collapsing to the point that there would never be another meeting of that organisation, then fine with me! The rules were in place, the points scored and nothing else matters.

#245 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 09:04

Originally posted by fines
David, I agree that there was no official Champion (with a capital C) declared by the organisation that was responsible for the Championship, but I can't see why we shouldn't accept Lang as rightful champion (maybe with a lower case c ;)). Someone (Tony?) once voiced his opinion (here or on another thread) that knowing the qualifying rounds, the results and the scoring system is all it takes to create a champion. Whether he was officially awarded the championship is not really important, because then we could get into an argument whether Jochen Rindt, Ted Horn or Paul Warwick were really champions or not!

The same about Ewald Kluge, Ted Mellors and Dorino Serafini! I do not really know if the FIM ever made an official announcement about them winning their championships, and actually I never cared. Same with every other championship: It doesn't take an official announcement to make, for example, Michael Schumacher the Formula One World Champion of 2002. If the FIA would go bust over the weekend, and the remaining rounds of the championship were cancelled with the FIA collapsing to the point that there would never be another meeting of that organisation, then fine with me! The rules were in place, the points scored and nothing else matters.


But this is precisely the point, Michael! We do know the qualifying rounds and results - what we DON'T know is the scoring system which was/would have been applied by the CSI/AIACR. We have circumstantial evidence from during the season that the plus system was generally accepted, but no evidence that it was ever officially adopted.

I agree with you that Lang is a rightful champion, even if the AIACR never ratified it - his overall performances in the major events of the year and articles in some of the original documentary sources testify to that - but the fact still remains that the ONLY published evidence so far discovered of a scoring system applicable to the 1935-39 European Championships points to Muller as champion!

To a certain extent, the ONS 23-point statement may be a red herring, or perhaps a simple typo, but if they had some arcane method of their own, then all might become clear!

#246 David J Jones

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 13:20

Vittesse

I agree.

The whole point of this thread is to establish the facts. I feel that there has been a fair amount of artistic (or creative licence) in the documentation published on the happenings of the 1939 European Championship.

As you say there is a lot of hearsay about the scoring system to be used but only evidence supporting the former system. The fact that the Huhnleins published scores vary so much from the fact merely makes the situation worse.

I feel that having confirmed Carraciola as the German Champion Huhnlein felt he was in a cleft stick due to Lang's outstanding GP performances which were going to be unrewarded.

The only other scenario could concern ethnic backgrounds but I am uncertain if this is a possibility as far as Muller is concerned

#247 fines

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 16:32

Originally posted by Vitesse2
But this is precisely the point, Michael! We do know the qualifying rounds and results - what we DON'T know is the scoring system which was/would have been applied by the CSI/AIACR. We have circumstantial evidence from during the season that the plus system was generally accepted, but no evidence that it was ever officially adopted.

The evidence is clear: No one ever questioned Lang being champion, until Paul Sheldon came along with his speculation about ten years ago. I feel that this was the only artistic/creative licence ever applied in this case!

#248 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 17:29

Originally posted by fines

The evidence is clear: No one ever questioned Lang being champion, until Paul Sheldon came along with his speculation about ten years ago.


Nobody queried it because they had no mathematical basis upon which to do so until Nixon came up with the scoring method a few years earlier. Nixon chose to ignore it, for reasons best known to himself, but as we showed in the 1935 thread, his research may have been flawed in this regard (although I won't pretend we've solved that either!)

The fact remains that, AFAIK, the only contemporaneous sources for Lang's title are the Huhnlein declaration and Walkerley's "I suppose ....", neither of which contains an arithmetical proof. O Volante and Les Sports come close to that, but we still await trawls of other journals which might hold clues ...

#249 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 23:30

Originally posted by fines
.....No one ever questioned Lang being champion, until Paul Sheldon came along with his speculation about ten years ago.....

Michael,
First: Were you not so biased against H.P. Müller as 1939 European Champion you would do much easier to see the validity of the big controversy. I have brought sufficient proof to the table for interested people to realize that there is something wrong with Lang as the 1939 Champion. In short, Hermann Lang was the German version of the 1939 European Champion, so declared by the ONS, which had no authority to do so. Therefore, he was not the official Champion and about this difference there is all this palaver.

