MvR is asked to write his memoirs
Event ID: 519
01 May 1917
Source ID: 29
After the meeting with Hoeppner, Richthofen toured almost every department in the building, including ‘Airplanes’, which recorded air victories, kept track of personnel, systematized the structure of all units, handled supply requirements, and dealt with technical problems, such as the Albatros’s weak wing. One way or another, Richthofen touched on the interests and responsibilities of almost everyone in the building, and all of the ‘ink-spillers’, as he called them, were anxious to meet or at least see him. The small staff of Department B of the Adjutant General’s branch was particularly interested in meeting him, because they were responsible for intelligence and press, and they had a project for him. He was going to write his memoirs. A publisher had made the suggestion, and the Air Service thought it was a fine idea. Richthofen, by his own admission, had never been a good student, much less a man of letters. But he was assured that he would not have to produce a masterpiece, that his fellow countrymen simply wanted to know more about him, and that he could complete the small book at Schweidnitz before his six-weeks’ leave was over. He would, in addition, be given a stenographer to speed along the manuscript. It would be sent to Department B in small sections for editing and censoring, and would then be published in magazine installments. Finally, it would all be put together in book form, a small paperback, to be sure, but it would nonetheless be his book – the memoirs of the world’s greatest air fighter. Richthofen liked the idea because, among other reasons, proceeds would go to his family in case he was killed. If the war turned out badly, they would need that money.