On 30 August 1939, just days before the outbreak of World War II, a passenger-less and darkened Bremen (1929) slipped quietly out of New York harbor under the cover of night.
So began a mad dash across the North Atlantic, with the great Norddeutscher Lloyd liner successfully evading Royal Navy warships and eventually reaching sanctuary in the Russian port of Murmansk. As she traveled at maximum speed, Bremen crewmen dangled precariously on both sides, painting the ship’s hull gray for camouflage.
After a long, uncomfortable stay in Murmansk, Bremen on 10 December 1939 began another high-speed dash—to her homeport of Bremerhaven—where she arrived on 13 December.
Bremen would not survive the war, however. In 1941, a fire started by a disgruntled crewman gutted the former pride of the NDL fleet.
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