YOUTUBE Video: The Great Liners of the 20th Century – Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, Deutschland, Amerika, Lusitania, mauretania, Olympic, Titanic, France, Britannic, Imperator, Vaterland, Aquitania, Ile de France, Cap Arcona, Bremen, Europa, Rex, Normandie, Batory, Queen Mary, Wilhelm Gustloff, Nieuw Amsterdam, America, Queen Elizabeth, Willem Ruys, Caronia, Flandre, Maasdam, United States, Andrea Doria, Saxonia, Rotterdam, Leonardo da Vinci, France, Michelangelo, Queen Elizabeth 2.
Sadly the Second World War caused an end to her years in German hands and she was handed to the French as war reparations.
As SS Liberte, the ship became the stop gap flagship for CGT French Line as a replacement for the legendary SS Normandie that had been lost during the Second World War.
She was transformed into the pride of France and finally was retired in 1961 after serving two great nations.
THE FRENCH LINE – SS LIBERTE – 1950s – Here are some wonderful vintage home movies shot aboard a crossing on the Liberte. The photographer even tried to shoot a few poorly lit interiors.
The French Line’s Liberte.
Snaphots of two women passengers aboard the Liberte.
SS LIBERTE (formerly the German liner EUROPE)
If the time before the Second World War is indexed within the annals of history for its aspirations of achievement and advancement of technology and design, then, the period following the great turmoil should be looked upon as a testament to the longevity of that vision and drive.
In the frenzy and misery which is war, the great passenger fleets of the Atlantic trade were reduced to a mere ghostlike representation of life before the War. The superliners of the decade before, the Normandie, the Rex, and their brethren lay in ruin. The few great ships which survived for the duration found themselves sorely lacking in competition and silently alone on the vast expanses of the Atlantic seas.
Cruise History: March 1939 Ad from Hamburg-America Line – North German Lloyd pitching their Trans-Atlantic commuter service. World War 2 would start in six months.
Advertisement from “House Beautiful” selling travelers on sailing aboard Hapag-Lloyd liners six months before the beginning of World War 2. Americans bought passage and the trans-Atlantic crossings were full. The USA was still very isolated from the realities of the coming war and were visiting Germany and Europe during the summer of 1939. By the time this “young commuter” would be a teenager the war would be over and the once mighty German passenger fleet finished.
Cruising The Past: 1936 German/Nazi Olympics were a destination aboard ships of the North German Lloyd Line. Midnight sailings were offered from New York on the Bremen and Europa.
This ad appearing in the Literary Digest (1936) exploits the Winter and Summer Olympics with service aboard North German Lloyd liners the EUROPA and BREMEN available from New York with a Midnight Sailing. These departure times, guaranteed morning arrivals in European ports. Round-trip first class fares started at $215.
For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character while hosting the Summer Olympics. Minimizing its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to impress many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany.
Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics, the United States and other western democracies missed the opportunity to take a stand that contemporary observers claimed might have restrained Hitler and bolstered international resistance to Nazi tyranny.
Thousands of Americans sailed to Germany on German and American ships to attend the Olympics.
After the Olympics, Germany’s expansionism and the persecution of Jews and other “enemies of the state” accelerated, culminating in World War II and the Holocaust.