Emil Richard Zahn

Emil Richard Zahn

Birth
Querfurt, Saalekreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Death 25 Jan 1992 (aged 86)
Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida, USA
Burial Bushnell, Sumter County, Florida, USA
Plot Section 623, Grave 563
Memorial ID 126661047 · View Source
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Emil was born in Querfurt, a small town in what was then the Kingdom of Prussia. While he was still a young boy, his father, a butcher, moved the family to the city of Halle an der Salle. The middle of five children, "E" (pronounced as a long A), as he was called by his siblings, helped with the family business.

Completing his cook's apprenticeship at the Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in 1926, he signed on with Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL - North German Lloyd Steamship Co.) as ship's cook, traveling around the world visiting many foreign ports from Barcelona, Spain to Shanghai, China, to New York City.

In 1934, he became a U.S. citizen and with his first wife, Bertha Muller, owned and operated the "Famous Restaurant" on 86th St. in N.Y.C.'s predominantly German neighborhood of Yorkville.

Upon the outbreak of WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought against Nazism in his own birth country. Originally trained as an engineer at Fort Belvoir where he received special training in demolition and temporary bridge building, his culinary expertise was uncovered after he arrived in Normandy and he was transferred to the Officer's Mess for HQ ETOUSA. He eventually became Mess Sergeant, traveling with HQ from St. Lo to Granville, Paris, and ultimately, its last outpost in the infamous IG Farbin Building in Frankfurt. This is where he met his second wife, Ingeborg Plass.

After the war, he remained in service with the Civil Censorship Division, a predecessor of the CIA, where his fluent German was used to censor postal, telephone, and telegraph communications. Other duties included interrogating German officer POW's. He married Ingeborg on April 12, 1950, and on May 11, 1950, returned to the U.S. aboard the USNS General Alexander M. Patch (T-AP-122) to New York City.

In the 1950's and 60's he was Executive Chef for the Longchamps chain of restaurants under Jan Mitchell, including the flagship Mark Twain Riverboat (in the Empire State Bldg) and Luchow's (110 East 14th Street), the most famous German restaurant in New York City.

After his retirement in 1967, he moved his family to Fort Lauderdale, FL where he spent the remainder of his life. He loved cooking for his family and friends, and going to the beach.

He is survived by his two sons, Peter Michael Zahn and E. Richard Zahn, and two grandchildren, Kelsey Alexis Zahn and Kyle Richard Zahn. Ingeborg died on March 3, 2014.


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  • Created by: Richard
  • Added: 21 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 126661047
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emil Richard Zahn (11 Jul 1905–25 Jan 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 126661047, citing Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Sumter County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Richard (contributor 48377557) .