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Willy Rosenstein's Geni Profile

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Willy Rosenstein

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: May 23, 1949 (57)
"Modderfontein", Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa (Ceberal Laceration due to Compound Comminuted, Depressed Fracture of the Skull after Plane Accident)
Place of Burial: Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Ernest Rosenstein and Pauline Noerdlinger
Husband of Hedwig Rosenstein and Ursula Rosenstein
Ex-husband of Paula David
Father of Ernest Willy Rosenstein
Brother of Olga Gertrude Kauffmann

Occupation: Pilot, Farmer
Managed by: Alex Calzareth
Last Updated:

About Willy Rosenstein


Estate File:

Jewish Knights of the Air:

News from Houston Holocaust Museum:


Willy Rosenstein was born in Wiesbaden for unknown reason, because his parents must have lived in Stuttgart by then, where Willy Rosenstein spent his childhood. He started his vocational education in 1912 by earning his pilot's license at the famous flying school at Johannesthal. He then was employed as pilot instructor for the Rumpler aircraft manufacturer. In 1913 he switched to the waggon manufacturing company in Gotha (Thuringa) and encouraged this company to start with manufacturing aircrafts. Willy Rosenstein served this company as designer and test pilot.

In January 1915 he started his war pilot career as a reconnaissance pilot in World War I. In April 1916 he was severely injured during an enemy attack near Verdun (France), but managed to recover soon. He received the Iron Cross 1st Class. He then continued as combat pilot for the Army Fokker Squadron, later for Hermann Goering's Hunter Squadron 27 in Flandern (Feb-Dec 1917).

After a dispute with Goering, Rosenstein was transfered to Lieutenant Degelow's Hunter Squadron 40, under whose command he flourished. Rosenstein was successful in shooting down altogether eight enemy air crafts and so became a highly decorated war hero. When Hitler came to power in 1933 Rosenstein was no longer allowed to fly and finally managed to escape to South Africa, strangely enough with the help of his former squadron commander Hermann Goering, who had in the meantime become a top member of the Hitler regime. Rosenstein was even allowed to take three air planes with him + spare parts, a privilege which in these days was not granted to other Jews, and which allowed him to found a flight school in South Africa. Willy Rosenstein was killed in 1949 in a flying accident.

Ref.: Dick Berger 10/15/10

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Willy Rosenstein's Timeline

January 28, 1892
Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
February 20, 1923
Age 31
Stuttgart, Württemberg, Germany
May 23, 1949
Age 57
Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa
Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa