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Military Honors

posted Jun 29, 2015, 6:38 PM by German Club Hawaii   [ updated Jul 1, 2015, 6:47 PM ]

Captain Jürgen Looft, a German Navy officer, visited Oahu Cemetery on June 6 to pay respects and lay flowers at the graves of two German sailors who are buried in plots owned by the German Benevolent Society of Honolulu. 

Captain Looft, a naval attaché and assistant defense attaché stationed with the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., and his wife, Dagmar, visited the graves of Rudoph Scholz and Hermann Walter, both sailors with the Imperial German Navy in the early 1900s.  

They left floral offerings wrapped with ribbons in the colors of the German flag. Scholz, the head torpedo machinist on the on the S.M.S. Arcona, died in Honolulu in April 1910 while his ship was in port for repairs. Walter, of Charlottenburg, who died in October 1914, was a deck officer on the S.M.S. Geier, a German battleship. The ship had just arrived in Honolulu and was undergoing repairs when Walter died. After the outbreak of World War I, the S.M.S. Geier was impounded and converted into a U.S.Navy ship. 

Also in attendance at the event were Skippy Sweet, Keiko Hassler, and John Hassler of the German Benevolent Society of Honolulu, and Katrin Koel-Abt, representing the German Club Hawaii and the local German community. The meeting was arranged by Denis Salle, honorary German consul in Honolulu. 

The visit is believed to be the first official recognition of Scholz and Walter since their deaths over 100 years ago. We are grateful to the Loofts and to the German government for the honor they have paid to these German sailors of the previous century. 

by Keiko Hassler