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Centenary of Count Felix Von Luckner’s escape from Motuihe Island and Capture of the Moa

Liebe Mitglieder und Freunde,

auf der Insel Motuihe, wo Graf Luckner als Kriegsgefangener interniert war, wurde am 5. November die 100. Wiederkehr seiner Flucht feierlich begangen. Unser Graf ist in Neuseeland eine Art Nationalheld die oben genannte Feierlichkeit mag ein lebhafter Beweis dafür sein, daß sein Wirken am anderen Ende der Welt bis heute nicht vergessen ist.

Unsere Gesellschaft war bei dem Ereignis dabei! Leider konnte wohl niemand persönlich teilnehmen, doch unser Präsident sandte vorab eine Grußbotschaft in die Ferne, die dort verlesen wurde. Wir drucken sie wortwörtlich nachfolgend ab und können bereits jetzt vermelden, daß die Botschaft gut angekommen ist, denn wir erhielten bereits eine Rückmeldung eines Besuchers der Feierlichkeit!

Hier finden Sie nun den Wortlaut der Botschaft

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear friends in New Zealand,

it is an amazing story indeed!

The cruise of the Sea Eagle, becoming a Prisoner of War, the escape and recapture, you all will know about that story better than I do.

But there is more to be told on that issue, more about that Count to be told and you all should be happy that I am not personally among you, because now I would start talking for hours… no, just kidding, but indeed I could do so.

To be honest, I would love to be on Motuihe Island today and I send you my warmest wishes and regards on behalf of myself an on behalf of the international Felix Count von Luckner Society. Indeed, someday I will be in your country, I promise!

My first memories on Felix Count von Luckner are dating back to the early 90ies of last century. During researches I met veterans of the US Infantry Division who took my hometown Halle in 1945.

Not only one veteran emphasized:  “You should never forget Felix Count von Luckner, the famous sailor from World War I, the ‘Sea Devil’. The city of Halle is in deep dept and gratitude to him.”

“Felix Count von what?” I thought, and „… a sailor in Halle?“ Maybe I had heard his name before, but did nothing know about this man and could smell a kind of mystery and adventure.

Of course, I wanted to know more, and during the years up to now I got much more!

I learned about the above mentioned “Cruise of the Sea Eagle”, the time that Felix spend in the US, the amazing story of saving my hometown, the fact of rescuing a Jewish lady from being displaced to a concentration camp and many things more. I realized that the story to be told about Motuihe Island is a part of a big mosaic, a part of a life of one man! So many stories, could they fit in only one single life? Indeed, they did!

Felix Count von Luckner, in my opinion…, well, his name should not miss among the great names of the last century. He stood for peace and international understanding, the same reasons we are now organized in our Felix Count von Luckner Society.

Please, feel free to learn more of us, feel free to contact us. But for the moment stand together at Motuihe Island enjoying the moment. We will be with you in our hearts.

Best regards from Germany

Matthias J. Maurer
President of the Felix Count von Luckner Society