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Max Pruss
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    (September 13, 1891-November 28, 1960)
    Born in Sgonn, East Prussia (now Zgon, Poland)
    Crew member of the Graf Zeppelin (1928-36) and Hindenburg (1936-37)
    Captain of the Hindenburg on its last voyage (May 3-6, 1937)
    He joined the Nazi Party.
    Hugo Eckener, in his investigation of the Hindenburg disaster, concluded that the sharp turns Pruss ordered during the airship's approach to the mooring mast caused a bracing wire to snap, puncturing a hydrogen gas cell.
    He spent the rest of his life unsuccessfully advocating for a revival of zeppelin travel.
    One bracing wire tested after the disaster broke at 70% of its rated load, so, if Eckener's theory was right, the problem may not have been that Pruss put too much stress on the bracing wires but that the wires were substandard.
    He rushed into the burning wreckage looking for survivors until rescuers forcibly restrained him.
    He suffered such severe burns that he was given last rights.
    Although he survived, he suffered extensive scarring and had to be outfitted with a prosthetic nose.

Credit: C. Fishel

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