Difference between revisions of "Jakobsmeier, Fritz 2001-01-17"

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 200: Line 200:
[[Category: Needs Review ]]
[[Category: Needs Review ]] [[Category: SWC Interviews]] [[Category: 2000s]] [[Category: German American]] [[Category: World War II]]

Latest revision as of 20:06, 3 July 2019

Fritz Jakobsmeier speaks on his background and experience in the German military.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Fritz Jakobsmeier

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: January 17, 2001

Location: Lubbock Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes



Background: Born September 22 1921, Grew up in a Catholic family, The community he grew up in was 50% Catholic and 50% Lutheran, Went to the German schools, The schools were different than the ones in the US, Father was an engineer in WWI.

Education: Elementary School in Germany was 4 years and if you passed tests were eligible to enter high school in the fifth year, Fritz was nine years old when he entered high school, It normally took thirteen years to fully graduate, Six days a week, Every morning the students would have two hours of Latin, The second year learned French, The third added English, Latin was a very good basis it teaches logical thinking, In the fourth year it is to be decided if you go to the humanistic or the realistic school, Fritz went the realistic school route, Had to quit in the end because of monetary reasons, Fritz was able to continue his education because of his relatives, who lived in central Germany.

Apprenticeship: Zeiss was an optical gear maker in central Germany, Zeiss has the highest precision in the world, Went to apply twice there and got accepted for a 4 year apprenticeship, Fritz passed test for technical representative, Most interesting period in his life, Always liked natural science, Only 16 apprentices were there, He worked in about 7-8 different labs, Helped with the first electron microscope.

Scholarship: In 1939 there was a governmental problem in Berlin for all of the students who didn’t continue into the university, It also affected his apprenticeship, Put in application for a scholarship to a university, There were over 3,000 contestants in Germany, In the end Fritz won and entered into his schooling in 1939, Zeiss doubled his scholarship.

Military Service: Was to the point when he needed two years of military service, Decided to get the two years over with, Entered into the German Air Force, This cut his apprenticeship short by six months but he still graduated.

Basic Training: Went to Eastern Germany for basic training, Was the worst part of his life, Miserably cold and the people were not pleasant, Shortly before Christmas someone came to the base asking for experienced people in photography, Even though he had no previous experience he told them he worked for Zeiss and they assumed the best, Went home for New Years and they told him come back to the base, He was sent to get a new uniform, He was transferred to Air Force War Reporter Company #6 in Berlin, This unit was made up of writers artists photographers moviemakers etc.

First Assignment: Had to take a course in motion pictures, The first assignment was given in March of 1941 with two other guys, who also had no previous experience, There was a small unit in Sicily, Was assigned to film at that small unit, Was in a plane and had a 16mm camera going to Malta, First picture of this kind in the time of WWII, He shot the footage over the pilot’s shoulder , Soon, the footage was transferred to Berlin, All together there was fifty minutes of shooting, Also documented the location, In April of 1942 made one trip back to Berlin, Then was transferred to Tripoli.

The Invasion of Crete: Was in a plane at the invasion of Crete, After the plane landed he filmed from the ground, Was honored after this.

Africa: Spent about twenty months in Africa, During this time the Germans and the British had strange relationships, It was more like a war at sea, Germany was always outnumbered, German 88, Took over some British camps, Got to take general’s plane to pick up camera equipment, Everyone ate in the same kitchen, No envy between the generals and the soldiers , Was there when the American planes came in, Mistakes here made by everyone, During this time also they came up with the system that mounted , camera onto the fighter planes wings , One day there was a terrible rainstorm that washed away about thirty five tents, Some supplies were washed away in the ocean, The British started their offensive there, When one battle was over about 30,000 were killed for a two mile stretch, Went back to Berlin then was transferred to Sicily again.

Sicily: Saw the largest fighter plane ever built in the war, They were in a bad location, P-38 Fighters from the enemies could come over the mountains, Most frightening flight he had was when he had to deliver to Naples and it was totally dark.

Back to Germany: Returned to Germany in 1943, Was arrested when he went to visit a cousin because they thought he was a deserter, In late 1944 he went back to Berlin, Experienced the worst raid he saw, Unusual day when Hitler was thought to be dead, a lot of silence, He had seen Hitler before the war started, Joined Hitler’s youth music group, Played the trumpet then the flute.

France: In the war bought his wife twenty-nine different shades of lipstick, She still has one, Sitting at the Eiffel tower restaurant Fritz could hear the rumble, of the frontline at Normandy.

Engaged and Married: In April of 1944 he was engaged, They were married in September of 1944 in Wiesbaden, Were married in city hall, All married couples got a complimentary autobiography deluxe , edition book, The afternoon was the church wedding, Sirens went off in the middle of the wedding, Was going to the mountains of Wiesbaden for their honeymoon, The train they were on had to stop because of the air raid, Could see the planes up in the Alps, they were very close to them.

Range Dates: 1921-1945

Bulk Dates: 1921-1945

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.