Biography

Felix Count von Luckner lived an extraordinary life

June 9, 1881   born near Dresden, grown up at his father’s estate Pennrich.

1897     Runs away from his grandmother in Halle. Under the name of Phylax Lüdicke hires on Russian ship “NIOBE.”

up to 1903     Voyages on ships belonging to various shipping companies, mainly in the Australian – American regions.

1903     Gets his mate’s commission at the Lübeck Navigation College.

1903/04     After passing his examinations serves as an officer on the ship “PETROPOLIS”

1904/05     Serves as a volunteer in the Imperial German Navy.

1907     Gets his master’s certificate at the Papenburg nautical college.

Felix Count von Luckner

Count von Luckner after the 1st World War

1910/14    Married to Petra Schulz from Hamburg; serves in the imperial navy.

1911     Promoted to the rank of a lieutenant junior grade.

1913/14     Serves on SMS “PANTHER” at the West African Station.

1914-16     Officer on SM cruiser “KRONPRINZ”

1914-17     Participates as an artillery officer in the Skagerrak Battle; Commands as a captain the auxiliary cruiser “SEEADLER”; sank 14 ships and tried not losing any lives both among his men and the men of the sunk ships, only one seaman (the freighter “Horngarth” from Cardiff) died after having injured by hot water caused by a leak in a steam pipe. This damage was caused by a shell of the “SEEADLER”.

1917     Loss of the “SEEADLER” at Mopelia Island; Voyage with “KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE”, the 6 metre “SEEADLER” lifeboat, rigged as a sloop. Capture and internment in New Zealand. Escape with motorboat of the commandant of the prison at MOTOHUI/New Zealand. Grabs coastal sailing boat “MOA”. Recapture.

1919     Repatriation to Halle a.d. Saale;  his father dies; 1st lecture at “Saalschloss Brauerei” in Halle.

1920     In Leipzig “birth” of the journey to America and idea to purchase a ship. Involved are: von Haase, Dr. Fritz Kirst, P.G. Kersten, General Lettow von Vorbeck.

1921     Luckner rigs the former Norwegian prize “THYRA”, a four mast schooner, to become the first training ship of the German navy, renamed in “NIOBE”, and is appointed her first captain; in May he is admitted to the freemason’s logde “Zur Goldenen Kugel Nr. 66″ in Hamburg.

1922     His discharge submitted and leaves the Navy as a lieutenant commander.

1924     Foundation of the society “Graf von Luckner Weltumseglung” (Count of Luckner Circumnavigation of the World); purchase of the four mast schooner “VATERLAND”

1926     Conversion of the “VATERLAND” for the display of samples of German products;  September start of the “Circumnavigation of the World.”

1927     Series of lectures in the U.S.A. “GOOD WILL MISSION”; Was given the freedom of the city of San Francisco, CA (honorary citizen); later also honorary citizen of Miami, FL, and Minot, ND.

1928     Return journey to Germany; Second journey to the U.S.A.. Renaming of “VATERLAND” in “MOPELIA”; Honorary President of the “Scouts.”

1933     Frequent stays in Berlin. “MOPELIA” “moored” in the U.S.A.

1935     “MOPELIA” completely burnt out in the free port of Bremerhaven; Visit with his wife to Great Britain.

1936     Participates in the opening ceremony for the Navy Memorial in Kiel; Purchase of the “SEETEUFEL”, a two mast schooner.

1937     Great journey round the world with “SEETEUFEL” starting from Oslo to the Caribbean, Panama Canal.

1938     Coconut Islands, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Ceylon, Aden, Suez Canal, around the Mediterranian, Italy, Gibraltar, England.

1939     Arrival in Germany.

1940/1945     Lives in his mother’s house, Alte Promenade 13, in Halle; all lecturing activities and publishing of his books prohibited.

1945     April 16th, negotiates with the American forces and prevents the destruction of Halle by air attack and artillery shelling; in connection  with the return of the American forces he leaves Halle and goes to the western part of Germany appointment as honorary colonel of the 104th US Infantry Division “Timberwolf.”

1953     April 9th awarded  the Great Order of Merits of the Federal Republic of Germany; von Luckner is a member of the “Association of former Halle citizens”

1956     E.F. MacDonald, President of Zenith Radio Corporation, supports the suggestion that the Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to Felix Count von Luckner.

1964     End of April together with his wife he visits Halle in order to bury his half-brother Carl. On this occasion meeting with members of the Saltworks Brotherhood im Thale zu Halle in a private home.

1966     Died April 13 in Malmö/Sweden; April 28th buried at the OHLSDORFER graveyard in Hamburg under over-whelming sympathy of the public and the press worldwide; the “Stars ‘n Stripes” states: “Felix Count von Luckner was the German ‘good guy’”.

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