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Letter from Oskar Speck to Dr Hermann F. Kroeger

Date: 23 April 1987
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0540[022]

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    Description
    Letter from Oskar Speck to Dr Hermann F. Kroeger typed in German over one page and dated 23 April 1987. The letter clarifies some points about his journey, and thanks for the documents left with the consulate.
    Translation
    • Oskar Speck, , Killcare, 23 April 1987 Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. Attention Consul Dr. Hermann F. Kroeger. Dear Dr. Kroeger, Many thanks for the documents left for me at the Consulate. I don’t think there is a lot of interest out there in a German-Australian magazine with respect toin thea publication of [a report on] my journey to Australia in a folding boat in a German-Australian magazine. It’s all too long ago and things have changed so much. But I would like to clarifygive you clarification about some of the reports that do appear about my journey from time to time. None of those reports were faithful to the facts. Even the report in the Guinness Book of Records is fabricated in parts. I never went down the Elbe and then somehow got on to the Danube. The facts are the following: My folding boat was by far the smallest to have ever have reached Australia from overseas. In all probability it will stay that way, , too. My trip was sponsored by the “Pionier-Faltbootwerft, , Bad Toelz” [Pioneer Folding Boat YardsWharf at Bad Toelz, Bavaria]. All together five5 identical folding boats were used. They were a standard issue product of that company. They were equipped with a foot-controlled steering paddle and thus could therefore be used for sailing as well. I sailed for 75% of the journey. By hand, , that is, anything else would not have been possible in strong winds. In stormy seas it was similar to ocean surfing and required a similar amount of skill and stamina - AND LUCK. The then Consul in Brisbane, , Mr. Hugo Witte, , had written to me at Port Moresby. Mr. Witte was my host inat Batavia. He had informed all German clubs in Queensland about me and, as usual, I would have had to hold talks there about my trip. But the start of the war put an end to all these plans. After the war, the Pioneer Company advised me to stay in Australia for a while. Due to the success of my business here I later stayed in Australia for good. Unfortunately I rarely go to Sydney these days, , but I’d like to thank you for your kind offer. If you ever come up to this area here, you are cordially invited and perhaps we can discuss things further over a bottle of wine. Best wishes, , Yours [unsigned]
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