tion of the firm, he headed the commercial division of Junkers Flugzeugwerke in Dessau. He was also a member of the Supervisory Board of
Oberschlesische Luftverkehr AG.
After Charles Lindberg accomplished the first solo flight across the Atlantic, the Germans began to focus on similar flights between Europe and the
United States. Junkers in Dessau was working on two W.33 aircraft. They
carried the names of ‘Bremen’ and ‘Europn’. As part of the initial crew for
this flight, preparations were being made by Gotthard Sachsenberg Jr.,
Hermann Köhl (former bomber aviator, Pour le Mérite), Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld and Fritz Loose. The flight was planned from
Dessau to the United States but had to be cancelled due to poor weather.
The second attempt was more successful, and ‘Bremen’ took off on
April 12th, 1928 from Baldonnel in Ireland. After thirty-six hours, it landed
at Greenly Island in Newfoundland. The crew was made up of Köhl, von
Hünefeld and Irish navigator Major James Fitzmaurice. For this feat, the
team was awarded the US DFC by President Coolidge.
During the twenties, Gotthard Sachsenberg entered politics and joined
Economic Party of the German Middle Classes (Wirtschaftspartei des
deutschen Mittelstandes). In the 1928 and 1932, he was elected as a member of the Reichstag for regions Breslau (today Wroclaw) and Liegnitz
He began to publish works that dealt with air transport and the industry,
and put forth notions that were anti-war in character. He initiated investigations into certain state purchases. After the rise of the Nazi party, he
was interned in a concentration camp at Lichtenburg in July, 1934. The
Nazis had even attempted to abduct and murder him earlier than that,
but during the associated car ride he was able to convince his captors to
free him. His military career and possession of the Pour le Mérite carried
The Family Business, Brother and Nephews
Share of Gebrüder Sachsenberg company from 1934. During that year, Gotthrard
managed to avert the bankruptcy of the family business.
allowed him to continue to conduct business. During the world financial
crisis, his family business had almost ended in liquidation. Gotthard Jr.
purchased all the company shares in 1934, and named his brother Hans
(1889 – 1937) to the Board of Directors. Up to now, there was no mention
of this man, but we will now see why this was a logical move.
Hans received his pilot wings in January, 1916 and with the rank of Leutnant, he served with the Inspektion der Fliegertruppen as supervising
inspector with the firm Junkers. That sheds a bit of light on Gotthard’s
interest in acquiring Junkers airplanes for his unit in 1918, and also on his
use of them over the Baltics in 1919.
After the First World War, Hans came to Junkers’ Board of Directors and
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Finally, under promise that he refrain from public activities, the Nazis
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The courtyard of the Renaissance castle Lichtenburg, which the Nazis turned into a concentration camp in 1933. Sachsenberg was imprisoned there in 1934. From 1937 to 1939
castle served as a women's concentration camp, after which the female prisoners were transferred to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. During World War II, the castle was
used by various SS units, which held in cells more than sixty prisoners for forced labor.
INFO Eduard - April 2021