28 May 2008

RIP: Franz Künstler

Franz Künstler
24 Jul 1900 - 27 May 2008

The last remaining World War I veteran from the Central Powers has died.

ZUI this article from the international edition of Der Spiegel:
One of the last veterans of World War I has died in Germany aged 107. Romanian-born Franz Künstler, who served in the Austro-Hungarian army and fought on Germany's side, died after an operation on his intestine in the southern German town of Niederstetten.

The mayor's office confirmed a report in Bunte magazine that he had died. Künstler, who was the oldest man living in Germany, was born on July 24, 1900 in Soost in what is now Romania and was drafted into the 1st Artillery Regiment of Austro-Hungarian army in February 1918, nine months before the end of the war. He fought on the Italian front.


Künstler had lived in Niederstetten since 1946 and worked as a guide in the hunting museum of Schloss Haltenbergstetten castle. He is believed to have been the last World War I veteran living in Germany.

The other two Central Powers nations were Germany and the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. Erich Kästner, believed to be the last German veteran of World War I, died on 1 Jan 2008; the last Turkish veteran, Yakup Satar, died on 2 Apr 2008.

According to this article from Wikipedia, there are now eleven surviving veterans from the Allied nations: six British, two Italian, and one each from Australia, Canada and the United States.

No comments: