[CR] =?iso-8859-1?q?speedbicycles=2Ecom=B4s_D=FCrkopp=2C?= =?iso-8859-1?q?_Albert_Richter=2C_grandparents?=

Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2004

To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Toni.Theilmeier@t-online.de (Toni Theilmeier)
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 10:56:40 +0200
Subject: [CR] =?iso-8859-1?q?speedbicycles=2Ecom=B4s_D=FCrkopp=2C?= =?iso-8859-1?q?_Albert_Richter=2C_grandparents?=

Another "well done" for speedbicycles´ webpage. What caught my eye was the 1937 Dürkopp Sieger der Deutschlandfahrt ( model "winner of tour of Germany"). A marvellous cycle as such, what with Dürkopp, Bielefeld, having been considered one of Germany´s top makers, this one is a real stunner because of the many foreign parts put on it. There might be a dangerous and very special story behind it.

In contrast to many European colleagues in the thirties, German racers were not able to buy foreign equipment in the shops, because the fascist government had put currency restrictions in force in order to save up for the war. My grandfather dealt in dairy products (Dutch cheese) and eggs during those times, and was situated close to the Dutch border. Even he was only allowed to take ten Reichsmarks across the border per trip. The amount was carefully noted in his passport, each trip he made. Ten Marks then would not buy enough cheese by half to fill the sidecar of his big BMW combination (which, btw, accompanied him into oblivion when he went MIA in Stalingrad).

German cyclists, then, stood no chance at all to buy things like Super Champions, and I have been told it was only possible by half-legal swapping to acquire equipment abroad, and then there was the problem of smuggling it across the border. Money was sewn into tubular tyres, as reported in accounts of how Albert Richter, German track champion, was caught crossing the Swiss border on Dec 31, 1939. In January 1940, Richter, known for his opposition to the Fascists, was killed by the Gestapo.

However, the Dürkopp might have spent all its life in Switzerland, and so might have come by its exotic equipment completely unproblematically.


Toni Theilmeier, Belm, Germany, who will inquire for an overdue Brooks B17 at his LBS next week with a feeling of gratitude. Even better, my son (aged 9) has already spent many weeks with his grandparents, and abroad at that. He´ll be off with them to the Black Forest next month.

P.S.: In the case of a sudden disruption of an e-mail conversation with me, please assume that I have given up the medium and contact me in a more traditional way. I am in the trial phase of a last ditch system after some others could not stand my constant abusing them.