MvR’s house in Schweidnitz opens up as a museum in his honour.
Event ID: 473
21 April 1923
Source ID: 26
Description as found in Floyd Gibbons’ 1927 book: The Red Knight Of Germany, 1959 Bantam Books Edition, page 4 & 5:
Its walls are covered with the linen scalps of fallen foes. They are the gaily painted red, white, and blue numbers and symbols cut from fighting planes that went down in defeat under the guns of Richthofen’s red Fokker. To anyone who knew the war, the bedchamber is a ‘room of dead men’s numbers”, but it was not that to Mother Richthofen, whose son told her that the stripes of fabric placed on the walls were taken only from vanquished planes whose occupants survived the fight that forced them to earth behind the German lines.
The chandelier hanging from the ceiling over the centre table is the rotary motor of a French plane which the ace brought down near Verdun. Richthofen had it remade with electric bulbs on each cylinder head, and, in order to support the unusual weight, he had to reinforce the rafters in the ceiling, from which it is suspended on chains. The table itself is made from parts of broken propeller blades of all kinds. The night lamp on the bed table is formed from the metal hub of an airplane’s undercarriage wheel. The centrepiece on the table is a flying compass, and the wall table under the large portrait is loaded down with silver cups commemorating battles in the sky.
Among all these gruesome trophies, each representing a death struggle in midair, one holds the position of honour over the bedroom door. It is the machine gun from an English plane that sent many German flyers to their death. It is the weapon of the first English ace, Major Lanoe Hawker.