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 Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy

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mariet
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Registration date : 2009-10-27

PostSubject: Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy   25/1/2010, 11:57

I'm helping a friend in the USA trace his family's move from Berlin to Minden in Feb 1947. They were collected by a British army/navy truck, taken to the station and travelled in a sealed carriage to Minden, where they were placed in a British safe house. The Royal Navy were involved - a Commander Studdert? in Berlin - as the move was connected with keeping machine tool technology and his father out of Russian hands. The family name is Pfauter and they made machine tools for producing gears.

I have the CCG Travel Bureau Form No 8 for my friend (age 10 at the time).it is signed by 'A Cook' C.O.II for Asst Director Maint.5. The application form for the travel order, states as reason for the journey 'Removal authorised by the Royal Navy' and is signed (unreadable) for 'Captain RN. HNB in Berlin with a telephone number 865035 and dated 21 January 1947.


If any one can give any clues to finding more information we will be very grateful.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 405
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy   25/1/2010, 14:03

Quote....'Travel in sealed carriage.'

Was not this common practice used by all British Military Trains travelling from Berlin to W. Germany and vica-versa?
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1037
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy   25/1/2010, 20:23

Mariet.
A few thoughts
1. I wonder if Herr Pflauter was first contacted or was contacted by a member of T Force, the clandestine British economic intelligence organisation which was operating in Germany in the immediate post war period? Their tasks included identifying and then persuading those individuals with specialist technical knowledge or experience likely to be useful in rebuilding British civilian industry or the further development of military (including naval and air force) systems to come to the UK. The Americans and French had similar organisations.

2. HMS Princess Irene in Berlin, HMS Royal Albert and Royal Henry in Minden , the major Royal Navy shore establishments had either closed or moved elsewhere by Spring 47. I wonder therefore whether the Pfauter family move was sponsored/organised by HQ Control Commission Germany who were responsible for Civil matters in the British Occupation Zone including Berlin. The title of the document and the signature block (CO11) suggests a Civil Servant, Grade2 Civil Officer (not Army Clerk or RN writer).

3. The Pfauter family undoubtedly left Berlin on the British Berliner, the special train which ran daily (overnight from Berlin Charlottenburg to the British Zone). As alan states the doors were locked and chained on the inside to prevent unauthorised access by Soviet troops or East German police on the journey across the Soviet Zone between Wann See and Helmstedt. This train did stop in Minden and transfer to a safe house would have been relatively easy

4. HQ CCG was in nearby Bad Salzuflen, it could have been their responsibility for the safe house and the onward movement of the Pfauter family out of Germany.
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PostSubject: Re: Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy   17/2/2010, 23:07

JPW
Many thanks for this info, sorry for delay in replying, I've been away. I will pass it on to my friend in Santa Barbara.

The Pfauter family stayed in West Germany and restarted their machine tool business, starting in a former Opel factory and eventually settling in Ludwigsburg. The company became one of the world's leading producers of gear production machinery (Hermann Pfauter GmbH) and they are still in business today as Gleason Pfauter.

My friend (Herman Pfauter the third) is the grandson of Robert Hermann Pfauter who founded the company in Chemnitz in 1900. It was his father (Michael ) and uncles who restarted the company in the west. My Herman emigrated to USA in the 50's and later started American Pfauter outside Chicago. He returned to the German plant in the late 70's, before retiring to California. Now in his 70's he is working through his father's papers and is trying to fill in the blanks, hence my request.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 405
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Movement of East German Family to the West by Royal Navy   23/3/2010, 17:23

Mariet,
I have been folowing the forum on the story about the Pfauter family.

I found this on Google. Commander Studdert's name appears along with other German nationals who accompanied him to UK.

Although the story does not mention the Pfauter family, I feel sure it is the same Commander Stubbert. The extract from the article mentions his ability to speak German and his interest in Gun Control Engineering.

Maybe this is another piece in the jigsaw?

Regards
Alan


Commander Studdert and the Goebbels brothers

At the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, Maurice Studdert – better known as Michael – had been stationed in the Far East. But in June 1940, he was transferred to the Admiralty in London, during which time, working in the Director of Naval Ordinance Department, he was responsible for the invention of highly secret apparatus concerned with fire control and gunnery equipment stabilisation.

When the war ended, he joined an Anglo-American team, sent to Europe, where he was the only English member among some 40 Americans, who came together for the purpose of disarming Germany and the collection of technical information from its scientists. He spoke fluent German and had an unrivalled technical knowledge that won him respect among those that he was involved in interrogating. His name became a byword as a man who really understood the viewpoint of the most learned engineers, and he and his team soon became a focal point for scientists and inventors from all corners of Germany.

Sometime in 1947, Commander Studdert arrived at the Wray factory to present them with his plans for an eye-level single lens reflex. This was the complicated, upside-down pentaprism camera that was eventually patented but never built, and at this stage the plans were incomplete. Studdert, however, introduced two highly-skilled German technicians, Harry and Werner Goebbels, whom he had brought with him from Germany and who, he said, were capable of completing the plans and the camera. The brothers were seconded to Wray, to work in the design office and on the factory floor, and the company took over the camera’s designs from Studdert. He was subsequently named on the patent dated 21st May of that year as the camera’s inventor, with Wray as the applicant. A year later, to the day, on 21st May 1948, a patent application made in France for the same camera, showed Studdert as the inventor again, but this time also as the applicant. Even more confusingly, an American patent taken out for the same camera in 1952 named Wray as the applicant with Katie Studdert and Helena Ruth – clearly relatives of Maurice Studdert – as the inventors, giving rise to the sometimes quoted myth that the Wrayflex was actually invented by two women.

But did Commander Studdert, as these patents suggest, actually invent the camera? Or, as a stronger school of thought suggests, was the camera designed by the Goebbels brothers in Germany, where Studdert discovered them during his tour of duty? With his experience and level of expertise, Studdert would have had the ability to read the plans and to see the camera’s potential, and it’s possible that his expertise could have been brought to bear for redrawing the designs using imperial, rather than metric, measurements. But the Goebbels brothers must have had a very good working knowledge of the design, otherwise why else would Studdert bring them all the way from Germany to help build the camera? And if Studdert was the true inventor, why did he not complete the designs before bringing them to Wray?

The truth isn’t certain, and it isn’t clear either if Studdert sold Wray the manufacturing rights, or whether he handed them over as part of war reparations. What is clear, is that, having gone through his negotiations with Wray, Studdert bowed out and left the Goebbels brothers behind to take things to the next stage.

Unfortunately, Studdert’s work both during and after the war, put him under considerable strain, and his health broke down. By the start of 1950, he was in hospital and remained there for more than a year, finally dying from a condition allied to leukaemia, on 17th March 1951 at the age of 40.

His obituary, after talking about the confidentiality of his work for the Admiralty, briefly added: “It is probable, however, that more will be heard of his latest camera, which is now sweeping the dollar market
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