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Werner Doehner (1929–2019), last survivor of the Hindenburg disaster

by Kirk Fox

He was 8 years old when the Hindenburg crashed in 1937.

Werner Doehner was the last living survivor of the Hindenburg disaster that happened on May 6, 1937. His father and sister along with 34 others died in the crash. The German passenger airship crashed while attempting to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Doehner’s mother managed to throw him and his brother to safety off the airship and she survived as well. He spent three months in a hospital and received skin grafts for his burns. Doehner was born in Germany and raised in Mexico City. His family moved to the United States in 1984 where he was an electrical engineer.

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Died: Friday, November 8, 2019 (Who else died November 8?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 90.

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Doehner recalled the tragedy in 2017 in an interview with the Associated Press: 

“We were close to a window, and my mother took my brother and threw him out. She grabbed me and fell back and then threw me out. She tried to get my sister, but she was too heavy, and my mother decided to get out by the time the zeppelin was nearly on the ground. I remember lying on the ground, and my brother told me to get up and to get out of there.”

Full obituary: New York Times

Related lives:

  • Lauren Bruner (1920–2019), one of the last survivors of Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona
  • Charlotte Fox (2018), survivor of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster
  • Ramon Regalado (1917–2017), survivor of World War II Bataan Death March

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