Zeppelin Maier Survives Hindenburg Crash 1937

Many of us who are at the latter stages of middle age will recall reports of the crash of the Hindenburg that occurred on May 6th 1937. This occurred as the airship came in to land at Lake Hurst in the City of New Jersey, America. The hydrogen airship took off from Frankfurt Airfield, Germany. The Airship was carrying 36 passengers and 61 crew. Eighteen Passengers and twenty two Crew Members died.

The Head Chef of the Hindenburg was Xaver Maier who survived the crash unhurt. Maier had been flying as a Zeppelin Chef since 1933. Previously he had been Head Chef at the Ritz in Paris. To his friends he was known as Zeppelin Maier.

At the time of the impact Maier was in the kitchen and was thrown to the floor. He saw a cabin boy, Werner Franz, dropping through a service hatch. Maier followed, jumping from a height of approximately 15 feet. He scrambled out from under the burning hull with the ship collapsing behind him. Sailors led him from the scene to an infirmary. His kitchen whites were not even scorched. He was fortunate.

Maier sailed home for Germany two days later with the surviving members of his kitchen staff onboard the steamship Europa. Maier survived the war and there after continued to ply his trade in fine German Hotels such as the Parc Hotel in Frankfurt.

At the 1980 IKA in Frankfurt the German National Team were crowned Olympic Champions. Xaver was the proud coach. Born in Walldorf, Germany he died in the late 1990’s.


  • Hubert Schmieder
  • Faces of the Hindenburg.blogspot.com
Maier being assisted from the crash.

Maier being assisted from the crash.

Germany Team 1980. A relaxed moment.

Germany Team 1980. A relaxed moment.

L-R: Hasso Segschneider; Manfred Staendecke; Rudolf Decker; Zeppelin Maier.
Missing from this Team Photograph: Rudolf Biller; Wolfgang Trch