Police Inspector Otto Thieme
My mother’s father, Grandfather Thieme, the son of a railroad engineer, looked quite dapper as a young man. Prior to 1933 the Hamburg Police Department consisted of 21 units, with 2,100 men. My grandfather was a Polizist with the Sicherheitspolizei or uniformed policeman with the department. Later, with an expansion of the Hamburg Police Department to 5,500 men and the formation of an investigative branch, he was promoted to the esteemed position of a Kriminalbeamte inspector. He rose to the rank of Chief of Detectives, and had a reputation of being tough, and not someone you could mess with. Having a baldhead and the general appearance of Telly Savalas, the late Hollywood movie actor, I don’t think anyone did. An action story and part of my grandfather’s legacy was when he chased a felon across the rooftops of prewar Hamburg, firing his Dienstpistole, service revolver, as he made his way from one steep inclined slate roof to the next.
Of course, Grandpa got his man! Even with this factual tidbit, there isn’t all that much I know about him, other than that, at the then ripe old age of sixty-four, he peacefully died in his chair while reading the evening newspaper. I remember his age at the time of his death, because of an association my mother made for me. As a child learning the multiplication table, eight times eight was and is sixty-four.
In 2008, the Hamburg Police Department had 500,335 active personnel.
In 1949-1950, a movie based on a true story was made “Wer fuhr den grauen Ford?” “Who drove the gray Ford” with Otto Wernicke playing the part of Criminal Commissioner Thieme. In the plot, a robbery of 240,000 Marks is perfectly planned and carried out with the help of a stolen gray Ford. Police Commissioner Thieme and his assistant, search for the loot in the dark without success. Then one of the robbers in a moment of conscience commits a fatal mistake by sending his share of the loot to the police. This mailing provides Commissioner Thieme with enough clues to capture the robbers.
Visit Captain Hank Bracker’s Facepage for Photo Caption: #1 Grandmother & Grandfather Thieme. #2 German actor Otto Wernicke as Police Commissioner Thieme.
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer and are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.