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The details of the Hindenburg menu are hard to track down. The Nazi Party was humiliated by the disaster. The zeppelin had been a sign of their mastery and dominance of the air. To have the massive airship go down in flames showed the serious flaws in their thinking.

Most records of the Hindenburg were forever sealed by the Nazi Party and have since disappeared. All that is left are first hand accounts and news reports from the time. I have not been able to find the exact recipes, but below are recipes I was able to piece together. Please let me know if you find anything on the culinary experience on the Hindenburg.

Before dinner, quite a few of the guests would have Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktails in the smoking saloon. Yes, there was an entire room dedicated to smoking on the highly flammable Hindenburg.

The Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail

Dissolve a small lump of sugar in a little water in a whiskey glass. Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Add an ice cube, a piece of lemon peel and one jigger whiskey. Mix with a small bar spoon and serve, leaving the spoon in the glass.

None of the first hand accounts went into details of the salad course, other than – they served a salad course in the dining room.

German Potato Salad (Unauthentic for the Hindenburg, but it makes a good potato salad.)

5 lbs. potatoes (do not use baking potatoes because they are too flaky)

1/2 cup diced smoked bacon

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3/4 cups sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped chives

Clean and Boil the potatoes until cooked, but still firm. Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks. In a bowl, combine: the smoke bacon, vegetable oil, white vinegar, sugar, sea salt, ground pepper, green onions and chives. Pour the mixture over the potato chunks, making sure each one is covered. Chill and serve. Is also pretty good warmed.

Vinaigrette Herb Salad Dressing (Authentic to the time period and German, but no proof that it was actually used on the salads on the Hindenburg. Either way, it’s a good dressing.)

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1/2 small white onion, minced

2 small gherkins (i.e. pickles), drained and chopped

1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped

2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Combine oil, vinegar, wine and mustard in a bottle and shake vigorously until well blended. Combine onion, gherkins, capers and hard boiled eggs in a bowl and pour dressing over them. Season with salt and stir in parsley. Let chill for half an hour and serve over greens.

The rest of the dinner on the Hindenburg is pretty easy to make.

Due to limited cooking and storage space on the Hindenburg, most of the food on the zeppelin was not very glamorous for a luxury liner. Sandwiches, cold cheeses and canned meats were the typical fair on board. It’s probably why everyone stuck with the whiskey cocktails.

Light up your smokes, kick back with an old-fashioned whiskey cocktail and enjoy the ride.

The Hindenburg Promotional Poster



“In the future, air travel across the Atlantic in a dirigible will be commonplace.” 

“A Day on Board” from the Airship Hindenburg Advertising Brochure:What a wonderful night’s rest you have enjoyed after your first day on board! The soft murmur from the distant engines seems to have lulled you to sleep. Now the sunshine is streaming through the windows and you take your place in the dining saloon for a breakfast of crisp appetizing rolls and aromatic coffee. Already, the free and easy companionship of ship-board travel is in evidence. The enjoyment of airship travel makes people sociable, friendships are being formed. You finish breakfast and walk to the windows. Down below, you see the long shadow of the airship passing swiftly over the sparkling foam-crested waves of the blue Atlantic, and the joy of experiencing this wonderful achievement in modern travel surges through you. No people are confined to their cabins, for as yet no passenger has ever been sea-sick on board a Zeppelin Airship. Even in storms and squally weather, the ship’s movements are quiet and steady except for the slight shock of the first onslaught. There is no noise beyond the distant murmur of the engines and the sigh of the wind on the outer hull. No dust, no soot to trouble you, the whole atmosphere is one of tranquility and peace. The air is delicious and fresh, in fact you seem to have been transported into another and more beautiful world. For a long time you are content to watch the marvelous cloud formation or the effect of the wind on the sea and waves beneath, and then perhaps you recline in a comfortable chair to read, join a party in a game of bridge, or chat with some new and interesting friends. Occasionally someone will call from the windows, and you will join your fellow passenger in witnessing the passing of a great liner far beneath, her rails lined with waving passengers, or the inspiring spectacle of a man-of-war or destroyer flotilla. Mid-day arrives as if by magic. After dinner, smokers retire to the smoking saloon. Gradually and amidst many distractions and pleasant activities the evening advances and the stars appear. If inclined, you take a shower bath before supper, and then a round of cocktails with some friends in the bar, followed by supper, and to end the day, a game of bridge. As you retire to your cabin it seems a miracle that already you are nearer your destination by over 1,000 miles. 

Eight-year-old passenger Werner Doehner sat in the dining room of the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937. His parents had just returned from cocktails in the smoking saloon.  They ate a traditional German dinner of cheese, salads and sandwiches as they had every night on the airship.  Werner would be put to bed while his parents play cards with other passengers in the bar. With no warning the dining room tilts to a forty-five degree angle.  Chairs, tables and dishes fall across the floor. Everything is on fire. His mother lifts him and throws him out the window, but Werner hits a piece of debris and bounces back. She throws her son again. This is the last thing Werner remembers. He awakens in a hospital weeks later.

Today, Werner is seventy-eight-years-old and lives in New Jersey.  His mother died of old age, but always limped from the pelvis fracture she received on that night.  His father and sister did not survive.

Thirty-five people died on the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937 at 6:25pm.

The Last Supper 

A cocktail hour followed by…

An Assortment of Cheeses

Meat, Sausage and Tomato Sandwiches


A Selection of German Beer & Wines