Griffin (ship, 1951)

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The Greif at the "Hanse Sail" 2008
The Greif at the "Hanse Sail" 2008
Ship data
flag GermanyGermany Germany
other ship names

Wilhelm Pieck

Ship type Schoonerbrigg
Callsign DQFD
home port Greifswald-Wieck
Owner Hanseatic City of Greifswald
Shipyard Warnow shipyard
Launch May 26, 1951
Commissioning 2nd August 1951
Ship dimensions and crew
41.10 m ( Lüa )
width 7.40 m
Draft Max. 3.60 m
displacement 280  t
measurement 179.2 GRT
crew Max. 50
Machine system
machine MTU marine diesel engine with eight cylinders
performanceTemplate: Infobox ship / maintenance / service format
171 kW (232 hp)
6 kn (11 km / h)
Rigging and rigging
Rigging Schoonerbrigg
Number of masts 2
Number of sails 15th
Sail area 570 m²
under sail
Max. 14 kn (26 km / h)
Classifications - 100A5 sailing ship GL
- Special Purpose Ship
IMO no. 8862571

The Greif is a brigantine (Schonerbrigg) kept in motion by the city of Greifswald and the Förderverein Rahsegler GREIF eV and today serves as a sailing training ship for the promotion of young people through maritime training. The steel-built ship was in service in the GDR from 1951 to 1990 as the sailing training ship Wilhelm Pieck .


On February 27, 1951, the keel of the Schonerbrigg was laid at the Warnow shipyard in Rostock - Warnemünde as the first new ship in the GDR using riveting and welding technology. It was launched on May 26, 1951 and put into service on August 2, 1951. It was named after the then President of the GDR Wilhelm Pieck , who also took part in the maiden voyage , and was christened by Waltraud Zappe. The ship was originally intended as a gift from the state of Mecklenburg to Wilhelm Pieck on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Wilhelm Pieck passed the Schonerbrigg on to the youth organization of the GDR FDJ in order to accelerate the training of specialists for the emerging merchant fleet of the GDR. The ship was then assigned to the Society for Sport and Technology . The Wilhelm Pieck was the only deep sea sailing ship in the GDR and mostly made trips on the Baltic Sea to ports in Poland and the Soviet Union . The longest voyage took the ship in 1957 in 99 days and 8,000  nautical miles (approx. 14,800 km) to Albania , Bulgaria , Romania and Odessa ( Ukraine ) on the Black Sea . The Wilhelm Pieck belonged 1954-1989 to ship inventory of GST Naval Academy "August Lütgens" in Greifswald-Wieck and was also the time during this flagship Greifswald GST-training ships.

In 1971/72 a major overhaul and conversion took place in the VEB Neptun shipyard in Rostock . In 1974 the Wilhelm Pieck took part for the first time in an " Operation Sail ", which took place in the Baltic Sea that year. The course participants were initially trained in a quarterly cycle and later mostly in four-week courses.

In 1981 the ship was the main setting for the movie Martin XIII. (Directed by Konrad Petzold ).

In 1990 the ship was taken over by the city of Greifswald and renamed Greif in 1991 . It is entered as a movable cultural monument in the list of cultural monuments of the city of Greifswald . The traditional sailing training ship, which celebrated its 60th anniversary of service in the home port in August 2011, also became an object in modern visual arts. The well-known artists Helmut Maletzke , Greifswald, and Eckhard Buchholz , Stralsund, portrayed Wilhelm Pieck as larger oil portraits in the form of a modern captain , such as the sailing training ship “Wilhelm Pieck” under full sails (HM 1979) and ocean yacht in stormy seas (EB 1997).


  • 1951–1955 Ernst Weitendorf (1883–1974)
  • 1955–1958 Arthur Friedrich (1908–1970)
  • 1959–1967 Gerhard Samuel (* 1923)
  • 1959 00000Willi Kessler, acting as a substitute
  • 1960 00000Horst Rickert, substitute (1935–2016)
  • 1967–1972 Karlheinz Schaefer († 2011)
  • 1973–2000 Helmut Stolle (* 1942), captain of the ship with the longest period of service (27 years)
  • 1999 00000Roland Hunscha, acting as representative (* 1961)
  • 2000–2017 Wolfgang Fusch (* 1953)
  • 2017 00000Roland Hunscha

Technical data and equipment

  • Class: 100 A5 sailing ship Germanischer Lloyd
  • Height of the main mast above the waterline: 27.20 m
  • Height foremast : 26.80 m
  • The ballast keel has a weight of 40 tons
  • The hull is divided into 11 compartments, 9 of which are watertight, with transverse bulkheads .
  • Auxiliary engine for on-board operation: 1 diesel engine with 22 kW (30 PS)
  • Tanks for 4.3 tons of diesel fuel, 200 liters of oil and 12 tons of drinking water.
  • hand-operated quadrant rudder system
  • 2 anchors (approx. 500 kg), driven out of the hawse, with manually moved eleven-armed capstan head as well as 2 reserve anchors with 75 kg each ( stick anchor )
  • Equipment:
  • Life rafts and 2 inflatable boats (1 motorized)



  • Michael Hammermeister: The schooner brig GREIF has to stay in Greifswald. Hanseatic tradition must not only be visible on letterhead. In: Die Pommersche Zeitung , year 64, episode 50 of December 13, 2014, p. 1. With special supplement : Sailing training ship GREIF - Greifswald's ambassador on the seas . Pp. 11-14.
  • Lutz Mohr : School ships under sail and engine. On the history of the GST naval school "August Lütgens" Greifswald-Wieck. Edition Pommern, Elmenhorst 2012, ISBN 978-3-939680-12-3 .
  • Lutz Mohr: Between Ryck and Ruden . The socialist structure of our homeland using the example of ... the GST naval school "August Lütgens" ... In: Neue Greifswalder Museumshefte (NGM) No. 3, Greifswald 1978, pp. 13–24.
  • Heinrich Mutschler: Sail training ship "Wilhelm Pieck". Ship of a new generation of seafarers. Rostock: History commission of the SED district management combine maritime transport and port management 1985.
  • Horst Rickert: Sail training ship "Wilhelm Pieck". Captains report. Das Neue Berlin, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-360-01974-5 .
  • Robert Rosentreter : Schonerbrigg GREIF ex. Wilhelm Pieck. A ship legend. Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 2001, ISBN 3-935319-25-8 .
  • Lothar Willmann, Helmuth Pelzer: Sailors. Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 1991, ISBN 3-560-03392-6 .
  • Götz R. Richter : Sails in sun and storm. Verlag Sport und Technik, Neuenhagen 1958, DNB 575816260 .


  1. Manfred Neumann, Dietrich Strobel: From the cutter to the container ship. Verlag Technik, Berlin 1980, DNB 810797593 .
  2. | Martin XIII. (1981)

Web links

Commons : Griffin  - collection of images, videos and audio files