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Paul Graetz website

Paul Graetz Biographie

1875 - 1968

Not to be mistaken for the cabaret artist and actor Paul Graetz

Graetz as officer 1902

Youth 1875 - 1895

  • 24.07.1875 born as Friedrich Paul Graetz in Zittau (Oberlausitz), he grew up on his grandfather’s manor in Reichenau.
  • 1895 – Matriculation and decision to take up an officer career.

Time as officer 1895- 1907

  • 29.06.1896:   commissioned second lieutenant
  • 04.04.1902:   Lieutenant of the 7th Infantry Regiment "Prinz Georg" Nr. 106; after his retirement from the Royal Saxon Army he is employed as commissioned lieutenant in the German colonial troops “Schutztruppe” as of 29.06.1896

East Africa 1902 - 1904

  • 1902 - employed at the road construction of Garrison Lindi in the south together with the 3rd Schutztruppen Company and 2000 coloured workers – construction of a 600km long road.
  • 30.09.1904:   Graetz retires from the Schutztruppe as he re-joins the Royal Saxon Military. At his farewell he receives a storming bronze Sudanese firgure on an ebony pedestal engraved with his name and rank.
  • 1904 – Promotion to first lieutenant, Military Academy.
  • 1904 – Purchase of an automobile single cylinder Opel - Darracq.

Graetz during the motor boat expedition

Links and addresses:

If you would like to know more about the German colonial history:

Traditional association or

Colonial picture archive and encyclopaedia

Here you find exhibits from Paul Graetz' time at the Schutztruppe from 1902 - 1904: Waissansu – Collection, Kilimatinde Tansania:

Linden-Museum Stuttgart

By car through Africa 1907 - 1909

Detailed information regarding the Africa transit by automobile are available here: Crossing Africa by automobile

  • 10.08.07:   Start at the post office in Daressalam at 17:20 h, together with Theodor von Roeder and chauffeur
  • 01.05.09:   Arrival in Swakopmund

1911 - 1912 – Crossing Africa by motor boat

Detailed information regarding the Africa transit by motor boat are available here: Crossing Africa by motor boat

Links and addresses:

Here you will find exhibits and souvenirs of Paul Graetz' motor boat expedition: Watua-Collection, Lake Bangwelu, Zambia: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Foundation for Prussian Culture)

During the shipment of the Graetz auto mobile

Back in Germany

  • 1914: preparation for the German – English – Dutch aeronautical (airship) land survey expedition to Papua New Guinea


Briefmarkenfreunde Neuguineas (Stamp fans of New Guinea)

  • 1914/15 – First lieutenant commando officer of the military flight school and the Fokker aircraft plant in Schwerin


1943 - With daughter Uta Africana

Fokker-Team Schorndorf, Olaf Halle: PDF of the airship expedition

  • 1915 -1918: founding of the predecessor company of Lufthansa
  • 1920: An adventuourus India excursion.
  • From 1920: main residence in Langebrück close to Dresden.
  • 11.01.1941:   Wedding with Wally (nee Pods) his third wife
  • 1942: Birth of daughter Uta Africana
  • 1949:  Escape from the Soviet Zone
  • 1950: Preparations for the third Africa transit are discontinued after his wife’s accident.
  • 1960: Travemünde: Federal government assist with the building of "Afrikaruh", Move-in in July
  • 16.02.1968:   Paul Graetz dies in Travemünde.
    Tombstone: Cemetery Travemünde. Not existent anymore.
    Inscription on stone: Paul Graetz africanus, Carpe Diem 25.07.1875 - 16.02.1968 with old German "born" and "died" signs before the dates.
    Buried on 20.02.1968, field 6 row-graetz 7 no. 5, remove in June by the mason company Wolff from Lübeck

In Barcelona during the preparations for a flight along the equator


  • 2002 - Der an der Sternwarte in Trebur entdeckte Asteroid Nr. 142562 discovred at the observatory in Trebur was named after Paul Graetz: NASA - 142562 Graetz (2002 TL69)

Paul Graetz

24.07.1875 - 16.02.1968

has always been the driving force that would convert brilliant ideas to reality.