A shell made of steel, and nearly 70 million euros already paid invoices: How should it go ahead with the redevelopment of the sailing school ship “Gorch Fock”, which has developed for the Ministry of defence to a difficult permanent construction site? A decision has been taken, because the ship is supposed to at least be buoyant. Goal until April is. In the Dock in Bremerhaven, it could be – even if you wanted it, not scrapped it.

the main contractor of the renovation is shipyard Elsflether. In the meantime, the hut is burning in the Foundation of the shipyard. Only allegations of corruption polluted the relationship to the Navy. These are now being investigated by the Prosecutor’s office. The Ministry of defence, the payments on the ice. Then, the NDR reported in detail on the infidelity allegations against the tip. In the meantime, an emergency Board was used.

Ursula von der Leyen inherited quirks

The infidelity accusations complicate the situation for defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), which is itself in the criticism, however, sloppiness in dealing with the traditional ship of their predecessors inherited. Failures in maintenance over 20 years, had listed the Federal court of audit at the beginning of January in a critical inspection report. The Minister was also presented a “false or not sufficiently meaningful information”.

refurbishment or scrapping?

costs out of control, ran crisis summit decides on the fate of the “Gorch Fock”


the rehabilitation of The ailing “Gorch Fock” is to be continued after a decision in the Ministry of defence to swimming ability confirmed by the CDU politician Ingo Gädechens in Berlin on the sidelines of the defence Committee of the Bundestag. “I’m glad we’re doing now is an interim step,” he said. “The Work will now be taken up again, the portholes are set, the Ballast is introduced into the vessel, so that we are then also free in the decision, whether we make with the General contractor, or perhaps a General contractor are looking for.”

He set but to the fact that the relationship of trust with the Elsflether shipyard could be restored. The Dock in Bremerhaven am also a member of any certified ship recycling facility, in a ship dismantled. “Now if we were to the Dock floods without Ballast, would overturn the ‘Gorch Fock’ in the Weser. And thus no one would be helped,” says Gädechens.

Historical sailing ship

the “Gorch Fock”.


criticism comes from the Opposition. “The Work on the “Gorch Fock” immediately and for as long until the bribes are clarified accusations against the shipyard, the charge of the dubious financial management of the shipyard managing Board and the massive cost-explosion”, called FDP budget expert Karsten Klein. Claims for damages against the shipyard would have to be tested. Matthias Höhn (Left), said: “Mrs von der Leyen wants to for the third Time with the head through the wall and hits in terms of the ‘Gorch Fock’ for the third Time, an expensive wrong decision.”

Waiting for the Crew of the Gorch Fock

the Crew of The “Gorch Fock”, in contrast, is happy about the decision of the Ministry of defence. “I figured the crew at noon today, to inform you,” said commander Nils Brandt of the German press Agency. “Which are, of course, very relieved.” Because it was now already the third Time that the Crew had to fear for the preservation of the ship. “The Fear is not, of course, were yet, but at least we now have considerably more hope that it will find a good end for us.”

For Brandt’s decision to leave the Bark on the yard’s float, “a logical consequence against the Background of the cost”. For the crew of the ship had improved the Situation with the decision. You continue to hope, “that we are going to build it all done”.

sources: Navy, the “Gorch Fock”, NDR

Carsten Hoffmann and André Klohn / DPA / wue

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.