The message was unmistakable: “The lives of 91 men, women and children on board the aircraft depends on your decision.
You are our last and only hope.
On behalf of the crew and passengers.
Schumann. ”Jürgen Schumann, the 37-year-old captain of the Lufthansa Boeing 737 named“ Landshut ”, sent these words from Dubai to the Chancellery in Bonn in the early morning of October 15, 1977.
For about 36 hours, Schumann, his cockpit colleague Jürgen Vietor, three flight attendants and 82 passengers had been held hostage in the hands of four Palestinian kidnappers.
Almost three days later, the GSG-9 in Mogadishu forcibly freed the hostages - only for Jürgen Schumann the rescue came too late: The terrorist leader, who called himself "Captain Martyr Mahmud" and was actually called Zohair Youssif Akache, had him in Aden shot dead on the evening of October 16, 1977 to demonstrate his omnipotence.
Now, 43 years later, a Bundeswehr barracks in Schleswig-Holstein is to be named after Schumann after a long turmoil.
Because he died as a civil pilot for Lufthansa, but he had previously flown in the Air Force, just like his colleague Vietor.
Former hostages of the "Landshut" are sure that the excellent training of their two pilots in the Bundeswehr was a stroke of luck for them and that it contributed a lot to their rescue.
Schumann was born on April 29, 1940 near Leipzig and grew up in Hesse.
In 1960 he signed up for the Bundeswehr as a regular soldier.
He began his pilot training in Appen - in the barracks that will soon bear his name.
From 1965 he flew the Starfighter for the Air Force, the fastest but also life-threatening jet fighter in the Bundeswehr.
After the end of his eight years of service, Schumann left and moved to Lufthansa.
Initially as copilot on long-haul Boeing 707 aircraft and from 1977 as captain on medium-haul aircraft 737. The flight from Frankfurt to Mallorca and back on October 13 was actually routine - until the four terrorists seized the aircraft and all its occupants.
The Lufthansa Boeing “Landshut” in Dubai.
The leader of the terrorists, "Captain Martyr Mahmud", sits in the pilot's seat.
Source: picture-alliance / dpa
The barracks in Appen have been named after the Wehrmacht pilot since 1975 and in 1942, the flying ace Hans-Joachim Marseille, who was killed by an engine failure.
As one of the most successful fighter pilots (158 kills), he was the subject of intense Nazi propaganda.
That is why there has been a proposal for many years to rename the barracks.
Years ago the attempt was made to rename the base where the Luftwaffe's NCO school is housed (the air base where Schumann still served) after the "Landshut" captain.
A spokesman for the air force confirmed to WELT that the workers at the Marseille barracks have now spoken out in favor of the new name.
The Inspector of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, now has to initiate the appropriate procedure, including obtaining the consent of Jürgen Schumann's relatives and the community.
Ultimately, the decision is made by Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
But because the federal government announced in September 2020: "It was determined that the naming of the 'Marseille' barracks at the Appen site does not comply with the requirements of the guidelines for the preservation of tradition", one can assume that it is more likely Formalities.
"If the prerequisites are met, this can take place in 2021," said the spokesman, who personally thinks the renaming is good: "It is far too little known to the general public that Jürgen Schumann was with the Air Force before he worked for Lufthansa." In addition to several streets named after the murdered "Landshut" captain - in his hometown of Babenhausen, in Landshut and at the new BER airport near Berlin -, a primary school and the Lufthansa pilot school in Bremen, the air force will also remember Jürgen Schumann .
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