The following are some of Ulrich Hausmann's memoirs as written in letters
to Philip Wright in 1996 and 1997.
Ulrich Hausmann now 97 - is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's Disease and
is living in a retirement home.
March 9, 1996
Thanks for your letter of March 6th and its contents.
It is nice the people of the little town near Giessen are supplying
you with memories of your 15 minutes of...(whatever the word is - fame?)
As to the passing of Adolf Galland, I knew him at least as well as
his brother. Adolf was withdrawn from aerial battle. He was the big hero
and Göring made him general in command of all German fighter outfits and
stationed him in Berlin. However, he came often to his former outfit, i.e.
the one where I was the only Correspondent of War. I was in close contact
with him all through the fall of 1941 and until summer ‘42.
In 1945 - 46 we were together as P.O.W.s in England. I did not like
him. He was extremely arrogant and ignored me, as I did not have a camera
anymore. He was a three star general and I a second lieutenant. He was
very friendly as long as I was a P.R. man - such as when I took a photo of
him with Göring, which was published as the cover of the biggest German
illustrated magazine. I, therefore, did not go see him when he was in
Seattle for a few years.
In France he had nearly gotten me in trouble. I had arranged a party
with a German WAC outfit, whose commander consented, if I would guarantee
that there would be no misbehavior by our fighter pilots. Unfortunately, I
took the responsibility. The girls would be back at 10 pm. at their
quarters. You can imagine what happened. I brought the girls back at 1 am.
The biggest “table looker” had been Adolf Galland, who came out of his room,
buttoning his fly, with the words, “O.K. - That’s that!” Luckily, the
story remained a secret. So you can imagine that I took a dim view of Adolf
Galland. I thought this might amuse you, because I believe that misbehavior
happened on all sides. Enough for today.
To both of you a hearty, “Horrido.” That was the greeting call of the
German fighter pilots.
May 6, 1996
Thanks for your letter of 4/29, with the NY Times obituary on Galland. The
photo is not made by me. At first believed that I had shot it, because
Göring's white overcoat and hat and Galland's were the same as they were the
same which they wore when they made the inspection trip to our J.G. 26
squadron either before or after the end of Sept. or October 1941.
One of my my photos of the two was published as a cover of the "Kölnisele
Illustrate," a prominent Picture Magazine. I was quite proud at the time. I
have no copy because my wife burned all magazines, news papers, etc. at
once, because after we had lost the war, how the occupying forces react
toward the families or members of the vanquished forces.
Morgenthau - I forget what office he held under Roosevelt - demanded or
suggested that 50,000 German officers should be shot. Rather safe than
sorry, she thought, as my writings and photos were the property of the
Ministry of Propaganda. I had only few proofs of publications written or
photographed. In reality nothing happened after the war and I was [working],
for awhile after my return, one year after the war, first by the Americans
and most interestingly by the French occupying forces. I speak fluently
English, French, and Italian. The latter not too well.
Coming back to the inspection trip of Göring and Galland to our J.G. 26
(Hunter Squadron - in German Jagd Gescharaderen) lasted only a few hours. It
was an episode one would never forget. Fatso,"Der Dicke" in German, loved
his Luftwaffe. He was very jovial, he smiled broadly at me (probably because
I took pictures of him.) It would take several pages if I wrote the turmoils
he loosened, the clowning of the Luftwaffe Chief, which I sure he did not
If you would enjoy very much to hear it, I will write you the story of this
Göring - Galland episode. As Fatso wanted to be loved by all, particularly
by the privates and NCOs. He promoted all, and we had nobody any more to do
the dirty work, after he left. For weeks our outfit was in a mess.
I used to be proud of my flawless English, also orthographically, but with
my 92 years of age, I am loosing rapidly the knowledge.
Thanks again for your letter.
The photo in the N.Y. Times you find on page 18 of the "Fighter Aces of the
Luftwaffe". I did not know personally the other 3 officers. Of course
I knew their names.
P.S. Since several years I stopped using my typewriter.
October 12, 1996
Thank you for your letter of 10/3/96 and the letter of the Historisches
Archiv to Mr. Dort. It could well be that the missing number #43 of the
Kölnischen Illustrieten with Göring/Galland cover had found a desirer. Figuring that this weekly magazine, with 52 numbers, the # 43 would have
been an October number (For 1996, the issues for the month would be #40 -
44). I had no diary. To keep such would have been prohibited for a war
correspondent to write or keep. So I try to recall my memory of activities
of fall 1941 or spring '42.