Second: Paul Sheldon did not speculate at all. As a world-known, excellent researcher he stumbled across this controversy and solved the 1939 problem much better than Chris Nixon before him. The reason why I can easily agree with Paul Sheldon’s findings is that I had arrived independently at the same conclusion, having done my own calculations about the 1935-1939 European Championship and specifically the year 1939 where Nixon had published such nonsense. When I mentioned my findings in a letter to Paul ten years ago, he asked me to keep it quiet because he wanted to be the first to present this injustice in his upcoming book, Volume 4.

#250 fines

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 10:43

Hans,

I know this all too well. When I was discussing the matter with Paul a year or so later, he showed me several avenues he had been exploring, amongst them the correspondence with you. That's when I first heard of that Hawaiian with the strange German name... :D

Don't get me wrong, but I think the difference between you and me is just the way of looking into the matter: When I first heard of Paul's opinion that Müller should be the rightful champion, I felt this was odd, since I never saw anything to that effect. Back then I knew about the 1931 scoring method, but nothing of the late thirties', so I concluded that the scoring must've been changed in the interim. I had no hard evidence that this was the fact, just the "gut feeling", and I told Paul that I thought he was wrong, but couldn't proof it. I still can't proof it, but thanks to TNF I now have very strong evidence that this was indeed the fact! You see? Ten years ago I stood empty-handed, with just the evidence that I had never heard about Müller being champion, just Lang. I had no idea of the scoring, nor any material that was pointing into this direction. Now it's all in place, even if it is still not black & white.

On the other hand, you and Paul and now David are of the opinion that Müller should be the rightful champion because of the evidence of the known scoring method in the late thirties. Your point is that this was still in effect in 1939, and that someone (Hühnlein, in fact) had been covering up this fact to deprive Müller of his rightful status. With all due respect, I don't think that you have improved your position during the course of this thread, whereas I think I have done.

Let's try to put this all into perspective:

1a) Ten years ago, you had the evidence of the 1938 scoring, which, if still valid in 1939, would have made Müller champion. There's no arguing this point, if it can't be questioned, then you're right. Period.

1b) Ten years ago, I had the evidence of "conventional wisdom", i.e. no one up to this point seemed to have questioned Lang being champion. You would think that, even with the extraordinary circumstances (a long war immediately afterwards), someone would have raised the subject in the 50+ years since then. Not a very strong evidence I have to admit, so at the time I would think that you were leading by a couple car lengths, so to speak...;)

As in every other aspect of life, to solve the matter, every party should now produce stronger evidence to support his view, or alternatively undermine the evidence of the opposition. Let's see what happened:

2a) Today, there is evidence that the scoring was indeed changed, even if there is no proof. At the same time, it is important to note that there is no proof either that the scoring was not changed! In an ideal world, we would want to have evidence of an official statement, but since the AIACR did not meet again due to the outbreak of war, and the reporting of such matters in the press of the time is rather scant, it is quite possible that this is as far as we're going to get. Not very much, but still a lot better than my position ten years ago, i.e. your evidence is undermined!

2b) At the same time, we obviously can't expect to find an official statement about Lang or Müller being champion. The NSKK statement is not really important here, but still it's evidence to support my view. What I would have liked to see is a clue to a discussion about these things sometime between 1939 and 1993. At that time, Paul Sheldon thought that Müller had died during the war, which is wrong: He lived and was very much a public person throughout the fourties and fifties. He was a successful motorcycle racer again, and as such was the subject of many articles in the press and in books, many of which I have read. And I have to repeat here: Never, absolutely never has there been any inkling of a convoluted outcome of this 1939 championship! So I would guess that my evidence is still as strong or as weak as it ever has been.

With all due respect, I don't think that I am biased against Müller at all, but you are biased against Lang! It may well be that you simply don't like to accept a Nazi verdict, which is all very fine, but it still doesn't improve your position. In the absence of facts, we can only rely on the evidence we have, and try to value its importance. If you can come up with a reason why the NSKK should have preferred Lang over Müller, and even support this with a hint of discontent within the Müller or Auto Union faction, then I'll reconsider the subject. Until then the matter is solved for me!