To please Herr "Meier," [Göring] also known as "der Dicke," which would be
the equivalent of "Fatso," we, the pilots including Galland, went hunting (Galland
was still a full colonel). I shot a photo during this hunt, which showed
that - as he always prided himself that he shot with both eyes open. I was
then in his good graces for a week or so. With the prospect of Göring's
visit, and Göring being a hunting nut, all the killed birds were to be
displayed at the backyard of our château for his inspection.
He arrived in his open car, wearing his long light gray uniform coat.
Stepping out of the car, his civilian valet (wearing a black bowler hat -
what a ridiculous sight - unpeeled "Fatso" out of the military long coat and
held out a fur collared short civilian "hunting coat" and a civilian hunting
cap. Thus he was properly dressed for a non-military inspection of the birds
- nicely lined up on the lawn. "der Dicke" was very pleased with us and went
back to the Mercedes car. The valet helped him out of the fur collared
hunting short coat, put him back into the long coat and held out the
military cap. Only then "Fatso" entered the château. For about ten minutes
he had been a civilian. One must always be properly dressed for the
After lunch, we all went out to inspect the lined up fighter pilots and the
mechanics, etc. That was when I took the photo of Göring and Galland. Göring
gave me a big smile, he always wanted to hear that he was a nice guy. His
heart was with his officers and his enlisted men. He
promoted practically all enlisted men. The outfit was in a turmoil, because
we had no privates, etc. - only corporals anymore.
I write these incidents, hunt, hunting coats, or long coats - incidentally,
Galland, as I still remember, wore his long black leather coat so it must
have been fall weather, and #43 should be the right one.
As I do not collect war memorabilia, I feel the Archiv letter and photos
are for use in your hands, and I return them to you.
Excuse my terrible orthography. It's age my friend - the age creeps up on
P.S. The photo showing Galland with his cigar: Smoking close to the airplane
was strictly forbidden. Galland was the only one who smoked in his plane,
also during aerial battle.
April 10, 1997
Thanks for card of "Burg Staufenberg," which you sent from Neuilly
in France. Incidentally, my wife was a tutor of a Staufenberg son-in-law in
the upper-classes of High School and first few semesters of college in
French, English, and higher math. Later, after the war, he married a
Staufenberg daughter. He was a physician and passed away rather early.
Now to the map of Oberusel. Your judgment of the "Aussenstelle
West," which was the official name of the interrogation camp (for airforce
prisoners of the western front). Your placement of the camp was within a few
hundred feet - as I remember. I heard that our barracks and offices
were renamed Camp King.
The prisoners were held in solitary before and during interrogation.
When we, i.e the interrogators, released them, the the prisoners were sent
to a collection camp [Dulag Luft in Wetzlar] and then distributed to P.W.
camps in Germany. The U.S. forces used - as I heard years later - the A.S.W
for its own interrogation purposes.
The name of the street on which A.S.W. was situated is, as you
rightly indicated, Hohmarkstraße corner of Eichwäldchenweg (see the blue
square Kupferhammer). About 15 - 20 minutes walk along the Hohmarkstraße,
westward within the forest, was the hospital for wounded or sick P.O.Ws.
They were marched - if physically possible - to the interrogation - or in
rare occasions for "after hours interrogation" in our private quarters, if
we thought it would make them more talkable. On such occasions we could
request a bottle of booze from the office to make a "homey atmosphere." It
took a great deal of persuasion by the interrogator to break out a bottle
I had only one such event. A colleague invited me to participate in
a special "home style" private interrogation of two British pilots. Two
bottles of Scotch, plenty of cigarettes, and two P.O.W.s from the hospital.
My colleagues invited me to "The Party." The two prisoners were brought down
by two guards. The result was a hell of a lot of fun! We two interrogators
and the two P.O.W.s ended up in a terrific drunken spree. We sent the guards
off, telling them we would return the "guests" to the hospital ourselves. We
ended up dead drunk and too tired to take
them back and decided the P.O.W.s could find their way back by themselves.
Luckily it worked, and no trouble came of it.
To understand this caper, one has to realize that by December 1944
all of us knew that no serious work was done anymore, and for our side the
war was lost, and we - or rather most of us - were pretending. From the
commanding officer down to us lowly lieutenants we were just waiting till it
would all be over. But each one of us had to be very careful not voice our
Say hello to your wife. For yourself a hearty "Horrido."
Ulrich Hausmann (at age 90) and the 36th
Fighter Group C.O., W. Lewis Curry.
Photo taken at the 36th FG
reunion in Seattle in 1994